Whether your family is looking for a beach holiday, hiking adventure or fun sightseeing trip, you’ll be able to find it in Vietnam. Travelling the country with children might sound stressful, but there are plenty of resorts and activities to suit little ones (or even the grumpiest of teenagers).
No matter your age, it’s impossible not to fall in love with the beauty of this UNESCO-listed ancient town. Its picturesque, lantern-adorned yellow buildings ooze charm, particularly in the summer months when they’re covered with bright pink bougainvillea flowers. Boutique hotels far outnumber backpacker hostels in this sleepy city and there’s not a huge party scene. Instead, visitors enjoy banana boat rides, cooking classes and lantern-making. For outdoorsy families, there’s the option to cycle through the rice fields or take a kayak tour down the river.
Although it’s considered one of Vietnam’s major cities, Danang is much calmer and less overwhelming than the metropolises of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Its pristine beaches are perfect for a spot of family relaxation, while Son Tra mountain offers stunning views of the entire city. You can hike it if you’re up for some adventurous bonding time, although you can always take a car if the kids are too young. There are two theme parks to visit: Asia Park, home of the famous Sun Wheel, and Ba Na Hills, a faux French village which is often referred to as ‘Vietnamese Disneyland.’
The fine white sands and sparkling waters of Phu Quoc hold universal appeal. This peaceful island mainly attracts honeymooners and families, and is home to many luxurious resorts. There are plenty of island tours offering snorkelling and fishing, as well as visits to pearl farms and the infamous coconut prison where captured Viet Cong were held. If you’re looking for a cheesy good time, Vinpearl Land is a fun day out; the park is home to Vietnam’s largest zoo, plus shows and a plethora of wacky water rides.
The natural wonders of Mui Ne – including the spectacular sand dunes and enchanting fairy stream – make it a great family destination. There are plenty of upscale resort choices which are very reasonably priced. Thanks to its microclimate and geographical location, Mui Ne is the most popular destination in Vietnam for watersports – activity lovers rejoice. Most of its beaches, however, are quiet and peaceful places to relax. If the kids get bored with that, there’s mini golf and a trampoline club to keep them entertained for hours.
This exquisite limestone bay is not to be missed on a trip to Vietnam, and exploring its other-worldly beauty is a fantastic way to make some great family memories. There are plenty of family-friendly cruises around the bay, which offer activities such as kayaking and cooking classes, or even spot of karaoke for your little superstars. Bhaya Cruise is a five-star boat with large suites designed for families, while Glory Cruise’s spacious Family Deluxe Cabins are a great budget option.
Located in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, Dalat’s temperate climate means you don’t have to worry about little ones overheating. This quiet city is surrounded by natural beauty, including sites such as the scenic Prenn waterfall and the picturesque Valley of Love. You can take a cable car ride over the lush green hills or even hike them if you want to wear the children out. Nature aside, attempting to navigate the topsy-turvy, Gaudi-inspired Hang Nha Villa – more commonly known as the Crazy House – is a fun challenge for everybody and should definitely be on your Dalat bucket list.
Ask any Vietnamese person for a beach recommendation and they’ll likely recommend Nha Trang. Avoid the busy city and stay in one of the secluded beach resorts. You can laze the day away on the white sand shores or take a boat tour and hop between the small tropical islands dotted around. As well as being home to some of Vietnam’s most beautiful beaches, Nha Trang offers several theme parks. There’s good old Vinpearl Land, or if you fancy something a little more unique, the 100 Egg spa theme park makes for a memorable day. In addition to mineral mud baths, there’s an adventure zone where families can take part in team building activities or enjoy a quiet picnic.
Buried in the jungle of the Lam Dong province, Madagui Forest City is the perfect destination for active, adventurous families. From ziplining to zorbing, there’s a huge array of activities to bring the whole tribe together. If you visit during the months of June-October there’s the option to go fruit picking, though be warned – smelly durian trees abound. There are reasonably priced villas for families to stay in, or outdoorsy clans can choose to camp under the stars.
This sleepy beachfront town is perfect for families seeking a laid-back, non-touristy vibe. Thanks to Vung Tau’s lack of crowds and crazy traffic, it’s a great place to amble around and enjoy a picnic or two. There are some decidedly different types of family fun on offer here, such as watching the greyhound racing at Lam Son Stadium or climbing Mount Nho to visit the giant Jesus statue and enjoy the incredible views.
Informally known as ‘Halong Bay on land’, Ninh Binh province is a serene, rural area consisting of rice fields and gorgeous limestone mountains. There’s plenty to explore, such as the easily navigable caves of Cuc Phuong national park and the mountainside temples of the Bich Dong pagoda. Hang Mua mountain offers breathtaking views of the region, or a boat ride through the Tam Coc river is a great way to take in its natural beauty without tiring out little legs.