Vietnam offers families a wealth of exciting experiences, from relaxing beach getaways to exploring vibrant cities and scenic natural wonders. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll outline the top destinations and tips for an unforgettable family holiday in Vietnam.
Holidaying in Vietnam for families from Australia
Vietnam’s combination of affordable costs, delicious food, diverse landscapes, and family-friendly culture make it a fantastic option for traveling with kids. From hidden beaches and lush jungles to bustling metropolises and historic towns, there is something exciting for all ages to discover. With a little planning and flexibility, you can customize a memorable trip that both parents and children will love.
Best time to visit with kids
The dry season from November to April is generally considered the best months for a family vacation in Vietnam, though the climate varies depending on the region. Winters are mild and sunny in the north and center, while temperatures remain warm year-round in the south. School holidays in June, July, and December see an influx of domestic tourists, so popular destinations may be busier. However, the dry weather and lack of rain make exploring more comfortable with children.
Top destinations for families
Hanoi, Northern Vietnam
As Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi rewards visitors with its colorful Old Quarter loaded with historical landmarks, temples, and museums. Kids can learn about the country’s rich culture while exploring on cyclo (trishaw) and wandering among street vendors selling tasty snacks. Nearby destinations like Tam Coc (Three Caves) and Ba Vi National Park offer scenic escapes from the bustling city.
Halong Bay, Northern Vietnam
Known for its spectacular limestone islands jutting out of emerald waters, Halong Bay offers opportunities for gentle activities the whole family can enjoy like cruising among the formations and stopping to swim. Multi-day boat trips with kid-friendly activities (hiking, kayaking, squid fishing, gentle cycling) provide an intro to this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Northern Vietnam
Nestled in a scenic valley surrounded by limestone mountains, Pu Luong offers opportunities for hiking, caving and bamboo rafting amid lush tropical forests. Guided walks lead to spectacular vistas and hidden waterfalls, making it a top choice for nature-loving families.
Hoi An, Central Vietnam
The well-preserved ancient town of Hoi An is very family-friendly with its pedestrian-only streets, lantern-lit alleyways, and abundance of delicious local dishes. Hands-on cultural activities like traditional craft demonstrations, lantern making and cooking classes are popular. The wide sandy beaches a short bike ride away provide space for kids to let off steam.
Hue, Central Vietnam
Along with its grand imperial architecture and royal tombs, Hue has pine-covered parkland well equipped with playgrounds, bike paths, and water parks where children can explore. Cultural activities like traditional puppet shows, kite making and flying and music performances are just as fun for the whole family.
Ho Chi Minh City, Southern Vietnam
With expansive green spaces like Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, as well as casinos and water parks in the outskirts, Vietnam’s most cosmopolitan city caters well to families. The huge Notre Dame Cathedral and History Museum incorporate interactive sections while educating about the country’s past. Air-conditioned shopping malls also offer relief from the tropical heat.
Mui Ne, Southern Vietnam
Nicknamed “White Sand Street,” Mui Ne boasts long stretches of powdery beaches ideal for relaxing in the sun or trying watersports together as a family. Other highlights include climbing giant sand dunes under the moonlight and spotting sea turtles in the waters during nesting season. Luxury resorts with kids’ clubs provide privacy too.
Phu Quoc, Southern Vietnam
Located off Vietnam’s southern coast, Phu Quoc island features beautiful beaches stretching along its coastline perfect for long strolls and relaxing with children. There are also forests, waterfalls and black pepper farms that make for exciting family activities and exploration.
Top tips for families
Holidaying in Vietnam for families on a budget
Vietnam is one of Southeast Asia’s most affordable destinations, so going with children needn’t break the bank. Opt for local fare over international restaurants, family run hotels and homestays over big hotels. Buy snacks from street vendors instead of commercial chains.
Pack oral rehydration packets, preventative medication if visiting remote areas, and first-aid essentials. Only drink bottled water and avoid raw veggies unless cooked thoroughly. Use sunscreen and insect repellent regularly. Seek medical care promptly if illness occurs.
Bringing the kids along
Pack lightweight clothes in breathable fabrics, entertainment like books, games and tablets, a portable charger, and small toys/crafts for in-transit time. Use a baby carrier for young ones and tie older kids’ shoelaces securely. Bring snacks, familiar foods, and their favorite stuffed toy for comfort.
Accessibility and rooming arrangements
Opt for hotels with interconnected rooms, swimming pools, and childminding services near attractions. Rent private cars/taxis with baby/booster seats if needed. Ask about wheelchair accessibility if relevant. Budget exclusive resorts often have kids clubs/programs too.
Keeping the family engaged
Build in activity breaks like parks, playgrounds, and interactive museums between longer travel days. Visit cultural showcases together. Take a cooking class or learn a Vietnamese craft. Go hiking, biking, or try non-motorized watersports in Tam Coc or in the Mekong Delta as a group.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Vietnam safe to travel with kids?
Yes, Vietnam is very safe for families as crime rates are low. However, do take normal safety precautions while in crowded areas or on busy roads.
What vaccinations do children need?
Routine immunizations and ensuring tetanus shots are updated is generally recommended. Consider others depending on destinations, your child’s age, health, and length of stay. Check travel health guidelines from your country.
Can kids easily adapt to the food?
Most kids enjoy Vietnamese staples like pho noodle soup, spring rolls and banh mi sandwiches. Look for kid-friendly dishes featuring rice, meat and vegetables. Avoid raw/undercooked food and spices that may be too strong.
How can I keep young toddlers entertained on planes and buses?
Stock up on small toys, books, tablets loaded with movies, coloring books, snacks, and comfort items. For longer flights, ask for help settling them in bulkhead seats with extra legroom. Take frequent toilet, snack and stretching breaks to break up trips.
Are there any activities catering especially to kids in Vietnam?
Popular spots have kids clubs, playgrounds, zoos, water/amusement parks and interactive museums geared towards children. Families can also join age-appropriate cultural classes, nature tours, cooking lessons and beach activities tailored for kids.
With its affordable costs, warm hospitality, contrasting landscapes, and family-focused culture, Vietnam offers profound experiences that both parents and children can enjoy together. By selecting destinations highlighted here and following some simple planning tips, you can craft an unforgettable holiday that will create memories to last for years to come. Vietnam absolutely deserves to be on every family’s travel bucket list.