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When travelling to Vietnam with kids, there are a number of great attractions and activities that the whole family can enjoy. Vietnam is a wonderful family-friendly destination that you can enjoy on a budget! This guide includes the best things to do in Vietnam with kids and the essential Vietnam attractions you can’t miss!
The first international destination we travelled to as parents was Vietnam and we instantly fell in love – with the sights, the traditions, the food. Even the chaos!
Planning Your Visit To Vietnam With Kids
There are so many incredible Vietnam attractions for families and we had a memorable first experience. Before we get to the fun stuff, let’s plan the essentials for visiting Vietnam as a family.
Best Time To Visit Vietnam
When planning your trip to Vietnam with kids, it is important to keep in mind that the weather can be quite hot and humid. The best time to visit Vietnam is from March to April when rainfall is lower and temperatures are milder.
How To Get To Vietnam
The best way to get to Vietnam is by flying into the capital city of Hanoi or to Ho Chi Minh City, as both offer international and domestic flights. You can easily travel to other parts of the country by bus, car or train from either city.
Getting Around Vietnam With Kids
Vietnam is a large country and getting around can be quite difficult if you don’t plan ahead. The best way to get around Vietnam with kids is by plane for larger distances or by bus, train, or by hiring a car for shorter distances.
Where To Stay In Vietnam With Kids
There are many great places to stay in Vietnam with kids, but the best option is to stay in a hotel near the beach or within walking distance of the city centre if staying in one of the larger cities.
There are plenty of family-friendly hotels in Vietnam that have kids’ clubs and activities, as well as all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay.
When travelling with younger children, you may be looking for something with a few extra comforts. These are the places we stayed during our time in Vietnam:
One of our favourites was Sunrise Hoi An Resort in Hoi An just a short shuttle ride to Hoi An Ancient Town. You can often get fantastic value deals on beach resorts!
THE BEST VIETNAM ATTRACTIONS FOR FAMILIES
Discover the best Vietnam attractions for families with incredible experiences and one-of-a-kind encounters that will truly make your trip memorable!
We wanted to share with you some of the top things to do in Vietnam with kids, both from our own travels in Vietnam and as shared by other travelling families.
HALONG BAY CRUISE | VIETNAM NATURAL ATTRACTIONS
No visit to Vietnam should be made without fitting in a chance to experience the stunning scenery of Halong Bay. There is little wonder why this is one of the top destinations in Vietnam.
We did a 2 night Halong Bay cruise with our 14-month-old toddler and it was something we are so glad we did. The transit from Hanoi to Halong Bay is long and bumpy, so make it count with an overnight or 2-night cruise.
There are loads of different Halong Bay cruise companies and most of these are kid-friendly. You can easily enjoy cruising with kids with some preparation.
We had the chance to visit local villages, see breathtaking natural sights and eat some delicious food. It was a great way to wind down after our chaotic introduction to Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City too!
Find out more about our Halong Bay cruise experience and how we were able to make the most of cruising with a toddler.
If you are planning a trip to Vietnam capital, you definitely need to make time for a food tour. This was another of our favourite experiences during our visit and one of the essential things to do in South Vietnam.
Each region has different food influences and signature dishes.
There are loads of different food tours, with many being by motorbike. Since we were travelling with a toddler, we went on a walking tour with Saigon Street Eats.
Not only will you get to see a lot of different places along your walking tour and learn the local history, but you will also get to eat where the locals eat and immerse yourself right into the Vietnamese culture.
And of course, trying new and unusual food is one of the most fun things to do in Vietnam.
We put our toddler in the baby carrier since we left the stroller at home for this trip, and away we went, kicking off with a traditional pho breakfast, followed by visits to Vietnamese bakeries, street food stalls, sugar cane juice and finally with a shared feast in the gardens of a temple.
There were only a couple of other people on our tour on the day and our guide was fantastic!
The Saigon Skydeck is located on the 49th floor of the Bitexco Financial Tower. Once the tallest tower in Ho Chi Minh City (losing its title in 2018!) it offers 360-degree views over the bustling city below.
There are several sets of powerful binoculars which you can use to zoom in on the street action below.
Get your bearings and explore the city’s highlights from above or catch the distant views over this huge sprawling city.
We found it the perfect way to beat the heat and humidity in HCMC and we could literally spend hours exploring the fascinating street scenes.
Whilst not quite the same as visiting a traditional rooftop bar and experiencing the sounds and smells, it’s a good secure place for the kids with plenty of running around space and a taster of the much more modern Ho Chi Minh City which is rapidly emerging.
In a country known for being very cheap, it’s one of the pricier attractions (200,000VND adults/130,000VND kids) but your entry ticket does include a food and beverage voucher to use in the café one floor above the observation deck – cue ice creams and happy, chilled off kids!
It is no secret that Vietnam is one of my favourite places, we went there on our honeymoon so it holds a special place in my heart.
We have been back since with our 3 kids and I know that won’t be my last visit.
One of my favourite activities and one I highly recommend not just for those with kids is going to the traditional Vietnamese Water Puppet Show.
The tradition dates back to the 11th century and originates from the villages of the Red River Delta in North Vietnam. Traditionally the shows were conducted in the rice paddies, nowadays they have a theatre and the puppet show is still conducted in waist-deep water.
There can be up to 8 puppeteers standing behind a split-bamboo screen, decorated to resemble a temple facade, and controlling the puppets using long bamboo rods.
The string mechanism is hidden beneath the water and gives the illusion that the puppets are walking on water.
The puppets are carved out of wood and then covered in lacquer and can often weigh up to 15 kg.
The show will be accompanied by a full Vietnamese orchestra playing traditional instruments including vocals, drums, wooden bells, cymbals, horns and bamboo flutes.
My kids were mesmerised by the performance and didn’t take their eyes off it for the whole hour show.
Visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels gives you a fascinating glimpse into the underground life of the Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War and a visit here is like a hands-on history lesson.
This network of connecting underground tunnels were the Viet Cong’s most important defensive weapon against the American forces and served as their base of operations during their surprise attacks of the 1968 Tet Offensive.
Visits to the Cu Chi tunnels are done as a tour, kicking off with an introductory video and presentation, from where you head into the jungle to check out the tunnels.
The visit includes the chance to have a go at hiding in a trap door booby trap, climbing aboard a disarmed American tank, and even firing a machine gun if you want to.
The ultimate test is whether you can actually crawl through a short section of tunnels – not as easy as it sounds!
Obviously, the nature of the tunnels means that the tour deals with some hard-hitting themes of war and brutality.
For this reason, I probably wouldn’t recommend this tour for younger kids. However, for kids around age 8 and above, I think this would serve as an amazing experiential history lesson.
Phu Quoc Island, located at the southern tip of Vietnam, has some stunning beaches.
On some of the beaches, such as Long Beach (the main beach in Phu Quoc) the water is so calm, warm and crystal clear that it is more like a lagoon-style swimming pool, so you don’t have to worry about the kids being knocked about by waves.
There are some great little beach cafes and bars, along with deck chairs and sun loungers for you to lay in while you watch the kids play in the water.
Combine this with funky bean bags on the sand, and colourful lanterns and bonfires after dark and the whole family is in absolute paradise. Make sure to stay until dusk to experience the spectacular sunsets!
Bai Sao beach is considered by many to be the most beautiful beach in all of Phu Quoc Island. With its perfectly white sandy beaches, emerald green water, gentle waves and coconut trees lining the beach it is what postcards are made of.
Along Bai Sao, there are few places to eat and sun loungers you can hire – but be warned it is expensive here!
If you want to escape other travellers, there are plenty of quiet beaches too, such as Ong Lang Beach or Thom Beach. In fact, some beaches are completely deserted, and you can have a whole stretch of beach just for your family.
You will also find the world’s longest cable car in Phu Quoc – an experience kids will love to do in Vietnam!
Whatever style of beach you’re into you are sure to find it in Phu Quoc.
HOI AN COOKING CLASS | LEARN TO COOK VIETNAMESE FOOD
Cooking classes are one of my favourite things to do when travelling, but they can often be difficult with kids.
So when I found a kid-friendly cooking class in Hoi An I was overjoyed! Vietnamese food is one of our family’s favourite cuisines, and learning to make it together was an unforgettable family activity.
The day started with a wander around the market in Hoi An picking up various ingredients. Our tour guide made the explanations kid-friendly and let them try a bunch of things along the way.
Then we took a boat ride down the river and transferred into a round boat for the final distance to the cooking class. The kids especially loved the round boats!
The cooking class itself lasted a few hours. There were kid-sized aprons and chef hats, and the many duties were easily divided up amongst the children (we were with friends and had 6 kids in our group all ages 5 & 7).
All of the kids loved mixing sauces, rolling salad rolls and carefully chopping veggies and pouring oil into pans.
When everything was ready, they devoured their food with a huge amount of pride. It was one of the most memorable afternoons we had in Vietnam.
Hoi An is one of the must-see places in Vietnam. We had our own Hoi An cooking class experience during our stay at Sunrise Hoi An Resort. Well… Simon did the cooking lesson. We did the eating part, since one of us had to look after our toddler. You can read about Simon’s Vietnamese cooking class.
One of the most unique family friendly attractions in Hoi An is the chance to make your own silk lantern like you will see hanging all over town.
This central Vietnam hotspot is known as the lantern town because it’s old town area remains covered in beautiful silk lanterns. A tradition stemming from its ancient trading days.
The Lantern Lady, located down a small lane is the perfect place to go for hands-on experiential learning.
Here you have the opportunity to create a silk lantern from scratch (and also an express version!), bend the bamboo, string the wire and prepare the silk fabric.
At the end of your session, you will walk away with a beautiful souvenir and keepsake that you make yourself.
Classes start at $4 and are appropriate for kids from about 6 years old and up. The express version is much simpler but does require decent scissor skills. In a country filled with amazing opportunities, making lanterns together is one of the best.
It doesn’t hurt that the owner/instructor Thuy is just so fun to be around!
The ancient temples of My Son, located close to the beautiful riverside town of Hoi An, are one of our favourite family-friendly attractions in Vietnam.
The temples were once a site for religious ceremonies and are dedicated to the worship of the god of Shiva. They were constructed between the 4th and 14th Centuries by the Kings of Champa.
Although My Son suffered significant damage as a result of bombing during the Vietnam War the ruins still allow one to imagine the full extent of the site.
Kids will love the Indiana Jones-style setting with the overgrown abandoned temples springing up against a backdrop of lush green forest. Walking through My Son is like discovering a hidden city in the jungle!
Sunrise is the best time to visit, especially with kids, as you can take advantage of the low temperatures. Make sure to bring lots of water and bug spray!
My Son is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the perfect spot to let little imaginations and feet run wild. Definitely one of the must-visit places in Vietnam.
In case you have more time to spend exploring beautiful Vietnam, here are some other attractions in Vietnam that are great to experience with kids:
Visit Sun World Ba Na Hills and walk along Golden Hand Bridge
Go trekking in Sapa
Kayak around Halong Bay (we did this and it was incredible)
Shop at the floating markets
Do a night safari at Cat Tien National Park
Take a day trip to Dambri Waterfall and Tourist Area
Take a boat ride along Perfume River
There are so many family-friendly attractions in Vietnam that you should visit. While this is not all of what Vietnam has to offer, it will give you a great starting point for creating an incredible Vietnam family holiday.
What To Pack For Vietnam With Kids
When packing for Vietnam with kids, it is important to keep in mind that the weather is hot and humid, so pack clothes that are loose-fitting and made from natural fabrics.
Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen, hats, insect repellent, and water bottles. And don’t forget your swimmers!
We even have a free printable 3 page packing checklist for you to download:
Whether it is a World Heritage site with history you are looking for or boat tours up the Mekong Delta River, you will have so much to fill your time from North to South seeing the top destinations in Vietnam.
We did not have a lot of time to experience much of North Vietnam during our visit. Next time we are looking forward to seeing Sapa and its surrounds, plus exploring Hanoi beyond the city area.
Vietnam was our first proper travel to Asia and we adored every bit of it. Well maybe not so much the humid hot weather or crossing the street in HCMC, but it was an adventure regardless!
Which top Vietnam attractions are top of your must see Vietnam list? Leave a comment below. We would love to hear it! And share this post to Pinterest via the image below! Be sure to follow us on Facebook or YouTube for more travel inspiration like these!