If thrills are your thing, then here’s Skyscanner‘s pick of the best theme parks and water parks in our region. By the way, if you get there early and avoid weekends and school holidays, the queues may not be unsurmountable.
1. Ocean Park, Hong Kong
Forget about Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park is the theme park of choice in busy Hong Kong. It’s on two levels, reached by a cable car offering panoramic views of the sea and the island below. There are some amazing rides here, including a couple of good roller coasters, while the animal attractions add an extra dimension. We love the penguin house, the walruses, and even the exotic goldfish.
2. Everland, Seoul (South Korea)
Everland is crazy. It boasts one of the steepest wooden roller coasters in the world, and another with two complete loop-the-loop sections. There are plenty of staff members doing very funny waves and sporting cheesy smiles too, while a few tigers and lions add to the excitement.
It might not look as modern and might need a touch up here and there, but Siam Park offers fresh air, a large ocean-style wave pool, water slides, and some good rides. Kids will love it. Don’t take board shorts, they’re not allowed, but you can rent Speedos.
It may be one hour and 45 minutes from downtown Tokyo, but it’s worth the trip. Expect four heart-pounding roller coasters, a scary haunted hospital and great views of Mt Fuji. The only downside is the long wait for the rides in summer. Go off-season instead.
Photo credit: LuxTonnerre
5. Universal Studios, Singapore
There are separate themed ‘worlds’ here, and a special express ticket to help you jump the queues. Roller coasters are star attractions of course, but there are lots of less frightening things to do for younger kids. The best rides include an indoor roller coaster called Revenge of the Mummy, the thrilling CYCLON roller coaster based on Battlestar Galactica and a fabulous Transformers 3D ride.
Many people rate this theme park as being up there with the very best in the world. It’s close to Tokyo Disneyland, but is more orientated to adults. The themed areas, such as Cape Cod, are authentic and well done. If you like to free-fall through pitch darkness, and like riding into the centre of a severe storm, then this is the place for you.
Photo credit: Paul Pichota
This delightful water park makes for a great day out for the entire family. It’s large and clean and comes with lots of incredible water slides that twist and bank and shoot you through the air. What fun!
8. Sea World, Gold Coast (Australia)
Go snorkelling with sharks and sting rays in a giant aquarium, watch the dolphins up to their unusual tricks and have fun on a couple of rides. Get the picture? Sea World is one of the most popular theme parks in Australia, and while not up to the scale of others around the world, it’s good clean family fun.
Read more: Magnetic North Queensland
9. Dreamworld, Gold Coast (Australia)
You can cuddle a koala here, and watch a terrific tiger show, but Dreamworld is mainly about the big ticket rides like the Tower of Terror, oh, and the water slides that cool you down in that Queensland heat.
Ok, it’s not on the same scale as some of the bigger water parks around Asia, but you’ve gotta love little old Jambaroo. It’s close to Sydney, allows you to bring in your own food and drinks and has some cool rides. We like the toboggan runs, the large wave pool, and the heart-stopping Funnel Web water slide.