Have you been so focused on Christmas that you’ve left the CNY planning a little late?
Don’t worry – you’re not alone! Chinese New Year has crept up on us this year and we still can’t believe it is just a few short weeks away. The year of the rat kicks off on Saturday, 25 January and for most of us, that means getting just the Monday and Tuesday off work. You’ll have to cram this family holiday into a long weekend, team!
The key to a long-weekend family getaway? Direct flights and minimal transit times. Don’t worry, we’ve got you sorted!
Looking for an alternative to the usual fly and flop options? How about Hua Hin? Just a three-hour drive from Bangkok airport and you’ll find yourself a world away from the hustle and bustle. The former king had his palace here (and locals say this is where he spent most of his time) so if it’s good enough for royalty, it’s good enough for us too!
There are loads of family-friendly accommodation options including the Marriott Resort & Spa (it’s got a great kids’ activity programme called M Passport), the Anantara or the newly-renovated Mövenpick Resort.
If you do decide to escape the resorts, check out the Maruekhathaiyawan Palace by the sea (the kids will love running around on the wide grassy lawns), the historic Hua Hin Train Station, Hua Hin Artist Village (with workshops for kids and adults!) or take a break from the kids and treat yourself to a tipple of Thai wine at Monsoon Vineyard.
For a fast-paced city break, it’s hard to go past Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). In January, it’s cooler (relatively) so you can explore the streets at a more comfortable pace.
As you wander the streets, fill those hungry bellies on all the pho, banh mi and rice paper rolls you can handle! If you feel like getting a bit of history and culture take the family on a day trip (or overnight homestay) to the Mekong Delta or out to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Travel really can be the best education!
Chinese New Year falls at the same time of year as Vietnamese Tet, so you won’t be missing out on the festivities either!
It’s not too late to book a family ski trip. With an average of 15 metres of snow per year, Niseko has been called one of the world’s snowiest alpine resorts. The region includes four ski resorts, Niseko Hanazono, Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri Ski Area, which can all be accessed using the one lift pass. Older children will enjoy the night skiing in Niseko, with lifts open until 9pm.
Need more reasons to visit? Check out the Niseko Kid’s Club. It offers full and half-day daycare for kids from 12 months to six years old. You can rest assured your little ones are in good hands while you hit the slopes!
Whether it’s just for your family or if you’ve gathered a group of friends for a ski vacation, a private villa or chalet can be the perfect accommodation option. Ministry of Villas has a range of options, from simple two-bedroom to lavish six-bedroom accommodation. Villas are available both in Niseko and Hakuba.
A long weekend is the perfect amount of time for a trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia. While it is always hot, January is when you’ll be blessed with the driest and coolest weather (around 20°C to 30°C) making it the most comfortable for the family.
Discover the stunning temples of Angkor Wat and give yourself time to explore some of the lesser-known sites a bit further afield. Little ones will love a boat ride, so take to the water on Lake Tonle Sap and see the local life on the floating villages.
There’s fantastic Cambodian-French fusion food to be found all over town, so make time to explore the local delicacies. For a family-friendly option, be sure to check out Marum. It’s a social enterprise that trains disadvantaged kids to give them real hospitality qualifications. A good cause and great food!
If you’ve managed to wrangle a few extra days off to add to your long weekend, consider a Maldives family holiday. Turquoise waters, white sand, palm trees and a whole lot of sun will be the perfect antidote to the Hong Kong winter.
No matter which option you choose, you can be assured of some great family fun in the sun!
Read more: Top Five Maldives Local Islands For Families
Featured image courtesy of Natalya Zaritskaya via Unsplash, image 1 courtesy of Movenpick Hua Hin, image 2 courtesy of Anne Lin on Unsplash, image 3 courtesy of Hanazono Niseko Resort via Instagram, image 4 courtesy of Taylor Simpson on Unsplash, image 5 courtesy of Ministry of Villas.
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