- Uniqua Hardy
Why not go to a metropolitan city with your family? Disneyland and the sea-themed Ocean Park are two of Hong Kong’s main family-friendly attractions, but there are more than enough entertaining things to do and see for a longer vacation in the city. For fun surrounded by nature, there are eight UNESCO Geoparks in Hong Kong and there is also the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monestary in Lantau Island, which is easily accessible and an unforgettable experience for the whole family. There’s also the public Hong Kong Park in the middle of the urban setting, where you can spot turtles and koi fish swimming in the ponds while strolling around. Riding the Duk Ling sailing boat at Victoria Harbor or going on a pink dolphin spotting tour are things you can do on the water. For breathtaking views of the city, visit the Peak Tower or hop on to the Hong Kong Ferris Wheel.
Tokyo is full of activities and one of Asia’s best cities to visit with children of all ages. Kids will be delighted and intrigued by the many unique attractions, such as the Hello Kitty theme park, Sanrio Puroland, sumo wrestling tournaments, and the high tech National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, where you can touch, play and climb on the displays. There are a number of internationally renowned amusement parks too, including Disneyland, DisneySea, Universal Studios and Space World. A day trip to Mount Fuji and exploring the ponds and bridges of the Imperial Palace Gardens should be on the top of your list.
Ko Lanta, Thailand
For a low-key and relaxed holiday, take your family to Ko Lanta. It’s located off Thailand‘s West coast, and because of the large Chinese-Malay Muslim communities it’s a more conservative destination that hasn’t been taken over by the nightlife that other Thai resorts are known for. With the shallow waters of the turquoise Andaman sea and breath-taking white sand beaches, it’s a safe place for kids to swim. The island has many upmarket, family-friendly resorts, as well as local life to explore. With older children, you can go on diving or snorkelling trips and bicycle to the traditional villages on the island’s east coast, which are home to shrimp farms, fishing villages and a historic Old Town, full of century-old teak wood houses.
Though dirty streets and big crowds might come to mind when you think of this Thai city, there are actually quite a few fun activities in Bangkok for the entire family. There’s Dream World amusement park, Siam Ocean World aquarium, the interactive 3D Art in Paradise museum at Esplanade Shopping Mall, the enormous Safari World zoo, and Snow Town, an indoor village with artificial snow. One of the most innovative and notable attractions, however, is Kidzania at Siam Paragon, which is a mini town where kids can learn about 80 different jobs, with the opportunity of trying everything from being a real dentist to flying a Boeing 737.
Close to Bangkok, the town of Kanchanaburi is known for its seven national parks, cavernous caves, majestic rivers, lakes, waterfalls and temples. It’s easy to get to and from the city of Bangkok, and the two destinations could be easily fitted into the same holiday. The town’s signature landmark is a rail bridge above the river, which was built by POWs and made famous by the 1957 film, Bridge Over the River Kwai. Here you can enjoy the outdoors with your family by taking boat rides along the River Kwai, visiting the national parks, and taking a trip to the Erawan waterfall, which is one of Thailand’s top natural attractions.
Ko Tonsay, Cambodia
Ko Tonsay, or Rabbit Island, is located a 20 minute boat ride from the city of Kep in the south of Cambodia. What makes it a great destination for a family trip is the remote and undeveloped atmosphere. There is no internet and the power on the island only works at night, allowing you technology-free time to truly connect with nature. With rustic family-run bungalows, cheap to rent during your stay, the beaches are far from crowded and they’re very safe for children.
Bali is a tropical paradise destination full of family-friendly activities and much to see and do. If your family loves animals, you can experience riding elephants at Bali Elephant Park, feed monkeys at Ubud Monkey Forest and swim with dolphins at the Bali Safari & Marine Park, which also has a water park and amusement rides. Kuta Beach is one of the island’s most beautiful beaches, where you can enjoy a massage while the kids swim and play. Other activities include a ride to the close-by Turtle Island, Waterbom Water Park and Bali Treetop Adventure Park. In terms of cultural activities, watching a traditional Balinese show is a unique experience.
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
One of Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, Ha Long Bay is made up of 1,600 islands and limestone karst landforms in the Gulf of Tonkin. Touring the islands makes for one of the most beautiful, relaxing and memorable family trips in Asia. The destination translates to ‘Descending Dragon Bay’, and the fascinating legend and stories of the islands are interesting for both parents and little ones. There are many companies that offer cruises all around the bay. Whether you’re staying on the land or touring the waters, the outdoor experience that Ha Long Bay offers is priceless.
Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang is one of the most popular destinations in Laos, and a great place for a family vacation. With local villages, caves, beautiful Buddhist temples, and blue lagoons, it’s the place to go if you’re looking for a holiday surrounded by nature and culture. The town was actually declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995 for its mix of traditional Lao architecture with European colonial touches from the 19th and 20th centuries. Explore the old Haw Kham Palace, cycle to the Kwang Si waterfall and take a boat ride to the beautiful Pak Ou caves, which are full of miniature Buddha sculptures.
Despite being expensive, Singapore is one of the best cities in the world to explore with children of all ages. It’s a multicultural city and English is commonly spoken, which makes getting around stress-free and easy. It’s also one of the cleanest cities in the world and the many beautiful parks and gardens are a must-see, such as the Singapore Botanic Gardens and the Gardens by the Bay which has an interactive children’s garden. For a full day of activities, visit the Singapore Zoo and nearby Night Safari. The zoo has a kids water park in it and the evening safari is one of city’s top tourist attractions with over 2,500 nocturnal animals. A subway ride away from downtown, Sentosa Island (known as ‘Asia’s Favorite Playground’) is a place where’ll you’ll find enough to keep you entertained for a lifetime. It’s also home to the tallest ferris wheel in the world, the Singapore Flyer.