Vietnam family vacation: Best itineraries to explore Vietnam with kids

Traveling with your kids is always not an easy task and many people find it challenging to design a Vietnam family vacation. Your kids may get bored by a classic itinerary with so many museums, temples, pagodas, etc. I bet you wish you would find this blog sooner as with the below suggestions, your work will be so much easier. Let’s check some destinations in Vietnam to choose the best places for your Vietnam family holidays this year.

Is Vietnam a good place to travel with kids?

Yes, Vietnam is an excellent place to travel with kids for a wide variety of things to do from culture, fun activities, and adventures, to participating in hands-on experiences and also considered as a safe country for travelers.

Additionally, Vietnamese people have a strong appreciation for children and are usually warm and accommodating towards families. You can expect to receive assistance and kindness from locals while traveling with your kids and it will be a lifetime journey.

Best cities to visit in Vietnam with family

Hanoi

There are lots of things to do in Hanoi with kids, so here is the overview of highlight experiences to help you plan your trip more easily:

  • Cultural & history learning: Ho Chi Minh Complex, One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
  • Foodies: Street food in Hanoi Old Quarter
  • Fun activities: Have a ride on an electric bus or motorbike through narrow streets

You can explore Hanoi’s unique culture and rich history by starting with a half-day city tour and visiting the Ho Chi Minh Complex, One Pillar Pagoda, and The Temple of Literature. These cultural experiences are sure to spark your children’s curiosity and open their minds to a different world.

Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausolem
Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausolem

Hanoi is a foodie’s paradise, so street food is something you can’t miss. From slurping on bowls of Pho to munching on crispy Banh mi, etc.

Back to the Old Quarter and you should have a ride on an electric bus or motorbike through its narrow streets to immerse yourself in local life. The streets were named for their product or location and still bear such names nowadays.

Optional: The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a gem. If you and your kids love exploring the interactive exhibits, there are traditional houses and you can discover the diverse ethnic groups of Vietnam. The puppet shows can be a consideration as they show traditional stories from Vietnamese folklore.

Ninh Binh

If you have the time, take a two-hour drive from Hanoi to Ninh Binh. Here you can try new experiences and explore the natural beauty of the area. Take a rowing boat to explore the picturesque waterways in Tam Coc ecological site or Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex.

Riding bicycles through the countryside, tiny villages, serene rice paddies and interacting with local people is something that will make your trip memorable. You can sense their genuine friendliness and warm welcome, trust me. This is a wonderful chance to see everyday rural life.

Ninh Binh family trip
Explore the local life by riding bicycle

In the afternoon, head to the Hang Mua area and climb the 500 steps to reach the best viewpoint in the area. The view is breathtaking, with mountains, rivers, and rice fields stretching out as far as your eye can see. It was quite a climb, but it will totally worth it!

Halong Bay

Halong is an ideal spot for family travel in Vietnam. It is because such excursion offers many interesting activities that all family members will enjoy together. Most of the children are keen on exploring the beautiful outdoors. So you and your kids will have the chance to discover amazing caves with a Halong Bay overnight cruise. You will be surprised at how attentive your kids are when they are hearing how the cave was formed.

Another fun part is kayaking. This activity is often voted as a highlight when your travel to Halong Bay that both the young and middle-aged people enjoy. If you are traveling in a big family with elderly, the boat often offer rowing boat ride as an alternative. When night falls, the family can just chat on the sundeck to enjoy the sky on the sea or try squid fishing. On the second morning, some boats offer a trip to a local floating fishing village and you may teach your kids how the pearl is naturally created.

Kayaking in Halong Bay
Kayaking in Halong Bay

If you’re planning a trip, I highly recommend spending at least 2 days 1 night on a Halong cruise to experience the best of this place. When you choose a night cruise, you will be transferred from Hanoi by a shuttle bus, it just takes more than 2 hours to get there.

There is a wide range variety cruises types from luxury to budget cruises with different itineraries, so it’s better to read our blog about Halong travel guide to have an overview and choose the best one as your preference, or contact us and we will have you arrange it.

Pu Luong

Get ready for an extraordinary family adventure in Pu Luong, where you’ll be surrounded by the tranquility of natural beauty and usual local life. You’ll be able to enjoy picnics, hiking, swimming and the peaceful surroundings, with no city noise, just the sounds of nature. Here’s a list of things you can do during your stay in Pu Luong:

* Amble in the tranquil stunning rice terraces at Don village: These terraces are like giant steps on the hills, and are best visited from February to March (green season) or from May to June and September to October (harvest Season).

The harvest season in Pu Luong
Amble in the serene and stunning rice terraces in Pu Luong

* Hiking at Kho Muong Cave: Go hiking at Kho Muong Cave for an adventurous family experience. The scenery along the way is absolutely stunning, and you should visit this place at about 4pm to see the sunset.

Trekking Kho Muong Cave
Explore the Kho Muong Cave

* Swimming at Hieu Waterfall: Take a dip in the cool waters of Hieu waterfall. You can stop for a picnic lunch or simply relax and swim by the fall when trekking.

To fully experience Pu Luong, we recommend planning for at least a 2-day, 1-night trip. The journey begins with a shuttle bus from Hanoi, which takes just over 5 hours. You can then take a car to visit Ninh Binh and Halong Bay.

To fully experience Pu Luong, it’s best to plan for at least a 2 days 1 night trip. The journey starts with a shuttle bus from a place like Hanoi, which takes a little over 5 hours to reach. Then you can get on a car and visit Ninh Binh, Halong Bay.

Pu Luong is home to special villages where people from the Thai ethnic group live. Staying in a homestay and learning about their traditions is a wonderful experience. You might even get to learn their traditional dances and try some delicious food.

Sapa

Sapa is home to the Black H’mong people, and you should follow a small dirt track to visit their village called Lao Chai. As you walk, you will cross the Muong Hoa River and see the most amazing rice terraces hidden behind the morning mist.

In Ta Van, where the Dzay people live, there is something really fascinating to see. You can discover a collection of rock carvings that were so cool to explore.

Family trip in Sapa mountain
Amazed by the marvelous of Sapa mountain

Visit Fansipan – the highest peak in the Indochina mountains is a highlight that you should not miss. Normally, it takes one or two days to reach the top on foot, but you can take the three-rope cable car system instead. In just 15-20 minutes, you will be transported from the bottom to the highest point of the mountain. From the top of Fansipan, you will be amazed by the most incredible views. You can see Sapa, the Muong Hoa Valley, and the Hoang Lien National Forest from above.

After enjoying the scenery, we were transferred back to Sapa, feeling so happy and amazed by everything we had experienced. Above are just some highlights, you can find more Sapa off the beaten track experiences in our blog to have a trip that match you most.

Hoian

Let’s come to Hoi An next. This ancient town is my favorite place of all time. To reach Hoi An, take a flight to Danang and then a car to Hoi An. Spend a day leisurely cycling though the scenic countryside of Vietnam, far from the traffic the motor scooters, and the noises the city. You will cross the islands on the Song Thu river delta using local transportation, including ferries and floating bridges.

There is a very interesting experience for family – Cooking Class. Red Bridge Cooking School is what you may find after countless research on Tripadvisor and this company will not let you down. The meeting point is at Hai Café in No. 98 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street. This place is located in the ancient town where cars are not allowed so you will have to find your own way there. If you are staying at nearby hotels, it is easy to just walk to the cafe. Else, all family members together bike there will be lovely too.

Cooking class in Hoian
Joining cooking class is one of the best things do in Hoi An

You board the Red Bridge boat for a leisurely cruise (25 minutes) along the Hoi An River to the Red Bridge Cooking School. Joining this class, you will have a chance to visit a busy local market, talk, and bargain with some local sellers as well as learn about unique ingredients that are often used in Vietnamese dishes. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the local lives along the river. Attending 2 hours cooking class will bring your family a lot of beautiful memories. When back home, whenever missing Vietnam family holidays, all members can prepare a Vietnamese meal together. It is such a nice gift to bring home!

There are lots of unique things in Hoian awaiting you to explore from discovering how wooden river boats are made, to learning the secret of weaving the colorful straw “Hoi An” sleeping mats.

Making Basket boat in Hoi An
Discover how to make basket boat in Hoi An

Mekong Delta

To fully experience the beauty of the Mekong Delta, it is recommended that you spend at least 2 days and 1 night there. Your journey can begin by visiting the Cai Be floating market, where you can witness boats filled with colorful fruits and vegetables. This unique experience is sure to be loved by kids. The next spot to visit is Tan Phong Island, where you can explore the village by biking or taking a walk to observe the local daily life. Interesting things to see include orchards, schools, churches, pagodas, and traditional houses.

On the way, you can make a few stops to see how they make rice-net for spring rolls, sew coconut-leaves for cottage roofs, and especially see how they weave the dried water-hyacinth to make many products such as baskets, bags, hats, wallets, and shoes.

rice net making
Try to make rice-net

On the way, you can make a few stops to see how they make rice-net for spring rolls, sew coconut-leaves for cottage roofs, and especially see how they weave the dried water-hyacinth to make many products such as baskets, bags, hats, wallets, and shoes.

The next morning, you can visit a local workshop and see how they make rice paper, coconut candy, and pop-rice. We even have a chance to taste some of the delicious sweets with a cup of hot tea.

If you are looking for things to do and some suggested itinerary to plan your own trip, details are in this Mekong travel guide. From the bustling floating markets to the peaceful countryside, from delicious food to unique cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone.

Ho Chi Minh

My last stop is Saigon and the picked activity is exploring Saigon at night on Motorbikes. Such a tour often starts around 18:00 then you can combine it with your classic city tour/Cu Chi tunnels tour or even Mekong Delta day tour. The best thing about this activity is that you will be taken to interesting places that normally other tourists do not know. This is the final stop where all the remaining money should be spent.

Motorbike riders will take you through Chinatown Town where you can do shopping at popular spots. After that, a light dinner with some unique local dishes will complete your night. This tour is safe and suitable for both elderly and children as. Your drivers are regularly trained and tested as safety is the 1st concern. If you have a small kid the he/she should with you. For children from 7 years old and above, he/she will need to ride with a local driver. The good news is the kids love this experience. Based on your travel interests and budget, you can choose Saigon Vespa tour or normal motorbikes which are cheaper. For me, I chose normal motorbikes as it is considerably cheaper I want to be a part of local life.

saigon mortor tour with kid
Exploring Saigon by night is best by motorbike

Phu Quoc

If your idea of a perfect Vietnam family vacation is all about relaxing in a luxury resort while your children amuse themselves on the beach, then Phu Quoc is for you. Whether you’re seeking relaxation by lounging on the charming beaches, exploring vibrant coral reefs through snorkeling and scuba diving, or immersing yourself in the rich local culture, Phu Quoc has something for everyone.

  • Lush green landscapes and pristine white-sand beaches such as Long Beach (Bai Truong), Sao Beach (Bai Sao), etc.
  • Vibrant coral reefs for snorkeling and scuba diving
  • Rich local culture to explore: Visit Phu Quoc Prison and explore fishermen local life at Ham Ninh fishing village
Snorkeling and boat tour in Phu Quoc
Snorkeling and boat tour in Phu Quoc

You can get to Phu Quoc Island by air or speedboat. If you choose to reach by air, you can take direct flights from major cities in Vietnam like Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi. Another type to reach this island is a combination of road and waterway. You can start the journey by road from your location to Rach Gia Port or Ha Tien Port to embark on board and then take to Phu Quoc Island. Overall, it depends on your itinerary and budget to choose transportation. You can visit this comprehensive travel guide to Phu Quoc to have an overview of things to do, and how to get there with details information about prices and routes.

Family and Kid-Friendly Vietnam Tours and Holidays

If you’re planning to visit Vietnam for the first time and want a hassle-free travel experience that caters to your interests, a private family tour might be a good option for you. With this type of tour, you can choose the attractions, activities, and accommodations that best suit your preferences. Private tours offer a more relaxed schedule and pace, which prevents your children from getting overwhelmed or exhausted and ensures a smoother and more enjoyable travel experience.

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Tips to plan your travel with kids

Getting around with kids

Domestic Flights

If you plan to visit multiple destinations within Vietnam, domestic flights can be a time-efficient option, especially for long distances. Some common flight routes are Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh (or vice versa), Hanoi – Danang (or vice versa), Hanoi – Hue (or vice versa), Ho Chi Minh – Phu

Trains

Train travel can be a fun and scenic option, especially for older children who enjoy the journey. Some common train routes that travelers take most are Hanoi – Hue, Hue – Hoian or Hanoi – Sapa, providing a unique experience and saving on accommodation costs for longer trips.

Public Buses

Public buses are a common mode of transportation in Vietnam, but they may not be the most comfortable option for families with young children. Buses can be crowded and lack amenities such as seat belts or storage space for strollers.

Taxis and Ride-Hailing Services

Taxis and ride-hailing services like Grab are widely available in major cities. Ensure the safety of your children by using reputable taxi companies or ride-hailing apps. Always check that the driver uses a meter or agrees on a fixed price before starting the journey.

When is the best time for a family vacation to Vietnam?

Vietnam has a diverse climate and different regions experience varying weather patterns throughout the year. For families planning to visit Vietnam, the best time to go is from September to April, when the weather is not too hot, humid, or rainy. Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:

Northern Vietnam (Hanoi, Halong Bay, Ninh Binh, Pu Luong, and Sapa) is best visited from March to April to avoid the summer heat. Autumn (September to November) typically brings mild and pleasant weather.

Central Vietnam (Hoi An, Hue, Da Nang) is ideal to visit from February to June when the weather is warm and dry. It’s best to avoid the rainy season, which usually occurs from November to January.

Southern Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta, Phu Quoc): The dry season from December to May is generally the ideal time to visit as the weather is sunny and rainfall is minimal.

Safety tips

Food and drink: You know your little honey well. And it is certain that you know what he or she always likes to eat: fried rice and/or French fries, right? Well, as Vietnam is awash with both fall-back foods, you do not need to worry. In fact, Vietnamese French fries may actually be a cut above the fries from home, served with a dipping bowl of sugar and butter. Let your little one judge how delicious it is.

Road safety: Vietnam is a safe country for children. However, there is one important point to know; traffic can be very chaotic. Motors, cars and trucks pass each other and there seem to be no real traffic rules.

Crossing busy streets seems dangerous, but the key is to walk at a steady pace and be predictable. Traffic continues to flow around you. Check out the locals for tips or follow them closely.

How many days is enough? (or 4 Ideas Family-Friendly Vietnam Itineraries)

Whether you have a month or just a week or two, we still have an itinerary to suit your interests and time frame. If you want to explore beyond Vietnam, here are some suggested Vietnam and Cambodia family tours that cater to different interests and durations:

vietnam farmers harvesting salt
Grand Sensational Vietnam 20 Days

Overview: This itinerary covers the highlights but mixes with off-the-beaten-track and hands on experiences from bustling cities, and mountainous areas to beautiful beaches, and much more.

Route: Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Halong – Sapa – Hue – Danang – Hoian – Nha Trang – Dalat – Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta

>>> View trip

vietnam cambodia tour package
Splendors Of Vietnam & Cambodia 17 Days

Overview: This tour enables you to experience the most stunning locations in Vietnam from north to south as well as the top temples in Cambodia, at an appropriate pace.

Route: Hanoi – Halong – Hue – Hoi An – HCMC – Mekong – Phnom Penh – Siem Reap

>>> View trip

These are sample inspirational tours, you can contact us to customize your journey by filling out the form below. We will get back to you within 24 hours!

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