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8 things to try if you’re travelling through Asia with the family

8 things to try if you’re travelling through Asia with the family
There’s no denying Asia is a continent full of wonder and opportunity

Whether you’re looking to head off the beaten track and explore the vast landscapes in the Southeast regions, or immerse yourself in the bustle of cities such as Tokyo and Bangkok, it’s the perfect destination for all of the family. Here are eight things to consider when travelling with them through Asia:

Make the holiday fun

When you’re travelling with family – and likely some young ones – you’re going to want to inject a bit of excitement into your trip. Don’t hesitate to find where the biggest and best attractions are in each location. Bali, for example, boasts Waterbom, said to be one of the best waterparks in the entire continent.

An added bonus? It’s in the Kuta region, which is the busiest in the country and full of things the whole family will enjoy, so consider extending your stay to explore the area to its fullest. The beach is definitely a highlight, a sprawling sandy stretch offers some incredible surfing opportunities if the kids fancy something different.

Explore the quirks of each location

Wherever you visit in Asia, there’s bound to be some peculiarities. Audley Travel highlights the cafes of Tokyo – specifically cat cafes. Yes, cat cafés. There’s a few throughout the city, all of which allow you to sit and dine with your feline friends roaming around you. It might sound undesirable, but the little ones will be fascinated.

And why not try a safari? You may not think it, but Asia boasts a variety of opportunities to traverse the lands amongst an abundance of wildlife. India and the Philippines both offer great safari opportunities.

Sample the varying foods

It has to be said that some Asian food is… strange. Take the century egg, for example. The Chinese delicacy is a boiled egg which is soaked in a saline solution for months, the result being a blackened and slimy dish which is usually only tackled by the bravest of travellers – but one of you might quite literally step up to the plate.

That isn’t to say that all Asian food is this challenging, though. In fact, the continent boasts some of the best cuisine in the world, and you’ll find some of the best examples on the street. India’s street vendors are often cooking up some of the finest dishes around, ranging from fragrant vegetable samosas to spicy chilli paneer. The best part? Street food never breaks the bank.

 Go to the beach

 Okay, if you’re making the effort to travel to Asia you might want to do something a bit more exciting than visit the beach. Think again. The aforementioned Kuta beach isn’t the only hotspot in the continent – there are countless sandy havens that offer either a vibrant and busy atmosphere or a secluded and quiet hideaway.

Take Thailand’s Koh Phangan, for example. The region is a cluster of islands that hide some of the quietest yet most beautiful beaches in the whole of Asia. Turquoise waters lap calmly at white sands, inviting you to take a moment and relax. You’ll need some time to unwind, and this may be the best place to do it.

Discover some natural wonders

Some of the most beautiful attractions in Asia appeared all by themselves. You’ll come across countless examples of natural beauty throughout the continent – Ha Long Bay in Vietnam is a popular example. The scatter of islands and limestone pillars gives way to a breathtaking pool of blue waters, where you’ll often see small boats sailing through peacefully.

And, if your family is the adventurous type, Palawan’s underground river is a must-visit. It was recently named one of the new 7 wonders of the world, and for good reason – you’re able to sail along nearly two kilometres of the fascinating channel. You’ll find some waterfalls inside the cave, as well as bats – so it’s probably best visited if you’re brave enough. But, regardless, it’s worth it.

Learn about each country’s history

You can’t visit any country in Asia without learning an abundance of knowledge about its respective history, whether you go looking for it or not. That’s because it’s often embraced by locals, with traditions being carried through to the current day. Visit Kyoto in Japan and you’ll find several wondrous Buddhist temples, where people still visit to pray and respect Buddha amongst the crowds of tourists.

One of the most fascinating ways to learn about history is by exploring Thailand’s Ayutthaya. Mostly unvisited and skipped over by tourists, the now-uninhabited area was once the biggest city in the entire world, until the Burmese invasion of 1767 left it burnt to the ground. Now, it stands magnificent as a collection of ruins, the intricate details still visible on each building. It’s a fascinating area to visit, and the kids will love having the opportunity to explore a lost city.

Visit Disneyland

Were you aware there’s a Disneyland in Asia? There is, and it’s amazing. Tokyo Disneyland was the first Disney-themed park to be built outside of the United States, opening in 1985 and becoming a wildly popular tourist destination that still thrives today.

It isn’t completely different from the ones you’re probably aware of – Cinderella’s Castle, much like its Orlando counterpart, is the centrepiece of the park. There’s also the chance to ride the cherished attractions you may have already ridden – Big Thunder Mountain and It’s a Small World, for example – but there’s still plenty of unique experiences to be had that you won’t find in any other of the parks.

Have time for a spot of shopping

Whether it be in a marketplace or in a bustling mall, you’ll have to make time for a spot of shopping. It’s arguably one of the best ways to experience a country’s culture, especially when strolling through a vibrant market with vendors selling everything from food to clothes – Bangkok’s Chatuchak weekend market is a brilliant example, a colourful collection of busy stalls for you to explore.

And it may come as a surprise to you, but Asia boasts some of the biggest malls in the world. The Philippines’ SM City North Edsa is a popular example, being the biggest in the country and having over 800 stores to explore. Sure, it might not sound like the exotic experience you’re looking for, but it’s a perfect opportunity to bring something home for your loved ones whilst witnessing just how varied a continent Asia truly is.

About The Author

Mike Cowton

Michael Cowton, an outdoors writer, editor and photographer with a passion for nature-based travel and wildlife. He is a former editor of EcoTravel, Outdoor Pursuits, Camping, Lakeland Walker and Which Motorcaravan magazines, and national newspaper journalist.

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