Vietnam as a travel destination is a fascinating country to explore with a teen, a toddler, or a baby. There is so much to see and do when travelling in Vietnam with children. The food is among the best in the world, and the scenery is fantastic. For the older kids, there are plenty of educational lessons: from the country’s complicated and rich history (wars, ancient empires, colonial influence) to social studies (local hill tribes) and science (biodiversity of the Mekong Delta).
When to visit Vietnam
The climate in Vietnam varies from the north to south. If planning to travel to Vietnam with kids, it makes sense to plan ahead accordingly. On the whole, visiting a major city like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City is great at any time of the year, but the weather in general can see major variations as you travel the length of the country.
The weather in northern Vietnam is typically good year-round, but the winters are quite cool with mist falling over the city, which leaves outside travel feeing even colder, especially if touring on a motorcycle. For the travels to the highlands of Sapa or Halong Bay, the preferred time to travel is in the spring or autumn.
The Vietnam family tour that ventures into central regions is best experienced with kids in the first half of the year – this is when the weather is cooler. The climate is relatively dry until about early August, but the temperature at this time is very humid and hot.
In the southern parts of Vietnam the weather is almost constantly hot, but there is a rainy season that runs from about May to November. However, most of the rainstorms are short lived and fairly predictable. This makes it easy to plan the day’s activities without being too impacted by the weather.
A visit to North Vietnam has plenty of fun and interesting adventures for kids of any age. Whether it is local attractions in Hanoi or a cruise on Halong Bay, a trip to this part of the country makes a great Vietnam travel destination and is certain to be worthwhile.
Water puppet show: any visit to Vietnam with kids must include watching one of the water puppet shows in Hanoi. Even though it is possible to see puppet shows in other Vietnamese cities, the world-famous Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in the capital is certain to give the best performance. They include a wide range of musical stories that depict folk tales and historical legends.
Ho Tay Water Park: The Ho Tay Water Park is one of the biggest in the country, and has a variety of fun activities for the kids, including amusement park-style roller coasters. This is a great place to spend a full day with the kids and the water is great to keep everyone cool on the hottest summer days.
Trekking and the hill tribes: a trip to the misty mountain town of Sapa isn't the most straightforward when travelling with the younger kids. The travel options include bus at nearly 10 hours or train at a slightly shorter 8 hours. But, for those families that are willing to make the journey, this region is one of the best places to visit in Vietnam and gives an unforgettable cultural experience with pristine nature and an amazing hike. While in the Northwest Territories it is possible to visit the villages of the hill tribes with many still living a lifestyle that is long forgotten by most of the world.
Central Vietnam with kids is a very rewarding, meaningful, and fun travel experience.
Hue: Hue with kids is a wonderful destination. It has some of the friendliest people, the most interesting history, and the tastiest food. This is a great place to visit to learn more about the history. There is a lot of Vietnam War history, as well as incredibly ornate tombs to explore along the Perfume River. A great way to explore the local area is by boat that travels along the river. Hue can get very humid and hot with the temperature in the afternoon reaching 40º C or more, so it is important to plan the day’s activities carefully.
Hoi An: this fascinating and picturesque Vietnamese town is rich in colonial architecture while also having plenty of restaurants, bars and souvenir shops. Just 4 km from the centre of Hoi Ai is An Bang Beach which is easily reached by hiring a bicycle for the day. It is great to get a break from the tourist bustle of town and sightseeing, while also getting to taste plenty of the delicious food in the local area.
The south of Vietnam can make a great introduction to the country for kids, especially with the local people being very welcoming and open to foreigners. The south is rich in cultural and historical opportunities, as well as a lot of different foods to taste.
Ho Chi Minh City: this is one dynamic town with frenetic energy, great food, and fascinating history that gives plenty of learning opportunities for the kids. The amusement parks are certain to be among the most enjoyable activities for the kids. Ho Chi Minh City has two local parks: Suoi Tien and Dam Sen.
For a history lesson, a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels is a fascinating day trip from the city. This complex network of tunnels was used by the Viet Cong throughout the Vietnam War. Certain parts of the tunnels are open for tourists to crawl through and explore.
A street food tour in Ho Chi Minh City is a great way to get a real appreciation of what the country has to offer food wise. Also, for the kids that enjoy cooking, there are plenty of cooking classes that give first-hand experience of preparing a local dish.
Mekong Delta: a trip to the Mekong Delta to ride scooters and walk is great fun for the entire family. Just visit one of the tributaries to discover more about the locals with fisherman and vegetable sellers everywhere. There are many jungle paths and small country roads to explore with a brick factory or a coconut candy store to stumble across. Plus, there are of course the boat trips in the Mekong that are certain to please the kids on the Vietnam private tour.
Read more: Top things to Do on a Vietnam Family Tour