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For something different from the typical beach getaway, take the family away to somewhere unique. Asia boasts some of the most exciting and stunning locations on the planet, regardless of whether it’s a bustling city or a secluded island. Here are six of the best Asian destinations your whole family is sure to enjoy.
You may not have even heard of it, but Jaipur is one of India’s must-sees. A lavish city full of gorgeous architecture and rich culture, you’ll find it’s easy to get lost in the sheer number of things to do. There’s something for all the family, too – whereas the parents may enjoy touring the Palace of Mirrors in the Amber Fort, the little ones will be eager to tour the abundance of street food stalls available in the city.
It’s in Jaipur that you’ll be able to experience one of the most genuine cultural moments, too – by staying in the home of a local family. Here, you’ll have a unique experience. Homestays in India are best described asimmersive, as you're likely to get cooking lessons (so you’ll be able to make some of that aforementioned street food for yourself) and come together with families and friends in the community in the evening, who will share stories that will intrigue both you and the kids.
Bali is usually a considered a tranquil getaway for the traveler looking to head off the beaten track, but Kuta offers something much different. It has quickly become a hotspot for tourists – especially families – that offers a harmonious balance between natural calmness and vibrant energy. For example, sitting by the beautiful beach is one of Asia’s best waterparks. Waterbom Bali is a must visit for any family looking to have some pure, unadulterated fun.
There’s also the opportunity to try your hand at surfing. Kuta’s waters are renowned for their perfect conditions, so why not let the little ones try their hand at something unique? That’s not to say Kuta is all fun and games, though – take a step back and explore the two famed temples in the city, both equally as stunning and offering a wealth of historical value.
You’ll find Tokyo will become a sprawling playground – and it’s not just for the children. It’s easy to become immersed in the neon lights of the city center, where technology is king and multi-storey gadget stores tower on every street. Yamada-Denki LABI is one example. It’s not only one of the best gadget shops in Tokyo, but it’s housed in a huge red and white building in the Sotokanda district with its tubed escalators on the side of the building giving the impression of a huge hamster cage.
Tokyo is full of these eccentricities – there’s an abundance of strange cafes in the city for you to dine in, too. These range from the increasingly popular cat cafes (which are now popping up all over the world) to the N3331 café, sandwiched between two train tracks. Here you’ll be able to enjoy a beverage whilst watching commuters zoom past all day long. You might get bored, but this will be one of the fascinating things your kids will ever see in their lives.
For an introduction to a city that’s full to the brim of vibrant culture, look no further than Bangkok. You’ll find incredible experiences on both sides of the Chao Phraya River – as well as upon it – and they’re all as suited to you as they are to the little ones. Take the Grand Palace, for example. There’s plenty of glorious architecture to be struck by here at the former residence of the country’s Kings, and the kids will be satisfied enough with that fact.
In the evening, consider cruising down the aforementioned Chao Phraya River. It’s an unforgettable experience being able to sail through the city and see the majestic landmarks that stand on the water’s edge. It’s a luxury that you’ll all likely never forget. The experience was even impressive enough to convince an anti-Bangkok traveler he’d been wrong all along about the city.
For a more peaceful and relaxed family holiday than the usual, Hanoi is the place to go. The Vietnam capital doesn’t feel much like a capital at all –it’s serene and laidback, and you’re able to go with the flow and explore at your own pace. The HoanKiem Lake is a perfect spot to take a quiet stroll, and let the atmosphere wash over you as the breeze flows between the giant trees.
If the kids are looking for something a bit upbeat, Hanoi isn’t completely void. The Vinpearl Water Park sits in the center of the city inside a shopping mall like a hidden paradise –colourful slides intertwine amongst cascading water features to create an unrestricted haven for the little ones. For something a bit more creative, head to Bat Trang Ceramic Village, where you’ll be able to try your hand at crafting your own ceramic products. These little peculiarities make for an intoxicating city full of wonder.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Head to Western Asia (also technically the tip of Middle East) for a true taste of luxury. Dubai is perhaps the most quickly-developed city in the world, with towering skyscrapers and lavish resorts seemingly appearing by the day. The feats of engineering here are breathtaking – the BurjKhalifa sits in the center of it all, boasting the title of the tallest building in the entire world. Next to it lays the Dubai Mall, the biggest mall in the world, where you’ll likely spend all day exploring its attractions – including the immense aquarium.
Perhaps the most alluring attractions in Dubai are the Palm Islands, the three manmade islands that are instantly recognizable. The Atlantis hotel, residing on Palm Jumeriah, is the place to go – a monumental hotel that is as costly as it is luxurious, you’ll also find the Aquaventure waterpark here. It’s safe to say your inner child will be unleashed as you discover the incredibly unique and thrilling attractions awaiting you.