WE are a family of four planning to move to nz late 2009. We are planning to do a bit of travel in SE asia on the way there. I am looking for some advice for some destinations suitable for kids but not too commercialised. THe kids are 5 & 8.
#1 molster has been a member since 25/2/2009. Posts: 2
Weeell, I guess it depends by what you mean by suitable for kids. Southeast Asia is generally extremely child friendly in terms of people's attitudes and general safety, though most dangerous perhaps when it comes to transport -- for instance, there's still typically a lack of seatbelts in car backseats, say, and motorcycles are a very normal mode of transport, supplied with helmets that'd crack like eggs if they hit a crystal glass. So you want to do your research about how you're going to get around (trains are pretty great, if grotty, in Thailand and Vietnam).
If you're talking about activities -- I'd say there's plenty for kids to be entertained by in most spots in Southeast Asia, too. Whether it's touring the local wet market or swimming at gorgeous beaches, there's plenty kids will enjoy. If you're talking however about organised activities for them, such as zoos or circuses or whatever, things are quite thin outside of capital cities (hmm, and even places like Phnom Penh and Vientiane don't have that much targeted specifically toward kids).
So if it was me? I would spend a few days in Bangkok where there are quite a few kid-oriented things to do. I'd definitely visit Luang Prabang in Laos, kids or no kids, because of the scenery and cafes. And your kids might like Angkor Wat, though perhaps that'd be a tad boring at their age? And I'd definitely do a quieter island just to chill out and do some snorkelling.
Can you narrow things down a bit perhaps?
#2 sammib has been a member since 9/2/2004. Posts: 9
thanks for your reply
we are not looking for organised activities, the very loose idea is to spend a few weeks on a quiet beach then maybe head up to chiang mai and then across to luang prabang and then halong bay.
I suppose what i am looking for is any recommendations for places that are more suitable for a family with children than backpackers but not a resorty tyoe of place.
i would be very interested in any island recommendations
#3 molster has been a member since 25/2/2009. Posts: 2
It does depend on your objective. Is it to have fun? Is it to educate the kids about other lifestyles and cultures? Getting around here is in general more dangerous because of accidents. Country Fair Rides are more dangerous because there is little in the way of safety precautions. In that sense, this is a more high risk environment. My family and I took the bus to Khon Kaen our last trip there, and the driver was psychotic. Two girls got off because his driving was so erratic, and then we did too and got a van out of Kalasin. So you have to keep that in mind when moving around here. When you're an adult, you accept those risks but when you got small kids (like I do) you weigh that more.
Having said that, my daughter LOVED Koh Samet. Great time for her. And we stayed in a very nice hotel booked through AGODA in Pattaya with a private beach and infinity pool. That was good too. Basically, kids love water, so planning around water is a good idea. Kids don't like long bus rides, so planning around bussing through Laos or Cambodia is probably a bad idea.
#4 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Hhhmmm... the first time I travelled out of the country with our son who is 4 years old was last February 2012. We went to Hong Kong as a post birthday gift for him. Unfortunately, we had to leave our other son (who's then 1 year old) behind with my parents. Anyway, the best thing about this is that we were able to focus on our kid - for him to have the greatest time while on vacation at such a young age. Of course, Disneyland is the best attraction especially for him and staying in Disneyland hotel made it even more magical!
On the other hand, going to Bangkok, Thailand is a good idea. I've been there when I was a teenager so I'm not quite sure if your kids of 5 and 8 of ages will enjoy seeing the different temples but if they seem to be enjoying different sceneries, it's worth a try and an experience. You can also enjoy the temples while on a cruise.
The cuisines are quite tasty, too. Oh, and don't forget the elephants. Your kids will love to touch and even ride on them. And if you guys are up for a wildlife adventure, you can try to stay in Maesa Elephant Camp in Chiang Mai.
In addition, if beach is your concern I hear that Hua Hin Beach is very convenient and family-friendly. There are lots of activities to do and there's an ease of travel from Bangkok. However, since the beach slopes gently into the gulf, some say that it's not the best beach for swimming but it still is the best place for family with small kids.
Anyway, there a lot of suggestions still but those can be too commercialized already though that's where the fun part is. The more activities and people, the more your kids will be happy... just like in Disneyland! Have fun!
#5 jess_25 has been a member since 10/8/2012. Posts: 6