There’s nothing quite like a one-on-one trip with Dad to an inspirational destination in Asia for forging great bonds and supplying unforgettable memories. From watching acrobats flying high in Cambodia to abseiling down waterfalls in Vietnam, here are five awesome places in Asia that Little Steps has rounded up for a perfect break with Daddy. Time to get some adventure on!
It always feels like spring in Dalat, a town in the Southern Highlands of Vietnam. The cool temperatures and mountainous terrain here makes it an excellent spot for adventure tourism, with biking, kayaking, and canyoning offered by outfitters such a Phat Tire (the highlight is the climb down the waterfalls which leaps off the cliffs, only fit for the brave teenagers). Dalat was originally founded as a town where French Indochina administrators living in then-Saigon could cool off. The town’s market is a great morning outing with the little one, with vendors selling fresh strawberries, blackberries, artichokes, avocados, and giant sunflowers.
Where to Stay: The Dalat Palace first opened in 1932 and the sense of history is evident in every part of the property.
Dalat Palace Heritage Hotel, 02 Tran Phu, Ward 03, Dalat City, Vietnam, +84 263 3825 444, www.dalatpalacehotel.com
Canggu has become a magnet for foreigners living in Bali, with a boho-chic lifestyle scene, great restaurants, and cafes. It’s a great place for you and your kiddo to learn how to surf, with three prime surf spots. Choose Batu Bolong for waves that are timider than those at Echo Beach and Berawa Beach. A number of surf schools operate in the area, offering private and semi-private lessons for you and the little surfer dude/dudette.
Where to Stay: The Slow is Canggu through and through, a multi-faceted beach getaway with accommodation, dining, a retail store, and tons of fascinating art.
The Slow, Jalan Batu Bolong 97, Canggu, Indonesia, +623612099000, theslow.id
Shopping has long been a reason that travelers come to the City of Angels, with malls dotted all over the Thai capital. Night markets offer shoppers great fun, with the cooler night temperatures making the experience much more pleasant for you and your kiddo to shop till you drop. Most night markets open until at least midnight, but you can go much earlier and still enjoy all that they have to offer (usually including great food areas and the famous Thai iced tea for a little pick-me-up for you and your munchkin). Top picks include JJ Green for great vintage stuff, Talad Rot Fai is a sneaker heaven, and Asiatique is the most family-friendly market it has wide avenues, clean bathrooms and lots of restaurants.
Where to Stay: Recreating the ancient kingdom for which it’s named, The Sukhothai has amazing historical artwork and a weekend chocolate buffet, what kid would not like the sound of that?
The Sukhothai, 13/3 South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120, Thailand, +66 0 2344 8888, www.sukhothai.com/bangkok/en
The shrines of the Angkor Archaeological Park are a marvel of engineering and a sight to behold, this a little getaway for the culture soaking families. This UNESCO World Heritage Site spreads over 400 square kilometers with hidden temples among the jungle, includes the marquee Angkor Wat with its soaring spires, and Bayon with numerous sculptures of faces. A truly memorable trip for you and your kid. While in town buy tickets to see Phare, the Cambodian circus performed in a big-top tent on the outskirts of Siem Reap. Here, performers, showcase their amazing skills of tumbling, leaping, athleticism, political commentary, comedy and the accompanying music by the live band is absolutely mesmerizing.
Where to Stay: Shinta Mani Angkor has sleek interiors and vintage sculptures, courtesy of renowned designer Bill Bensley.
Shinta Mani Angkor, Oum Khun St/Shinta Mani St, 00000, Cambodia, +855 63 964 123, www.shintamani.com
Take the kids snorkeling! Comprising a vast waterway and five small islands, Bunaken National Marine Park near Manado is a center of marine biodiversity, it has stunning coral seascapes (you’ll see 70 different types of coral) and hundreds of fish species. This is an aquatic paradise, with parrotfish, angelfish, boxfish, giant clams, and varieties of turtles swimming through crystal clear waters.
Where to Stay: Manado, the nearest city to the marine park, has a wide range of accommodation but for a real treat, and to really be in the heart of the action, stay at Siladen Resort & Spa, on one of the islands within the park.
Siladen Resort & Spa, Bunaken National Marine Park ,Kotak Pos 1196, Bunaken Kepulauan, Kota Manado, Sulawesi Utara 95011, Indonesia, +62 811 4300 641, www.siladen.com