HFM Kid Ambassadors Travel the World!

Over this past spring break, one of our HFM Kid Ambassador families traveled abroad on an exciting adventure to Cambodia, Vietnam and Taipei. From the looks of the pics, Daphne and Calvin and family had a blast! We asked their mom & dad, aka Stephanie & Tom,  to fill us in on the best parts. 

“We have returned from our Southeast Asia trip with Daphne and Calvin. Attached are a few pictures of them from various spots on the trip. We first began in Siem Reap, Cambodia where we toured the historic Angkor Wat temple and surrounding temples including Ta Prohm, which was the temple used in the movie Tomb Raider (and my personal favorite with the large trees and roots growing all over the temple).
We then boarded an Amawaterways cruise and sailed the Mekong from Cambodia to Vietnam, making stops in villages and the country’s capital: phnom phen. We visited a local school, saw silk weaving, rode in ox carts, rode in tuktuks, toured villages, had a monk blessing,etc. While in Vietnam, we rode trishaws, rode in tender boats, went to an island village, visited temples, visited markets, a nature preserve, made rice paper, and lots more.
We disembarked from our cruise in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and spent an extra day touring this busy city. Then for the final step in our journey we headed to Taipei, Taiwan. There we rode the subway, went to a night market, visited monuments, temples, had a tea tasting, and more.”
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Daphne: “I loved the food! Everywhere we went there was great things to try. I was a big fan of Lok Lak in Cambodia, Pho in Vietnam, and the pineapple cakes in Taipei. On the boat I got to make spring rolls, participate in an exotic fruit tasting, and learn about Vietnamese teas.” She also said she loved all the great places she could take pictures of and the dance parties on the boat at night.

Calvin: “My favorite part was riding in the Tuk tuks in Phnom Phen. They go all over the road and across traffic, but there were no accidents. It was funny to watch my grandmother’s eyes get real big as we crossed three lanes of traffic in the Tuk Tuk. I also really liked exploring the villages in Cambodia and riding in the ox kart.” “Oh and the night market in Taipei was awesome, I wish we could have had more time!”
HFM asked: Did you find traveling with the kids easy or daunting?
Tom: “It was generally easy, the kids did great. We had prepared them ahead of time, so they knew what to expect. Although I will say the biggest obstacle traveling with kids is staying organized. In some airports, the kids had to be more responsible for their items. In Ho Chi Minh City, Daphne had to go back through security by herself and it became a little hectic with large crowds, but otherwise it went well.”
Stephanie: “I didn’t find traveling with the kids daunting. Fortunately they have traveled internationally before so they already had an idea of what we expected. The long trip from Houston to Cambodia included flight delays, missed and changed connections, and waiting around, which was tiring for the kids and adults alike. But Daphne and Calvin did great. One challenge of the trip was Daphne and Calvin were the only children on the Amawaterways cruise, they knew this was likely before we even boarded, so we (I) planned ahead with family board games, the Nintendo switch, and other items to keep busy during some of the quieter moments on the cruise. I will say the cruise did a great job of having lots of excursions and activities on the boat that everyone enjoyed.”
Favorite Part:
Tom: “I enjoyed our time in Phom Phen, it was fun to get off the boat and explore the city, but my favorite part was exploring the markets! At the market in Cambodia, we wondered through endless aisles of clothes, bags, jewelry, home goods, food stalls and more. Calvin was so excited to get a watch and it fun to watch him be that excited. At the market in Vietnam it was captivating to watch locals bargain and select the perfect fish, prawn, frog, and vegetables. It was truly a great experience!”
Stephanie: “The trip was amazing and I am grateful to have been able to share this experience with the kids. My favorite part was taking the tender boats through the channels around Vietnam and seeing local fishermen on their boats. I also really enjoyed our time in Cambodia wandering through Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm. Seeing these ancient and massive temples is definitely a must see!

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