This is a guest post by Susan Noel
Southeast Asia is growing in popularity as a holiday destination — and for good reason. With a wealth of historic buildings, intricate temples, and rich cuisine, countries like Thailand and Singapore are well-worth visiting. But did you know that many of these places are also great destinations for travelling with children?
Discover the 10 best destinations in Southeast Asia to take a family holiday, with attractions and activities to cater for kids of all ages.
With plenty of activities for families and tons to see for kids and adults alike, Singapore is a must-visit country.
The Night Safari at Singapore Zoo is sure to go down well with children. Embark on a journey to see animals in their natural jungle habitat. Singapore’s Science Centre is also worth a visit. It is packed with hands-on exhibits throughout its 20,000 ft² of gallery space.
The island of Sentosa is Singapore’s ace in the hole for visitors with children. Accessible by cable car with stunning views of the city-state, Sentosa is home to the Universal Studios Singapore theme park as well as numerous hotels that cater for families.
Given the small size of the island nation, it is easy to travel from Singapore to Malaysia if you want to visit the next destination on this list.
Located in the state of Johor in the south of the Malay peninsula, LEGOLAND is a favourite with children of all ages. After all, who doesn’t love the colourful bricks?
Rides, interactive activities, and swimming pools full of lego pieces make LEGOLAND Malaysia a great place to start exploring Southeast Asia. Another big plus is that it is located close to the Singaporean border, making it easy to visit both countries on the same trip.
Bali is known for being a tropical paradise with beautiful beaches — perfect for the whole family. With a thriving hotel industry aimed at international visitors, entertainment is always at hand. You can enjoy energetic Balinese shows with bright colours and loud music that is sure to capture kids’ attention and imaginations.
Featuring two of the most scenic and peaceful beaches in Southeast Asia, Railay is an adventure for the whole family. You will have to take a boat from Krabi or Ao Nang, due to the limestone cliffs that block access from the mainland, but this only adds to the excitement.
Once you arrive, you will find a peninsula without roads or cars. Instead, you and your kids can explore the sandy paths that take you from place to place.
The Vietnamese capital has a lot to offer for families travelling with children. Parks can be found all around the city and you are never far from a delicious ice cream shop. Hanoi also has several fantastic water parks.
For a truly unique experience for the whole family, book tickets in advance for the Hanoi Water Puppet Theatre, which will delight your little ones.
Hanoi is also a fascinating city for parents, with its famous old quarter and exotic markets.
A destination with a real Old Asia feel, Penang is not simply a city of temples and fascinating architecture. It also has plenty of things to cater to small children, from the Adventure Zone play area in Batu Ferringhi to the many pools, fountains, and trails at the Youth Park.
Batu Ferringhi Beach is perfect for families with children and there are a number of zoos, animal sanctuaries, and at least one butterfly farm in and around Penang. One of the biggest highlights is the funicular ride up Penang Hill, which kids will love.
The Mekong Delta, Vietnam
The Mekong River ranks as the 12th longest river in the world and its delta is an exotic land of floating markets, friendly locals, fresh fruit, and, of course, boats.
Villages are more likely to be accessible by river or canal rather than by road, making this a unique holiday adventure. Kids will love taking a boat cruise along the Mekong, sampling the local tropical fruit and freshly-caught fish, and spotting wildlife in Tram Chim National Park.
Well-known as having some of the best beaches in Thailand, Phuket is the perfect Southeast Asian destination for families. Kids will love the array of slides at Splash Jungle Water Park and the excitement of taking an adventure on a boat trip to a neighbouring island.
With a well-developed tourist industry, Phuket has numerous family-friendly hotels with swimming pools and international restaurants.
There is mini-golf at Dino Park, a treetop adventure course for older kids at Kathu’s Flying Hanuman, and for children who love animals, Phuket Aquarium is the place to go.
Finally, there is the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary, where children and parents alike have the opportunity to walk with, feed, and play with an elephant.
Located in the north of Borneo, the state of Sabah is one of the best places in Malaysia for family holidays — especially if your children love animals. Borneo is famously one of 2 islands where wild orangutans can be found, in addition to many other species of mammals, reptiles, and birds.
Kota Kinabalu, capital of Sabah, has an aquarium, a bird sanctuary, and various museums, parks, and monuments. The Malaysian state also has a long coastline with fantastic beaches, making it a destination with something for everyone.
Koh Samui, Thailand
Another Thai destination famed for its pristine beaches, Koh Samui has an abundance of options for children.
If animals are popular with your kids, the Samui Aquarium & Tiger Zoo is unmissable — your son or daughter will have an unforgettable experience petting a tiger cub and feeding a sea turtle. Koh Samui is also home to a butterfly garden and Paradise Park Farm, which is particularly good for little ones.
Older children may enjoy going go-karting, making a splash some of Samui’s renowned water parks, or playing football-golf — a hybrid game that is fun for the whole family.
Southeast Asia is full of great options for families with plenty of activities that children will love. Whichever destination you choose, you are sure to have a great time. Don’t forget to pack suncream and a camera!