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Three family-friendly destinations for your year-end holiday

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Now that school’s out, it’s time for a fun family getaway. Here are three Southeast Asian destinations to consider.

Bali, Indonesia
Located 25 minutes from Ngurah Rai International Airport, Sanur Beach has a quiet and laidback atmosphere, and plenty of family-friendly accommodations such as Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites. Your kids can easily spend an entire day at the hotel’s Camp Splash! Kids Club, which means plenty of alone time for you and your spouse.

Though it’s tempting to just lie on the beach, your kids will enjoy spending time at the Bali Zoo in Gianyar. If they’re six years and older, you can sign them up to be a zookeeper for a day. Another entertaining and educational option is the Bali Safari and Marine Park, where they can enjoy a safari tour, play at the waterpark, go on fun rides, and watch a Bali Agung theatre show.

Chiang Mai, Thailand
If your kids are at least five years old and 1-metre-tall, you can sign them or the entire family up for Flight of the Gibbon’s zipline tour through Mae Takhrai park. Channel your inner gibbon as you glide along the 5km-long zipline, touted as ‘Asia’s longest single “flight.’” The payoff – to see rare wildlife up close, and to bond with your kids – is well worth the workout.

Another must when in Chiang Mai is to visit the elephants. Elephant Nature Park, a rescue and rehabilitation centre for abused elephants, lets you volunteer and help care for the herd while learning about their past. Fancy being an elephant owner for a day? Head to Patara Elephant Farm, where you’ll get to bathe, feed and ride one, and see how they live. Your kids will definitely love the hands-on experience of learning about and interacting with these gentle creatures.

Cebu, The Philippines
If you want to feel the Christmas spirit, go to Cebu in The Philippines. Check in at the Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa while you’re there. Like the rest of the country, it will be decked out for the festive season, and holiday menus will be offered at its restaurants. But more importantly, your kids will have plenty to do. The hotel’s children’s pool, indoor playground and video arcade guarantee hours of fun for your young ones.

Make a day trip to Cebu City, where more kid-friendly activities await. For an adrenaline-pumping thrill ride, take your kids to Sky Experience Adventure, located at Crown Regency Hotel and Towers, one of the tallest hotel towers in the Philippines. If they’re at least 132cm tall, they can go on the Edge Coaster, which takes them on an eye-opening journey on the edge of the tower’s 38th storey with stunning views of the city. For something less hair-raising but just as fun, go ice skating or topple some pins at SM Seaside City Cebu’s Olympic-sized rink and bowling centre.

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