In Hong Kong we are lucky, not only do we get to plan vacations around school holidays we get lots of public holidays, too. So what to do with all those precious days?
CNY – 28 January – 31 January – Sri Lanka
One of the best times of year to visit Sri Lanka, take advantage of the longer CNY holiday and embark on a multi-destination itinerary. Explore the wonders of the Cultural Triangle (yes, kids find it interesting too!) before jumping aboard one of Sri Lanka’s old colonial trains and journeying into magical hill country, soaking up the unique landscape and waving to tea pickers as you pass. Next, whiz through the jungle in an open top jeep as you search for sloth bear, elephant and the elusive leopard. Lastly, head south where you have your pick of beautiful beaches which make the perfect, relaxing finish to an amazing journey. Along the way, choose from boutique hotels, private villas, beachfront resorts or enchanting colonial properties.
Easter – 14 April -17 April – Maldives
A direct flight from Hong Kong, the Maldives has some of the finest beaches in the world and hotels aplenty to suit families with both young children and hard-to-please teens. Kids Clubs in the Maldives are pretty epic and really do their best to get children outside and active, as opposed to sitting inside playing video games. Learn to snorkel, dive, surf and sail as a family, or just kick back and enjoy the beach or time by the pool. Beach villas are recommended for those with younger children, and teenagers will love the overwater villa options, jumping straight into the sea from their front deck! The Maldives is perfect for families who have been to the likes of Bali and Phuket, and are looking for that extra special beach vacation.
Labour day & Buddha Birthday – 1 & 3 May – Hanoi & Halong Bay
Discover the old capital of Vietnam, offering a wealth of history, magical French architecture and beautiful nature. Explore the hustle and bustle of Hanoi’s Old Town; join a street food tour introducing the kids to crazy snacks on sticks; and take in the water puppet show – unique to say the least! Partner Hanoi with neighbouring Halong Bay, an archipelago of limestone karsts in the Gulf of Tonkin. Spend two nights aboard a boutique sailing ship as it floats through the serenely beautiful bay. Spend your days kayaking through caves, doing tai chi and yoga on deck and cycling on one of the many islands.
Summer holidays July/August – Peru
One of the best family destinations in South America, summer is a fantastic time to visit Peru. Discover the ancient Inca trail, climbing through cloud forests, jungle and twisting mountains before coming face to face with magnificent Machu Picchu. Treks can be adapted to fit all ages and fitness levels. Visit Lake Titicaca and sail atop its shimmering surface before heading east to embark on a jungle trekking expedition through the Amazon, introducing the kids to remote tribes and teaching them the benefits of eco-tourism and preserving this unique culture. Additionally, dining in Peru’s capital of Lima is probably the most innovative on the continent which is a plus for parents!
National Day & Chinese mid-autumn 2 & 5 October – Myanmar
Looking for a family holiday with a twist of culture and a lot of adventure? Cycle through the ancient temples of Bagan with your local guide (who are known to be some of the best in Southeast Asia), pulling up to picnic by a deserted temple. Take a boat trip through tranquil Inle Lake, witnessing local life, visiting floating markets and taking the kids to the Siamese cat centre – very random, but something they will love! Active families can opt to hike around the rolling countryside of Kalaw, an old colonial hill station. Whilst families who need a break from the sightseeing can head south to the quiet Ngapali Coast, home to only a handful of beach resorts, soft white sand and turquoise seas.
Christmas 25 & 26 December – New Zealand
The Land of the Long White Cloud, as it’s called in Maori, offers an unrivalled combination of adventure, wildlife experiences and truly staggering landscapes. Families with older kids who do better in the car will love mapping out the ultimate road trip traversing both the North and South Islands. Families with young children who go stir crazy on long drives should choose two or three bases and do day trips instead. Cheesy as it sounds, there really is something for everyone in New Zealand. Hiking, cycling, horse riding, jet boating and quad biking for active and outdoorsy families; whale watching, swimming with dolphins, kiwi experiences and gannet safaris for animal lovers; thermal hot pools, glow worm caves and spouting geysers for nature enthusiasts; and some of the most beautiful luxury lodges in the world with incredible dining, wines, golf courses and spas for parents who enjoy the finer things in life!
Nikki Pang works with bespoke travel agent Lightfoot Travel