It’s no secret that school can be very stressful. In fact, 50% of Malaysians aged 13 to 17 suffer from mental health issues caused by school-related stress. With such alarming statistics, it’s imperative that students get much needed R&R during the Malaysian school holidays.

With the March Holidays coming up, parents should take the opportunity to go on a relaxing trip with their kids! Luckily, there are several family-friendly travel destinations near Malaysia you can choose from. Check them out below!

Da Nang, Vietnam

Travel time from Kuala Lumpur to Da Nang: 2h 35m by plane

sun chairs and umbrellas by the beachCredit: Expedia

Da Nang (or Danang) is a rapidly developing coastal city in Central Vietnam. It’s Vietnam’s third-largest city and is considered the most important port city. Da Nang offers visitors a dizzying array of things to see and do! Families who want to spend a sunny day at the beach should head straight for My Khe Beach or Non Nuoc Beach. The city also has some parks families can’t miss out on, such as Sun World Asia Park and 29/3 Park. Get a bird’s eye view of beautiful Da Nang at Ban Co Peak and end the day with a filling meal at Han Market or Con Market.

Da Nang Travel Budget

Like the rest of Vietnam, Da Nang is an incredibly affordable place to visit. On average, each person can spend roughly RM100/day. That should cover public transportation, meals, and budget accommodation. For a relaxing stay, we recommend booking a room at Tam House Villa Hotel.

Flights to Da Nang, Vietnam

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Travel time from Kuala Lumpur to Chiang Mai: 2h 45m by plane

kids running up a dirt roadCredit: Expedia

If you’re a family of nature-lovers, then you’re going to love Chiang Mai. Famed for its breathtaking Buddhist temples, Chiang Mai is an exciting mix of nature, wildlife, and culture. First on your itinerary should definitely be visiting all the temples. These include Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Wat Chedi Luang, and more! We also recommend visiting the Chiang Mai X Centre for more outdoor fun. Learn more about Thailand’s culture by visiting Padung Village (where the Long Neck Ethnic Hill Tribe reside) and Bo Sang Handicraft Village (where you can find traditional Thai handcrafts)!

Chiang Mai Travel Budget

On average, visitors can expect to spend around RM170/day. It’s a little more expensive than Vietnam, but it should be enough to cover most expenses. Depending on where you’re eating and where you’re going, food can cost around RM37/day and transportation can cost around RM12/day. For a unique experience, stay at the Chiang Mai Rainforest Hotel!

Flights to Chiang Mai, Thailand

Davao, Philippines

Travel time to Davao from Kuala Lumpur: 6h 10m by plane via Singapore

man climbing over ropes outdoorsCredit: Stephanie Ecate / Unsplash

Davao is considered one of the safest cities in the Philippines, making it an ideal destination for families. Aside from being safe, Davao is also rapidly developing to improve its tourism industry. If you want to spend some time outdoors, then head straight to Eden Nature Park where you can go ziplining or SkyCycling! You can even make your own chocolates at Malagos Garden Resort, home of award-winning Malagos Chocolate. Speaking of chocolates, go on a street food trip along Roxas Night Market! Try local favourites like isaw (chicken intestines), proben (chicken proventriculus), and more.

Davao Travel Budget

Despite being one of the Philippines’ major cities, Davao remains significantly more affordable than both Manila and Cebu. On average, a daily budget of RM170 is plenty for most. If you want to stay somewhere classy with a pool for the kids, then we recommend staying at Marco Polo Davao.

Flights to Davao, Philippines

Hong Kong

Travel time from Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong: 4h 5m by plane

panda lying on rock in gardenCredit: Elena Loshina / Unsplash

Hong Kong is one of Southeast Asia’s most modern cities. In fact, it’s been crowned as the world’s most expensive city. However, beneath the flashy exterior is a surprisingly family-friendly destination. Families will have a long list of things to see and do in Hong Kong, even if you don’t factor in Hong Kong Disneyland! We also recommend you visit homegrown theme park Ocean Park where you can watch shows and see pandas. You should also include the Hong Kong Science Museum, Hong Kong Space Museum, and Madame Tussauds on your itinerary!

Hong Kong Travel Budget

Hong Kong just might be the most expensive place on this list. On average, travellers can expect to spend around RM550/day in Hong Kong. This should cover expenses for food, transportation, accommodation, and some entrance fees. If you want to stay somewhere swanky but not too expensive, we recommend the Dorsett Mongkok.

Flights to Hong Kong

Seoul, South Korea

Travel time from Kuala Lumpur to Seoul: 6h 25m by plane

mascots in front of castleCredit: Expedia

Seoul is often defined by its status as the birthplace of Kpop and Kdrama. But Seoul has so much more to offer than that! The fun, vibrant capital of South Korea is also an excellent place for families to visit. First on the list for kids would definitely have to be both Everland and Lotte World, two of Seoul’s most popular theme parks. Lotte World is also where you’ll find the outdoor amusement park called Magic Island. You can already tell they’re going to be a hit for the kids just based off of their names! Other must-see attractions for families are Children’s Grand Park, Coex Aquarium, and the Seoul Children’s Museum. Make sure you get to try on traditional Hanboks with your kids as well!

Seoul Travel Budget

Like Hong Kong, Seoul can be a pretty pricey place to visit. On average, each visitor can expect to spend anywhere between RM400-570/day in Seoul. This should be sufficient to cover most expenses, including entrance fees to the theme parks. If you want to stay somewhere generally affordable and family-friendly, then we recommend Orakai Insadong Suites.

Flights to Seoul, South Korea

Pai, Thailand

Travel time from Kuala Lumpur to Pai: 2h 45m by plane

kids wild water rafting on riverCredit: Expedia

Hidden away in the valleys of Thailand lies a charming little town called Pai. While not as popular as Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Pai is slowly on the rise as an up and coming travel destination. Pai offers visitors many opportunities to experience the great outdoors. Take the kids for a fun hike up Pai Canyon where you get sweeping valley views. You should also schedule a trip to Mo Paeng Waterfall and Tha Pai Hot Springs. For affordable street food, a trip to Nature Life @ PAI is a must!

Pai Travel Budget

Families on a budget will be happy to know that Pai is an incredibly affordable place to visit. On average, you can expect to spend around RM250/day while you’re there. This should cover some cheap meals, local transportation, and budget accommodation. If you want to stay somewhere with dorm-style rooms, we recommend staying at the Brick House Hostel Pai.

Flights to Pai, Thailand

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Travel time from Kuala Lumpur to Yogyakarta: 2h 35m by plane

temple silhouette with mountain in backgroundCredit: Expedia

Home of the majestic Borobudur Temple, Yogyakarta is considered the heart and soul of Indonesia. It’s where you’ll find some of Indonesia’s most significant cultural attractions. Take the kids on an adventure at the Prambanan Temple Compound which is quite similar to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat. It’s a great place just to ramble and take in all the history. Another place to explore would be the Taman Sari Water Castle which was the former royal garden of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta.

Yogyakarta Travel Budget

Like the rest of Indonesia, visiting Yogyakarta is quite affordable. You can expect to spend around RM215/day on average. This should be sufficient to cover expenses for food, public transportation and budget accommodation. However, if you want to stay somewhere fancy while you’re there, we recommend booking a room at The Phoenix Yogyakarta – MGallery.

Flights to Pai, Thailand

Osaka, Japan

Travel time from Kuala Lumpur to Osaka: 6h by plane

tourists in front of fountainCredit: Expedia

Osaka is the commercial port city on the island of Honshu in Japan. Bright, lively, and colourful, Osaka offers families a wide array of things to do, see, and eat! The city is absolutely brimming with kid-friendly attractions such as the Kids Plaza Osaka. It’s a huge educational museum dedicated to kids! Of course, no trip to Osaka would be complete without a visit to the Universal Studios Japan and the Osaka Aquarium. If you want to go on a food trip with the kids, then stroll along the lively Dotombori.

Osaka Travel Budget

As far as budget is concerned, Osaka can be considered a mid-range travel destination. On average, you can expect to spend roughly RM340/day while you’re there. This should be sufficient to cover expenses for food, public transportation, and accommodation. For a unique experience, we recommend staying at a capsule hotel like Capsule Hotel ASTIL Dotonbori.

Flights to Osaka, Japan

Southeast Asia is brimming with travel destinations that great for families. With so many destinations nearby, there’s no reason not to go on a relaxing holiday with the kids. Start planning your trips with Expedia today!