For most people, and I speak for most people I personally know here in L.A., going to South East Asia meant going alone, with friends or as a couple. You don’t talk about going to South East Asia with your family, unless you are a missionary, in the peace corps or a military personnel being deployed to the Philippines or Indonesia. South East Asia is simply too much of an adventure with a very unfamiliar culture for the family. Especially if you intend to bring young kids with you.
At this point, I prefer to disagree. Practically grew up in Okinawa and Subic during my formative years (yes I am an army brat) before my parents retired early 2010. I noticed as I grew up, people tend to show their biases quite readily towards the unfamiliar. South East Asia has a lot to offer, once you’ve given it a chance. A lot has changed since the 80’s. That includes economy, security, and technology. With the influx of tourists from the states and Europe to the region, South East Asia has fast become a major tourist destination for the whole family. Not just for backpackers and honeymooners. But including the middle-class types that lug around strollers and car seats.
Speaking of strollers and car seats. Parents tend to struggle with the dilemma of having these cumbersome items to gate check or to bring it aboard. What to do? I always make sure that my kid’s stroller and car seat are gate checked. You’ve heard the stories, about strollers and car seats checked in along with your baggage. If it’s not damaged, it gets misplaced by the baggage handlers and your car seat gets delayed by a day or two. It is not worth the hassle! So better get a car seat travel bag. Check out AMT PRO and get this awesome car seat travel bag ONLY $29.77! TOTAL CONVENIENCE for a gate check car seat bag FOR LESS THAN $30.
Now that we have that settled. I will admit that there will be some tourist spots that can be less accessible than others, for a number of valid and obvious reasons. But these places are not really the reason why you want to bring the family to the region.
Reasons for going to South East Asia
- The sights. I am talking about very accessible places that totally differ from what we have in the US. The cultural immersion is simply awesome!
- The food. It’s not just about curry and spices. Trust me, South East Asia has more to offer than fried food, noodles, and dumplings.
- The people. Trust me, not everyone will gawk at your kids for having blond hair and blue eyes. Let me assure you, if you give it a chance, the cross-cultural experience will simply blow you away. And I meant that in a family-oriented way.