Vietnam today is an ideal destination for family vacations, you can find an answer for whichever type of vacation you are looking for in the country. There are so much for your kids to play and learn when traveling in Vietnam, whether you want a cruising trip, beach break, exploring the culture, or working with famers on their farms.
Travel in Vietnam is now so easy, the country has been well versed in welcoming foreign travelers for many years. This developing country has also worked well to make you fell relax to navigate and get around. Domestic flights from Hanoi to Hoi An, or to Saigon take only one hour. Most driving within classic tourist attractions is shorter than 4 hours, which opens up the entire country to you and your family.
To help you plan a great vacation in Vietnam for your family, I am introducing some ideals that kids will love to play and learn when traveling in Vietnam.
Home based Water Puppet Performance in Hanoi
Water Puppetry, "making puppets dance on water", is a tradition that dates back as far as the 11th century when it originated in the villages of the Red River Delta area of northern Vietnam.
The puppets are made out of wood and then lacquered. The shows are performed in a waist-deep pool. A large bamboo rod supports the puppet under the water and is used by the puppeteers, who are normally hidden behind a screen, to control them. Thus the puppets appear to be moving over the water. When the rice fields flood, the villagers would entertain each other using this form of puppet performance.
Water Puppets, Mr. Phan Thanh Liem's Home
Follow your guide to visit Mr. Phan Thanh Liem’s home, chat with him to learn about his family life and his water puppet talents. Here you will know everything about Vietnam’s water puppets.
Kayaking in Lan Ha Bay as a Family
Located in the far southern end of Halong archipelago, Lan Ha Bay is now a water area of Cat Ba National Park. The bay is therefore extremely charming with abundant lagoons, small beaches and many fishing houses with different kinds of fish.
To local travel specialists, Halong Bay has become too familiar with tourist boats, while Lan Ha Bay is still limiting its list of visitors with few kayakers who come on small boats.
Explore the charm of the area with an ocean kayak, or enjoy the scenery along the cruising route is a wonderful experience of a life time.
View of Stick Island from a beach, Kayak & Play in Lan Ha Bay
Endangered Primates Rescue Center at Cuc Phuong National Park
Established in 1993, through a collaboration between Frankfurt Zoological Society and Cuc Phuong National Park. More than 180 animals have been born at the center, some being the first of their species to be born in captivity, including the critically endangered Cat Ba langur, Delacours langur and the Grey shanked douc langur.
Endangered Primates Recue Center, Cuc Phuong National Park
Today the center is home to around 180 primates representing 15 species. The primates are housed in more than 50 large enclosures including two fenced semi wild areas of primary forest. Take a walk around the area and learn about the langurs from the center’s keeper, it’s great way to get to know about rare animals in Vietnam. The visit is very educational for kids.
Cycling and Bamboo Boat Ride in Van Long Nature Reserve
Located among the beautiful rice paddy fields of Ninh Binh Province, this tranquil reserve comprises a reedy wetland that’s popular with bird-watchers. Among the bird species that have been spotted here are the rare black-faced spoonbill, cotton pygmy goose and white-browed crake.
Van Long is also one of the last wild refuges of the endangered Delacour’s langur, partly because the wetlands keep predators and poachers at bay. Langurs are not easy to spot; try your luck early in the morning or in the evening.
Bamboo Boat, Van Long Nature Reserve in Ninh Binh Province
To get the most out of the area, follow your guide to cycle along small villages and rice fields before taking a sit on a little bamboo boat, on which a local woman will row to a cave. Not only the kids, parents are also love this.
Read more about the countryside of Ninh Binh Province.
Learn to Make Paper Kite in Hue
Since the foundation of the Nguyen dynasty in Hue, kite flying was an indispensable part of the Royal festivals and new year celebration. Kite flying in the imperial city of Hue has been preserved and developed as an archetypal art of the people of Hue.
Today the know-how of making colorful and sophisticated kites, which requires great skill on the part of the artists, is being introduced to travelers. Visit a kite artist in Hue to learn about his village’s tradition and hand on making a kite of your own.
The Making of Paper Kite, Hue
Fish & Farm in Hoi An for Families
The ancient coast town of Hoi An are not only the iconic architecture demonstrating foreign influences, but also home of the dynamic fishing villages and hark working farmers.
While you are in Hoi An, spend some times with the local fishermen catching fish at the sun set while enjoying tiny basket boats navigate the water-coconut-lined waterways, and observing the traditional way of life of farmers in the scenic countryside of the Hoi An town. Both fishing and farming are great experiences that everyone wishes to have when visiting Hoi An, our guide would be happy to show your family to get the most out of it.
Live a day of the local in Hoi An
Exploring Cu Chi Tunnels in Saigon
The Cu Chi Tunnels are a major tourist attraction in Saigon, a great place for traveler with kids. Visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels gives you a fascinating glimpse into the underground life of the Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War.
The network of connecting underground tunnels at Cu Chi were one of the Viet Cong’s most important defensive weapons against the American forces, and served as their base of operations during their surprise attacks of the 1968 Tet Offensive.
The Cu Chi Tunnels were not just for hiding in or using as supply routes – they housed entire villages, including hospitals, food and weapon storage rooms, kitchens, living quarters and command centers, with several layers of tunnels descending deep into the earth.
In front of a soldier's grave, Cu Chi Tunnels
You can choose to travel to Cu Chi by usual car trip or a luxury speedboat. For an enjoyable experience for kids, I recommend a boat trip – on which your family can watch life unfold on the Saigon River and arriving in just 1 hour and 15 minutes.
See our best places to visit in Saigon.
Beach Break on Phu Quoc Island for Families
Phu Quoc is known for white-sand beaches and resorts, most of which are along the palm-lined southwest coast. More than half of the island is part of Phu Quoc National Park, which features mountains, dense tropical jungle, hiking trails and wildlife. Duong Dong is the largest town on the island, with day and night markets selling crafts, produce and fish.
I love my family vacation on Phu Quoc so much that we spend a few days there every year, from pool to the beach, the temples to the markets, the fish sauce factories to black pepper garden, there are so much here to entertain the whole family.
Salinda Resort Phu Quoc, Phu Quoc Island
See our choices of best beach resorts in Vietnam.
Best time for family vacations in Vietnam
It is sunny and shiny all year around in Vietnam, as seasons are generally different from north to south. There are times of the year when it is a bit warmer or rainier, but you can always find a good balance for a family vacation.
Supposedly you can come all year around, but from October to April is the highest tourist season as it is not too hot and doesn’t rain too much. Even when it’s hot, it is not suffocating heat because you can go into the pool or beach along the coast, and there are air-conditioners in every room.