Family-friendly weekend getaways in the region
Friday, 19 Oct 2012
Weekends are precious, but three-day weekends?
Oh those are no big deal, we only, you know, LIVE for those.
To make the upcoming long weekends extra special, why not hop onto a plane and take a quick foray outdoors and around the region?
We asked our friends at Lightfoot Travel to recommend three great places you can go as a couple, with friends, or even with kids in tow.
Their picks? A tropical beach getaway complete with its own orangutan sanctuary, the cultural landscape of Cambodia where you can hone your Lara Croft skills and ride elephants bareback, and… your own private island. Yep you read right.
Click through the slideshow for trip highlights and some awesome wanderlust-worthy images, then ring the experts!
This slideshow was brought to you by Lightfoot Travel p. 6438 4091, e. email@example.com, a Singapore-based luxury tour operator offering expert travel advice & inspiration, tailor-made itineraries & full booking services.
1. Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Great for nature buffs, animal lovers, adrenaline seekers, and kids, the Shangri-La Rasa Ria is located on one of the best beaches in Kota Kinabalu, Pantai Dalit Beach.
There’s an endless array of water sports, golf, horse-back riding, jungle trekking, white water rafting, and a first-rate kids’ club. Explore the resort’s own nature reserve (yes, really!) with a local guide, who can point out the flora and fauna, or climb Mt. Kinabalu overnight before returning to bliss at Rasa Ria.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure not to miss feeding time with the orphaned baby orangutans – 10am and 3pm daily. The Shangri-La Rasa Ria celebrates these gentle creatures known to be Sabah’s “icons”, unique to the vibrant rainforests of Borneo and Indonesia, by creating awareness of the animal’s endangered state along with various other conservation efforts at its Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.You have to reserve your spots in advance (which Lightfoot Travel can easily arrange).
Tip for couples: indulge in the Ocean Wing Premier Rooms – they’re spacious and overlook the waters with a private balcony Jacuzzi. The Ocean Wing also has VIP check-in and its own pool that guests staying in the Garden Wing don’t have access to.
2. Siem Reap, Cambodia
Culture vultures and history fanatics, this one’s for you.
For those travelling without kids, the highlights of Siem Reap include seeing the floating schools, markets, and police stations at Tonle Sap Lake, also known as the Great Lake of Cambodia; visiting the Elephant Terrace and the Leper Terrace, as well as visiting Ta Prohm, a jungle-clad temple with overgrown tree.
This haunting site is better known as the site where Lara Croft Tomb Raider was filmed, and for families – definitely have a go at a treasure hunt around the site. Make sure to pre-book this treasure adventure with Lightfoot Travel – you won’t want to miss out!
Other kid-friendly activities include visiting the Bayon Temple while riding elephants, visiting the Silk Worm farm, and quad biking in the countryside.
We heard from Lightfoot that Victoria Ankgkor’s probably one of the best kid-friendly properties in Siem Reap. There are three little crocodiles that you can feed; it’s fully equipped with a kids pool and a kids club with an outdoor play area, and there are even babysitters which you can enlist the help of. Hey, you’re on holiday too!
3. Pulau Joyo, Indonesia
Do private islands really warrant an explanation?
Pulau Joyo is the easiest to get to (of the three picks): book a ferry to Bintan and you’ll be in the good hands of the Joyo staff upon arrival. Thereafter, you will be driven overland to a separate jetty, and it’s a 30 min speedboat over to the island.
Rent the entire island (psst, this place still isn’t taken for Christmas!) with a big bunch of friends or just the extended fam, or if you’re travelling small, rent out a single Driftwood Palace for yourself. The Palaces are set far enough from each other so you’re assured the privacy you’ll need.
The island is large enough for couples to move away from the main areas and lie on the beach in peace, but for those travelling with kids – there’s ample space for them to run around and wreak havoc!