FAMILY FRIENDLY DESTInATIONS in the East
Bali: Beaches and boats
The tropical island of Bali is renowned for its friendly and child-loving locals – a relaxed attitude pervades every area of the culture and little ones are welcomed with open arms.
The beaches across the island are magical for young visitors – our favourites include Sanur Beach with its softly lapping surf, and the fun surf schools of Kuta Beach. There is a plethora of outdoor activities to be found – around Ubud is the Ubud Monkey Forest, an Indiana Jones-style landscape of temples and monkeys, as well as the Bali Bird Park with its exotic reptiles.
Sail with your children into the sunset flanked by leaping dolphins on the northern coast of Lovina. Visiting temples is fun for all ages at Goa Gajah, where you enter a hermit cave through the jaws of a monster, and the scenic jungle Pura Luhur Bakutau.
The Jungle Book
Corbett National Park in India’s Uttarakhand is a wildlife haven and an eye-opening Jungle Book experience for all the family. Established in 1936 by Jim Corbett, the protected forest offers a journey into learning about conservation, as well as an adventure holiday. Nestled in the Himalayan foothills, Jim’s Jungle Retreat, has a passion for introducing young people to wildlife at its heart. For an exciting start, take a train from Old Delhi Railway Station and be met by one of the camp’s jeeps.
Stay in the Family Cottage with its verandah and birdsong-filled surroundings. The camp’s Young Ranger’s Programme is aimed to take kids on river walks to track animals, butterfly and village walks, as well as shown wildlife feature films and inspiring sessions with resident naturalists. Finish your visit with a picnic at the beautiful Corbett Waterfalls.
The land of imagination
Tthe Land of The Rising Sun is bursting with memorable attractions for junior explorers. Tokyo is a dizzying and exciting visual treat for young imaginations. The family-friendly Keio Plaza, with its rooftop pool and downtown location, is the perfect base to explore the legendary theme parks of the city. Cartoons spring to life at Hello Kitty Land and Kidzania.
Older children will love the thrills of Fuji-Q Highland Roller Coaster Park with its jaw-dropping views of Mount Fuji and the beautiful dolphin park at Hakkeijima. Family walks through nature are found at the Imperial Palace East Gardens. Jump on the bullet train and into the world of Harry Potter at Osaka Universal Studios with its Gladrags Wizardwear and Wand Studio among others
The old Imperial city of Kyoto is a wonderland of sights for young eyes, from the towering Arashiyama Bamboo Grove with its chance to row down the Hozugawa River and explore the Monkey Park.
A feast for all the family
For a truly off-beat destination for all the family, head to the Chinese Himalayan foothills. The UNESCO World Heritage town of Lijiang is a warm and welcoming paradise in the shadow of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Expand imaginations and horizons with breathtaking scenery and culture. The tree-lined cobbled streets echo with the merchants and warriors of the Silk Route. Children can learn about the Ancient Tea Horse Caravan Trail to Tibet, as well as ride horses around the shimmering Lashihai and enjoy gentle hikes.
The verdant alpine scenery has some of the cleanest air in the world and the river rafting is fabulous. Lijiang’s Dayan Old Town is called the ‘Venice of the Orient’ and water abounds; family bonding is assured while kayaking on the emerald lakes among a thousand birds from far-off lands.
A day trip to the Thousand Tortoise Mountain is something to remember – the red sandstone formations are climbed barefoot while the Great Wall hike, a few hours’ drive away, is the ultimate family thrill. Stretching 10 kilometres over five hours between Simatai to Jinshanling, this once-in-a-lifetime experience is suitable for children over eight years.
Beaches to jungles
Thailand is world famous for its friendly and welcoming people. Referred to as the ‘Land of Smiles’, Thailand is very welcoming to children; this plus the weather and activities make it a fantastic place for the whole family to enjoy.
Head to Phuket in the southwest or Koh Samui in the southeast for some of the best sandy beaches. Phuket is popular with families, with a beach to suit everyone, whether you are looking for quiet relaxation or lively activities. Splash Jungle Water Park is a fun day out for families and there are many trips to explore nearby islands. Kids will love a visit to the elephant sanctuaries of Chiang Mai and Koh Samui. Chiang Mai also offers trekking through the jungle, zip-lining, museums, local markets, rafting, cooking schools and much more for all the family to experience.