3 cities for 3-generation family vacations
December 16, 2016 | BY Daween Maan
In the spirit of living a Life Well Travelled, we’ve shortlisted three destinations – perfect for parents, children and elderly grandparents – that offer something for everyone to do.
Exploration is as an innate a need to the human race as eating. For as far back as we can trace our history , humanity has always been on the move, searching for the edges of our world, and then pushing beyond them. We started on foot, then rode on horses, camels and carriages, before we sailed across the seas and, eventually, took to the skies.
Today, we fly with our families with ease, we travel for work receiving better service and trot the globe at advanced ages in incredible comfort, becoming not just well travelled, but also preferring to travel well.
With that in mind, we’ve shortlisted three destinations – perfect for parents, children and elderly grandparents – that not only offer something for everyone to do, but satisfy our innate need for a Life Well Travelled, in the best way possible.
‘Location, location, location’ turned the island on the Pearl River Delta into the sprawling metropolis it is today. Just a 4-hour flight from KL, with no time-change needed, Hong Kong is a concrete jungle of organized chaos and spectacular beauty, not dissimilar to western cities like New York. A tourist haven and food mecca, Hong Kong has plenty to offer visitors young and old.
There may be no place in Hong Kong that children will enjoy more than Disneyland. The wondrous theme park with dozens of rides and attractions is a magical place even for adults, who may find a thing or two from their childhood to get excited about. Days must be spent exploring every corner of the park – from Cinderella’s castle to the Mystic Manor, meeting Disney friends, old and new along the way.
While the sights and sounds make Hong Kong a city worth travelling to, the tastes and scents make it a city worth staying around for. The list of must-eats could read for hours, but just a few – beef brisket noodles, dim sum, curry fish balls, and egg puffs – will leave you salivating. The island has over 200 Michelin-starred restaurants and some of the most affordable in the world, offering an elevated dining experience that justifies the trip for any culinary tourist.
Duk Ling Harbour Cruise
Victoria Harbour is the reason Hong Kong evolved into a lively city powered by hustle and bustle, but it is also where visitors can experience a more relaxing affair. View the skyscraping city from a new perspective and bridge the gap of time on a night-time Duk Ling cruise, where you can sail down the waters as the fishermen and traders of old did, while admiring the bright and colourful lights of the Hong Kong they helped build.
Travelling further east across the Pacific Ocean, and 19-hours away from home, San Francisco is a colourful city, with just enough quirk to make for an interesting vacation. A hub of culture and art, the ‘City by the Bay’ is known for its interesting architecture and cool summers, making it a perfect location for a family holiday, a solo getaway, or just a relaxing vacation.
Children are often the biggest critics on any vacation, but a well-entertained mind leads to a well-travelled child. The Exploratorium doesn’t only entertain, it sneaks in some learning too. A hands-on experience that will challenge and delight both children and adults alike, the Exploratorium shows off the fun side of science and how it makes our world a more exciting place – easily the best way to spend a day with the kids.
San Francisco is a city where almost every adult can find something to appreciate, whether it is the architecture, the abundance of nature or just the culture. One place that captures all of the above is Pier 39. Apart from serving as the starting point for many of the bay’s tours, the pier is also a food, shopping and entertainment hub with activities aplenty – including watching the sea lions – to keep you busy.
Just across the bay from Pier 39, the historical island is worth a visit for just about anyone. Alcatraz Island has had a colourful history, but is perhaps most well known for its time as a prison. Explore the penitentiary on your own in the day, with an audio tour, or join a guided tour in the evening where you will get to feel like an inmate and get ‘locked’ in your cell. Fortunately, on this trip, escape from Alcatraz is guaranteed.
Since the Korean Wave flooded our pop culture with music and fashion, there’s never been a better time to ride the currents back to their source – Seoul. Despite being a booming metropolis, the capital of South Korea is a bastion of tradition and natural beauty that embraces the fruits of globalisation while holding dear to their culture, and sharing it with all who visit.
Seoul Forest is the South Korea's answer to Central Park, New York, and has plenty to offer kids and their parents. Rented bicycles are the best way to experience the forest and all its beauty, stopping along the way to feed the fish and the deer, as well as explore its 4 playgrounds. Before the end of the day, stop by the splash fountain and let the children play to their hearts content; change of clothes is advised.
For a more physically challenging and naturally immersive experience, parents should consider hiking the Bukhansan – ‘the big mountain in the north.’ With over a hundred different ways to reach many of its peaks that offer breath-taking views of Seoul, Mount Bukhan screams for an adventure. The mountain is also home Bukhansanseong Fortress and it’s 8,500 metre wall – a must-see if you’re conquering it.
Gyeongbokgung Palace is the largest of Seoul’s ‘Five Grand Palaces.’ Inhabited by the kings of the Joseon dynasty, it maintains some of its grandeur of old, as the National Palace Museum, but also with its palace guards. Witness the opening and closing ceremonies, changing of the guards as well as performances at intervals throughout the day. You could even go a step further and experience what its like to be a palace guard yourself, in costume and all.
With so much to do, and just enough time to do it all, living well, and travelling well couldn’t be easier.
Cathay Pacific believes that travelling well is an important part of living well. With this enduring philosophy at the heart of everything they do, they continuously strive to enhance the overall travel experience to ensure that every trip becomes more memorable, more meaningful and more rewarding. Discover what #lifewelltravelled means to fellow passengers and see how Cathay Pacific enables you to travel well, here.
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