When it comes to taking some time off, who better to do it with than your family? A short and sweet family weekend getaway can be a great way to recharge your body, mind, and soul. There are some additional considerations for a family trip when you travelling with young children or elderly family members. So family-friendly destinations that are nearby are your best options — they’re easier to get to, short travel times and have attractions to entertain all age groups.

We’ve mapped out some of the best family-friendly destinations near Malaysia for you and your family!

Family Weekend Getaways

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1) Koh Samui, Thailand

Average travel time from Kuala Lumpur: 1 h 40 min

What’s shiok: Relaxing beaches, Buddhist temples, jungle adventures, vibrant nightlife, delicious Thai food

Top Family-Friendly Attractions

Samui Go-Kart

Suitable for kids aged 7 years old and above, Samui Go-Kart has a 500m long track that’s both challenging and entertaining.

Coco Splash Adventure & Water Park

The whole family can enjoy a wet-and-wild day at Coco Splash Adventure & Water Park in Lamai. With huge waterslides, bungee trampolines, and bumper boats, there’s no shortage of fun activities here.

Ang Thong Marine National Park

Go island-hopping at the Ang Thong Marine National Park located just an hour northwest of Koh Samui. Explore exotic lands, go snorkelling, and take a kayak to explore some hidden coves.

Must-eats in Koh Samui

Koh Samui has no shortage of affordable (and tasty!) Thai street food. The most common ones you’ll find there are pad thai (stir-fried noodles), fresh coconut ice cream for the kids, and khao jee (grilled sticky rice) which is perfect for a midday snack.

 

 Pad thai / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / Cory Gurman

 

Best Places to Stay for Families

Chaweng – Chaweng is the heart of Koh Samui and is easily the island’s busiest area. Here you’ll find a wide selection of restaurants, hotels, clubs, bars, and tourist attractions.

Bophut – If you want to avoid the crowds, head straight to Bophut where it’s more peaceful and you get the local flavour of Thailand.

Lamai – Lamai is the next most popular area in Koh Samui after Chaweng. Here, you’ll find Lamai beach, several spa resorts, shopping outlets, and a nightlife scene comparable to Chaweng’s.

Atas Hotel
Budget Hotel

Best Budget Hotel: Chaweng Noi Pool Villa

 

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2) Taipei, Taiwan

Average travel time from Kuala Lumpur: 4 h 50 min

What’s shiok: Night markets, heritage sites, kid-friendly tourist attractions

Top Family-friendly Attractions

Taipei Zoo

Simulating different natural environments, Taipei Zoo is a feast for the senses. The main highlight of the zoo is undoubtedly the two pandas that reside there.

Eat and shop at night markets

Taipei is known for its night markets teeming with cheap street food and bargain deals. The most popular night markets are Shilin Night Market, Raohe St. Night Market, and Ningxia Night Market.

Visit all the museums

There is no shortage of museums in Taipei. Give the kids an educational trip by allowing them to soak up Taipei’s rich history at the National Palace Museum, Shung Ye Museum, and more.

Must-eats in Taipei

Taiwanese cuisine has several variations but is heavily influenced by other Southeast Asian cuisines. Popular eats in Taipei include scallion and daikon,  pancake, pearl milk tea, and beef noodle soup.

 Beef noodle soup / CC BY-ND 2.0 / Krissyho

 

Best Places to Stay in Taipei

Da’an – Da’an District is one of Taipei’s most peaceful and safest areas. It’s a good choice if you’re looking to get away from the hectic city life and enjoy a more local vibe.

Songshan – If you’re only looking to visit for a couple of days, Songshan District is an ideal place to stay at. It’s close to the airport and it’s where you’ll find Raohe St. Night Market.

Shilin – Shilin is a great place for families to stay at because it has a lot of family-friendly attractions and hotel accommodations. You’ll find Shilin Night Market here as well as the world’s first cat cafe, Cat Flower Garden.

Atas Hotel

Best Atas Hotel: W Taipei

Budget Hotel

Best Budget Hotel: Taipei Morning Hotel

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3) Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Average travel time from Kuala Lumpur: 2 h 15 min

What’s shiok: Breathtaking heritage sites, rich Indonesian culture, several exhilarating outdoor activities

Top Family-friendly Attractions

Visit the temples

Yogyakarta has an abundance of temples for visitors to admire. The most popular ones are Borobudur Temple and Prambanan Temple which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Visit the Taman Sari Water Castle

This “castle” is made up of four areas: a large artificial lake, a bathing complex, pavilions and pools, and a smaller lake. It’s a wonderful place to go exploring on foot.

Watch a performance of the Ramayana Ballet

One of Yogyakarta’s cultural treasures, the Ramayana Ballet is not to be missed. It tells the story of the epic Ramayana saga.

Must-Eats in Yogyakarta

For the best culinary experience, it’s best to head straight for Yogyakarta’s street food stalls. Must-eads in the city include

  • charcoal coffee
  • gudeg (jackfruit stew)
  • satay klathak (goat or mutton satay)

 Gudeg / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / Antony Pranata

 

Best areas to stay

Malioboro – Malioboro is located in Central Yogyakarta and has an abundance of street food and affordable hostels. You can also enjoy a horse cart ride which is a tourist novelty.

Jalan Prawirotaman – This is one of Yogyakarta’s quieter districts and is close to a lot of good eateries.

Sosrowijayan – Sosrowijayan is extremely well-located with a wide selection of affordable and mid-range hotels. It is close to a lot of tourist attractions, too.

Atas Hotel

Best Atas Hotel: Hotel Tentrem

Budget Hotel

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4) Ipoh, Malaysia

Average travel time from Kuala Lumpur: 43 min

What’s shiok: Affordable Malaysian street food, laid-back old town vibes, street murals, exciting cave temples

Top Family-friendly Attractions

Explore cave temples

Ipoh’s most popular tourist attractions are its cave temples. There are several scattered throughout the city with the most popular ones being Kek Long Tong Cave Temple and Perak Cave Temple.

Check out the town murals

For seemingly sleepy and conservative town, Ipoh has a surprising number of street murals you can take photos in front of.

Visit the Lost World of Tambun

This amusement park is Ipoh’s biggest tourist attraction and houses a huge water park, a zoo, and hotsprings — perfect for a fun-filled day with the family.

Must-Eats

Ipoh is a Malaysian food paradise with the best food being found in the streets. Some must-eats in the area include Ipoh’s signature white coffee, beansprout chicken, and chee cheong fun (steamed rice rolls with soy sauce).

Beansprout chicken / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / Linus Mak

Best areas to stay

Old Town – This is the most popular area in Ipoh and is where you’ll find a cluster of historic colonial buildings as well as an array of hotels and restaurants.

Gunung Rapat – Gunung Rapat is where you’ll want to stay if you want to be close to Ipoh’s many cave temples.

Tambun – Tambun is home to many hot springs as well as the Lost World of Tambun.

Atas Hotel

Best Atas Hotel: Cameron Highlands Resort

Budget Hotel

Best Budget Hotel: Merton Hotel Ipoh

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5) Tokyo, Japan

Average travel time from Kuala Lumpur: 7 h 10 min

What’s shiok: Anime and manga, exquisite Japanese food, fast-paced city life, vibrant Japanese culture, efficient transport system

Family-friendly activities

Shibuya Walking Food Tour

One of the best things about Tokyo is its food. Go on a Shibuya Walking Food Tour where you can simultaneously enjoy good food and Tokyo’s iconic sites.

Visit the many museums

There is no shortage of museums in Tokyo. Some noteworthy museums include the National Museum of Nature and Science and the Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.

Tokyo Dome City

Forget Disneyland! Enjoy a day at Tokyo Dome City instead located right in the heart of the city. Rides, food, and games await the whole family.

Must-Eats in Tokyo

It can be hard to sample all of Tokyo’s best eats in a single weekend trip, but if we had to choose, we highly recommend tendon (rice bowl with fried vegetables and seafood toppings), tsukemen (dipping noodles), and chanko nabe (protein-rich stew for weight-gain).

Tsukemen / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / CLF

Best areas to stay

Shinjuku – Shinjuku is one of the best areas to stay in Tokyo for its close proximity and easy access to all the tourist attractions. It has everything you need: hotels, shops, restaurants, and more!

Roppongi – This area offers a diverse mix of hotels, nightclubs, and restaurants. It has the most vibrant nightlife scene in all of Tokyo.

Shibuya – Shibuya is a great place to stay if you want to go shopping. It’s conveniently located and offers easy access to all the tourist destinations via train.

Atas Hotel

Best Atas Hotel: Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

Budget Hotel

Best Budget Hotel: Bunka Hostel Tokyo

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6) Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Average travel time from Kuala Lumpur: 1h 45m

What’s shiok: Relaxing beaches, slow-paced and laid-back atmosphere, affordable Vietnamese food

Family-friendly activities

Visit the Vinpearl Safari

Vinpearl Safari is Phu Quoc’s first safari zoo featuring 3000 animals of 150 species from around the world. This is a great place for kids to come face-to-face with all their favourite animals.

Hike the Ganh Dau Trail

The Ganh Dau Trail is a light, easy trail that’s suitable for all ages. The surrounding greenery is mystical, lush, and beautiful.

Phu Quoc Go Kart

Kids will enjoy go kart racing at Phu Quoc Go Kart. It features a 320 m long track with sharp curves. There’s no age limit, but you have to be at least 1.5 m tall to drive!

Must-Eats

Noodle soups and seafood dishes reign supreme in Phu Quoc. A few must-try dishes include banh canh (fish and pork noodle soup), bun rieu cua (crab soup), and banh xeo (sizzling pancake).

Bun rieu cua / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / || milsom ||

Best Places to Stay in

Ganh Dau – Best known for Dai Beach, Phu Quoc’s most beautiful beach, Ganh Dau is Phu Quoc’s upscale area where all the 5-star hotels and resorts are located.

North Bai Truong – This area is perfect for families who want to stay in the thick of the action in Phu Quoc. There’s a wide assortment of restaurants as well as cultural and historical places.

Bai Vung Bau – This area features a number of affordable resorts and hotels with several quiet areas to relax and unwind. Vung Bau Beach is also close by for families who want to spend some time by the beach.

 

Atas Hotel
Budget Hotel

Best Budget Hotel: Island Lodge Phu Quoc

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7) Langkawi, Malaysia

Average travel time from Kuala Lumpur: 1 h 5 min

What’s shiok: Pristine beaches, breathtaking natural landscapes, vibrant nightlife,

Family-friendly activities

Spend a day at Oriental Village

Oriental Village is Langkawi’s outdoor shopping complex which offers souvenirs, clothes, and food. There are also a number of fun activities for the kids, including ziplines and cable car rides.

Take a ride on Langkawi Cable Car

The Langkawi Cable Car is the steepest in the world and gives you breathtaking views of the island.

Go on an ATV tour

For adventurous families, you can go on a whole day ATV tour exploring rice fields, farms, and go through rainforests.

Must-eats in Langkawi

Enjoy local Malaysian street food such as nasi lemak (coconut rice), nasi ayam (chicken rice), and pisang goreng (fried banana with chilli).

Nasi lemak / CC BY 2.0 / Khairul Abdullah

Best Places to Stay in Langkawi

Pantai Tengah – Pantai Tengah is the place for you if you’re travelling on a budget. There are a number of bars and restaurants and is close to the beach.

Kuah – Considered the heart of Langkawi, Kuah is one of the most convenient places to stay for tourists. It’s home to many shopping and dining options.

Tanjung Rhu – This is Langkawi’s most family-friendly area. It’s relatively peaceful and features the island’s 5-star hotels and resorts.

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And that’s a wrap! 7 fun-filled destinations near Singapore that you and your kids will surely enjoy. Where is your next family weekend escapade?