Asia with kids under-fives is easy, fun and affordable.
Sheridan Wilson is a Travel Manager at Travel With Kids and an expert in Asia. She and her partner Joshua recently took her children Oliver, 2, and Archie, 4 on an incredible journey to Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Sheridan says Singapore is the hidden gem of Asia. The small nation is packed with fun things to do with kids, it’s clean, safe and easy to get around.
“We did Universal Studios, we did Adventure Cove water park, we did the cable cars around Sentosa, we went shopping – we squeezed all that into a couple of days,” Sheridan says.
On previous trips, the family has visited Gardens By the Bay, SEA Aquarium and the Singapore Zoo. Sheridan says most people are surprised by how many attractions exist in Singapore. You will need more than a few days if you want to see them all.
Singapore is easy to navigate. The MRT (the main train line) can take you all over the city. But Sheridan says with under 5’s, it’s worth finding a hotel that is really close to the attractions you plan to visit – just in case you need to duck back to the hotel.
“We stayed at the Festive Hotel, the location is amazing, and pool area is really good with little kids as well,” Sheridan says.
The Festive Hotel has an adult pool (kids can go in too) and a smaller toddler pool with shallow water and spraying fountains. The rooms have a King Sized bed and bunk beds in a small alcove upstairs, allowing adults some privacy.
If you plan to see Universal Studios Singapore Sheridan says should pay the extra for a fast pass. They didn’t and she says it was tough work with under 5s.
“The whole day we only got on 5 rides, just because of the queues, she says. “It probably is worth it if you want to try and squeeze in more rides. In hindsight, I probably would have paid the extra, because queuing up with little kids is just not fun.”
One theme park Sheridan says is super fun with little ones is Adventure Cove Waterpark. Her kids “kept going around and around” on the lazy river. The park has water slides, climbing forts and thrill slides for the grown-ups.
“I regretted we only had half a day there, I think you could easily have longer there -the kids loved it.”
From Singapore, the family travelled to Johor Bahru in Malaysia. This town is one hour from Singapore and packed with fun theme parks such as Legoland, Thomas Town and Hello Kitty World.
It really is Under 5’s theme park heaven.
Families who stay at the Legoland hotel will be amazed by how easy it is to check in with under 5s. The lobby has two huge pits of Lego. One surrounds a pirate ship, the other surrounds a castle. Kids can jump in and play while you do the paperwork.
The lifts at Legoland have disco balls and play music.
“The music and the lifts!” Every time we got there we’re dancing and the kids were just so excited about checking out the different lifts to see what music was in each one.”
At Legoland kids under 5 can learn to drive a Lego car and get their driving licence. They can meet the famous Lego characters and ride the dragon roller coaster. The park can get quite hot so dip in and out of the air-conditioned rooms filled with Lego head to the waterpark or to the hotel’s rooftop pool.
Thomas Town is 10 minutes by taxi from Legoland. This was one of the highlights of Sheridan’s family trip and something most Australians don’t know exists.
“It was great. My little one is still talking about it. It I felt like we were the only ones there for the first hour,” Sheridan says.
“Thomas Town has little helicopters they can ride on, a big bus that goes around, little trains, bumper cars and Cranky the Crane takes kids on an up and down adventure. Kids can also see Bob the Builder, Pingu the Penguin and Barney the Dinosaur.”
After Malaysia, the family flew to Thailand. They met up with friends at the Sands by Katathani in Khao Lak. A stop and flop addition to a busy city theme park week allows families to relax.
“This place is awesome for a multi-generational family holiday because they have the family wing, they have an adult wing. They’ve got a kids’ water park, and that’s actually got a little lazy river in it too.”
The resort has a beachfront pool, and adults only pool and a big lake full of fish that kids can feed twice a day.
“And then it had the water park, which was pretty amazing.”
Tours include snorkelling, trips to a turtle sanctuary and an elephant rehabilitation centre where families can feed and bath the elephants. Families can also tour the nearby tsunami museum.
If you are planning a trip to Asia with preschoolers – give Sheridan a call. She can help plan, give you honest advice and book all the accommodation and flights. travelmanagers.com.au/SheridanWilson