What Are the Top Child Friendly Vacations in Asia?
Aug 04, 2020
Travelling as a family can be one of the most exciting ways to explore different parts of the world. The solo traveller can see a lot and learn about themselves, but sharing a trip with children takes things to another level.
For those heading to Asia, putting together a solid itinerary makes a huge difference. There are plenty of people looking for child friendly vacations in Asia, allowing the entire family to have fun with few limitations.
With Asia being such a big continent, the best way is to break things down by country. This gives people a better understanding when they start to focus on a few travel choices. There are plenty of activities when travelling to this continent that are child friendly, so there should be no limitations whatsoever.
When people think about travelling to Indonesia, that usually comes with a general idea of heading to Bali. Bali is indeed one of the most popular summer destinations in Asia, but there are other places to explore as well. The real question is, is this a place that kids can have a lot of fun?
The pictures online talking about vacations to Bali certainly sell themselves to a lot of travellers. It has some fantastic weather most the year, and the locals are amicable. Throw in plenty to do there are perfectly fine for kids, and it is a very popular family destination.
Children will find it very hard to get bored on vacation, as there are a lot of different options for them to try out. Some of the activities cost extra money, but nothing is too crazy that it makes the trip super expensive.
Water parks are very popular in Bali, and there are a few different ones to choose from for children who want to have fun in an exotic location. Perhaps the most well-known waterpark is Splash Water Park, and it features many different waterslides and other options for the younger crowd. Those who are still very new to the water can have plenty of enjoyment, but so can those who are experts looking for a bit of a thrill from their waterpark.
Another solid option is Waterbom Bali Park, which is also very heavily focused on waterslides. This is not only a fun and exciting activity, but a way for children to cool down if it is pretty warm during the visit. Depending on when a family goes, it can get pretty hot, especially in the middle of the day. Checking out a water park at this time might be the best move, since it is certainly more enjoyable than walking around in the heat.
Of course, having the ability to go to any of the beaches that are in the area certainly helps to cool down as well. Some activities have sprung up at all the most popular beaches on the island, so kids are never going to feel like they are bored. Kuta and Sanur, arguably the two busiest parts of the island, definitely have everything a child could possibly want for water activities. However, even the more laid-back options like Nusa Dua and Jimbaran are pretty perfect as well.
The beaches might be what bring people to Bali, but it is usually the entertainment off the water that solidifies it as one of the best spots for vacationing in all of Asia. Being able to explore all of the wildlife on the island is undoubtedly something that will intrigue children. Getting an up-close and personal encounter with animals not seen in other parts of the world is certainly entertaining, and Bali has options for whatever animals children are into.
If the goal is for a tropical location that has something for all ages, Bali is the way to go. It is not too commercialized compared to other parts of the continent, so that is always positive. Those who love being outside and as active as possible will get a good amount of exercise just exploring all the different parts of the country. Bali, in particular, is a wonderful vacation all by itself, but those who have time should check out other parts of Indonesia as well.
Malaysia is one of the more underrated locations in not only Asia, but the world. Its unique mixture of so many different cultures has allowed it to build a certain uniqueness that seasoned travellers can appreciate. From the perspective of a child, Malaysia has invested a lot of money to ensure that they are much more than just a country filled with Chinese temples. While some children will appreciate the history, most locations need a bit more to stand out truly.
An easy place for any family to start with a visit is the capital city, which is going to have a lot of people to do if they just want to stay in one area for the entirety of a trip. It is very easy to spend multiple days in the city without repeating any activities, and it is located on the coast with some easy access to beaches if people want that as well.
Royal Palace Istana Negara Farview in Kuala Lumpur
The weather gets hot in the city, just like most areas in Southeast Asia, but outdoor activities are a huge draw. A lot of the major draws centre around animals, with the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park being one of the most impressive aviaries in the world. Not only can people view so many birds unique to the tropics, but there is some beautiful landscaping as well that makes the entire visit worth making a list.
For indoor activities, the National Museum of Malaysia is a great starting point for those wanting to learn about the country in general. Malaysia has this very unique history and blend of cultures that makes for an interesting and educational stop. They have modernized the museum very well so that children do not get bored.
No stop in Kuala Lumpur is complete without at least hanging near the Petronius Towers. They are the largest twin towers in the entire world, and they have built up some other attractions nearby that make for a great day trip.
All of the international family attractions are also in the city, KidZania is maybe the most popular choice, but there are theme parks that will entertain any age around the city.
Finally, food options are plentiful in the city, and with so many cultures, just about any type of dish can be found. There are a lot of people who will go on vacation and try to sample some of the local cuisines. Family can spend weeks in the city and still try new dishes in new locations that rarely overlap, showing just how much food diversity there is in the city.
If the heat is just too much for visitors in Malaysia, it might be better to head to the rolling hills of the Cameron Highlands. There are a lot of tea plantations in the area, as well as farms for anything from strawberries to butterflies.
Tea Plantation Sunset Scene in Cameron Highlands
This is yet another location in Malaysia that has a lot of stimulation for children who love outdoor activities. It is a way to learn and get some good exercise outdoors, and it does not make for a super sweaty day.
One of the bonus features with exploring in this area is having a chance to meet with some very friendly indigenous people to Malaysia. The Orang Asli people have fully embraced visitors, and they are eager to teach people more about their land.
Heading to Penang Island gives people a different taste of Malaysia. in fact, it might be the most unique spot in the country to visit. Headlines by the capital city of Georgetown, there is a lot of history for people to sift through as a family vacationing. Nature is also a heavy influence on all the activities, so make sure to give it a shot.
The Tropical Spice Garden, Fort Cornwallis, and the Kek Lok Si Temple all give families an idea on just how diverse the offerings are on the island. No matter what kids are into, there is plenty to fill up a trip.
When people start searching for summer destinations in Asia, Japan is high on that list. The weather can be beautiful in the spring and summer, but there is plenty to do in all parts of Japan during the year. Its versatility allows travellers to get a lot out of their visit whenever they want, and despite being relatively small, there is a very diverse landscape.
There are plenty of child-friendly places to visit in Japan, but to stand out above the rest. Here is a look at two of the cities that should be high on anyone’s list.
Every single person should have the opportunity to check out Tokyo at one point in their life. The biggest city in the world is full of so many activities, and it feels very safe for those who have families to visit despite its size. Everything is very organized in the city, and the large crowds do not feel as overwhelming as some other locations around the world.
Sensoji Temple gate
Once a family arrives in Tokyo, they have their pick of doing virtually anything they can think of. Children are obviously drawn to amusement parks, and Tokyo has both Disney and Universal Studios as options. Even those people who have been to other parks under these umbrellas will notice enough difference to make Tokyo an entirely new experience.
Visiting Tokyo just for amusement parks is truly underselling the city. There are walking food tours, learning opportunities, just about any museum a person can think of, and just taking in the sights and sounds of such a massive city. Despite it being so populated, it feels extremely organized so that families can stay on track. Going on a bus tour is an option of kids feel like they are unable to walk around too much.
Depending on the season, taking in a sporting event is also a fun family opportunity out there. Baseball is particularly popular, and each game turns into a bit of an event. That sport, in particular, plays out pretty well as an option for families to kill time and also take in a very important part of the culture.
Finally, the Tokyo Skytree or the Tokyo Tower are great options for outstanding views. Many children are fascinated by having the opportunity to see the city from above, not to mention the mountains and everything else outside limits.
Osaka will not have as many options as Tokyo, but visitors often put this high on the list when travelling with children. The people are very friendly and welcoming, and there is enough English for foreigners to get by fairly well. Of course, knowing a little bit of Japanese can help people navigate the city, meeting some people who are very proud of their culture.
The city is a cheaper option for travellers, which specifically comes in handy when trying different foods. Osaka has many popular dishes to try, and they are not too unique that children turn their nose up at it. As long as they come in with an open mind, they will probably leave with at least one new favourite dish.
There are a lot of people who live in Osaka, but the city feels very open and bright for people to navigate. It is not going to have the glitz and glamour of Tokyo, but a lot of visitors actually end up having more fun here because they can relax a little more.
With a prime location at the southern tip of Malaysia, Singapore is a top choice for family holidays in Asia for many travellers around the world. It is relatively easy to get to from Australia, which is going to help with travel plans for those trying to not waste too much time. It is also relatively affordable, especially if the plan is to go during non-peak times. With so much pretty close by, is it worth it to go with the entire family?
Most people pretty emphatically say yes. Whether it is going to the mainland or taking short trips to an island, there are a lot of opportunities for some fun.
The main area of Singapore is very modern, which is helpful for those once they arrive in the country. The first thing everyone will notice is the outstanding airport, as they are known internationally is having one of the best in the world. After arriving, getting around is easy, as many visitors will not bother to use anything else but public transportation. It is easy to use for English speaking visitors, and the lack of language barrier is certainly beneficial for those worried about that in other Asian countries.
While there are beaches in Singapore, most people will go to one of the islands if they want to really experience a tropical paradise. There is a lot to see and do on the mainland that most will not bother otherwise.
Nature is very appealing to children in Singapore, and the area benefits from having a lot of different plants and animals not seen elsewhere in the world. It is always fun to explore something a bit different, and they bring a lot to the table no matter where families end up going. The Singapore Botanical Gardens is always a great place to start, but there are more specific places for just about any interest.
Museums are also pretty prevalent in Singapore, but they have modernized a lot of them so that they are not that boring type of school trip that so many children associate with museums. They might be reluctant at first, but once they can take everything in, it becomes a bit different.
Sentosa Island is located on the southern tip of the country, and it has a lot of entertainment in the small area. There are theme parks all around the island itself, including Universal Studios Singapore. There is also options such as KidZania Singapore, and Megazip Adventure Park. These parks alone cover just about any age group, and they have their own unique twist to life in Singapore as well.
Palawan Beach is where all the action is on Sentosa Island, but it might be too touristy for some. A more laid back spot in Tanjong Beach. Even though the island is small, people will still find places to relax near the water without having to be in the middle of everything necessarily.
There are a few memorable islands in Singapore that are relatively easy to get to if people want to have some time on the beach. Lazarus and St. John’s are two very popular options, and both offer a mix of relaxation and modernization. There are enough spots on the beach to get away from people if that is what people want. If people want to participate in numerous beach activities, they can do that as well.
It is sometimes a hassle to go to certain countries and try to get to the islands, but Singapore does a great job of making everything as accessible as possible. Even if a family decides while they are on vacation to go to one of these islands, they are more than capable of doing exactly that.
Is Singapore worth the trip?
There is very little reason to not have Singapore higher on the list if the goal is to explore a unique part of Asia that has everything pretty centrally located. The entire country is not very big at all, and it allows people to pack in so much and even a short trip. There is nowhere else in Asia that allows people to see just about everything a country has to offer in such a short timeframe.
Sandwiched in between China and Japan, South Korea is an often overlooked as far as safe travel destinations in Asia are concerned. Due to its rather small size, and being locked in by their controversial neighbours to the north, it is not always the first place people think of when going to a new place on the continent.
People should look at this as a way to enjoy a different part of the world and feel fully embraced by some of the friendliest people out there. From the big cities to taking in some of the more rural areas, South Korea has a little bit of everything without having to travel too far once arriving.
This is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the entire world, and visiting is pretty much a must whenever heading to South Korea. A lot of culture is easy to take in, but some things that catch the eyes of the younger generation include outdoor parks, K-pop shows, arts, and so much more.
Cafes are huge in Seoul, as there is a spot for just about any theme out there. With plenty of kid-friendly options to choose from, there is never a risk of running out of places to eat or enjoy.
The language barrier is a little tough in some areas, but the city has a lot of English speaking natives as well. It does not hurt to know a few phrases in Korean, and just showing that you were willing to put in some effort makes a lot of them very appreciative.
Try to spend at least a few days in Seoul, as the city is massive. The major tourist attractions are popular for a reason, but sometimes, walking the streets and taking in smaller sections of towns to find an intriguing cafe can make for a fun experience for children just as much.
The second biggest city in South Korea is Busan, which is located in almost the exact opposite corner of Seoul. That might seem like a huge hassle, but it is around three hours by train, and five hours by bus. It is totally doable to go back-and-forth whenever a person wants to. Families can find some pretty affordable ways to travel that way as well, and allows kids to unwind a bit.
Busan certainly has plenty to do with in the city, but it is often recommended to take in the beauty around it as well. Whether it is Dongbaek Island or Yongdusan Park, there are some beautiful oasis options away from the city. Being right on the coast certainly helps, and the right time of the year will offer some great places to check out.
Looking to grab a child’s attention merely with a single village area? Gamcheon Culture Village is the perfect opportunity to do just that. It was formed by using residential houses and building it like a staircase going up a mountain. It is a very tightknit community that has embraced its unique look, using bright colours and making themselves a bit of a tourist attraction all by themselves. It is usually only open for visitors during the day, but there are definitely tours available if people want an up-close look.
As for the city itself, temples, museums, aquariums, and so much more can give parents something for their children to do at all times. It has a very different vibe compared to Seoul, but there is no reason to pick one city over the other when visiting South Korea. Unless a person is really strapped for time, they should check out both of these major cities.
Hiking areas throughout
Those unfamiliar with South Korea probably do not know that there are a lot of mountains on the peninsula. This means that there are plenty of hikes to see nature and enjoy getting some healthy exercise as well. Children might not be in for super long hikes, but it is a way to see a different side of the country that is usually not advertised.
This is a great suggestion for anyone who plans on being there for a week or more. There is always time to check out something a bit off the beaten path, and no matter where a person is within the country, there are some great hiking spots nearby.
Some of the ones that stand out the most include: Jogyesan, Daedunsan, and Wolchulsan. Keep in mind that the weather is usually pretty mild in South Korea, but it can get cold in the winter. Make sure to dress appropriately for hikes, as it can be a fun time.
A family vacation in Vietnam is one of the most affordable options in all of Asia. No matter where a family ends up heading, they can have a delightful time with friendly natives looking to help out as much as possible. It is a bit spread out to see all of the major areas in one trip unless it is long, but there is no reason not to target a few are the best areas for children.
Tucked away underneath Cambodia off the south-east coast of Vietnam is the island of Phu Quoc. Families have been counting on this location for quite some time, as it is a fun getaway that has enough to keep children stimulated throughout the trip. Whether it is enjoying beaches and swimming, or finding some hidden gems on the island, children of all ages should be pretty happy with scheduling this visit.
Phu Quoc, VietNam
Starting with the beaches, Long Beach is probably the most well-known on the island. A lot of people pick staying here because they have the best facilities, and even though it is expensive, relatively speaking, it is still pretty cheap for most visitors. Some other good options include Bai Thom and Bai Sao, and they can come in handy if it is peak season and Long Beach is a bit filled.
The beach is great, and snorkelling and fishing are the two biggest draws to those who are looking to do more than just relax. Not only are there some very cool features right off the coast to see up close, but there are very few places that a person can go fishing for squid and have a good amount of success.
Away from the beach, the area has grown quite a bit to make it a full destination for any type of traveller. Vinpearl Land is the most popular theme park on the island, and it is a great starting point for families who want to have some great time together. There is also a safari worth looking into, as kids can take in animals that they just are not used to seeing elsewhere.
Like some of the other countries in Asia, there has been some re-working done at a few of the museums to make them more enticing to the younger crowd. It is a creative way to allow children to have fun and learn at the same time.
Hoi An is without question a must-visit for anyone taking their children to Vietnam. It is known for being a wonderful place for people of all ages, but kids will be drawn to the beautiful layouts and unique spots scattered throughout.
Hoian Ancient town
Outdoor families, in particular, will love Hoi An because of all the different options. There are plenty of tours on kayaks, banana boats, and other unique forms of transportation. It is also a very creative city, offering different classes that incorporate the culture and allow children to learn while having fun.
To add another positive to visiting Hoi An, there is no huge focus on nightlife. This does not have the same type of party scene as of the other major cities in Vietnam, which makes it more kid-friendly destinations in general.
A huge city in its own right, Da Nang is often overshadowed by some of the bigger cities in Vietnam. As far as family destinations are concerned, it is hard to really think of a better spot for enjoying the beach. They have some of the best beaches in not only Vietnam, but all of Asia. Go during the right time of the year, and it is a very relaxing atmosphere for all to enjoy.
The city is also one of the rare options that have mountains nearby as well. For a hike that the entire family can enjoy, checking out the Son Tra Mountains gives an entirely new perspective on the area as well. It is a stark contrast from the beaches, but there are some beautiful views that children will fully embrace once they get a closer look.
Since Da Nang has turned into a pretty big tourist destination with all that has the offer, some theme parks have great reviews as well. Asia Park and Ba Na Hills are not only popular, but they are fairly unique as well. It is hard to find theme parks in other parts of the world that have everything these have to offer. Whether it is one day or an entire weekend, no one will run out of activities with kids in Da Nang.
Thailand is a big enough country that it seems like even a week is not enough time for visitors. Whether it is heading way down south for a tropical climate or spending time in the mountainous north, Thailand has options for all types of travellers. They have done an excellent job of making everything very child friendly, which helps families looking for something exciting, yet laid-back.
Any travel destination list for Asia tends to have Phuket Island on it. All sorts of travellers find this part of the world one of the most intriguing for a vacation. There is plenty for adults to get into, but they have built out child friendly opportunities as well.
Phu Ket Wooden Pier
Since turning into a very commercialized area in certain parts, beach activities have gone up. There are some very challenging options to pursue for the thrill-seekers, but family fun is available as well.
When the parents do decide that they want to have some fun on their own at night, most of the major island resorts offer services that cater to kids so that they can have some fun as well. It is a nice touch so that kids can have a little bit of freedom, while parents can enjoy the nightlife a bit.
All in all, Phuket is very easy to get to from Australia, and they have done a fantastic job as one of the leading travel destinations in Asia. Something is always being added to the area, and it is is a picture-perfect destination worth considering.
If Phuket is not first on the list for places to visit in Thailand, Bangkok is usually right there. Some think it is a little too big to bring a big group of kids, but it is actually pretty easy to get around. There are a ton of things to do for families, including the best theme parks in Thailand, museums and farms dedicated to unique themes, and so much more.
One of the cool things about Bangkok for kids is that there are small pockets of the city that can feel completely different from one another. It is almost like having the opportunity to see several different villages and how they do things all in one location. Going to the local markets, trying new food, and even doing some of the top-rated activities there certainly keep people occupied.
For as big as the city is, there are a lot of green areas as well. It is an outdoor adventure land in Bangkok, which is perfect for burning off some energy if kids are a little rambunctious. It is usually recommended to have at least a few days in Bangkok if possible, as it is way too difficult to take everything in during a single day.
For a more northern experience in Thailand, the city of Pai is certainly a bit off the standard path. It is not always included in tour packages out there, but it is a family tourist destination that is extremely underrated. It continually gets great reviews from people who do take the time to visit, and it has become a bit of a hub for English-speaking families as well.
The city is really all about community, and everyone seems to get along very well. Talking with the locals is easy, as there are plenty of Thai people willing to show off their area. Those who have relocated from English-speaking countries are also very eager to explain why they move there in the first place, and what it has to offer. Many of these ex-pats have families, which shows just how family-friendly the area is in general.
Outdoor activities like hikes in the jungle, rafting, and having personal encounters with unique animal species will all grab the attention of children. There is a very popular circus training school in the city, which gives kids an inside look at how these talented animals learn.
This might be a location that only gets a day for visitors, but do not overlook this option if it fits into an itinerary. A lot of people seem to gloss over the northern part of Thailand, but there are some beautiful spots worth checking out.
Additional tips on Family holidays to Asia
When taking a vacation or holiday, it is more than just picking a destination and going with it. People must be prepared to handle the unexpected, especially so far away from home. Planning ahead as much as possible is going to cut down on complications, but being able to think on the fly also helps quite a bit.
It has always been important for immunizations before travelling to certain parts of the world. Now, after the COVID-19 breakout, it is once again stressed more than ever.
Some countries force vaccinations with requirements before stepping foot into the country. Others recommend vaccinations as a way to keep everyone safe. The majority of parents will end up going with both the required and the recommended to limit the risk their children may face.
Have passports squared away
Passports for children are a little different than passports for adults. They usually do not last as long, as some infants only have a valid passport for three years. Make sure that they are not only valid before looking at best cheap family holidays Asia options, but will stay valid for at least six months after taking off. This is to protect against anything that might happen that forces people to stay in the country for a longer time.
Have plans to do on the plane
A flight to a different part of the world is going to take a long time. For many children, family holidays to Asia might be the longest trip of their life. It is frustrating to stay stimulated on the plane, but the good news is there are more options than ever.
Tips for handling a long flight depends on just how young children are. If they are still actively playing with toys, make sure to bring plenty of new options as well as time-tested toys to provide plenty of stimulation. Think about toys the travel well, and do not make a lot of noise to frustrate other travellers. Pack ideas include a tablet, books, stickers, pencils, crayons, pens, and more. Try to be as compact as possible, which means the 96 pack of crayons should probably stay at home.
Children tend to have a pretty short attention span anyway, and it becomes even more of a hassle when in tight quarters on a plane. That is why options are always essential. At the same time, there should be some limits put on just how many toys make the cut. An entire suitcase should not be dedicated to toys.
Put together a routine
Most travellers are only going to be away for a few days or at most, a couple of weeks. It is hard to develop a new routine, but it can really help children if they are becoming difficult.
The most important part of a daily routine is to have pretty set eating schedules, and getting a good amount of rest. One advantage Australians have two visiting Asia is that the time difference is not that much. When travelling east or west, the time change can really mess up a child schedule.
It is perfectly fine if families stray from the plan at times, but this is a way to reset and make life a little easier for children who might be becoming restless.
Share plans with children
There are times in which a person might want to surprise their children, but plans should also be shared with them when that is not the case. This is to prepare them for what lies ahead, and to get them excited as well.
Plans can change when on vacation and travelling, so do not be afraid to change plans as well. Children can appreciate parents being very open with plans, and sometimes, things change after arriving.
To make them feel part of the trip, allow them to set some of the plans as well. It does not have to be anything too big, but this little gesture can go a long way towards making children feel very special.
Learn some basic words and phrases in a different language
Not all countries in Asia have a lot of English speakers. This is especially true when travelling to more remote parts of certain countries. Use this as a learning experience, and teach children a few words and phrases in that language.
It is next to impossible to learn any significant language that can help with actual conversations, but it is still fun to learn some basic commands and to even use them once there. Not only does it help the children, but parents can benefit from doing this as well.
Travelling with kids anywhere involves having patients, so international travelling is taking it to another level. It is easy to be stressed out with so many other things going on, but try to keep it all under control as much as possible.
Above all else, being patient is going to make the trip that much more enjoyable. Ideally, having a good amount of control makes sense, but it is just unrealistic to have everything mapped out before arrival.