Here we give you our pick of the best cities in Southeast Asia for families to add to your family travel bucket list.
From the bright city lights of Singapore to the laid back calm of Luang Prabang and the hustle and bustle of Hanoi, you will find somewhere to suit your family here.
Southeast Asia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. And of course, it’s not hard to see why. Most travelers live to experience beautiful natural environments and cultures that are vastly different from their own.
There are ancient temples, natural wonders, bustling markets, and breathtaking architecture. Southeast Asia has all of this along with some of the most astounding landmarks in the world.
There’s so much to see and do that you might be wondering where to start. Which part of Southeast Asia is right for you and your family?
We’ve made a list that will help you answer that question. This will help you decide which city is best for your next vacation.
Here are a few of the best Southeast Asian cities to visit with your family.
Table of Contents
Singapore is one of the only legitimate city-states in the world today. Therefore, visiting this city is essentially the same as visiting an entire country.
Nature lovers will certainly find plenty of things to enjoy. Kids and adults alike will enjoy exploring their many gardens such as Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Singapore is also full of culturally diverse and interesting ethnic enclaves such as Chinatown and Little India. Visiting these neighborhoods is a fun way to experience several different cultures in one trip.
And if you want to see some breathtaking views, Singapore has plenty of them. Take a ride on the Singapore Flyer, Asia’s tallest Ferris Wheel, or check out some panoramic views from the Singapore Cable Car.
Click here to read our pick of the top 50 Things to do in Singapore with Kids.
Bangkok may be famous for its nightlife, but don’t worry. There are a ton of great things to do with your family as well.
For one, Bangkok is a shopper’s paradise. Siam Paragon is a massive shopping mall, and Chatuchak Market is one of the largest markets in the world.
Bangkok is also known for its magnificent palaces and temples. Wat Pho, Wat Arun, and the Grand Palace are all excellent places to experience Thai culture.
Speaking of which, you absolutely must take a street food tour while you’re there. And of course, kids will love celebrating the Thai New Year.
The citizens of Bangkok celebrate with a full-blown water fight. Afterward, you can end your Bangkok adventures by having a dinner cruise on a yacht.
Click here to read about all the Top Things to do in Bangkok with Kids.
Malaysia’s capital city is one of the most visited cities in the world and for good reasons. Kuala Lumpur has everything a traveler could possibly ask for.
First, the Petronas Twin Towers are the tallest twin towers in the world and a must-see attraction.
Kids will enjoy meeting new friends at the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park and National Zoo of Malaysia. Meanwhile, adults can learn more about Malaysian culture at the National Museum.
Naturally, there are plenty of shopping opportunities as well. The Central Market sells products from all over the world.
There are also plenty of places to experience Islamic culture. Make sure you check out the National Mosque and the Sri Mahamariamman Temple.
And of course, no trip to Kuala Lumpur would be complete without a trip to the Batu Caves. These 400 million-year-old caves have actually been converted into a Hindu temple.
Next is Vietnam’s capital. Visiting this 1,000-year-old city can be like taking a trip back in time. This is most keenly felt in the Hanoi Old Quarter where you can see various shops and examples of colonial architecture.
You can see more examples of Vietnamese culture by visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Perfume Pagoda, and the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long.
Of course, many parts of Hanoi have a more modern flair as well. You might try catching a show at the spectacular Hanoi Opera House or do some shopping at the Dong Xuan Market.
And don’t forget to take your kids to a water puppet theater. Hanoi has a long history with water puppetry, and the kids are sure to enjoy it.
Click here to read all the Best Things to do in Hanoi with Kids.
Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh is another popular Vietnamese city. It played a very important role in the Vietnam War back when it was known as Saigon, so history buffs will find plenty to love.
You can actually see what life was like for Viet Cong soldiers by visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels. Or you can learn more about the war itself at the War Remnants Museum.
But that’s not all Ho Chi Minh has to offer. The city is also known for its French colonial architecture.
The Notre Dame Cathedral is a good example of this. The Cao Dai Temple provides a fascinating look at the Cao Dai faith which mixes influences of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism, and other religions.
Or you can check out the Bitexco Tower for a more modern landmark.
Yangon is Myanmar’s former capital and the biggest city in the country. It also has more colonial-era buildings than any other city in Southeast Asia thanks to its status as a former British colony.
Because of this, a person could have a great time in Yangon by just walking around while enjoying the street food and admiring the architecture.
These colonial buildings sit alongside grand pagodas such as the Botatuang Pagoda and the Sule Pagoda. The Shwedagon Pagoda in particular is one of the most famous pagodas in the entire world.
You can also visit the Chuakhtatgyi Temple to see one of the world’s most gorgeous Buddha statues. Or you can take the kids to feed the catfish at Yangon Lake.
Click here to read more about Visiting Yangon with Kids.
The capital of Cambodia is another great Southeast Asian city full of culture and history. You can learn more about that history by visiting the National Museum of Cambodia.
It features over 14,000 exhibits, and the building itself is a brilliant example of Khmer architecture. You can even see a traditional Khmer dance show at this museum.
Phnom Penh has plenty of attractions for kids as well. They can go on some rides at the Children Park Koh Pich Amusement Park or meet some animals at the Phnom Tamao Zoo.
Phnom Penh is also famous for its Central Market. It’s one of the biggest indoor markets in Asia and a fantastic place to do some shopping.
Chiang Mai is another one of Thailand’s biggest cities. Many of the places on this list are famous for their beautiful temples, but this is especially true in Chiang Mai.
If you’d like to see for yourself, just take a stroll through the Old City. This is where you’ll see temples such as Wat Phan Tao, Wat Chedi Luang, and Wat Phra Singh.
You can see even more Thai culture by visiting the Underground Ancient City which is full of Buddhist statues and stone tablets.
Additionally, kids will enjoy going on a nighttime safari where they can watch light shows and feed baby animals. Or you can enjoy some natural beauty at the Doi Inthanon National Park.
Luang Prabang is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Laos. This is partially thanks to its daily almsgiving ceremony.
Every morning as the sun rises, Buddhist monks walk through the streets accepting alms. Traditional gifts include rice and fruits if you’d like to participate.
Luang Prabang is also famous for Ban Phanom, a village known for its textile products.
The Kuang Si Falls is another must-see attraction. This three-tiered waterfall is a nature lover’s dream come true.
And of course, we can’t forget the Pak Ou Caves. These caves are filled with an astounding 4,000 Buddha statues. You can even experience life as an Asian farmer at the Living Land Company.
Other major attractions include Wat Wisunarat, Wat Long Khoun, and the Tad Sae Waterfall.
Click here to read all the Best Things to do in Luang Prabang with Kids.
Finally, there’s the Vietnamese city of Da Nang. Da Nang and nearby Hoi An were once a popular spot for American troops seeking R&R.
That’s partially because of its wide variety of beautiful beaches. Check out My Khe Beach or Non Nuoc Beach if you want to have some fun in the sun.
As mentioned before, Da Nang is another city with strong ties to the Vietnam War. You can see a plethora of old war relics by visiting the Fifth Military Division Museum.
Another great museum in Da Nang is the Cham Museum which celebrates the history of Vietnam’s indigenous Cham tribe.
The Marble Mountains are also a popular attraction. Aspiring photographers will absolutely love the view they find when they climb to the top.
After reading this list, you should have an idea of where you want to go for your next vacation.
So which city are you looking forward to visiting the most?
Do you want to see the gardens of Singapore, the colonial buildings of Yangon, or the beaches of Da Nang? No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it in Southeast Asia.
Now all that’s left is to start planning your trip. So what are you waiting for? Start making plans today, and you’ll be making new memories with your family in no time.
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