Whether you’re travelling with toddlers, teenagers or grandparents, Asia is a great place for a family holiday. It offers a fascinating mix of bustling cities, ancient cultures, delicious food and picture-perfect beaches, satisfying the needs and interests of both young and old. What is more, whilst a trip to Asia is always infused with a sense of adventure, it is also safe for the entire family.
However, with the large amount of options on offer, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go and what to do. That’s why we have rounded up a series of destinations – plus insider tips – for the ultimate family-friendly holiday in Asia.
Community-focused travel in Cambodia
Cambodia is a hidden gem when it comes to family-friendly holidays in Asia. From the majestic temples of Angkor and the fishing villages on Tonle Sap Lake to an interesting, yet heart-breaking past, this small country – spanning quaint towns, quiet coastline and lush jungle – packs quite a punch for travellers of all ages.
A great way for all the family to get involved is through a community development program. Make new friends and experience the local way of life in a Cambodian village whilst supporting the development of rural education at the same time. Try your hand at craft weaving and farming and embark on exhilarating ox cart rides on this fun and eye-opening experience that will teach everyone the value of giving back to the community.
Another activity that’ll enthral travellers of all ages is a visit to the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre. Easily reachable from Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, the sanctuary cares for a variety of animals, including elephants, monkeys and even sun bears, that were rescued from illegal wildlife trade. Spend a day learning about conservation work and the animal’s individual backgrounds - you might even get up close to the adorable sun bears.
Active adventures in China
When choosing a destination for a family-friendly holiday in Asia, China might not be the first country that comes to mind. However, whilst it might require a little extra planning, it is also one of the most fascinating places on the continent. Effortlessly blending thousands of years of history and ancient landmarks (think Great Wall of China!) with ultramodern cities and awe-inspiring landscapes, there’s plenty to do, explore and discover for the entire family.
Active families who enjoy trekking, cycling and rock-climbing will love Southern China. Boasting stunning natural scenery, this remote yet accessible part of the country offers the ideal excuse to bring out the sports gear. With hikes along the famous Dragon’s Backbone rice terraces, visits to remote villages and bicycle tours through spectacular karst formations, a trip to this region promises both outdoor fun and cultural immersion.
Laid-back lure of Laos
Laos is a great place to unwind. Family life and travelling with children can be stressful enough, but Laos’ laid-back atmosphere and slow pace of life make it a great destination for a family-friendly holiday in Asia. Often overshadowed by many of its neighbouring countries, this landlocked nation is relatively undeveloped but its unspoilt beauty, genuine people and lively traditions are a big part of the country’s charm, making for a truly authentic experience.
One of the best ways to get a taste of the local culture is on an authentic homestay in a rural village. Amidst the lush and peaceful countryside, experience the local way of life, exchanging stories, helping out with daily tasks and taking part in cultural ceremonies.
For the more creative, an afternoon at the Living Craft Centre in Luang Prabang offers a hands-on approach for the whole family to learn the ins and outs of the country’s renowned hand-woven textiles. From silk worms to intricately crafted fabrics, in one afternoon you and your family will have an interactive introduction to this country’s long-established silk production and hand-dying techniques..
Mixing it up in Hong Kong
Hong Kong offers the ideal family-friendly holiday in Asia and is a fantastic place to mix and match different activities without travelling far. The island’s extensive and easy-to-navigate public transport system allows for more time exploring whilst its fantastic shopping options and array of world-class food will keep the whole family happy.
With a couple of theme parks on its doorstep, Hong Kong is an easy destination to keep children entertained. Make your kid’s dreams come true at Disneyland Hong Kong where they can meet Mickey and Woody or discover the animal exhibits and thrilling rides at the Ocean Park Hong Kong.
For more outdoorsy types, Hong Kong also boasts numerous hiking trails and walks. Get a new perspective and travel to the nearby Global Geopark to discover the millions of years’ old rock formations.
Cultural immersion in Japan
From temples set in splendid gardens, to traditional teahouses and geishas, Kyoto in Japan is a great destination all year round for a family-friendly holiday in Asia.
No matter age or musical skills, embrace your inner Ringo and feel the rhythm at a traditional Taiko lesson. Learn the basics of these Japanese drums whilst hearing about the instrument’s heritage, before listening to an inspiring live performance by a group of professionals.
Those who want to escape Kyoto’s tourist crowds and get a taste of the area’s culinary culture by travelling to a local farm in Ogi Village. Step back in time as you find out about the country’s ubiquitous rice cultivation and try your hand at making glutinous Mochi rice cakes.
Whether you’re travelling with youngsters or the elderly, it’s evident travel changes lives regardless of age. Reach out to Buffalo Tours and let us help you organise a tailor-made family-friendly holiday in Asia that will make all your loved ones happy. Also, check out our suggestions of engaging activities for a Vietnam Family Holiday.