Asia is home for me, and yet, there are so many countries left unexplored here with my family. This post on the best holiday destinations in Asia for family is a mix of culture, relaxation and introduction to new experiences. I would love to explore more of this vibrant continent where culture, people, landscapes, food, history and traffic collide in a unique way. Yes, for some it might be quite a culture shock but some of the best hospitality options exist in Asia to give you a wonderful family break. If this is your first trip to Asia, do look at these helpful tips for travelling through Asia.
This bumper post has 34 Ideas on family holidays in Asia, including countries, island getaways and city breaks.
Best Holiday Destinations in Asia for Family
The little country of Bhutan is beautiful and underrated. In fact, it’s still one of the most isolated countries in the world. For most nationalities, the only way it’s possible to visit the country is with a visa and tour organized by a local Bhutanese tour company. There is also a daily tax of $100 US Dollars per person. Travelers from India can visit Bhutan without a visa, and the daily tax they have to pay is a lower fee of 1,200 Rupees.
In any case, Bhutan is really worth a visit of you want to see one of the lesser traveled countries of the world. It’s a great destination for scenery, culture, and trekking, with high elevation Himalayan trails like the Druk Path and the Jomolhari Trek. Either of these treks lasts about 10 days. They are challenging, and appropriate with older kids. Families and kids will enjoy free things like the Tsechu festival, and other fun activities around Thimphu and western Bhutan, like watching the daily archery matches of the Bhutanese locals.
By far one of the best places to visit in Bhutan is the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, which can be reached on a day hike near Paro. The trek is a bit challenging, but not too difficult for most people (including families), and usually takes about 2 hours to reach the top. You can take kids 7 years plus for this trek. The Tiger’s Nest (also called Paro Taktsang) is perched on an extremely steep and breathtaking cliff, making it great for photos.
The best time to visit Bhutan is normally in the autumn months (October to December) or spring (March to May), when the weather is dry and sunny. However, the shoulder months like September can also be nice, even though there’s a bit more chance of rain. You can also plan your visit around a festival. There are many festivals in Bhutan all throughout the year!
Contributed by David & Intan of The World Travel Guy
Cambodia is one of the most underrated family destinations in Asia. This country offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and adventure for visitors of all ages which makes it a great place to visit even with young kids.
The dry season in Cambodia starts from November to March, which makes it a perfect holiday destination during your winter break. The weather in Cambodia is pleasant during December and January, which allows you to make the best out of your visit to the country.
You can visit various family-friendly places in Cambodia. From exploring the historical Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap where your family can admire the massive temples with their unique ancient architecture, to relaxing around the beach in Koh Rong, there are many activities you can do with your loved ones in Cambodia. There are also good restaurants in Siam Reap to try local cuisine.
If your kids are older, you can also take them to learn about the country’s dark past by joining the Cambodian Genocide tour near the capital city in Phnom Penh. Visiting the Killing Field and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum can be an eye-opening experience to be grateful for how you live now, and what’s better than taking the generation of the future with you there?
If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination to visit with your family in Cambodia, head south to Kampot where you and your kid can take an excursion to Bokor National Park or visit the salt field and pepper plantation around this small town. Kep, the coastal town nearby, is only an hour drive so you can also make your way to the beach and go swimming or doing some watersports while spending a fun family getaway there!
When visiting Cambodia, rent a tuk-tuk for an authentic experience to explore the place to the fullest. But if you’re a family of 4 and above, renting a car will be more convenient so you may want to consider booking a private tour for each place instead!
Contributed by Marya of The BeauTraveler
Japan is a unique blend of ancient traditions and modern innovations that offers incredible experiences for families seeking adventure and cultural immersion. There are countless places in Japan that all travelers should visit.
Popular cities in Japan
Your trip will likely start with the largest city and capital: Tokyo. Families can expect plenty to do in the city with kid-friendly museums like the National Museum of Nature and Science or the Mori Building Digital Art Museum to experience interactive exhibits and immersive experiences. Families can also find plenty of outdoor spaces like Ueno Park or Shinjuku Gyoen Gardens to explore and stretch their legs. Just a short train ride away is Tokyo Disney Resort with Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. A must-visit for families in Tokyo to experience the Disney magic in a unique way.
One of the closest towns to Tokyo is Hakone, an embodiment of Japanese culture and history. Hakone is a popular onsen resort destination. Instead of a day trip, I would recommend an overnight stay at one of the ryokans in Hakone with a private onsen.
Families should also visit Kyoto to experience traditional Japanese culture. You can see stunning UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Kinkaku-Ji (Golden Pavilion) or Fushimi Inari Shrine. Depending on the kids’ ages and interests, you can attend a tea ceremony or try on a kimono for an authentic experience. Kyoto has many picturesque spots and the best way to capture them is to book a photoshoot with local photographers.
About an hour away from Kyoto is Osaka. Experience Osaka’s vibrant street food scene at Dotonbori where you can savor delicious takoyaki (octopus balls) or okonomiyaki (savory pancakes). In Osaka, you can also head to the aquarium, Osaka Castle, or the Shinto Shrine Sumiyoshi Taisha.
Kids will have no shortage of entertainment in the souvenir shops, arcades, or just marveling at the over-the-top storefront and street decorations. For even more theme park action, you can head to Universal Studios Japan to experience Harry Potter, Minions, and some intense rides dare-devil kids and parents will enjoy.
Natural attractions in Japan
For some beach fun, the coast near Shimoda is a perfect short trip from around Tokyo to experience the warm Pacific Ocean. Or, head to Okinawa for a tropical paradise, a world-class aquarium, and a unique cultural experience.
Springtime in Japan is synonymous with cherry blossoms (sakura) and marks one of the most popular seasons for tourists. Starting from late March through early April, these delicate pink flowers pop up in parks and streets across the nation. Iconic hanami parties are organized where locals gather under cherry blossom trees to admire their beauty while enjoying picnics and traditional performances. Head to Meguro to see the tree-lined canal that comes alive in spring, or head out near Mt. Fuji to get a glimpse of the mountain with beautiful cherry blossom trees.
Winter is also a great time to visit if families are interested in winter sports. Ski areas near Nagano are fantastic for families and just a few hours away from Tokyo by Shinkansen. Or head to Hokkaido for some truly once-in-a-lifetime skiing. Kids love visiting the snow monkeys at the snow monkey park near Nagano to see them wandering around in the snow or lounging in the hot springs. For your own hot spring experience, try an onsen to ease sore muscles from long days on the mountain.
Traveling to Japan with kids can be an exciting and unforgettable experience but there may be some challenges. Japan has all the essentials when it comes to baby and child needs. However, I would bring a few familiar snacks from home for younger kids or picky eaters. There are so many unique and delicious foods to try in Japan that I would try to expose kids to, but some may be uncomfortable and want a small taste of home.
Contributed by Mackenzie Jervis, A Wandering Scribbler
When people think of Asia, there are a few countries that instantly come to mind. Laos isn’t typically one of them! Of the 13 Asian countries I’ve visited, Laos tops the list as being the most family-friendly. For a long time, travelers thought about Laos as a place to party while floating down the river in Vang Vieng, but Laos is so much more.
The people are incredibly friendly and adore kids. And, unlike many of its neighbouring countries, they aren’t fast to pull out a cell phone and snap a selfie. The kids are able to relax and enjoy the attention of the friendly locals without being constantly bombarded by eager photographers.
Traffic in Laos is significantly less hectic than that of Thailand and Vietnam, and there are even sidewalks! I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but when traveling as a family, sidewalks are important. The streets of Luang Prabang are peaceful and beautiful, with stunning colonial architecture. Sidewalks allow parents to relax enough while walking to actually enjoy the scenery!
Laos has an incredible amount of variety. From busy Vientiene, to sleepy Luang Prabang, the 2 main cities are vastly different and offer a multitude of options to all types of travelers. Luang Prabang has some great playgrounds, as well as family-friendly cooking or craft classes for hands-on activities.
Or, if you’re a nature lover, head to Nong Khiaw. It’s a beautiful little town beside the river, nestled in the mountains, where you can hike or kayak along the river to explore the countryside from the water.
If you want to introduce your kids to the local way of life, you can spend a night in a minority village. There are plenty of options around the country, many of which are sustainably managed. Tourists can spend a night or two in a local house. There’s no better way to experience village life than to live it and no better lesson for kids than to learn that people can be happy with significantly less than what we’re used to at home.
Whatever type of vacation you’re looking for, Laos has it all. Read more: Things to do in Luang Prabang with kids
Contributed by Kyla of Where is The World
Malaysia has an endless amount of things to do. In particular when it comes to family friendly things to do.
In the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, there are a variety of educational and fun activities. Kidzania is a place where kids can pretend to be in the real world, getting their license or becoming a pilot. Petrosains is where the family can learn about dinosaurs, fossil fuels and other scientific activities. Sunway Lagoon is a theme park filled with so many rides and things to do, that one day might not be enough!
If the city is not your thing, fear not! There’s something to do as a family in almost every state. Legoland in Johor boasts a large number of lego oriented rides, including my nephew’s favourite: Ninjago! The Lost World of Tambun in Ipoh is a great place for parents to relax in some natural hot springs whilst the kids play in the water park next door.
Cameron Highlands in Pahang is somewhere for the whole family to relax and immerse themselves in nature. Visiting tea plantations and picking strawberries are just some of the things to do and views can rival the rice fields in Bali. Of course, there are natural attractions here too.
The beaches of Malaysia are some of the most beautiful in the world. Everybody loves the beach, and one can be found in every single direction. My favourite? Perhentian!
Contributed by Nadia of Nomadic Nerd
We love Singapore for numerous reasons for a family-friendly destination in Southeast Asia. . Although Singapore’s national language is Mandarin, everyone speaks English. It’s a small island country so it is easy to navigate. It is one of the cleanest countries not only in Asia but in the world (chewing gum is prohibited in in Singapore). It has a plethora of family-friendly activities and attractions.
No trip to Singapore would be complete without a visit to Sentosa Island. It has revamped itself into an entertainment hub and now houses Universal Studios, Trick Eye museum, one of the wold’s largest oceanarium, and the super fun Luge. There is also the Night Safari, the world’s first nocturnal zoo. Do visit Gardens by the Bay which houses about 1 million plants and has the amazing night sound-and-light-show at the Supertree Groves.
Singapore is one of those destinations you can visit as a family regardless of the age of the children as there truly is something for everyone. Particularly useful if you have kids of varying ages. The food scene in Singapore is worth the mention as you hunt down the best chicken rice balls or head to the East Coast for the some of the freshest seafood in Asia. For the shopper in your tweens and teens, there certainly isn’t a shortage of shopping malls or the edgier indie boutiques on Haji Lane.
If you’re looking for a gentle introduction into a Southeast Asian country, Singapore would be your best bet. Without too much of a culture shock yet enough to satiate your curiosity, it’s a fantastic family getaway.
Contributed by Amy of Family Globetrotters
We visited Sri Lanka on a 10-day road trip with our daughter. For a small compact country, Sri Lanka has much to offer. And you are never far from a beach, an important factor for any family holiday destination in Asia. It is a tropical country, and the best time to visit is from November to March.
Explore the charming colonial town of Galle and laze on the beaches in Tangalle, Mirissa or Unawatuna on the west coast. You can choose from hi-end beach resorts to more budget options. There are more than 25 national parks in Sri Lanka with varied wildlife and marine life. A wildlife safari is a fun activity as a family.
Then there are ancient ruins and Buddhist sites in the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. This includes the trio of Sigiriya (the famous rock citadel), Polonnaruwa and Dambulla. It may be difficult to climb Sigiriya all the way to the top if you are visiting with young kids. But its dramatic setting makes for a fun visit. Kids will also like the rolling green hills at Nuwara Eliya. You can stay at a tea plantation to enjoy the countryside and experience an earlier era.
Sri Lanka makes for an enjoyable family vacation. There is local cuisine to be tried. Seafood is fresh and abundant. It is easy to rent a car with a driver to navigate the country. Or there is a wide network of trains and buses to choose from, there are no domestic flight options within the country.
Contributed by Shweta of Zest In A Tote
Taiwan is one of the kid-friendliest places to visit in Asia. Here are just a few reasons why: it is extremely safe, the locals love foreigners (and especially foreign kids!), public transportation is super-efficient, and there are tons of fun family-friendly attractions.
As for the best time to visit Taiwan, avoid summer when it’s too hot and typhoons can ruin plans. Also avoid May and June, the rainy season. October, November, March, and April have the best weather and smallest crowds. December has fun Christmas events and NYE fireworks from Taipei 101, but it’s the busiest month of the year. Come in February or March for cherry blossoms but avoid the Lunar New Year holiday.
You’ll start your trip in the capital, Taipei. My kids loved Taipei 101 Observatory, kid-friendly hot springs at Spring City Resort in Beitou, Taipei Children’s Amusement Park, Taipei Zoo, and Maokong Gondola. In the evening, Taipei’s famous night markets have children’s game areas.
Next, head to Yilan, where there are beaches, hot springs, easy hikes, animal farms, kid-friendly museums, and DIY activities like green onion cake making. With around 2 weeks, you can do a full circuit of the country.
Visit Taroko Gorge in Hualien (book your train 28 days in advance), ride an electric family bicycle among rice paddies in Taitung. Stay at a beach resort at Kenting National Park, snorkel with giant sea turtles on Xiaoliuqiu Island. Ride the High Speed Rail (Taiwan’s bullet train) back to Taipei via the west coast cities of Kaohsiung, Tainan, and Taichung. Consider side trips to Sun Moon Lake, which has a gondola and theme park, or Cingjing Farm, a high mountain farm with sheep shearing and horsemanship performances.
You will be shocked at how friendly and accommodating the locals are to visitors with kids, even when they can’t speak much English. Your family will surely remember this trip fondly for years to come!
Contributed by Nick of TaiwanObsessed
Vietnam ticks all the boxes on culture, food, beach, and nature. Our 2 weeks in Vietnam on a family holiday were memorable. Vietnam is a long country with different weather patterns in the north, central and south regions. If you are planning to visit different parts in the country, spring would be a good time to visit (March and April) or autumn and early winter (September to December). For just a short getaway to Da nang in Central Vietnam, March to September is a good time.
Watching the sunset unfold over limestone islands in Halong Bay and taking a stroll in the French quarters of Hanoi, a peek into what the northern part has to offer. You can go further north to Sapa with its verdant rice fields and countryside vistas.
Central Vietnam makes for a great family holiday spot and there are many things to do in and around Da nang. Enjoy the gastronomic delights in Hoi An, cycle in the paddy fields beyond this charming town, take a road trip across the Hai Van pass to reach Hue, enjoy the cultural attractions of Hue, relax on the white sandy beaches in Da nang.
We stayed on the pristine and remote island of Con Dao in south of Vietnam and enjoyed our downtime there. Ho Chi Minh city has quirky cafes, boutiques and art galleries in the central district. There are some sites like the War Museum that may not be appropriate for very young kids, but they will enjoy the excursion to Cu Chi tunnels.
Flights are cheap and connect the main cities well. Local cuisine is varied and fresh. Vietnam definitely makes it to one of the best family holiday destinations in Asia.
Contributed by Shweta of Zest In A Tote
Best Island Destinations in Asia for Family Holiday
Bali is an immensely popular destination for a family holiday in Asia, thanks to its breathtaking natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and warm people. This Indonesian Island has everything from luxury beach resorts to majestic temples to pristine beaches. We stayed at the W Bali in Seminyak for a great family beach vacation. Seminyak has beautiful beaches, a plethora of beach resorts and fine-dining restaurants.
Bali is not limited to white sandy beaches and water activities on the ocean. There is Ubud: the artistic and cultural heart of Bali, nestled among rice paddies and rainforest. Enjoy a visit to Ubud Palace and its temple, Puri Saren Agung. Visit the lovely Sacred Monkey wildlife sanctuary, home to over 700 Balinese long-tailed macaques.
Escape the heat with a refreshing dip at Tegenungan Waterfall, located just 5 km south of Ubud. There are also traditional Balinese dance performances held at local temples and palaces around Ubud that you can enjoy in the evenings.
Then, there is Uluwatu which sits on Bali’s southwestern Bukit Peninsula, a limestone plateau with sheer sea cliffs. It is renowned for the cliff-top Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple as well as some of Bali’s best surf breaks along the coast. There are many things to do in Ubud and Uluwatu on a family vacation.
Contributed by Shweta of Zest In A Tote
Bangka & Belitung islands, Indonesia
If you’re on the hunt for a slice of paradise that’s still relatively off the tourist radar, consider Bangka and Belitung islands in Indonesia. The islands may not be popular with foreign tourists, but they are well-known by the locals as one of the best family-friendly holiday destinations in Indonesia. They lie just an hour from the capital city in Jakarta. The best time to visit Bangka and Belitung Islands is during dry season from May to September.
Both islands boast stunning landscapes with so much more to offer for family with kids. They’re home to beautiful beaches, making them a perfect beach getaway if you’re looking for a place to relax without the hustle of beach clubs like in Bali or other popular destinations in Indonesia.
As the former kaolin mining sites, Bangka and Belitung also have one thing in common: the Kaolin Lakes. When the mining sites were abandoned, the rainwater filled the excavated areas over time, which creates a mesmerizing turquoise hue that make them popular to visit for tourists.
There are several beaches around Bangka island, with Pantai Tikus Emas in Sungailiat being the most popular one. Known for its sandy shoreline with calm water, it’s a great spot for relaxing and sunbathing with your family.
If you’re looking for a more active destination for beach getaways, you can take a 30-minute flight from Bangka to Belitung Island. Belitung has gained popularity as a holiday destination in Indonesia ever since the “Laskar Pelangi” movie was released in 2006.
Go on island hopping in Belitung from Tanjung Tinggi Beach, where you can rent a boat to go to smaller islands in the surroundings for the best experience. The most popular one for this excursion is Lengkuas Island, which is home to the historic lighthouse that’s become the icon of Belitung islands since the Dutch colonial era. You can also go snorkeling in between islands.
Contributed by Marya of The BeauTraveler
Flores is one of the most exquisite of Indonesia’s 17,000-plus islands. It has outstanding natural beauty and an incredible range of activities, from diving with sharks to relaxing on perfect beaches with warm, tranquil blue water.
Taking a tour from Labuan Bajo around some of the nearby islands on a traditional Indonesian ‘Pinisi’ Yacht is highly recommended. The boats are particularly well-suited for families travelling with children, with good-sized cabins and an ever-changing natural waterpark to play in! A typical island itinerary includes Kelor for reef snorkelling, Gado with its famous ‘Strawberry Rock and Padar where you can climb to the highest point for a fantastic sunrise over three coloured beaches (black, pink and white). If you are lucky, you might even get to swim with some of the resident giant Manta Rays. One of the highlights, especially for children, is Kanawa where you can snorkel with thousands of colourful fish.
Most cruise companies offer between 3 and 5-day tours and include a visit to the Komodo National Park. Home to one of the rarest and most fearsome animals on the planet, Komodo Island is on many travellers ‘Bucket List’, and doesn’t disappoint! The experienced guides will take you through the park, explaining about the unique habitat and endemic species, including the Iconic Komodo Dragon. These ancient creatures have remained unchanged for millions of years and have earned their reputation as formidable predators. Don’t worry, your guide will keep you at a safe distance from any that you may encounter whilst still being able to get close enough for a picture.
Longer cruises of 7 days or more are also available and tend to be on larger, more specialised boats. These usually include the opportunity to dive the pristine reefs in the more remote, less visited areas. The dry season in Indonesia is generally May to September, with temperatures averaging around 28°C. There are regional variations, and you should always check before you book your travel to ensure you can be fully prepared whatever the weather.
Whenever you visit Flores, you can be certain that you will have an incredible experience and make memories that will last a lifetime!
Contributed by Katie of Trekking The Dream
Gili & Lombok islands, Indonesia
If you’re looking for the perfect family holiday destination in Asia, look no further than Gili and Lombok. These Indonesian gems offer a memorable experience for travelers of all ages. The best time to visit Gili and Lombok is during the dry season, typically from May to October. During this period, you can expect mild temperatures and minimal rainfall, ensuring optimal conditions for exploring these beautiful islands.
Regarding the best places to visit, take advantage of the Gili Islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno. These islands boast stunning white-sand beaches, exceptional marine life, and a laid-back atmosphere perfect for families.
Lombok also offers the majestic Mount Rinjani, an impressive volcano with hiking trails suitable for older children. Family-friendly attractions include water parks like Senggigi Water Park in Lombok and shallow beaches for safe swimming. Children will love discovering the underwater world through snorkeling or diving adventures.
Gili and Lombok provide a wide selection of villas with private pools for dreamy accommodations. These rentals offer families a luxurious and intimate space while still within easy reach of nearby beaches. Look for family-friendly villas equipped with kitchens for added convenience.
Gili and Lombok are exceptional family holiday destinations in Asia. With pleasant weather, kid-friendly activities, breathtaking scenery, and a wealth of villas with private pools, these islands offer everything you need for an unforgettable family vacation.
Contributed by Victoria of Guide Your Travel
Sumatra, Indonesia – if you’ve heard of it at all, it’s probably in reference to coffee or wild animals. Not the first place that comes to mind when you’re planning a family-friendly holiday! But you’ll discover that this vast island is an absolute treasure trove of unforgettable family adventures for all ages – from unique cultural learning experiences and “jungle book” style adventures to tropical beach holidays.
The hardest thing about travelling in Sumatra is narrowing down what you’d like to see and do. Sumatra is an immense island (the 6th largest in the world), and public transport is a challenge – especially if travelling with children. Our best tip is to pick one region and take your time exploring a couple of key areas.
North Sumatra is an excellent starting point. Kualanamu Airport in Medan is the entry point for most flights to Sumatra. Setting out from this sprawling city, you can head off in search of orangutans, waterfalls, and adventures in the Gunung Leuser National Park. Or make your way to Berastagi to climb a volcano (a pretty easy trek for the hardy).
End your holiday with some refreshing days in the cooler climes of Pulau Samosir. This is an island in the middle of the world’s largest volcanic lake, Lake Toba. Picture Bali in the 70’s and you’ll be on the right track. If a beach holiday and some snorkelling sound like your cup of tea, check out beautiful Pulau Weh off the coast of Aceh.
Even within provinces, travel distances can be exhausting. We recommend budgeting for private drivers between destinations for a safer and more comfortable trip. Local guides also go a long way to help you understand and appreciate the various cultures you’ll encounter on the way.
While there is no defined monsoon season in Sumatra, the first half of the year tends to be drier than the second. July and August are peak tourist season. It never gets “Bali busy” in Sumatra, but we still recommend booking ahead of time if you’re visiting during those months.
Contributed by Agung and Carly of Exploring Sumatra.
Sabah / Borneo island, Malaysia
The Malaysian state of Sabah is a great destination for family travel. Located on the island of Borneo, families will find a mix of beautiful beaches and exciting wildlife adventures. Most international flights to Sabah land in the city of Kota Kinabalu.
In this coastal town, you’ll find access to the 5 islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, which are great for snorkeling, diving, and enjoying the tropical beaches. You can also go white water rafting from Kota Kinabalu, with rapids appropriate for children as young as 5 years old.
From Kota Kinabalu, head South to Sandakan. You can reach Sandakan by either a short flight (1 hour) or a long bus ride ( 7-8 hours). Sandakan gives you access to the Kinabatangan River. From a jungle lodge you’ll take boat rides along the river to view all sorts of wildlife, from proboscis monkeys, to orangutangs, to even pygmy elephants. You will also see many species of birds, including the famous hornbills.
While in Sandakan, visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre to see these beautiful creatures up close. Then cross the street to visit the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center to learn about the world’s smallest species of bear.
While in Sabah you might want to also visit Semporna. Semporna is famous for access to the Tun Sakaran Marine Park which includes 8 islands known for their coral reefs. These islands draw scuba divers from all over the world.
The island of Borneo is hot and humid all year round. It is best to avoid during the monsoon season from November to February. It is a wonderful (if hot) destination in July and August- when most of SE Asia is getting a lot of rain, Sabah remains mostly dry. You’ll find most rain showers come in the later afternoon, so get out and about in the mornings! Sabah is a wonderful family travel destination that presents lot of opportunities for unforgettable wildlife adventures, from scuba diving to incredible wildlife.
Contributed by Cynthia of Sharing the Wander
The country has more than 1000 islands, each with white sand beaches and azure water. And luxury resorts scattered all across these islands, with each resort on its own private island. Some of the best white-sand beaches in the world. Luminous water, shifting from hues of turquoise to teal blue to deep sea green to aqua. Maldives is a premiere destination for both couples’ and family holidays in Asia.
We went for a family holiday to Hard Rock Hotel in Maldives post pandemic. Hard Rock hotel is part of Crossroads, Maldives first multi-island destination. This Maldives beach hotel is situated on its private island but connected via a foot bridge to The Marina, a boutique shop and beachfront dining experience area. Nearby is SAii Lagoon, another Maldives beach resort on a different island, also connected to The Marina via a foot bridge. This unique destination plus just a 15-minute boat transfer from Male makes it an advantageous location for families.
There are many other beach resort options in Maldives for a great family holiday. Many of them have kids’ clubs to keep the kids busy while you sunbathe beside the pool area or on the beach. The beach resorts are on islands set in Maldives’ largest lagoons, so it’s calm and safe for small children.
There are plenty of water activities available including boat ride for dolphin watching, snorkelling and kayaking. Maldives away from Male and surrounding areas, has some amazing reefs and good visibility for scuba diving.
Contributed by Shweta of Zest In A Tote
Cebu & Bohol islands, Philippines
The Philippines has a number of beautiful islands with a rich history to explore, but few do it better than Cebu and Bohol. So if you’re a family that loves to blend time outdoors with a little learning, you should definitely add these islands to your list. With a short 2-hour ferry separating the two islands, you could easily pack both into one vacation or even stay on one and simply take a day trip to see the top sights of the other.
Cebu city offers a number of interesting museums, temples, playgrounds and nature parks while the rest of the island gives you the chance to swim with whale sharks, fish and turtles, relax on idyllic beaches and explore lush jungles, waterfalls and hot springs.
Across the water, Bohol is home to the famous Chocolate Hills, multiple adventure parks where you can fly above the trees. There are relaxing river cruises through the jungle, caves to explore and beautiful beach resorts. Make sure to also take a visit to the wildlife sanctuary here where you can see the adorable Philippine Tarsier, your kids will love them!
If you are trying to pick one location as a base, I recommend choosing Bohol if you are looking for an island with plenty of amenities for tourists. Alternatively, head to Cebu if you would prefer a more local experience.
Whichever way you choose to explore, make sure to avoid the rainy season from May to December. That being said, if you are a catholic family you may want to spend time here in late December. This deeply religious country has many special celebrations around the holiday period!
Contributed by Kate Fletcher of Bags Always Packed
Boracay & Palawan, Philippines
When it comes to planning a vacation in the Philippines, Palawan and Boracay always stand out as top choices. These tropical islands offer an ideal blend of relaxation, adventure, and nature, making them perfect for travelers, especially families.
The Philippines enjoys a tropical climate, making it a year-round destination. However, the best time to visit Palawan and Boracay is during the dry season, typically from December to May. This period offers pleasant weather, calm seas, and perfect conditions for exploring the islands.
Palawan has 3 famous destinations. Puerto Princesa is renowned for its Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. El Nido is famous for its stunning limestone cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and hidden lagoons. Lastly, Coron is home to incredible underwater landscapes, including sunken Japanese warships from World War II. With two weeks to spare, you can visit all three via van, ferry, or even direct flights. Here is a 10 day itinerary to Palawan that offers the best of this tropical paradise.
Boracay is celebrated for its pristine white sand beaches, such as White Beach and Puka Beach. This island is also the best spot for thrilling water activities, like parasailing, paddleboarding, and helmet diving. Even my mom had a blast on a banana boat!
As you’ll be traveling to 2 islands (or more), remember to pack light and keep your luggage simple and functional. Opt for direct flights; the cost difference isn’t significant when booked in advance compared to the long, painful van rides.
The natural beauty of Palawan and Boracay, along with the warmth of the Filipino people, will leave you and your family longing to return, making a trip to both islands one of the best family holiday destinations in Asia.
Contributed by Gladis of Happiness On The Way
Koh Samui, Thailand
Of all the places to visit in Thailand with family, Koh Samui is right at the top of our list. We’ve spoken with fellow travellers, all of whom have shared the same positive feedback about the island being one of the best holiday destinations in Asia for family.
As Thailand’s second largest island, with a well established tourism industry, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for here. Whether it’s lush rainforest, beautiful sandy beaches, temples or a dash of traditional Thai culture, you’ll find the perfect spot on Koh Samui.
Those seeking rest and relaxation can explore some of the many luxurious spas. If you’re after a more active break, why not take a 4×4 tour of the island’s highlights or enjoy a boat trip to nearby Ang Thong Marine Park. The snorkelling here is fantastic and taking the speed boat across the bay can be an adventure in itself! In South East Asia, be sure to use a reputable tour agency which keeps its boats well-maintained.
With a thriving tourist scene, options for food and accommodation abound – great for families who might be trying to cater to various tastes. For traditional Thai street food you can’t go wrong at the Bophut Fisherman’s market, which every Friday transforms into a hub of food stands and market stalls. It is busy, so be prepared if taking young children, but it’s a great place for all the family to sample the local delicacies. If food to cater to western tastes is required, most if not all restaurants offer plentiful options at reasonable prices.
The variety of accommodation in Koh Samui is also not to be sniffed at – families can enjoy a peaceful retreat in a private villa or choose to enjoy a livelier atmosphere at a hotel or resort. There really is something for everyone, and in spite of its status as a tourist hot spot, it’s not too tricky to find places that are more off-the-beaten path.
Contributed by Sarah of Not Another Travel Blog
Koh Jum & Koh Phayam, Thailand
Thailand is a popular tourist destination and this also has its downsides. As a result, many of the gorgeous Thai islands are overrun with backpackers and tourists looking for a party. If you are traveling with kids, you are probably looking for a quieter destination in the south of Thailand, where kids can look for seashells on the beach and live out their Robinson Crusoe dreams in a calm environment.
Enter the islands of Koh Phayam and Koh Jum in the Andaman Sea, 2 islands that are still relatively untouched by mass tourism and are equally beautiful as popular islands. On these islands, you can still experience an authentic Thai vibe and you will find no high-rise buildings here. Aside from just a few resorts, all the accommodation options are homestays and small guesthouses that provide all the comfort you need when you travel with kids.
There isn’t that awfully much to do on the islands, but that is kind of its charm. It is the perfect destination if you want to have a relaxing vacation with your family in a beautiful and natural environment, away from the hustle and bustle of big cities and touristy areas. Activities on Koh Jum and Koh Phayam mainly consist of lazing on the beach, taking a dip into the sea, and going on hikes in search of wild monkeys and, in the case of Koh Phayam, flights of toucans.
Another great thing about these islands is that there are no cars. The only motorized vehicles are tuk-tuks and motorbikes, making it considerably safer to travel around with kids. The best season to visit these islands is in the dry season between November and April.
Lovely places to stay with kids are Buffalo Bay Vacation Club on Koh Phayam and On Lee Bungalows on Koh Jum. To get to Koh Phayam, make your way to the city of Ranong from which you can take a fast boat or a slow ferry to the island. To get to Koh Jum, you’ll have to make your way to Laem Kruat pier near Krabi from which you can take a local longtail boat to Koh Jum.
Contributed by Annelies from Travelers & Dreamers
Krabi & Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
The Krabi coast on the Andaman Sea is a popular holiday destination in Thailand. Krabi Province has more than 150 islands. Each of them is a paradise for itself. It is also a popular place in South East Asia for Open Water Certification in Thailand.
The town of Ao Nang on the Krabi coast is a perfect place to base yourself for exploring the beaches and islands. Famous islands like Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, Koh Poda, and Chicken Island are easily reachable in Ao Nang. Ao Nang and Krabi islands are popular items on any 10-day Thailand itinerary.
Ao Nang is a favorite vacation spot for families with kids. There is so much to do there and from there. Touring the 4 islands (Koh Poda, Chicken Island, Koh Tub, and Koh Mor) by a traditional Thai long-tail boat from Ao Nang is a popular activity that parents and kids enjoy equally. Swimming with bioluminescent planktons, snorkeling in the turquoise Andaman Sea, and cruising around the islands at sunset are the things everybody looks forward to. Besides that, kids love bathing and feeding elephants in an ethically run elephant sanctuary near Ao Nang.
In addition, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta, some of the most celebrated islands in Thailand, are easily reachable on a day trip from Ao Nang. Koh Phi Phi Leh Island is the most famous island in Thailand. The Beach movie was filmed in Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Leh. Therefore, Koh Phi Phi Leh is a synonym for a beach paradise. A short speed boat ride from Ao Nang will take you to Maya Beach, the most famous beach in the world.
The best time to visit Krabi province, its magnificent islands and heavenly beaches, is from November to March. In that part of the year, the weather is dry, sunny, without rain, and the temperatures are not too high.
Contributed by Milijana of World Travel Connector
Best City & Regional Destinations in Asia for Family Holiday
China’s capital Beijing has a great mix of traditional Oriental architecture and a modern skyline with high rise buildings. The city also boasts of 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is on the radar of most cultural travelers. Not many people think of it as a family-friendly destination and tend to think that kids will get bored at the historical sites. But Beijing has a lot of things to do for kids of all ages, as my toddler and I recently discovered during our long layover in Beijing.
The key to planning a Beijing trip with kids is to plan each day with many activities and use the opportunity to teach them about ancient chinese culture. That alone can turn a boring day among temples into a day of historical adventure. The wide expanse of open places in the city, palaces, and temples is sure to delight kids and keep their energy in check.
You should start your visit by visiting the Great Wall of China first. I chose to visit the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall with my toddler. It is the most well-preserved section, has a lot of guard towers which are great for the kids to explore and there is a giant toboggan slide on the way down.
My son enjoyed riding the cable car to the top and walking atop the Great Wall. He befriended quite a few cats and dogs along the way and our entourage aroused a lot of amusement among other visitors. Kids would like the Nine Dragon Wall and jade dragon motifs at the Forbidden City, the bright red Chinese lanterns lighting up the city, and the Beijing rickshaws. My son enjoyed walking about Tiananmen Square and was excited throughout our visit.
Contributed by Ketki of Dotted Globe
China may not be what leaps to mind when you are thinking of a family-friendly destination in Asia, but Shanghai is great for those travelling with kids. Despite it being one of the most populated cities in the world, Shanghai is surprisingly easy to navigate by subway, and taxis are cheap and readily available. Remember travel tips to China like ‘Always have your destination written down in Chinese to show the driver’.
As Shanghai is a huge city, there are hundreds of family-friendly hotels. Hotel chains like Holiday Inn, Ibis and Mercure are popular with families, and there is also more local accommodation. You could even use Airbnb to find a great value apartment for you and your family!
When it comes to eating, Shanghai has the best selection of western restaurants in China. The French Concession, which is a great spot to learn about the history of Shanghai’s multiculturalism, is home to plenty of European-esque cafes and bars. If your kids are reluctant to try Chinese food, there are all sorts of Western restaurants, from Italian eateries to American-style diners.
Of course, you didn’t come to Shanghai just to sleep and eat, did you? There are so many attractions in this amazing city, most of which are great for kids. The futuristic Bund will inspire and amaze people of any ages (make sure you see it by day and night!). The Yu Garden is pretty enough to keep even young kids entertained during a visit.
Shanghai’s temples – Longhua and Jade Buddha are the most famous – aren’t too big, so the architecture is enough to impress little ones for a while. Kids will love the feel of Nanjing Road, which is reminiscent to New York’s Times Square. The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel takes you underneath the water, which many children will find cool. If they’re not scared of heights they’ll enjoy soaring to the viewpoints of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower.
And when you’re after just a kiddies day, why not treat them and take them to Shanghai Disneyland? There’s no better way to round off your Shanghai trip with kids! Hong Kong with kids is another destination that makes for a great family holiday.
Read more: What to pack for China
Contributed by Claire of Claire’s Footsteps
Assam & Meghalaya, India
Assam and Meghalaya form the most popular destinations in north-east region of India. Together, they form a beautiful introduction to the north-east. A good time to visit would be between November to May. Your trip would most likely start with Guwahati, the capital of Assam and also the largest city in the north-east region. Try the local cuisine in Guwahati. A popular activity to do here is take a cruise down the Brahmaputra river.
The highlights of Assam itinerary lie outside it is cities. You can savour the erstwhile colonial era by staying at a tea plantation. Assam is famous for its tea and has numerous tea plantations spread over large tracts of land. And there is the beautiful Kaziranga national park, home to 2/3rd of the rhino population in the world. Tall grasslands, marshy areas, and the presence of Brahmapautra river, make this park really scenic.
It is easy to combine Meghalaya with Assam. Shillong, the capital city has a Cherry Blossom Festival each November. The Umiam Lake offers a serene attraction in Shillong. Other popular spots mini Shillong include Elephant Falls, Botanical Garden, Shillong Golf Course, Cathedral of Mary, The Grand Madina Masjid, Don Bosco Museum.
One natural attraction that Meghalaya is famous for are the Living Root Bridges. These bridges are made up of tangled thick roots making for a formidable structure good enough to hold 50 or more people in one go. You can view the double-decker root bridge in Cherrapunji and the single-decker root bridge near Shillong. Your kids would love seeing this unique structure.
Contributed by Shweta of Zest In A Tote
Goa is one of the most beautiful spots in the world. I may be biased but as a local, this will always be one of the most family friendly locations that I love to spend time in.
Goa is particularly famous for its beaches which trust me are great and pretty safe for kids to play in. The state however has a lot of forts that you can explore. Fort Aguada may be famous but my personal favourite is the Reis Magos Fort. Let’s not forget about the churches and temples that are all over in the cities and towns. They are pretty unique and certainly worth exploring.
The accommodation here ranges from luxury beach resorts to basic home stays, and everything in between. Another great part about exploring Goa with kids is that the food is amazing. While you can indulge in all the Goan treats, you can also catch almost any other cuisine here too. From north Indian, to sushi and chinese, there is always a good restaurant that serves up a hearty meal.
While most people head here during summer when the weather is warm, I find that the state is really crowded at this time of the year. Christmas is also a great time to visit especially since there are a lot of festivities going on.
Contributed by Penny of Globetrove
Look out of the airplane window, all you see is a green patch of land. No whites, no browns, no blues, just palm-shaded greens. India being such a diverse country has lots to offer but Kerala has something for everyone. The god’s own country is flanked by Arabian Sea on the west and Western Ghats on the east making it home to a variety of natural sights.
The best way to soak in the beauty of Kerala with your family is by visiting the 3 most beautiful and popular places namely Munnar, Alleppey and Thekkady. These 3 destinations provide different experiences altogether.
Alleppey, also known as the ‘Venice of the East‘, is an ideal destination to experience the Great Backwaters. Go for a one-night houseboat cruise in the most unique water stretch on earth. The cruise takes you through Vembanad lake and the picturesque village of Kuttanad. Alleppey is an idyllic destination for a backwater cruise in India.
Then, head to Munnar to witness nature in its pristine self. Munnar is a captivating hill-station that offers fantastic options for a good holiday with friends and family. The hills of Munnar bathe in never-ending expanse of tea-plantations providing unadulterated beauty. Almost every resort here offers free tea-plantations tours. The green city is also abode to majestic waterfalls and the highest peak of South India – the Anamudi Peak. Breathe the crisp clean air and enjoy the panoramic views of the hills.
Thekkady – only 100 km from Munnar – is a perfect place for the ones fond of wildlife. It is a small town known for the famous Periyar National Park and traditional Kathakali dance. Spend some time feeding the elephants and spot tons of other species including tigers. Explore the cardamom hills or boat your way through the lake at Periyar! End your evening by watching the spectacular Kathakali and Kalaripayattu performances at famous dance centers in Thekkady.
Kerala has something to offer for every generation which makes it an excellent destination for families.
Contributed by Neha of Trippindian
Rajasthan represents India in a beautiful way: with all its colour, great hospitality, local cuisine and stunning forts at display. It a lovely destination for couples, but offers a great deal for a family vacation as well. So many Rajasthan itinerary options are available!
For a first time visit to Rajasthan, my recommendation would be to go to any of its big 4 cities – Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer or Jaipur – depending on the time you have. Barring Jaisalmer, all the cities are well connected by air. And if you have been to the top cities already, there are many smaller ones to explore – Bikaner, Chittorgarh, Bundi, Mandawa to name a few.
For the culturally inclined, Rajasthan has more stunning forts and palaces than any other state in India. Kids will have a great time exploring these majestic forts / palaces while you take in the stunning architecture and exhibits at display.
Most of the big hotels also organise a traditional Rajasthani dance and music show that is quite enjoyable. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, you should pencil in a trip to Ranthambore national park for the tigers. And a night stay in the Thar desert sleeping under a thousand stars is a great option for the entire family.
The top cities offer a wide range of accommodation options from uber-luxury to budget. Try the local Rajasthani cuisine on your trip for sure. Your hotel or restaurant will tone down the spice level at your request. The big cities also have enough options for north Indian and international cuisines, when you are looking for a change.
Hospitable people, the range of accommodation options, good road, rail and air connectivity all go a long way in making this a hot spot for tourism in India.
Contributed by Shweta of Zest In A Tote
When you are in Japan, the obvious destinations to be visited are Tokyo, Hiroshima, Osaka and my favourite, Kyoto. Kyoto is a city that actually takes you back in the ancient era of Japan and lets you enjoy the local life more than any other part of the country. It is a city which has preserved its historical structures.
Kyoto was the imperial capital of Japan and also served as an emperor’s residence for more than 1000 years. The city was destroyed by many wars for centuries but got dropped from the list of atomic bombings because of its historical importance. You get to see a lot of temples, shrines and other ancient structures in the city today.
Kyoto is a great destination to travel with children of any age for cultural immersion. Apart from temples and shrines, Kyoto houses attractions like Kyoto City Zoo, Kyoto Railway Museum, Kyoto Imperial Palace Park, Kamogawa Riverside and Kyoto Botanical Gardens. The best time to visit Kyoto is during Cherry Blossom period. You can go on a picnic in garden full of cherry blossom trees like the locals.
Also, if you are ready to travel to surrounding places, you can reach Nara – a 45-minute drive – for its famous Deer Park, where you see hundreds of deer roaming freely. Osaka is an hour drive where you can visit the Universal Studios of Osaka.
This is one city where you can enjoy wearing a kimono – the traditional dress of Japan. Kimonos are available for all age groups and for both male and female. The best place to do so is Kiyomizudera – The Pure Water Temple. Yet another attraction the city holds is sighting the Geiko and Maiko. These are famous Japanese artists who perform in Japanese tea houses especially in the area called as Gion district. Other major attractions include Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Nijo Castle, Golden Pavilion. See this 3-day itinerary to the cultural capital of Japan.
Contributed by Mitali of Mitali’s Travel Diary
When it comes to destinations that children will love and remember just as much as their parents, Japan takes home the medal, in my opinion. The country as a whole is one of the friendliest places we’ve ever visited. The people are welcoming, polite, and helpful, which is greatly appreciated when you are dealing with the stresses of traveling with children.
Of all the cities in Japan, Tokyo is perhaps my favorite to visit with kids. Children will love the neon lights and bright colors in districts like Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Akihabara.
But beyond the general aesthetics and excitement of the city, Tokyo also offers a wide array of activities that specifically cater to families. From theme parks to fun restaurants like the Hello Kitty-themed Cafe de Miki. Tokyo, at times, feels like it was designed for childhood amusement. Disney lovers will enjoy exploring DisneySea, the only aquatic-themed Disney park in the world.
If your child is more into video games and comic books than Disney princesses, head to Tokyo’s Akihabara district instead. You’ll find 4-story arcades, an array of comic book and anime shops, and numerous animal cafes suitable for older children and teens.
Finally, if you’re looking for a more educational experience for your children, the numerous temples and shrines in Japan offer a fascinating, interactive learning experience. The most popular temple in Tokyo is the Sensoji Temple located in the Asakusa District. Kids can receive a fortune and learn about Buddhist rituals by actually participating in some. It is a memorable, hands-on way for children to engage with and appreciate the culture and customs of the country.
Contributed by Melissa of Parenthood and Passports
Vigan city, Philippines
For a different take on visiting the Philippines, why not head to a Unesco World Heritage site on Luzon Island at Vigan City. This early Spanish Colonial city on Luzon Island has been well preserved with many of the important buildings and architecture of that period. Vigan City makes a fantastic opportunity for families to enjoy an authentic visit to Illocos Sud region. Visit this historic city along with the natural landscape that shines in throughout this region.
There are many interesting areas to explore at Vigan City starting with the historic street called Calle Crisologo. The cobblestone street is filled with these early Spanish colonial homes that have been converted into small inns, restaurants, galleries and shops, making it a wonderful destination to explore. You can hire a local kalesa driver (horse drawn carriage) to take you through the street and surrounding areas of Vigan City.
Other fun family oriented venues includes the zoo, the main square at Plaza Salzedo with the many food vendors to try some local delicacies, the public market, Bantay church for the magnificent views or you can hire a local tricycle guide to show you around the many sites in the city to enjoy a fun tour of the highlights to the city and surrounding areas.
You’ll love exploring this fascinating and unique city filled with amazing smells, sites and fun venues that the kids will enjoy at Vigan City.
Contributed by Noel of Travel Photo Discovery
Busan, South Korea
Visiting Busan with kids is a must-see destination on any South Korea itinerary. Based on the coast, the vibrant city benefits from stunning beaches, dramatic cliff edge scenery and it is also a mountainous city. The modern and vibrant city is surrounded by lush green hills, the perfect contrast against the deep blue ocean.
Busan experiences all 4 seasons with spring ( March to May) and fall (September to November) being the most comfortable temperatures to visit.
The Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is one of the most incredible cultural and architectural sites in the district. It’s a unique temple since most are on the mountains, however this one is on the edge of a cliff. Featuring well preserved structures dating back to the 1300’s, courtyards filled with colourful lanterns overhead and dramatic scenery, its a serene escape from downtown Busan. Kids will love tying a written wish to the gate like so many worshippers.
Some other incredible activities include a trip to Haeundae Beach at sunset to see performers along the promenade. Not to mention the nearby ‘Blue Line’ which is a small cable car sized vehicle that goes on a track along the coast. The scenes are stunning and the ride is a novelty for kids.
The Gamcheon Cultural Village is acolourful and vibrant hub rich in history which is the perfect balance for both parents and children. The kids will love running along the streets and discovering the colourful art used to regenerate the area of a community of refugees from the 1950’s. Make sure to find the Harry Potter stairs, kids will love it.
If you are lucky enough to be in Busan on a Saturday evening, do not miss the Gwangali Drone Show which take place at 8pm. It’s a real treat to see such an incredible display. Top tip for families is to head to the supermarket for familiar snacks for kids. Sometimes eating out can be a little bit of a challenge for kids who are not familiar with Korean food.
Contributed by Karen of Travel Mad Mum
Seoul, South Korea
Korean culture emphasizes the importance of family and community, which is a huge blessing when traveling to Seoul. We were fortunate to move to South Korea when my daughter was just 2 months old, and I was immediately blown away by the hospitality and love shown to my child.
The Korean love for children is everywhere. Kid cafes, which are extremely inexpensive, indoor play places for all ages, line the streets. Usually multi-level, kid cafes typically provide the child with a juice or snack, and coffee and Wifi for mom and dad, while children can play and learn for hours on end.
Seoul is also home to the famous Trick Eye Museum. Families can have fun photographing each other in front of hundreds of optical illusion art pieces. If you’re looking for outdoor activities, Seoul offers a wide variety of options, from zoos to outdoor festivals and amusement parks. There is the Korean village which provides a fun look at traditional Korean history. This includes mazes, entertaining shows, demonstrations and models from throughout history, and rides and attractions even the littlest travelers can enjoy.
Seoul offers a unique contrast that is hard to find anywhere else. Amid some of the most advanced technology this world has seen, families can explore ancient temples and historic villages that have survived for thousands of years. It allows parents and children to get the best of both worlds. Families can go from walking through one of the fastest-growing and progressive cities, to hiking up a mountain or ziplining through the forest all in one day.
Beach-loving families are never far from the coast, while others may opt to cruise down the Han River or splash in the splash-pad alongside it. Seoul’s uniqueness, endless list of things to do, history, and amazing love for family and community make it a top family-friendly destination in Asia.
Bangkok & Phuket, Thailand
Bangkok and Phuket are two of the most famous destinations in Thailand. Phuket has pristine blue beaches, and some of the best natural landscapes whereas Bangkok is known for its nightlife, markets and stunning temples.
In Bangkok, Mahanakhon SkyWalk offers a thrilling bird’s-eye view of the city and is a must-visit. The Grand Palace is also a must-visit destination as it housed the beloved King of Thailand and his royal court for over 150 years. Wat Arun and Wat Pho are two of the most iconic temples which have intricate designs and unique architecture. The Chao Phraya River flows through Bangkok’s centre and you can take a boat tour to explore Bangkok in a fun way.
Don’t forget to shop at the Chatuchak Weekend Market, one of Thailand’s most famous and buzzing places. You can try some delicious local food here, especially the coconut ice cream and grilled fish.
Phuket is great for scuba diving and parasailing. Visit the famous Patong Beach to enjoy some soothing views. Kids will enjoy the various water sports on offer here. Bang Tao is one of the longest beaches in Phuket and has some of the most luxurious restaurants and resorts. Thailand also has many known dive sites including the Similan Island Liveaboard from Phuket.
Wat Chalong is the largest Buddhist shrine in Phuket and has some wonderful architecture. Also, visit the Big Budhha, an iconic 45-metre-tall statue, for stunning panoramic views. Stroll around Old Phuket Town to explore Phuket’s legacy, the bright houses, and museums. You will find local restaurants and cute cafes here. Phuket Aquarium offers a fun experience with interactive exhibits for kids. A 7 days in Thailand itinerary is perfect for exploring these destinations as well as other parts of Thailand.
Both Phuket and Bangkok have great street food culture and you can indulge in local Thai food which is aromatic and full of flavours. Get a relaxing Thai massage after a long day of exploring Phuket and Bangkok.
Contributed by Lavina of Continent Hop
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai in Thailand is the perfect, family-friendly city in Asia. Having spent 2 months there, we feel it is a great destination for families with kids of all ages.
The city itself has so much to do. You can do your usual big city activities like going to the cinema, bowling, rollerskating. And then there is so much culture hopping to try! Chiang Mai has hundreds of temples to visit. The most famous – Doi Suthep – is on top of a mountain and is well worth the hike up the many steps to get to the top.
The wildlife is also incredible. Try visiting an ethical elephant sanctuary while you’re there. Although they are located a couple of hours outside of the city it is worth a visit to see the beautiful elephants up close. (Please do look for ethical sanctuaries. Anywhere where you can ride an elephant is NOT recommended). We also visited the Siam Insect Zoo and had a great time looking at and holding the exotic creepy crawlies.
Food in Chiang Mai is delicious and affordable. If your kids aren’t keen on spicy food then it’s easy to find milder dishes or western restaurants. I recommend families to try mango sticky rice – it is the best I’ve had in the world! The mangos in Thailand are so sweet. Overall Chiang Mai is a friendly, affordable and beautiful city to visit. Get your bags packed!
Contributed by Suewan of RTW Families
[This post was originally published inn 2018, and later updated in 2023.]
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