Mum-approved! 8 kid-friendly destinations in Southeast Asia for family vacations

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Your little ones won't be wailing on the plane if they know they're headed to these cities with a whole lot of fun in store for the fam.

1. IPOH, MALAYSIA

You don’t have to look far for the dream family vacay.

Take a whiff of Ipoh’s glorious past in the laneways and shophouses of the charismatic old town, bring the kids to the Lost World water theme park, or hunt down the best ayam taugeh (chicken with beansprouts), Ipoh’s signature dish, in the heritage restaurants that even local Malaysian families love.

2. DA NANG, VIETNAM

Shed your impression of Vietnam as notoriously hectic – this provincial beach town is anything but.

Down at the Pham Van Dong Beach, patrolled by lifeguards for your peace of mind, you’ll find fellow families at play. When night falls, the beautifully lit Dragon Bridge is a must-see – it even spits fire every Saturday and Sunday at 9pm!

3. CHIANG MAI, THAILAND

Sure, you’ll still find families of 4 zooming past on a single motorbike in Chiang Mai. But it’s nonetheless not only safe for kids, it’s got tons to offer for families, too.

Must-dos: the elephant nature park, a temple tour, picnicing by the Huay Kaew waterfalls, craftsy activities at the Bo Sang handicraft village and more.

4. MALACCA, MALAYSIA

Most of the tourist attractions are concentrated within the city centre within walking distance of each other, where tourist information counters readily offer you any help you need.

Plus, Malacca prides itself on having the best Peranakan food in the region; or, head to the famous Chop Chung Wah, where chicken rice is served rolled into balls, for a Singapore-vs-Malaysia chicken rice showdown (the crowd is divided!).

5. HUE, VIETNAM

Hue’s (pronounced hway) legacy as Vietnam’s old imperial capital resonates even today, most notably through the glorious Citadel.

On the outskirts of Hue, experience the unique gradient hot springs – the hot spring stream divides into pools of varying temperatures. So relaxing!

6. DAVAO, PHILIPPINES

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Known for its ultra-friendly, law-abiding locals, Davao city has a no-smoking-in-public policy, which makes traveling with kids that much easier.

That’s not all – the air gets much fresher in the Eden Nature Park & Resort, 3000 feet above sea level, where you can ride a Skycycle in mid-air. Yes, the kids too.

7. PAI, THAILAND

It’s not hard for everyone in the family to love the gift of nature that is Pai.

Jump into waterfalls along with the fun-loving local kids, hike up the Pai Canyon for breathtaking views of the valleys and vistas, sample authentic street food, stay in a treehouse resort, and more.

8. PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

This Cambodian capital’s seamless blend of modern and old-world culture is what makes it so family-friendly. Beside authentically local attractions like the Royal Palace, Buddhist temples and street markets are malls, luxury hotels and amazing restaurants.

There’s even an entire edutainment complex, Kids City, with indoor wall climbing, go-karts and bumper cars, laser tag and more.

This article was first published in The Finder.

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