Travel search engine KAYAK.sg reveals the best family travel spots to count constellations and marvel at the Milky Way
If your city kids are much more familiar with taxis and takeaways than they are with open fields and wildlife, it may be time to trade in the skyscrapers for a million twinkling stars. Luckily, some of the world’s prime stargazing destinations are just a short flight away. The travel experts at KAYAK.sg share their top five spots for pondering the cosmos and impressing your loved ones with what you learned in Astronomy 101.
This mostly undiscovered beach town is full of local charm and free of light pollution, making it perfect for stargazing. Grab a flashlight and a beach blanket and stake out a spot for a family star-hunting session on an undeveloped stretch of sand. Come armed with a star map to make identifying famous constellations like Orion, Cassiopeia and the Dippers a breeze. During the day, take boat trips to a nearby island, snorkel, ride ponies on the beach, fly kites and dig for sand crabs.
How to get there: We found flights to Yangon from S$256. From there, local airlines fly daily to Ngapali Beach in less than an hour for around S$100.
Where to stay: Nightly prices for a room for three at the Amazing Ngapali Resort start at S$220
For a unique Bali experience, camp out under the stars near Mount Batur, an active volcano surrounded by forest and flanked by a beautiful lake. If your kids are old enough, combine your stargazing adventure with a sunrise trek to Batur’s summit. A million twinkling stars and views of the volcano’s crater and the surrounding countryside will make the pre-dawn wake up call worthwhile. Soothe sore muscles at the nearby natural hot springs, which include a children’s pool.
How to get there: We found flights to Bali from S$252.
Where to stay: Nightly prices for a room for three at The Ayu Kintamani start at S$275.
Stargazers and history buffs big and small will enjoy the sleepy hamlet of Phetchaburi, about two hours outside of Bangkok, where King Rama IV built an observatory alongside his palace on a hill in the mid-1800s. The observatory remains open to the public and is now part of Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park. Ride the convenient cable car to the top to explore the palace complex, which was built in a mix of European and Chinese styles, and the surrounding temples. When the sun sets, make like King Rama IV and indulge in some serious stargazing.
How to get there: We found flights to Bangkok from S$250.
Where to stay: Nightly prices for a room for three at Sea Sky Beach Resort at S$94
Escape the smog and ambient light of Hanoi and marvel at an endless sea of stars from the deck of a wooden junk boat floating in Ha Long Bay. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its stunning scenery featuring thousands of limestone islands, is a great spot for getting away from it all and contemplating the vastness of the cosmos. During the day, the kids will love kayaking and exploring mysterious caves like Sung Sot on Bo Hon Island, one of the largest in the area. After dark, count heavenly bodies as the boats bob quietly in the emerald bay.
How to get there: We found flights to Hanoi from S$265.
Where to stay: Nightly prices for a room for three at Paradise Suites Hotel start at S$228
The PAGASA Observatory and Planetarium just an hour outside of Manila hosts lectures, educational tours and films about stars and the universe. The observatory is open 24 hours a day and boasts the largest operational telescope in the country. It is the place to be for amateur stargazers and school groups when significant astronomical phenomena like eclipses and meteor showers occur, but even on a normal day the observatory is worth a visit. Take a turn at the telescope to find stars, planets and satellites that would never be visible with the naked eye.
How to get there: We found flights to Manila from S$286.
Where to stay: Nightly prices for a room for three at B Hotel Quezon City start at S$150.
KAYAK.sg’s travel tool Explore enables Singapore travellers to gain travel inspiration and find flights within their set budget during their preferred travel month of the year to various destinations around the world.
Happy stargazing, mamas!
Lead image and last image sourced via Pinterest. *Images are illustrative only and may not be used, shared or made available for download. Data provided by KAYAK.sg is based on flight and hotel searches conducted on 28 June 2016. Flight prices quoted are per person from Singapore and accommodation prices are based on double occupancy. Prices are quoted in Singapore dollars, may be subject to change and may no longer be available.