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Family-Friendly Holiday Destination in Asia: Top 10 Compared

by Staff

Top 10 Family-Friendly Asian Escapes

A family-friendly holiday is first and foremost a safe and comfortable destination, and a place where people of all ages can relax and have fun. The ten locations in Asia on our list offer that, and more.

A lot of these countries have seen very little tourism during COVID-19 and are excited to welcome people back.

Bali, Indonesia

Source: Statista

The peaceful tropical paradise of Bali is rich in relaxing and cultural experiences that would appeal to children and adults alike. If you’re looking to relax as a family, many hotels on the island offer spas, yoga classes, and Bounce Bali that are catered towards both kids and parents.

If you prefer a more active vacation with your kids, you can spend your time exploring temples, going to animal encounters (watch out for the monkeys!), or learning water sports. The well-developed tourism sector, the friendly locals, and the country’s commitment to supporting its nature will ensure a safe and enjoyable vacation for your family.

Indonesia is one of the most affordable countries in Asia, so if you’re a family of digital nomads, you’ll have a great time here. Make sure to keep an eye on the latest travel advice to Bali, and note that it’s illegal to bring certain medications into the country, such as ADHD medication.

Singapore

Number of international visitor arrivals in Singapore from 2013 to 2022
Source: Statista

This Asian country is one of the best in the region in terms of quality of life. Singapore is a country renowned for its cleanliness and safety, and offers plenty of family activities.

A mix of concrete “jungle” and… the actual jungle, the South-East Asian nation offers sights that’d surely capture the attention of kids of all ages. Attractions, such as the Universal Studios theme park, the Singapore Zoo, the S.E.A Aquarium, and many others, would ensure an exciting and safe vacation for an entire family.

To make sure your time in Singapore is hassle-free, we recommend familiarizing yourself with the local laws. For example, don’t pack chewing gum, as it’s illegal in the country, and don’t litter.

Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Number of international tourist arrivals in Vietnam, 2023
Source: Statista

The largest island in Vietnam, Phu Quoc, offers beautiful untouched landscapes of rainforests and sandy white beaches. Whilst it lacks the bustle of Singapore or Tokyo, Phu Quoc is a perfect family vacation destination if you’re looking for some peaceful, relaxing time of lying on a beach, building white sandcastles, or teaching your kids to snorkel.

If you’re looking to introduce your kids to off-the-beaten path destinations and instill a love for traveling, this island is an excellent starting point.

The island is still a somewhat undiscovered destination and its peaceful vibe makes it a safe haven. However, if the kids get bored, you can take them to the Vinvonders amusement park. To make sure your holiday is as safe as possible, always carry some form of photo ID and a copy of your visa if applicable, and respect local customs.

Koh Samui, Thailand

Parents and child at the seaside

This Thai island is a perfect first-time Asian vacation for a family. It has a well-developed tourist infrastructure, offering a plethora of hotels with swimming pools beloved by children and adults alike.

On Koh Samui, you often have a choice between lying by the pool and on the beach – something people of all ages enjoy.

That’s not to say, though, that the island doesn’t offer other activities. There’s plenty to see with your family, from the Big Buddha Temple to the Namuang Waterfalls. Not to mention, the beautiful nature and the colorful markets.

Thai locals love children, and the hospitality staff is always available to help. Just keep an eye out for pickpockets when you’re strolling through the markets, and take care when hiking.

Phuket, Thailand

YoY growth rate of tourism in Thailand, 2019 to 2022
Source: Statista

Another Thailand destination on our list is Phuket. It’s a widely popular and vibrant family vacation destination with a well-developed infrastructure.

Whether you want to spend all your time on the beach or by the pool, or feel like exploring the island, there are plenty of activities on offer. From several water parks to elephant sanctuaries and Old Town walks, there’s something for people of all ages.

Given its developed infrastructure and friendly locals, Phuket is a very safe destination for families. We recommend you avoid the tuk-tuk altogether due to the sheer number of scams and take extra care when doing water sports such as rafting, since many mountain rivers in Phuket can be quite dangerous.

Dubai, UAE

Number of tourist arrivals in Dubai, 2022
Source: Statista

Don’t let the shiny, futuristic architecture intimidate you – Dubai is an excellent family vacation destination. The theme parks like LEGOLAND Dubai and IMG Worlds of Adventure, the water parks and pools, the KidZania, and many other kid-tailored venues make it a paradise for children and adults of all ages.

For adults, there’s plenty of shopping to do: you can visit the largest mall in the world whilst kids have the time of their lives in KidZania.

The hyper-modern destination is clean and safe. However, make sure that you observe the cultural norms of the country, especially when venturing outside the tourist areas, and don’t walk barefoot.

Jeju, South Korea

Most visited tourist attractions in Jeju, South Korea, in 2022
Source: Statista

The volcanic landscape of the South Korean Jeju island is prime for exploring as a family. The unique nature of the national parks, the cool Lava Tube, and the Jeongbang Waterfall flowing directly into the sea are only a few attractions for adventurous families and are great for family bonding.

For those that prefer more traditional kids’ activities, there’s also plenty to do in Jeju, from the Loveland Park and the Aquaplanet Aquarium to all-day exploring of a tangerine farm.

The island’s nature and the well-implemented safety measures make it a safe destination for a family that’s both exciting and tranquil. However, do keep in mind that not many locals speak English, so might be worth learning a little Korean to avoid any misunderstandings.

Tokyo, Japan

Number of inbound tourists to Tokyo, 2013 to 2022
Source: Statista

Unlike many other destinations on our list, the bustling Japanese capital doesn’t offer off-the-beaten path hiking trails and white sandy beaches. However, plenty of families with kids of all ages enjoy visiting it.

With its iconic theme parks like Disneyland, DisneySea, and Yomiuri Land, the Pokemon Center, and the Sanrio Puroland, the kids would surely make a lot of memories. For those who prefer more educational entertainment, Tokyo has plenty of museums and historical sites, as well as cultural experiences.

The capital of Japan has one of the best infrastructures in the world and very clean streets, making it one of the safest cities in the world. However, do keep in mind that any big city has at least some level of crime and stay cautious.

Kyoto, Japan

Monthly number of tourists visiting Kyoto in 2022
Source: Statista

If you love the idea of taking your family to Japan but would prefer to avoid the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, consider Kyoto instead. The culture-rich city offers a plethora of opportunities to introduce your children to the local traditions like tea ceremonies and kimonos.

For a bit of fun, Kyoto also has theme parks and interactive museums, which everyone in the family would enjoy.

Most of all, though, the city of Kyoto is a peaceful and serene place where you can truly bond as a family. It offers plenty of amenities, and is considered very safe. However, be mindful of the crowds as it can get very busy during the tourist season.

The Maldives

One of the top 3 countries in Asia for quality of life, the Maldives is a shining example of a paradise-like family vacation destination. Many resorts on the islands are all-inclusive and offer beach villas tailored towards families with children who’re looking to relax and bond together.

Of course, the beautiful beaches and water activities are the islands’ primary attraction for families. However, there are plenty of clubs and activities on offer in most resorts.

One of the very few drawbacks of the Maldives as a family holiday is the length of the flights: most flights to the Maldives are quite long if you depart from a Western country. That, plus the very hot and humid weather, could make the destination a bit tricky for very young children.

Family in the Maldives

How to Make Your Asian Escape Safer for Your Family

Embarking on an Asian adventure is a dream come true for many families. However, ensuring the safety of your loved ones is always a top consideration on a vacation. Here are some of our tips on how to make your Asian family holiday as safe as possible.

Get Travel Vaccinations

In 2024, most countries don’t require proof of COVID-19 vaccination. However, there are some travel vaccinations you should consider.

Whilst there aren’t any vaccines required for any destinations on our list at present, it doesn’t mean that that’ll always be the case. For instance, many countries recommend getting a yellow fever or a hepatitis A jab when traveling to Indonesia.

Of course, the risk of contracting infection is very low. But, by taking such proactive measures, you can help mitigate such risk even more for your entire family and ensure a holiday free of preventable medical disasters.

Comply With Local Laws & Religious Observance

Some of the countries on our list are religiously conservative and deviation from their observances and customs is frowned upon. Even if tourist areas are generally tolerant, you’d likely venture outside them, where stricter rules may apply.

For instance, in the UAE, modest attire is expected. Additionally, being aware of any religious holidays during your trip can help you plan accordingly and avoid cultural misunderstandings.

It’s also a good idea to have a basic understanding of local laws and inform your young ones about them. For instance, make it clear to them that it’s not allowed to litter in Singapore.

Also, some countries outlaw public displays of affection, so be mindful of that. You might not agree with the customs and laws, but it’s best to navigate them with respect and sensitivity, as you’re a guest in their country.

Mind the Local Tap Water

Many Asian countries don't offer safe tap water
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Your family might be used to routinely drinking tap water back home, but not every Asian country has the luxury of safe tap water. In fact, only four countries on our list offer tap water that’s safe to drink, as you can see from the infographic.

A common cause of travel sickness is drinking water that’s not considered safe for human consumption. Even if tap water is considered safe to drink in this country, your digestive system might not necessarily be used to the way that water is treated, which can be quite unpleasant.

To avoid water-related illnesses on your holiday, make sure to stick to bottled water, and avoid drinks with ice if possible. You can also boil water or use water purification tablets if necessary.

Family-Friendly Holiday Destinations in Asia: Is It Worth the Trip?

A family holiday in Asia will likely be one of the best experiences of your lives. The region has a lot to offer, from beautiful nature to exciting theme parks, inspiring cultural experiences, and much more.

However, traveling as a family can be challenging, especially having to navigate safety concerns when visiting a place you’ve never been to. We hope that this guide has served you well as a starting point in this challenging journey.

Remember to take all necessary precautions. It’s a hassle, but it pays off in the long run and helps you enjoy your holiday anxiety-free!

Sources

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