Best Asia destinations for family holidays
20th January 2017 | by Guest author
Several of Selective Asia's team are parents, and they all believe that Asia contains some of the world's best destinations for family holidays. But you don't need to take their word for it - our guest panel of family travel bloggers share their own experiences of travelling with children in Asia.
Vietnam - with Marianne from 'Mum on the Move'
'Vietnam is a fabulous destination for family travel, and one of our favourite countries to visit with the kids. Here you have a rich and vibrant culture, some of the region’s best beaches, a fascinating history and stunning scenery. What I really love about Vietnam as a family holiday destination is the ease of combining a rich cultural experience, with a fun and relaxing holiday. You can take in the views of daily life in bustling Hanoi while riding in a cyclo; view the soaring limestone crops of Halong Bay from a kayak; and meet the villagers of the minority hill tribes while trekking through incredible scenery in Sapa. We head to Danang and Hoi An for the long white stretches of beach and the huge choice of family friendly hotels. But equally while here, we have enjoyed admiring the beautifully preserved traditional wooden architecture, taking a street food tour, and learning about the local farming and fishing communities. Even the modern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City is doable with kids – and for older children there are some important history lessons to be learned at both the Cu Chi Tunnels and War Remnants Museum.'
Cambodia - with Evie & Emmie, from MumPackTravel
'Our Cambodian adventure began in the vibrant riverside city of Siem Reap, where we climbed the ancient temples of Angkor in steamy heat, zip-lined across jungle canopies, swam under thundering waterfalls with orange-robed monks, donated blood at the Angkor Hospital for Children, and devoured khmer curry and coconut shakes at cafes and bustling market stalls. In Battambang we helped teach English at a local school where smiling children chanted the alphabet in small village classrooms. We rode the bamboo train - which was Cambodia's main transport network until the late 1990s - along buckling tracks at breakneck speed, and watched an inspiring dance performance by the Phare Circus, a group that helps Khmer families and communities heal and grow by providing education and opportunities in the arts. Finally, we lazed on the beach at Koh Rong Samloem, jumping and diving in the clear blue water, swinging in hammocks, building sandcastles and making friends. We felt like we were swimming through starlight as we glided through the glowing ocean phosphorescence at night. We left this beautiful country with warmth and respect in our hearts for the friendly, kind and generous Khmer people we were privileged to meet during our travels, and we know we will be back.'
Myanmar - with Cathy from 'Mummy Travels'
'Although Myanmar isn’t top of most people’s list of family-friendly destinations, it’s easily one of the best trips I’ve taken with my daughter, then aged three. The whole culture is so welcoming to children that you’ll be greeted with smiles and open arms everywhere, while there’s a huge amount to discover across the country. As I marvelled at the Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon, my daughter rang gongs and chatted to monks. At Bagan, she played spot the temple and listened to stories of the Buddha as we explored the archaeological zone. Meeting Burmese cats and a boat ride to In Dein on Inle Lake were highlights of Shan State. We had chance to cool off in the hills at old colonial summer capital of Pyin Oo Lwin, as well as relaxing in unspoiled Ngapali Beach, where we barely had to share the sand with anyone else. And along with the culture and food, discovering somewhere that’s not already crowded with tourists was a highlight.'
Japan - with Maria, One Tiny Leap
'Friends are sometimes surprised when I say how great Japan is for a holiday with kids. 'Isn’t it too crowded?', 'Is it difficult to get around?', 'Will kids like the food?'. No, yes, and most definitely! We spent a month travelling through Japan with our four year old, during which time he experienced the bright lights, tech culture and shrines of Tokyo; explored the castles and temples of Kyoto; became something of a foodie trying out takoyaki (octopus balls) and kobe beef in Osaka, and walked the Nakasendo trail, following in the footsteps of samurais. Our time in Japan was the perfect blend of beautiful landscapes and great food, kind people and some of the safest, most family-friendly cities in the world - plus cat cafes!'
Malaysia & Borneo - with Sally at Our3KidsVsTheWorld
'We have visited Kuala Lumpur numerous times over the last couple of years, usually transiting for a couple of nights. During our stopover, we've visited the major attractions in the city, including the Royal Palace, National Mosque, Jurong Bird Park, Butterfly Centre, Bukit Bintang, KLCC Park which includes the twin Petronas Towers. Batu Caves, the most popular Hindu Shrine outside of India. We have also enjoyed our stay in Kota Kinabalu, on the Malaysian State of Sabah. KK is a 2.5 hour flight from Kuala Lumpur and is a popular base for people climbing Mt Kinabalu. We stayed at the Shangri La Tanjung Aru, which we found to be perfect for families exploring the island.'
Sally Lucas, Our3KidsVsTheWorld,
Sri Lanka - with Virginie, Travel With My Kids
'Sri Lanka is a marvellous introduction to Asia with children. A small yet diverse island, it's easy to explore which is great news for little ones. Travel over the tea country hills by rail; the journey is one of the most scenic train rides in Sri Lanka, with beautiful views of tea plantations, and a great experience for kids. There is a lot to do and see with children, including visiting spice gardens, tea plantations, traditional villages and waterfalls. At the ancient heritage site of Polonnaruwa, kids will love to feel like little explorers. The country’s amazing landscapes of rice fields, elephants, beaches, Buddhist temples and a very welcoming population… there is so much to enjoy with kids!'