Family vacations are fun, memorable, rewarding, and a wonderful way to strengthen family bonds. Travelling also exposes your children to the world, encouraging them to embrace diverse cultures, step outside of their comfort zones and appreciate the beauty of mother nature. School holiday is just around the corner, it is time to plan for a trip. Here are some of the great ideas for family trips:
Bali is perhaps, above all, famous for its gorgeous sandy beaches with bright turquoise waters perfect for surfing and swimming. If you go further inland, the island has a whole host of other activities on offer, including the Bali Zoo and the Ubud Sacred Monkey Sanctuary. In amongst the dense forest and moss-covered statues, the Balinese long-tailed monkey lives in abundance. Other highlights include Hindu temples, waterfalls and guided hikes through the jungle. A family holiday to Bali is a truly magical experience and should be at the top of everyone’s list of places to visit in South East Asia.
Bangkok is a bustling city filled with stunning temples and palace complexes. The best way to travel is by rickshaw, a cheap and efficient way to whizz around the city with the wind blowing through your hair. The Grand Palace must be your first port of call; the decadent golden architecture and features will not fail to entrance even the most tired of children and it is easy to spend a whole day getting lost amongst the grandeur of the complex. There are numerous temples dotted around the city that are home to some spectacular Buddha statues: emerald Buddhas, Buddhas lying down and one Buddha that stands at over 30 metres tall! The floating market is another must and countless street food vendors are offering the very best of authentic Thai cuisine there.
Taipei is an incredible city brimming with fun things to do and amazing things to eat. The latter can be done in the city’s famous night markets, which sell everything from fried chicken to bubble tea. One of the tallest buildings in the world is in the city; Taipei 101 is open to visitors who can ascend the building in rapid-moving elevators to see the stunning views from the top. The Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is a stunning monument that gives an interesting insight into the history of Taiwan and China in general. The carefully choreographed changing of the guards at the Memorial Hall will keep the children entertained; a spectacle of pomp and tradition, the ceremony occurs once every hour during the day.
Jakarta, which is the current and soon-to-be ex-capital of Indonesia, is a charming city filled with culture and history. From mosques to cathedrals to Dutch colonial quarters, the city has its fair share of cultural landmarks. For a more adventurous day out, the Pantai Indah Kapuk Mangrove Forest provides a lush green oasis away from the buzzing city. Taman Mini Indonesia is an immersive cultural amusement park that captures the day-to-day lives and cultures of each Indonesian province. The park also has a cable car ride and a cinema that shows educational films about the country. For thrill-seekers, the Dunia Fantasi theme park is filled with roller coasters and rides to suit all ages.
Singapore may seem like a concrete jungle filled with nothing but skyscrapers, but there are lots of green areas with a wide range of activities suitable for children across the city. The ArtScience Museum, distinctly shaped like a lotus flower, has interactive activities that will fascinate children and adults alike. The stunning Gardens by the Bay are a must-visit, especially at night when there are light and music shows in amongst the exotic foliage. Haw Par Villa is an area filled with statues depicting beasts from Chinese mythology (some of which may be too scary for young children!). To top off a busy day in Singapore make sure to try some of the Michelin-starred street food.
Ho Chi Minh City, which is still known by many as Saigon, is a fast-developing metropolis that is still finding a balance between its historical heritage and cutting edge skyscrapers. With beautiful buildings like the French colonial Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Jade Emperor Pagoda to visit and busy markets in which to practise your haggling skills, a trip to Ho Chi Minh City will never be dull. The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre is a great place to take children and is an overall charming performance that adults will love too.
Sun, sand and sea, a thousand ‘Robinson Crusoe’ islands, massive lagoons with different depths and infinite shades of blue and turquoise, dazzling underwater coral gardens; a perfect natural combination for a family holiday destination. The profusion of psychedelic colours and the abundance and variety of life underwater have fascinated divers and snorkelers. The Maldives ranks among the top five places on Earth for watching whales and dolphins. Over 20 different species call the Maldives home. These range from the mighty Blue Whale to the diminutive but highly acrobatic Spinner Dolphin which is the most common species, and occur in their tens of thousands. The Maldives are not only for the newly wedded, but they are also for kids too.