Most people would say Southeast Asia is too complicated to visit with a baby. Perhaps people feel it’s too far away and not worth it, too risky because of health issues, or too complicated due to the idiosyncrasy of the culture.
However, I have found that many of the preconceived notions and stereotypes I had about Southeast Asia were immediately debunked once I stepped foot on its land.
We tend to quickly rule out a place mainly because of our own biases. But if you look closely and you give Southeast Asia a chance, you will see it has so much to offer, and that it can be enjoyed by travelers of all types – not just backpackers – including the type that lug around a stroller, a travel cot, and all the other million things we traveling parents take with us on holiday.
For sure there will be some places which are less accessible than others, for a variety of factors. But I am here to argue that, at least for these three unmissable destinations, if you are well prepared and informed, you can pull off a holiday in Southeast Asia with your baby, and even more so, absolutely love it.
Taking on the challenge of visiting Southeast Asia may not even in your radar. If this is the case, then I’m here to put this part of the world in it!
Here is my list of the top three Southeast Asia destinations that are totally baby-friendly, despite what our initial thoughts may be.
1. Vientiane, Laos
This city has been labeled Asia’s sleeping beauty, because, well… it seems like everyone is constantly sleeping! Like I’ve mentioned other times I’ve written about it, cars don’t go any faster than 50 kilometers an hour. People stroll lazily around the streets. It seems like its nap time all day! There is such a chill out feeling all the time that relaxing is inevitable! It’s like time goes by slowly, and it’s so nice to just sit around and take in this peacefulness! Sitting in front of a temple or laying around in the lawn around them to just take in all the beauty of the architecture is the best. Our baby really enjoyed being able to walk around and explore everything around him, in a totally safe and mellow environment.
People love babies and everywhere you go you will have at least someone willing to babysit. No matter how many times I tried telling people not to worry, they insisted in playing with my baby all through our dinner…!
Prepare well and follow a baby friendly itinerary, and Vientiane is truthfully a wonderful place to visit.
2. Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
No words will ever describe how beautiful Long Beach in Koh Phi Phi is. This is the Island from where you can visit the famous beach from the movie “The Beach”.
It’s laid back, safe and quiet environment will guarantee a care and trouble free holiday for you and your family. This was actually our first experience at the beach with our baby, and we could not have chosen a better destination.
The island is easily accessible from Phuket by ferry. We had a wonderful experience with the company Phuket Ferry, who took care of all transports, including from the hotel to the pier, the ferry ride, and then from the pier to the small resort we stayed at in Long Beach.
We had the necessary baby beach gear, such as a foldable tent, plenty of sunscreen, swim diapers, and DEET free mosquito repellent, and aside from a small accident in which our baby shoved his hand into a bowl of hot soup (which made me want to shove him back into my uterus), our holidays were totally stress free.
Thailand is truly an amazing destination. If you’re interested in the itinerary we followed for this trip, you can learn about it here.
3. Hoi An, Vietnam
The ancient town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, the food is SPECTACULAR, there are tons of great, family friendly, reasonably priced options for accommodation, and best of all, it’s full of families with young children! I was truly surprised to see so many travelers like us, with their babies!
As with most countries in Southeast Asia, people in Vietnam are super friendly and helpful. Hoi An is a safe city, very well equipped for tourists and filled with fun things to do such as riding bikes, taking boat trips, taking cooking lessons, visiting temples and, best of all, it’s near a beautiful beach called An Bang where you can find amazing resorts.
Sure, once you see all the romantic restaurants adorned with colorful lanterns, you’ll wish you would’ve traveled without your romance spoiling children, but don’t worry, there are plenty of great dining options for families with children.
This is just a very small glimpse of all that Southeast Asia has to offer, but, in my opinion, these are also the best destinations to kick off with.
Southeast Asia is truly a wonderful place. It’s cultural diversity is enchanting, it’s super cheap, and people all over are lovely.
Although it is true that it requires extra planning and preparation, including possible vaccines, expensive visas, and extra care with what gear to take with you, surviving – and enjoying – Southeast Asia is possible!
So, when are you going?
This post was linkedup with: