When it comes to the top three categories on most people's holiday wish-list — relaxation, indulgence and fun —holiday destinations like Bali, Phuket or Samui now offer visitors an impressive array of fabulous choices to fill their days in paradise. On a family vacation, however, the requirements are often a touch more centred around keeping the little ones amused.
Renting a private villa is the first step to communal holiday happiness, as it allows families to set their own schedule with plenty of personal onsite facilities to make the most of between excursions. Fortunately, all three of Southeast Asia's top island locations also offer plenty of outside activities and amusements for children, allowing parents to plan a balance of excitement and down time that means everyone enjoys the stay.
is particularly well geared towards young ones and below are some suggestions to guarantee a tantrum free escape to paradise (similar options are also available on Phuket
and Koh Samui
Bali Waterbom Park
A must for anyone with fidgety kids, Bali's Waterpark is awash with ride and adventures that will keep them amused for hours and leave them suitable tired when Mum and Dad need a little evening down time back at the villa. There's even a dedicated slide for younger tots, as well as food options like hot dogs, burgers and fries to bargain with. If you time the fun well, you may be able to nip of for a quick massage in the spa between splashes.
Surfing for kids
Bali's breakers vary in size and there are few good spots around Kuta Beach and Legian where the children can get a feel for the sport with supervision from wither their parents or an instructor. Sone villas provide surf and boogie boards, they can also be hired cheaply on the beach or you can bring or buy your own, of course.
Bird & Reptile Parks
A little more educational but equally fun for inquisitive minds, the Taman Burung Bali Bird Park is home to over a thousand feathered friends, some of them quite tame for feeding and they will happily perch on children's shoulders for a free lunch. There's even an impressive Hornbill that show's off skills such as catching keys thrown in the air for added thrills. Right next door, The Reptile Park offers the chance to get up close and personal with tame iguanas, monitors and tortoises. Then, for a story to tell the class back home you can explore the serpent caves for a one on one (but safe) visit with a King Cobra, Mambas, deadly Vipers and an 8 metre long Reticulated Python.
Slightly more relaxed wildlife adventures await off Lovina Beach, where dolphins often gather early in the morning and you can rent a local guide and fishing boat to sail among them as they surface, twirl, and if your lucky, leap out of the water in playful theatrics. An early start is advised (around 6am) to ensure smiling little faces and the Lovina Organisation monitors the tours to ensure no harm comes to the gentle giants of the sea.
If thrills and spills are on the agenda for the kids, The Ayung River, which run through the delightful inland town of Ubud, is a good place to book a rafting adventure. Half and full day tours can be arranged and knowledgable instructors, plus ample safety equipment offer peace of mind. It's definitely worth joining in the fun though because even gentle whitewater can offer quite an exhilarating ride.
The need for speed can be equally sated on land with a race around the tracks at Jalan Kartika in Kuta. Children under 12 are not allowed to take their own Go Cart but can ride with parents at the wheel. It's even more fun at night under the floodlights if you want to fulfil your Formula One fantasy.
After a morning in the surf or sliding down water rides, a trip to the hot springs can be as soothing for the kids as it is for their parents. The Banjar hot springs are nestled in the hills above Lovina beach and spread over three levels, the highest being the hottest. The lower pool also has a waterfall for a natural massage, but don;t expect crystal waters, the mineral content makes it more like a herbal soup.
by LVH Marketing