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20 Secret Family Beach Holidays In Southeast Asia

Asia's Hidden Gems For Families

The secret is out – the best beaches in Asia are here! For families looking to branch out from the popular island escapes in Southeast Asia and around the region, this guide is for you! The Little Steps team has put together a list of islands to visit that are both family-friendly and offer a unique experience for all ages. What’s more, we have included information on how to get there, tips when travelling with kids, and of course, the best places to stay. Journey to these off-the-beaten-path wonders – we promise a good time!  Check out our updated guide to the best 20 secret beach holidays and destinations for families in Southeast Asia.

  • KEP, CAMBODIA

    Kep is a coastal province in Southern Cambodia just a short drive away from Phnom Penh.  Once a French colonial resort town, Kep is scattered with crumbling villas along the coastline.  Don't let it fool you, developers have been moving in and renovating these villas into trendy cool resorts which families love!  Kids will enjoy splashing in calm waters, exploring the crab market and pepper farm, and exploring nearby caves.

     

    How to get there?

    Fly to Phnom Penh, hire a driver to Kep (or ask your hotel/villa to arrange)

    Where to stay? Kep

    Knai Bang Chatt, http://www.knaibangchatt.com/

    Samanea, http://www.samanea-resort.com/

    Villa Romanea, http://www.villaromonea.com

    Villa Des Palmes, http://www.villadespalmes.org

     

  • MENJANGAN, BALI, INDONESIA

    For those seeking a Bali holiday without the crowds - head to Menjangan!  While it can be a trek to get to via car, it is well worth the effort.  It's gorgeous, it's tropical, it's family fabulous.  The Menjangan is a perfect mix of safari meets forest meets beach meets scuba haven.  Prepare to see deer roaming near your villa, large lizards, white sand beaches, and blue-blue water.  Kids will enjoy horseback riding, snorkeling, trekking, biking, and so much more.

     

    How to get there?

    Arrange transfer from Bali Airport

    Where to stay?

    The Menjangan, www.themenjangan.com

  • PHU QUOC, VIETNAM

    White sand beaches, Pho fests, and plenty of off the beaten track explorations for kids of all ages… this island paradise off the coast of Vietnam offers families a unique beach escape without too much hassle… hooray!  Traditionally a fishing village known for pepper plantations, incredible seafood spreads, and unspoiled beaches, Phu Quoc is Southeast Asia’s secret island escape complete with jungle, beaches, and mountains.

     

    How to get there?

    From Ho Chi Minh, take a 40-minute flight direct to Phu Quoc.

    Where to stay?

    Mango Bay, http://mangobayphuquoc.com

    Cassia Cottagehttp://cassiacottage.com/en/

    Chen Sea Resort And Spahttps://www.chensea-resort.com/

    JW Marriott Phu Quochttps://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/pqcjw-jw-marriott-phu-quoc-emerald-bay-resort-and-spa/

  • TIOMAN ISLAND, MALAYSIA

    Pulau Tioman located in the east coast of peninsular Malaysia and surrounded by numerous coral reefs is a popular scuba diving spot. It has tropical weather, clear crystal water, and great white sandy beaches.  If your family is looking for a relaxing holiday packed full of diving and snorkeling - this is your spot!. It's almost a year-round location to visit except during the monsoon season from November to February due to high water currents.

     

    How to get there?

    The best option is to drive down or take a bus from Kuala Lumpur leading to a village called Mersing which takes close to 3-4 hours. From Mersing, you can take a ferry to Tioman (buy your Tioman ferry tickets here) which will get you there in almost 2 hours.

    Where to stay?

    Japamala Resort, www.japamalaresorts.com

    Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort, www.tunamayaresort.com

    Berjaya Tioman Resort, www.berjayahotel.com/tioman

     

  • RAWA ISLAND, MALAYSIA

    Pristine beaches, fresh seafood and barefoot resort living await you and your loved ones on Rawa Island – an island paradise just a short car or bus ride away from Singapore. Once there, you’ll be immersed in the castaway experience with numerous resorts geared towards family activities. Depending on price point, you can get a simple bungalow on the beach or luxurious villa to bask in the sun as well as partake in the many water sports including kayaking, snorkeling, diving and fishing.

     

    How to get there?

    3hr car journey from Singapore to Rawa Island

    Where to stay?

    Rawa Island Resort, http://www.rawaislandresort.com/

    Alang's Rawahttps://www.alangsrawa.com/

     

  • GILI AIR, INDONESIA

    A trio of laid-back islands, the Gilis are dotted with cafes, simple beach-side accommodations and seafood restaurants for a fraction of what you’d pay in Bali. The largest island, Gili Trawangan, has the most diversity in terms of hotels and restaurants, plus it’s a good place for your family to learn how to dive (but it is a party island).  Gili Air is a nice alternative and also a great dive island - check out family-friendly Scallawags.  Island hop with your mini adventurers to neighboring Gili Meno for its white sandy beaches and Gili Air to soak in the relaxed, divine ambiance.

     

    How to get there?

    25 min flight to Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, Gili Meno

    Where to stay?

    Scallawags - Gili Air, http://scallywagsresort.com/room-list-air/

    Satu Tiga, https://satutigaresort.wordpress.com/about/

    Manta Dive, http://www.manta-dive-giliair.com/

    Villa Nangka, http://villanangkagiliair.com/

    Others In The Area We Love:

    Manusua Dunia Geen Lodgehttps://www.manusiadunia.com/

    Gili Asahanhttp://giliasahan.com/

  • SIPADAN + MABUL, MALAYSIA

    A small island off the south-eastern coast of Sabah in Malaysia, this hub of marine life is a diving and snorkeling haven (on par with Galápagos).  Families can stay in Mabul and enjoy diving and snorkeling Sipadan and other islands around.  If your family is all about marine life, this area of Asia is a must as it's one of the best!  Kids will also enjoy kayaking and island hopping. Life is good.

     

    How to get there?

    You can fly to Tawau either from Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. When you arrive Tawau, your resort will transfer you to Semporna. From Semporna, you will take the resort speedboat to Mabul Island. The transfer from Tawau to Semporna takes 90 minutes while the boat ride will take another 45 minutes.

    Where to stay?

    Water Village Resort, http://www.swvresort.com/

    Sipadan Mabul Resort, http://www.sipadanmabulresort.com/en/

    Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort, http://www.sipadan-kapalai.com/

  • FLORES ISLAND, INDONESIA

    Only 90 minutes away by plane from Bali and habitat to the famous Komodo Dragons, Flores is a world away from the bustle of the island of Gods. Great for those looking for a quiet and peaceful holiday on an island with deserted white-sand beaches, curious but friendly locals, surreal volcanic lakes and picturesque sunsets.  Full family-friendly guide to Flores here!

     

    How to get there?

    The easiest and safest way to get to Flores is by air. Labuan Bajo (90 mins flight from Bali) in the West and Maumere (2 hrs flight from Bali) in the East are the two main gateways for tourists visiting Flores. Both cities have airports with multiple daily flights from Denpasar, Bali.

    Where to stay?

    Flores Homestay Network, http://www.floreshomestaynetwork.co

    Ayana Komodohttps://www.littlestepsasia.com/all-cities/articles/travel/ayana-komodo-resort *new!

  • REDANG ISLAND, MALAYSIA

    Visiting Redang is ideal for those with active tykes who are competent swimmers. Viewed as one of the top vacation destinations in Malaysia, the island is open for tourism from March until October. You can book your trip as soon as early March but not much before that as many resorts on the island are still closed. April to July are the ideal months to visit for the best weather conditions. Activities favored by kids include snorkeling, visiting a turtle sanctuary, and playing at the beach.  Full guide here!

     

    How to get there?

    Kuala Lumpur will be your starting point.  From there, there are two ways to reach the island. The first is to fly to Kuala Terengganu from either KLIA or Subang and take a taxi or hotel provided shuttle to Syahbandar Jetty. Then take a ferry to the island.

    Where to stay?

    Laguna Redang, www.lagunaredang.com.my

    The Taaras, www.thetaaras.com

    Redang Island Resort, www.redangislandresort.com

  • BOHOL, THE PHILLIPINES

    Bohol is known for coral reef snorkeling and cool geological formations, notably the Chocolate Hills. There are so many activities on land and water in Bohol for families!  Go snorkeling with the fish or diving with the sharks, say hello to the world's smallest primate, or take a family SUP journey to a waterfall.  Happy exploring!  Click here for the full guide.

     

    How to get there?

    The most direct route is by flying direct into Cebu (CebuAir) or fly via Manila. From the Cebu airport, you would need to catch a taxi (white cab) to the ferry port (20-minute journey). There are a few companies that ferry passengers to Tagbilaran, Bohol. This is a 2-hour crossing, but they do show a movie on board.

    Where to stay?

    Panglao Regents Park Resort, http://www.regentsparkresort.com/

    Amorita Resort, http://amoritaresort.com/

    Bohol Beach Club, http://www.boholbeachclub.com.ph/

    South Palm Resort, http://www.southpalmsresort.com/

    The Bellevue Resort Bohol, http://web.thebellevueresort.com/

  • NGAPOLI, MYANMAR

    For those heading to Myanmar, this beach destination is popular with families.  Most of the accommodation is right on the beach!   Snorkel to Pearl Island, go fishing, hire bicycles, and sip on coconuts - this place is relaxing with just the right amount of activity.  Be sure to enjoy all the rockin' seafood on the beach - an experience in itself.

    How to get there?

    Book a local flight in Myanmar to Thandwe. You can then reach Ngapali Beach in 6 kilometers.

    Where to stay?

    Hilton Ngapali, Website 

    Amata Resort & Spa, Ngapali Beach, http://www.amataresort.com/

     

  • MACLEOD ISLAND, MYANMAR

    Macleod Island is home to Myanmar Andaman Resort, a private island retreat located in Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago (including 800 mostly uninhabited islands). With twenty-two bungalows facing the island’s bay and surrounding pristine white sand beaches, Myanmar Andaman Resort offers families a luxury stay with plenty of fam-friendly activities - diving, snorkeling, island hopping tours, sea kayaking, hiking the island’s peak, swimming, and more.

     

    How to get there?

    Within Myanmar, you need to take a local flight to Kawthaung and the staff can take you by speedboat to the resort.  You can also reach the island via Bangkok and Phuket.

    Where to stay? 

    Myanmar Andaman Resort, http://www.myanmarandamanresort.com/

  • CAT BA ISLAND, VIETNAM

    The largest of the islands in Vietnam's Halong Bay, Cat Ba Island is becoming more and more popular with off-the-beaten-track travelers and is a great spot for those looking for R&R before heading to Halong Bay.  Nearly half of the island is a protected National Park and there are plenty of activities here for the adventurous type.  Most of the accommodation here is budget-friendly making it a nice alternative for families looking for a cheaper holiday option.  Catba Island Resort & Spa offers family suites, 2 outdoor pools (including a kids splash pad and kiddie pool).  Kids will enjoy trying to spot the Cat Ba langur which is endemic to Cat Ba Island and is one of the most endangered primates in the world and visit Hospital Cave (which was an underground cave used for soldiers during the American Vietnam War).

     

    How to get there?

    Fly to Hanoi.  You can buy a bus-boat-bus ticket in the city which will take you straight to Cat Ba Town (5 hours).

    Where to stay?

    Catba Island Resort & Spahttp://www.catbaresortonline.com

    Catba Sunrise Resorthttp://www.catbasunriseresort.com/

     

  • SIARGAO ISLAND, PHILLIPINES

    Some term this local as the surfing capital of Asia!  This paradise island offers serious surfers the Cloud 9 (also a fun area to watch the serious surfers!).  There are some fantastic places on the island to stay from luxury to less.  Other activities here include boating, snorkeling, fishing, golf, scuba diving, kite surfing and more.  This is a great option for active teens to explore lots of activities and with private beaches and unique stay options - there is plenty for the little ones to enjoy too.  Want to go luxe?  Check into the Nay Palad Island Resort (formally known as DEDON resort).

     

    How to get there?

    Cebu Pacific has a daily flight from Cebu-Siargao!

    Where to stay?

    Sunset Bay Villas, Website 

    Greenhouse Siargao, http://greenhousesiargao.com/

    Nay Palad (formally DEDON), https://www.naypalad.com/

    Kalinaw Island Resort, http://www.kalinawresort.com/

     

  • SANGAT ISLAND, PALAWAN, THE PHILIPPINES

    What a find!  For those looking to visit Palawan with the kids - head to Sangat Island!  This rustic stay offers some of the best scuba diving in the area with loads of wreck dives just out your back door.  Kids will enjoy playing on the beach, kayaking, exploring the island, and boating to secluded islands as a family.  Choose from Beachfront Cottages, Beachside Chalets, Hillside Cottages, family-friendly Bungalow Suite units, Hilltop Chalets and their largest stay, the tri-level, two-bedroom Lambingan Villa with its own private, white sand beachfront.  BTW - the food is great too and they can blend up fresh fruit/veggies if you are coming with a baby.  Score!

     

    How to get there?

    Fly from Manila to Busuanga Airport in Palawan.  The resort can then organize your boat to the island.

    Where to stay?

    Sangat Island, http://sangat.com.ph

  • THE PERHENTIAN ISLANDS, MALAYSIA

    The Perhentian Islands in Malaysia are composed of two islands, Perhentian Kecil (small) and Perhentian Besar (big).  For those traveling with little ones, the big island tends to be more popular offering more accommodation options and safe boats (a common concern for parents visiting).  Kids and teens who love to snorkel and dive - this is one the best!  Be sure to bring life jackets for young ones on your journey to paradise.

     

    How to get there?

    Kuala Besut Jetty is the official Jetty to Perhentian Islands. You can get here Kota Bharu and Kuala Terengganu airports (the jetty is situated in between these two).

    Where to stay?

    Tuna Bay, https://tunabay.com.my/

    BuBu Long Beach Resort & BuBu Villa, http://www.buburesort.com

    Perhentian Island Resort, http://www.perhentianislandresort.net/

  • MUI NE, VIETNAM

    Easy to access via car, train, or bus from Ho Chi Minh, Mui Ne is a unique beach holiday for families as it offers both sand dunes and surf!   Take the kids to the Red and White Sand Dunes to experience sand surfing or sliding, visit the fish market, take a walk down the fairy stream, and give kite surfing a go with a family lesson.

     

    How to get there?

    Fly to Ho Chi Minh and get a driver arranged to take you to Mui Ne (3-4 hours).  Or, you can take a bus or a train to Mui Ne from HCM.

    Where to stay?

    Pandanus Resort, http://www.pandanusresort.com

    Full Moon Village, http://www.fullmoon-village.com

    Takalau Resort, http://takalauresort.com

    Muine Bay Resort, http://muinebayresort.com/en/

    Anantara Mui Nehttps://www.anantara.com/en/mui-ne

     

  • SONG SAA PRIVATE ISLAND, CAMBODIA

    Fancy a luxurious private island - here you go!  Song Saa Private Island offers 24 spacious luxury villas, each featuring a private pool and spectacular island and ocean views. Each villa was constructed from recycled and reclaimed timber and decorated with re-purposed items and local materials in keeping with their philosophy of sustainability. The resort loves kids and offers custom experiences for any age from Robinson-Crusoe style picnics on the beach, Hikes down rainforest paths, sand castle making on hidden beaches, or splashing the night water full of bioluminescent plankton.  This is pure luxury for kids big and small - enjoy!

     

    How to get there?

    Both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh airports are serviced by multiple international flights daily, and from Siem Reap it's just a 45-minute flight to the coast or few hours' drive from Phnom Penh to your speedboat transfer.

    Where to stay?

    Song Saa, https://www.songsaa.com

  • KOH KOOD, THAILAND

    Just a short 1-hour away from bustling Bangkok is the secluded island paradise of Koh Kood, where unspoiled beaches await.  For luxe, visit Soneva Kiri’s 27 super-luxe villas hug verdant hills overlooking a white sand beach. The eco resort boasts a Six Senses spa and wellness programs, an organic farm supplying the delish hotel restaurants, and educational activities galore for wee ones, including cooking classes, mini meditation, and diving.  There are other options too - in all budgets here!

     

    How to get there?

    From Bangkok, you can jump on a Bangkok Airlines flat (1 hour) to Trat or drive/bus to Trat (6 hours).  You can then take a speedboat from Laem Sok Pier to Trat. Your hotel can help arrange.

    Where to stay?

    Soneva Kiri, www.soneva.com

    Cham's House, http://www.chamshouse.com

    Shantaa Koh Kood, http://www.shantaakohkood.com/

    The Koh Mak Retreat, www.kohmakretreat.com

     

  • PULAU JOYO, INDONESIA

    Grab a group (adults + kids) and stay on your own private island.  This family-friendly wonder is fully staffed, food is included, and kids love it!  Explore the beach, go kayaking, enjoy a board game, or jump off the natural diving board into the gorgeous pool.  They will even arrange fireworks for your group.  Wow!

     

    How to get there?

    This all-inclusive resort is fabulous for families in Singapore as there is no flight needed!  Just take the ferry to Bintan, a bus, and then a speedboat to the island.

    Where to stay?

    Pulau Joyo, http://www.pulau-joyo.com/

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