Family travel snap: floating down the river in China

This month our family travel snap covers adventures in Yangshuo, China with Lonely Planet's Digital Content Manager Josh Vogel, his partner and intrepid young son Phinn.

Kids Blog - josh
Phinn checks out the beautiful landscape while Mum keeps a tight grip © Josh Vogel

What’s the story behind this photo?

We’re in Yangshuo in China with our 11-month-old son Phinn. We only had a few days and it rained on every single one of them, but Phinn was a trooper and we didn’t let the weather stop us. Every day after breakfast I strapped him on my back, we grabbed bicycles from the hotel and set off on an adventure. This picture was taken on a bamboo raft heading down the Yulong River.

Afterwards we jumped back on our bikes and headed through a small village to the other side of those crazy-looking limestone mountains where we hiked up Moon Hill, Yangshuo's famous arch-shaped rock formation.

I chose this photo because this was one of Phinn's favourite parts of the trip. He busily pointed at just about everything he could see and he found the small falls we had to cross on the raft incredibly exciting. The beauty of the landscape and the enthusiasm of our baby son made it a very special day.

Kids’ perspective

At 11 months old, every aspect of this trip was a lot to take in, but Phinn always had a smile and that smile broke down a lot of cultural walls. He looks through our pictures and videos all the time and tells us ‘I like it’.

Josh’s tips for visiting Yangshuo with kids:

1) Get out and explore on two wheels! There's so much to see and we found the best way to take it all in was on a bicycle.

2) The night market is a fascinating experience. Go early before it gets too busy, don’t stay too long and have an exit plan ready for when all the attention overwhelms young children.

Where’s next on your family travel bucket list?

We're planning on city-hopping around western Europe's Christmas markets, with a detour to the fairy-tale castle of Burg Hohenzollern.

Lastly, complete the sentence:

When we shut the front door ready to go and travel as a family, we always…

…make sure we have plenty of snacks – you never know where the road will take you.