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Top 10 Kid-Friendly Destinations in Southeast Asia 2024

By RitaUpdated Jan. 15, 2024

Looking for a relaxing tropical island retreat? Craving an exotic foodie adventure? Eager to go wild and encounter animals? Southeast Asia has it all.

With abundant choices, do you find yourself overwhelmed when selecting a family destination with engaging activities and educational experiences? Get ready to discover the top 10 family-friendly destinations, perfect for graduation celebrations and big family reunions.

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1. Bangkok, Thailand: Bustling Life with Food Adventures

  • Suggested duration: 2-3 days
  • Best time to visit: November to April
Songkran, Thailand

As the gateway to Thailand, Bangkok is a city not to be missed.

You can step back in time in the Grand Palace, Wat Arun and Wat Pho. In these iconic temples, you'll have chances to hear the monks chanting to pray for peace and love.

To get close to locals, jump on a longtail boat for the famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Market or explore the disappearing railway markets.

Besides, food is another way to experience Bangkok's magic. Follow our local guide to hidden alleys with authentic Thai food or hit up the night markets for a feast!

Have you ever participated in a water fight with thousands of people? If you happen to visit in April, immerse yourselves in the grand water fights during the Songkran Festival.

Check out how to plan a family trip to Southeast Asia>>>

2. Phuket, Thailand: Typical Tropical Island Experiences

  • Suggested duration: 3-5 days
  • Best time to visit: November to April
Phi Phi islandsPhi Phi islands

Phuket stands out as an ideal family destination, thanks to its picturesque beaches, diverse water activities, and convenient accessibility. Family-friendly hotels and resorts are easily found on the Kata and Karon Beach.

Don't miss out on the island-hopping tours—imagine canoeing through sea caves in Phang Nga Bay, snorkeling in Similan Island, and exploring Phiphi Island on a private speedboat.

For a unique experience, glide through the jungle treetops in Phuket. If you like, extend 2 to 3 days to Koh Sok National Park. You can trek through the rainforest and stay overnight at a Thai-style private tree house or floating raft house.

If you're seeking a sun-soaked beach experience in the summer, consider visiting Koh Samui, as Phuket experiences its rainy season from July to September.

Get more tips in our article: How to Plan Your First Trip to Thailand — 7 Easy Steps.

3. Chiang Mai, Thailand: Interaction with Elephants

  • Suggested duration: 2-3 days
  • Best time to visit: November to April

Escape to the serene mountains of Chiang Mai for an unforgettable family adventure filled with cultural wonders.

One of the highlights of the tour is interacting with elephants in the jungle. During the sanctuary, you can feed, play with, and bathe adult and baby elephants.

For outdoor lovers, you can venture into Doi Inthanon National Park and take a 3-hour light hike to see majestic mountains and waterfalls. If you love experiencing unique cultures, visit the hilltop Karen tribes. You can experience the zip lining over the jungle in Chiang Mai as well.

To experience the local life, you can partake in the morning almsgiving ceremony, visit the morning flower markets and take a Thai cooking class.

Get more ideas on planning a family trip to Thailand. Or you can check the sample itineraries of Thailand for 10 days, 12 days, 14 days and 21 days >>>

4. Hoi An, Vietnam: Atmospheric Ancient Town Full of Interactive Activities

  • Suggested duration: 2-3 days
  • Best time to visit: February to July
Farming activities in Hoi An

The charming town of Hoi An, with its lantern-lit streets, immerses families in Vietnamese culture through hands-on activities.

Crafting lanterns together is a delightful experience suitable for all ages. If you're travelling on the 14th day of a lunar month, you can float lanterns with best wishes as well.

You can visit a local family, help them with farming activities, and then cook authentic Vietnamese dishes together. You can also choose to paddle a Vietnamese basket boat to a fishing village and try your hand at casting local fishing nets.

Cap off an energetic day by unwinding at Jack's Cat Cafe, a heartwarming rescue center for cats. Conclude your day with an evening foodie walk around Hoi An while the colorful lanterns light up the night.

Suggested read: How to Plan an Incredible Family Trip to Vietnam.

5. Halong Bay, Vietnam: Relaxing Boat Trip with Rich Outdoor Fun

  • Suggested duration: 2-3 days
  • Best time to visit: March to July

Unlike regular cruises, Halong Bay boat trips offer a perfect blend of serenity and excitement. Parents enjoy peaceful sunrises and sunsets, while active teenagers dive into exploration.

Children can discover limestone caves, engage in kayaking adventures, and participate in cooking classes aboard the cruise. At night, you can have fun with squid fishing or indulge in a movie night.

For family travels, private junk boats are perfect for unwinding and spending quality time together, away from the usual hustle and bustle. A three-day cruise also allows you to go off-the-beaten tracks in Halong Bay.

6. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Cu Chi Tunnels and Mekong Delta

  • Suggested duration: 2-3 days
  • Best time to visit: December to April
Rowing a small boat into the grove of the Mekong Delta

Ho Chi Minh City, a dynamic metropolis, blends French architecture, Vietnam War relics and provides excellent access to the Mekong Delta.

For families with kids, a visit to the War Remnants Museum promises an engaging experience through interactive exhibits. You kids can also marvel at the renowned Cu Chi Tunnels, the intricate network used during the Vietnam War.

Venturing into the Mekong Delta offers a glimpse into rustic life. You can take a sampan trip to navigate through the picturesque waterways. Or you can cycle around the countryside and pick up the seasonal fruits and vegetables.

7. Siem Reap, Cambodia: Home to Angkor Wat

  • Suggested stay: 3-4 full days
  • Best time to visit: from November to April
Angkor Wat

Siem Reap's crown jewel, Angkor Wat, invites families on a historical journey.

Our Cambodian scholars will guide you through these ruins, uncovering the stories behind them. Alternatively, you can explore lesser-known temples hidden within the jungle on a bike ride. Hot air balloon rides provide panoramic views that will offer an immersive experience for both adults and children alike.

Beyond Angkor Wat, you can also get deep into the charming countryside scenery on a sunset quad bike or take a boat trip to the stilted villages.

8. Bali, Indonesia: Cultural Escape with Beach Relaxation

  • Suggested stay: 5-7 full days
  • Best weather: from April to September

If you're dreaming of a family getaway that combines tropical beaches with cultural adventures, Bali is the place to be in Southeast Asia. Besides, Bali's best weather aligns with school-age kids' summer holidays, when other beach destinations are experiencing rainy season in SE Asia.

Picture this—cycling through lush rice fields in a charming village or taking a short hike to the serene Tegalalang Rice Terraces. Swing high for those Instagram-worthy photos that'll make your kids scream!

Let the kids get hands-on at a chocolate-making workshop. They can craft their own chocolate bars with a touch of their personality. Break away from the city chaos and head to an organic farm for some veggie harvesting. Then, try your hand at cooking traditional Indonesian food for a delightful lunch.

A Bali trip is not complete without its beach time. Your family can spend your intimate family time at our carefully selected beachfront hotels/resorts with swim-up rooms and infinity pools. Or you can take an island-hopping tour to Nusa Lembongan for exciting scuba diving.

9. Singapore: Futuristic City Life with Asia Culture

  • Suggested duration: 2-3 days
  • Best time to visit: February, June, July, August, and September
ArtScience Museum Marina Bay Sands Enjoy night view of ArtScience Museum Marina Bay Sands in Singapore

As a popular air hub in Southeast Asia, Singapore offers a window into diverse Asian cultures, complemented by top-notch travel amenities.

If the futuristic buildings of Marina Bay aren't exciting enough for you, how about watching a thrilling F1 race? You could also dive into Universal Studios for thrilling rides and hang out with your kids' favorite characters.

For more unique experiences, immerse yourself in its hawker culture with a foodie tour, say good night to wild animals on the night safari, and have breakfast with orangutans at Singapore Zoo.

Further reading: How to Plan a Trip to Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore>>>

10. Palawan, Philippines: Beach Fun Mixed Adventures

  • Best weather: from December to March
  • Suggested stay: 3–5 full days
things to do in southeast asia:diving

Palawan is the perfect destination for families with teens craving outdoor adventures away from the crowds.

In Puerto Princesa, embark on an exciting paddle into the underground Puerto Princesa Subterranean River to explore the mesmerizing limestone cave. Experience the thrill of kayaking amid rock cliffs while capturing postcard-perfect photos in El Nido.

Head to Coron Island for more exhilarating activities. Explore hidden lagoons during island-hopping adventures and dive into the vibrant marine life, including fascinating World War II Shipwrecks. For a unique evening experience, don't miss the nighttime firefly tour through the dark mangrove forests.

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