Travel tips for families: part 2

A few days ago I gave you my best travel tips, and now I want to share some thoughts on Asian holiday locations with kids. This list is, of course, totally subjective, and opinions change wildly depending on the age of your kids, who you’re traveling with (friends, ayis, grandparents, or just the core fam), and what type of place you stay at. So, take my comments with a grain of salt, and remember that the experiences are based on having a child under three coming along for the ride.

Places we’ve loved with kids:

  • Thailand! (with the exception of Bangkok) It’s hard to beat Thailand in almost every way. The hospitality is good, the weather is great, the Thai people love kids, and the food is amazing.
  • Siem Reap, Cambodia: We loved Cambodia and the Cambodian people. It is a really poor country, but they are very welcoming of kids.
  • Australia: Sydney and Cairns are hard to beat for family travel in my opinion. The Aussie way of life is very appealing to me, and everyone’s laid-back nature made it easy to feel at home in Australia even when our son was misbehaving during some very early terrible twos.
  • Yangshuo, China: A beautiful part of China that is peaceful, pretty, and the people love kids.
  • Vietnam: Hoi’An was a beautiful and restful place to visit. While hard to get to, the payoff was a relaxing vacation by the water. The Vietnamese people are very friendly, and you guessed it—they love children.
  • Kyoto: Somehow Kyoto was easier to get around than Tokyo. It felt walkable and peaceful, the essence of what I expected Japan to be.
  • Singapore: while I didn’t fall in love with Singapore the way others did, I think it’s an easy city with kids and we plan to return in a few weeks to explore more of the sights.

Places we would avoid with small kids:

  • Tokyo
  • Seoul
  • Bangkok
  • Hong Kong
  • Beijing

Basically, I find almost any big city hard to deal with when you have little kids. I made the mistake of thinking I could buy diapers in Tokyo and my husband had to search half a dozen stores before we found one that carried them. The Japanese are an aging society and children don’t feel as catered to as they do in places like Shanghai.

I know many people will strongly disagree about Hong Kong, and I hope we can visit again to prove myself wrong. But the steep hills and divided land made it difficult to get around easily with a stroller.

So that’s my list! We haven’t hit every major destination, but we’ve done our fair share here in Asia. What would you add to the must-do list with kids? What cities do you wish you could revisit when the kids were a bit older?

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