South East Asia is the perfect region of Asia for family travel. You are spoiled for choice with the countries in SE-Asia.
Thailand with kids
Where is the best place for family holiday in Thailand? You are spoiled for choice in Thailand! It really depends on what you would like to do. Irrespective of the location your choice for a family trip to Thailand you can be guaranteed the cuisine will be unbelievable, that you can get an amazing massage for $10 and that there are so many family-friendly resorts and hotels you might feel overwhelmed!
You can get homestays with ease, all the big-name hotel chains and many family-focused resorts. I love a kids clubs! I found during our most recent stay (October 2017) some resorts are being a little cheeky with what they call a “kids club”. On more than one occasion, the promised Thai resort with kids club was literally a boxy tiny room with no supervision.
Best beach locations in Thailand
The famous places in Thailand with kids include beachside areas of Samui, Phuket, Krabi and the Phi Phi islands.
The capital city in Bangkok offers many choices for a great family holiday. There are many serviced apartments on offer and large hotels. The shopping is sensational and for all intensive purposes are in a cosmopolitan city.
The areas in northern Thailand like Chiang Mai make for a more active family holiday in Thailand. The hill tribe areas surrounding Chiang Mai are beautiful but it is careful to be respectful and there are many ethical issues associated with trekking around the areas of hill tribes in Chiang Mai or the golden triangle area. We experienced the beautiful area of Hua Hin and
Indonesia with kids
Indonesia, most notably the island of Bali is full of many family resorts, there are so many activities for families and kids, making it an ideal family holiday location. Bali with kids is easy and the perfect “gateway” country to catching the family travel bug!
We are from Perth, Australia, so have taken advantage of our proximity to Bali on countless occasions. For us it is an ideal location for a short family break. The flight is swift, and often cheap, from Perth, it is just under 4-hour flight time to Denpasar and we can snag flights for $150-200 return. If you are in northern Australia, Darwin, the flight is a meer 2.5hours and prices are even cheaper. From the east coast of Australia Bali if a little further, but still a very manageable distance. Flight cost can also be extremely low, $200-300 return is not uncommon.
The Balinese are a very open and welcoming people. They rely on tourism to survive. Obviously, there have been some tragic events in Bali that have led to periods of little to no tourism. The Balinese are extremely resilient and recover.
Lately, the Agung Volcano has led to air travel disruption and disruption to many planned holidays. It is very important that if you book a holiday to Bali to get travel insurance as soon as possible. You would be wise to ensure there you have insurance cover for natural disasters such as volcanic ash clouds.
The majority of Balinese are Balinese Hinduists.
Gili Islands & Lombok
Given Bali’s popularity, some families are looking for a less ‘touristy’ experiences. The island of Lombok and the smaller Gili Islands make a perfect alternative or in addition to a family trip to Bali.
There are three small islands off Lombok known as The Gilis. They are known for their beautiful palm-fringed beaches, coral reef, diving site and surfing areas.
Gili Trawangan is the largest of the three Gili islands. It is the party island, it is the most developed and has the best selection of food and accommodation establishments. It is also the cheapest place in the entire world to learn how to dive. It is an excellent place for diving.
Bottom line: Is Gili Trawangan good for families? Sure! It is big enough to get away from the partying backpackers. Although, it is not a recommended location for relaxing or full of family-style resorts.
Gili Meno is the smallest of the three Gili islands and is known as the honeymoon location of the three Gilis. It has the reputation for being the most relaxing and quiet of the three islands. It has a sizeable sea turtle population that can be snorkeled with. There are not many food choices and other than a few resorts and thatched huts along the beach full of couples, there is little else.
Bottom line: Is Gili Meno good for families? It is very quiet and privacy is a given. The vast majority of visitors are loved-up couples on their honeymoon or a romantic short escape, if you go with kids, you might get the distinct feeling you are exactly not wanted! Although Air Meno makes a great day trip from the bigger two islands.
Gili Airbok or Gili Air is known as the chill island. Not relaxing as such, think more like a Sunday session at the bar. There are lots of stoner-type establishments, Bob Marley tunes and Bintangs by the beach. Like the other islands there are many dive sites, most notably there is a sunken Japanese WWII shipwreck that you can explore. There are no clubs and no party atmosphere like G. Trawangan. There is more choice with restaurants and accommodation when compared with Gili Meno.
Bottom line: Is Gili Air good for families? Yes! Of the 3 islands, it probably has the best of both worlds. Choice and a relaxing atmosphere.