When it comes to family-friendly destinations, Vietnam is somewhat unexpected. We’re used to seeing it as the perfect choice for the history buff or adventure-hungry traveler, but parents and their children are actually just as likely to have a well-rounded experience and enjoy their visit. If you want to offer something unique and unexpected to your kids and make sure they are thoroughly entertained, you’ll love exploring this big country and all that it has to offer.
There is plenty to do for both adults and the little ones, and if you want to know what are the best spots and activities, take a look at some of our favorite suggestions.
Get familiar with Vietnamese tradition.
Do your kids take the comforts of their easy city life for granted? Then Pu Luong can provide you with an interesting opportunity—spend a night in a village homestay. In the Pu Luong National Reserve there’s a small village of stilt houses and simple living, and there you can ask to spend the night with one of the local families.
The atmosphere provided is incredible—laughter, dinner made over an open fire, singing and the happy faces of people who don’t need much to be satisfied. You’ll sleep on a mattress covered by a mosquito net and have to help with cleaning, but the experience gained from simply spending one night in their shoes is something that can stick with you forever.
This isn’t a luxury spot by any means, but it can be an interesting lesson for your children.
Delight the kids with a cyclo-rickshaw.
If you want to see Hanoi, then you’ve got to see it in the back of a rickshaw. Most people who come here usually rent a motorbike, but that’s not a great option for families. If you want someone who knows how to navigate the bustling, crowded streets then hire a few cyclo-rickshaw drivers and relax as they pedal around and show you all the bright, colorful merchant stalls, stocky buildings and cheerful parks.
Go on a food tour.
For a family full of foodies who long for a real culinary adventure, Ho Chi Minh is just the place to be. Formerly known as Saigon, this big city is fast, it’s entertaining and it’s full of museums and cultural buildings. It also happens to be full of delicious cuisine.
If you want to experience the spices of Vietnam, then have the whole family go on one of the fun Ho Chi Minh city food tours and enjoy getting familiar with the city through tasty meals. This is a good way to really understand the traditional cuisine because you won’t be relying just on common, readily-available street food. A tour will take you through all of those hidden gems and restaurants that the locals love, so if you want something authentic, this is it.
Depending on where you’re staying, you might even be able to organize a pickup from your hotel, which makes things very easy for families.
Splash around in a waterpark.
Sometimes you just want straightforward family fun, and it’s very hard to go with a waterpark. If you’re already staying in Ho Chi Minh, then Dem Sen is your best bet because it’s very child-friendly even for your youngest. There’s a lovely toddler pool with animal slides and a water fountain, and there are a lot of bigger, more complex slides and deeper pools for adults and teens to enjoy. There are also several lifeguards on duty, so it’s easy for everyone to stay safe.
Go kayaking with your teens.
If you’re traveling with teens who are at that stage of life where they think they’re too cool for everything, why not take them kayaking? They’ll definitely announce how lame it is before they even try it, but once they actually do, they’re bound to enjoy it.
Head over to Bai Tu Long Bay and enjoy the exciting rush of doing something new as you feel water spraying over your face and making you laugh. It’s easy to bond even with really grumpy teens when you all have to work together to steer the kayaks and keep having fun in the process.
Visit the lantern festival.
Anything bright and colorful tends to be interesting to kids, and if you happen to like lanterns, then head over to Hoi An and enjoy the Lantern Festival that happens every month. The event is usually filled with music, dancing, and interesting performances by creative street artists, and everyone gets to light their little lantern and release it into the air. Watch it float away over the bustling square and enjoy the celebratory atmosphere and friendly people who come to watch the spectacle.
Vietnam is not only safe but completely entertaining for children. Pack light, be ready for adventure and let your children enjoy this exotic, unique location that will charm the whole family.