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How to Plan a 2-Week Family Trip to Southeast Asia

How to Plan a 2-Week Family Trip to Southeast Asia

By Chris QuanUpdated Jan. 16, 2024

If you're looking for ideas for an exotic family trip with your kids, you might want to check out our article...

Southeast Asia is a destination where both parents and kids can relax and be entertained in many ways as well as gain different cultural perspectives.

Two weeks is the Southeast Asia trip length chosen by most families with children. We cover more specific advice and planning tips for a 2-week family trip below…

Where to Go for a 2-Week Family Vacation in Southeast Asia

A 2-week trip could comfortably cover two or three countries in Southeast Asia. Visiting three countries is more popular.

2 Weeks for 3 Countries

For families traveling to Southeast Asia for the first time, the best travel combination for 2 weeks is Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Thailand, without a doubt, is the most popular destination in Southeast Asia. It is a world of fun for children. Elephant Parks in Chiang Mai, cooking classes, jungle walks in Khao Yai National Park to find wildlife, Bangkok's "railway market" and long-tail boat experiences, floating houses in Kanchanaburi, and more are all activities that parents and children can do together.

Meet elephants in Thailand Meet elephants in Thailand

Vietnam is a land of adventure with rustic charm. Parents can spend an exciting and fun time with kids kayaking, swimming, and exploring hidden caves in Halong Bay, going on a rafting adventure in Pu Luong Nature Reserve, taking a tricycle to explore Hanoi's Old Quarter for egg coffee, Vietnamese sandwiches, and other local food...

Kayaking in Halong Bay in Vietnam Kayaking in Halong Bay with Kids

In Cambodia, take your children on a cultural journey to explore Angkor Wat and discover its charm and importance that has made it the emblem on the Cambodian flag. An ox cart ride could be also an interesting experience for your family trip.

Angkor Wat in Cambodia Explore Angkor Wat's history and culture with kids

2 Weeks for 2 Countries

If you want a more relaxed travel pace, visiting two countries in 2 weeks is ideal.

We recommend these two combinations: 1) Thailand and Cambodia, 2) Vietnam and Cambodia. Thailand offers more vibrant activities, while Vietnam features slow-paced lifestyles and outdoor adventures.

It is possible to visit Thailand and Vietnam in 2 weeks but it is a little rushed. 

Cambodia tourism focuses on Angkor, and you only need to spend an extra two or three days to see its highlights. Angkor Wat is indeed a sight to behold, which you will not see in other countries.

Or, if you have other destinations you're interested in, like Bali or Singapore, you can contact us by sending your ideas, travel time available, group size, etc. We will make a tour plan to suit your family.

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Itinerary Ideas: The Best 3 Options for Families with Kids

Here are the three most popular itinerary ideas for a SE Asia family trip. What we cover below are just samples. If you have any changes you want to make, just contact us. All of our tours can be modified according to your requirements.

1. Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia

This is the most chosen itinerary. It takes at least 15 days to cover all the major cities' classic highlights and have some quality time for family activities like having a close encounter with elephants in a jungle in Chiang Mai in Thailand, a cruise on Halong Bay with swimming, fishing, and kayaking experiences, meeting locals in Mekong Delta's villages, and enjoying a fascinating folk song performance...

  • Days 1–2: Bangkok, Thailand, (arrival and city sightseeing — Grand Palace, China Town, a long-tail boat ride)
  • Days 3–5: Chiang Mai, Thailand (meet elephants in a jungle, food and flower market, temples, a rickshaw ride...)
  • Days 6–7: Hanoi, Vietnam (city exploration — iconic buildings, food hunting in the old town, water puppet performance...)
  • Days 8–9: Halong Bay cruise with kayaking, swimming, and hidden cave exploration
  • Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (city sightseeing — Vietnam War relics, city landmark buildings...)
  • Day 11: Mekong Delta (a motorboat ride on the Mekong, visit local villages, watch a folk song performance...)
  • Days 12–14: Siem Reap, Cambodia (Angkor Wat, an ox cart ride, visit a tribe whose territory was once a hub for the elephant trade)
  • Day 15: Departure

This 15-day itinerary doesn't include beach time. If you are looking for a beach holiday (aspect), you may need to add 3–4 days. See our 19-Day Highlights of Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

2. Vietnam and Cambodia

A trip to Vietnam and Cambodia takes at least 12–14 days. Vietnam is more suitable for parents who would enjoy some peaceful countryside exploration with some outdoor adventures with kids.

In Vietnam, with kids, you are recommended to spend more days on Halong Bay for more activities like discovering its beaches, cycling experience, and an onboard cooking class.

You'd also travel to central Vietnam to explore Hoi An Ancient Town, where you could try making Vietnamese lanterns with your children. There, you could also enjoy the sun on the beaches of Vietnam.

In Cambodia, besides Angkor Wat, there are more activities for kids and parents like hiking in Kbal Spean jungle and having a bike adventure to a tropical sunset viewpoint.

  • Days 1–2: Hanoi, Vietnam (arrival and city sightseeing with a cyclo tour)
  • Days 3–5: Halong Bay cruise with kayaking, cave exploring, and cycling experience
  • Day 6: Hoi An town sightseeing with a Vietnamese lantern making experience
  • Days 7–8: Beach time in Da Nang
  • Days 9–10: Ho Chi Minh and Mekong Delta exploration
  • Days 11–14: Siem Reap, Cambodia (Angkor Wat, a village quad bike ride…)

Find the best time to visit Vietnam and Cambodia and check Itinerary options for 2 weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia>>>

3. Thailand and Cambodia

If your kids like water sports such as snorkeling and would look forward to elephants more, then Thailand and Cambodia are more recommended.

A trip to Thailand and Cambodia takes at least 11 days.

In Thailand, children can expect a close encounter with elephants in a jungle. Parents and kids can have some quality beach time on Phuket and the nearby Phi Phi Islands, which are best for swimming and snorkeling. You can also try some new things like a Thai cooking class.

In Cambodia, visit Angkor Wat, take an ox cart ride, and enjoy a quiet time by a lake at sunset in Siem Reap.

  • Days 1–2: Bangkok (Grand Palace, renowned temples, China Town)
  • Days 3–5: Siem Reap (Angkor Wat and other famous cultural sites)
  • Days 6–8: Chiang Mai (Elephant Rescue Park, a Thai cooking class, temples)
  • Days 9–11: Phuket beach time and seaside activities

Check more itinerary ideas in 2-Week Thailand-and-Cambodia Itineraries>>>

How to Choose a Southeast Asia Hotel for Your Family

Treehouse

In most Southeast Asian countries, their hotels' standard and ratings are similar to Western countries'.

For cities with a strong night market culture, like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Hanoi, you could choose a hotel in the downtown area to make it more convenient to bring your kids to a night market.

If you want to have special and unique accommodation experiences, Thailand should be your target. You would need to go to some off-the-beaten-path places though, like Kanchanaburi, where you can find floating houses, and Khao Sok National Park with its jungle tree house experience.

If you have Phuket Island in your itinerary, you can choose different beaches to stay near according to your needs. For example, if you want a lively beach with various options for shopping, food, and entertainment, then we suggest you stay near Patong Beach. If you want a quiet environment, then Karan Beach or Kata Beach are two good options. See more on Where to Stay in Phuket — 16 Best Beaches in Phuket

Our travel advisors can recommend suitable hotels according to your specific accommodation needs, including location requirements, hotel facilities, hotel environment, etc. Just contact us.

Best Times to Visit Southeast Asia

Enjoy beach time on sunny days Enjoy beach time on sunny days

Southeast Asia generally offers its best weather conditions from November to February, which is just perfect for a tropical winter vacation (in the northern hemisphere).

The Christmas and New Year holiday period is the peak season. Early booking is highly recommended. December 22 to January 3 is the most expensive time to go. Hotel prices can increase by 2–3 times. For more weather details in Southeast Asia, check in Southeast Asia Weather in December>>>

Many luxury hotels and beach resorts often impose minimum-stay restrictions (usually more than 3 nights), and a compulsory dinner on the day of Christmas and New Year's Eve.

For more tips for a family trip to Southeast Asia in the Christmas / New Year holidays, see 20 Expert Tips for Christmas 2024

Summer holidays can be a cost-efficient time for a trip to Southeast Asia, because it is the rainy season. But, usually, this only means short afternoon downpours, with the rest of the day sunny. As a bonus, you would enjoy less-crowded beaches and temples.

>>>Best Times to Visit Southeast Asia, Worst Times, Rainy Season...

Costs for a Family Trip to Southeast Asia

A private tour is an affordable luxury in Southeast Asia, which with us would include high-quality and worry-free service and planning.

Here are the typical prices for a private tour in Southeast Asia for a general idea:

  • $200–250 per person per day for adults and 30%–50% off for a kid younger than 10 years old, including 4- or 5-star hotels, a private guide, private transport, sightseeing fees, accommodation, and flights within Southeast Asia.

Thus, for a private family trip with 2 adults and 2 kids, the cost for a 2-week trip in Southeast Asia would be about USD 10,000 to USD 12,000. International airfares are not included.

Our private tours are a hassle-free solution to making family trip arrangements. Our private transfers are by far the most convenient choice for a trip with kids and much baggage.

With Asia Highlights, you could enjoy free tour cancellations (except your international flights from/to your country) up to 22 days before departure.

All our tours below can be adjusted based on your family's interests, hotel preferences, transportation needs, and other requirements.

Tips for a Family Trip to Southeast Asia

1. Southeast Asia is warm all year round. Pack light, breathable clothing. If you have a trip to the jungle, be prepared with mosquito spray and some light leggings or long trousers, etc. to cover your skin.

2. Southeast Asian food features many sweet and sour dishes that are popular with children, for example, Thailand's mango sticky rice. There will be some spiciness. Ask the waiter about spiciness when you order and they may be able to make some dishes less spicy or suggest alternatives. Western restaurants are also easy to find if your children do not adapt well to the local tastes.

Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)

  • Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
  • Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
  • Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
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