With its long coastline and wild landscapes, from the green terraces of Sa Pa to the white sand beaches of Phu Quoc, Vietnam has attracted millions of international visitors each year and its friendly nature make it an ideal place for a family to discover. Here’s our top pick of top things to do in Vietnam with your kids.
1. Discover a sea island
Vietnam has 3260 km of coastline so it’s not surprising that there are countless beautiful beaches here. Whether you’ve got teens or toddlers, families will have the opportunity to relax, play freely and get in touch with nature. Here are some of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam:
Ba Lua archipelago
Located in Kien Giang province, Ba Lua island archipelago in the Gulf of Thailand, Kien Luong district. Ba Lua archipelago has three large islands – Heo island, Ngang island, Nhum Ba island – plus many other small islands.
For a unique experience, at low tide it’s possible to walk from one island to another without having to float or swim. The feeling of standing in the sea is truly thrilling and you’ll feel like you’ve discovered your own deserted island.
Binh Hung Island
Located near Binh Ba Island, Binh Hung Island is a popular place to explore. This beautiful area is relatively unexplored and un-touristy, so nice and quiet for families. Plus, from the pier to the island, it only takes 5 minutes.
Freshwater Beach is must-try, named for the stream of fresh water flowing through to the sea. There’s also Hon Chut lighthouse, Da Trung beach, and other tourist services like in Binh Ba. Make sure you stop by beautiful Kinh beach with its fascinating tricolored seawater.
Nam Du Island
Located in Kien Hai district, Kien Giang province, Nam Du is a pristine island that’s lesser known than popular Phu Quoc. You can take a shower at Cay Men, Ngu beach, visit Nam Du lighthouse, and boat to neighboring islands such as Hon Mung and Ngang island.
Being a quieter retreat means that Nam Du is also cheaper and you’re best set finding a local hidden gem to explore than head to Western restaurants. The people in Nam Du are very friendly and hospitable and have a passion for environmental protection, meaning that Nam Du still retains its wild beauty from its ancient beginnings to present day.
2. Experience cultural tourism
Take the opportunity for your children to experience the Vietnamese culture and learn about its people and history in one of its beautiful craft villages.
Thach Xa village
What to look for: Bamboo dragonflies and colourful butterflies which are beautifully painted and come in various sizes and styles.
How to get there: The village is located at the foot of Tay Phuong mountain where Tay Phuong Pagoda is located in Thach Xa commune, Thach That district, Hanoi. Go from Hanoi along the Thang Long avenue about 25km, and then turn to Thach That. Continue to turn right and then go 10km more, you will see the signal showing the way to Tay Phuong pagoda.
Chang Son Village (Thach That)
What to look for: In the 19th century, the paper fan was brought to Paris by the French and it’s now a bright symbol of the Chang Son area.
How to get there: From Lang Ha expressway about 25km to turn to Thach That, turn right and then go 10km, you will see the signal showing the way to Tay Phuong pagoda. Turns right into Chang Son Village.
Chuong village (Thanh Oai)
What to look for: Conical hats and the materials used to make them. Chuong Village’s products are famous for their beauty, durability, and diversity in colour and size.
How to get there: From Hanoi to Ha Dong and then to Ba La Bong Do, turn left. Going 18 km along Highway 21B, you will find the Chuong Village Gate on the right.
The Chuong Village’s market is held every six months, open from 6 to 8am.
3. Visit the entertainment area
There’s plenty to keep the kids entertained in Vietnam. Top picks for days out include:
Suoi Tien Cultural Tourism, Ho Chi Minh City
Whilst in Ho Chi Minh City, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Suoi Tien Cultural Tourism. Opened to visitors from September 2, 1995, with an area of 55 hectares, Suoi Tien has become an attractive destination for both tourists and residents of the city.
Vinpearl Land, Nha Trang
Located on the island of Hon Tre, Vinpearl Land has become a favorite destination for many travellers. Enjoy the longest cable car in Southeast Asia, a water park and a plethora of indoor and outdoor activities.
Ba Na Nui Chua, Da Nang
Inspired by the ancient architecture and the castle in Europe, Ba Na Hills is a playground that you cannot miss if you come to Da Nang. Located at an altitude of over 1,400m, the family can take in a breath of fresh air and enjoy the cable car whilst admiring the natural landscape.
4. Experience a homestay
Live like a local, with a local. Homestays are an amazing opportunity for your child to learn communication skills and culture in a new country. Some of our top picks are:
Phorri’s House – Ta Van, Sa Pa, Lao Cai
Phorri’s House is a beautiful little house located in Ta Van village, about 10km from Sa Pa town. Imagine waking up in the morning, walking through the front door and facing a thousand terraced fields and the gentle murmur of the nearby stream.
Ninh Binh Family Homestay
Family Homestay feels like a homestay meets resort, with a friendly and intimate atmosphere, whilst still being spacious. Here you can choose a double room, a triple room or a bungalow with the garden view, plus there’s a play area and a terrace with lovely mountain and garden views. In addition, the owner can rent a bike for your group to explore the area and visit the famous scenic spots of Ninh Binh.
Home Farm is a lovely two-story house in the middle of a pine forest, completely separate from the hustle and bustle of the city. Surrounded by ornamental plants and fruit trees, the impressive front yard is an ideal gathering place for a family get together. From here, you can easily explore Dalat’s famous sites such as Bao Dai Palace, Tuyen Lam Lake, and Cam Ly Waterfall.
5. Enjoy delicious Vietnamese dishes
Vietnamese cuisine is simple yet delicious, with subtle flavours and fresh ingredients. You’ll find yummy food cooked right on the beach as well as in fine restaurants. Try traditional dishes, from Pho, noodles and rice to sweet dishes such as cake, sweet soup, and drinks.
How to prepare a Vietnam visa for you and your kids
Raring to head to Vietnam? This handy guide to Vietnam visa policy will make your planning easier, answering all your visa-related questions from whether you need to get it for your entry to Vietnam to how to get it and how much you need to pay for it. Make sure you have everything in place before you go with this guide.