Dreaming of an unforgettable Vietnam family holiday? Look no further than our guide to the best place for family holiday in Vietnam, conveniently organized into holiday types, and complete with a (fully customizable) tour suggestion for each destination.
Scroll to the end for Family Travel Tips for Vietnam.
FOR URBAN EXPLORERS: SAIGON
If you’re looking for a fun and easy Vietnam family holiday, Saigon is your place. Replete with cosmopolitan delights, it’s got cafes to rest in, parks to play in, museums to explore, markets to browse, and world-class dining to enjoy. Depending on the age of your children, you can do exciting tours of the city by chauffeur-drive Vespa, you can walk Dong Khoi street and take in the city sights, and head to the tallest building in Vietnam for thrilling views.
Access to Saigon is easy, with an international airport within a 30-minute drive of District 1. It’s also easy to get around in taxis and the streets are flat and pavements wide. There are dedicated kids theme parks, water parks and indoor and outdoor playgrounds – plenty to keep you all occupied.
A quick 4-day Ho Chi Minh City trip with Vespa tours, a cooking lesson, park and market visits and insightful cultural activities is a great option for the urban explorer family in Vietnam.
FOR HISTORY-LOVING FAMILIES: HOI AN AND HUE
With, charming old streets and buildings, rivers, night markets, beaches, hotels and restaurants galore, Hoi An and Hue give you all the conveniences of city travel with all the spectacular treasures of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For older children, there are lots of fun cultural activities such as basket-boat cruises, water puppet shows, cyclo tours, rice paper-making, farm visits and lantern-making. If you’re traveling with little ones, the wealth of luxury hotels in Hoi An and along the beaches assures a comfortable and enjoyable time.
Make sure you also visit Hue, a popular Vietnam holiday destination for families even with small children.Take a river cruise, hit the night markets for the carnival rides and let the kids feed the fish at the citadel. Just bring plenty of water, as the weather is always warm and humid.
Of course, if you’re after a more relaxing time, a Hoi An family beach trip may beckon. Learn fishing techniques, enjoy fresh seafood and go on a bicycle tour in between swimming and sunbathing.
FOR ACTIVE FAMILIES: THE MEKONG DELTA
If your crew loves exploring, the Mekong Delta is a great family destination in Vietnam. Vibrant waterways, colorful floating markets, tranquil rice fields, laidback cruising – it all comes together in an atmospheric blend of experiences that showcase life on the river.
A Mekong family tour like this 4-day delta discovery trip combines active adventure, such as cycling through orchards and villages with insider cultural experiences such as a rustic homestay and cruising to the floating markets. A magical night aboard a traditional wooden cruiser, drifting down the Mekong, is a highlight for travelers of all ages.
FOR A FAMILY BEACH BREAK: PHU QUOC
Family travel is always easier if you stay in one place, so if you’re looking for a beautiful beach to call home for a week or so, Phu Quoc is a great option. You’ll find quiet, calm, bath-like waters that are perfect for smaller children. There are temples and prison museums to explore for older kids, a bee farm, night markets and a great range of family-friendly accommodation, plus nice restaurants to keep parents and grandparents happy.
Stay at golden Long Beach (Bai Dai) for the most convenience, or head to the white sands of Dao Beach (Bai Dao) for more tranquility. Spend a few lazy days on the beach, just snorkeling, diving and relaxing with the family.
FOR ICONIC SIGHTS: HANOI AND HALONG BAY
Say you don’t have much time, but you still want an amazing family holiday in Vietnam. Arguably, the destination with the most ‘wow’ factor is UNESCO World Heritage Site, Halong Bay. That iconic bay from whose turquoise-blue waters rise towering limestone karsts certainly is a show-stealer. A 3.5-hour drive from the capital, Hanoi, it’s as breathtaking as it looks in the pictures, if not more.
Hanoi itself has all the trappings of a modern metropolis, with a great selection of hotels and restaurants, easy access around the city, museums and famous historic sites galore. In Halong Bay, aside from cruising between the cliffs, there’s a waterside amusement park and the fascinating Quang Ninh Museum, which gives insight into the province’s history, and explains why Halong Bay earned UNESCO status.
As long as your children are either too young to walk or old enough to be water-savvy, the best family experience of Hanoi and Halong Bay combines a tour of Hanoi Old Town with an overnight cruise on the bay – unforgettable at any age.
FOR OFF-THE-BEATEN-PATH EXPLORATION: HA GIANG
Here’s one for families with fledgling adventurers. Vietnam’s ‘last frontier’, Ha Giang Province, immerses travelers in the lush limestone mountains bordering China. Explore Ba Be National Park for caves and waterfalls, walk verdant forest trails, visit different hill tribe villages and delve into local ethnic culture and lore.
An experiential family trip like this is great for older children with a curiosity for cultures different to their own. If you love walking tours, being out and about in spectacular nature, cruising scenic rivers and meeting people from different ways of life, a tour through remote and beautiful Ha Giang could be just right for your crew.
FOR NATURE LOVERS: CAT TIEN NATIONAL PARK
Sometimes the best family bonding time happens in the great outdoors. Cat Tien National Park is recognized by UNESCO as a biosphere Reserve Zone for its 72 hectares of natural forest, trove of rare and endemic species, gargantuan trees and tranquil jungle trails. It’s great place for a few nights of exploration, with two animal sanctuaries (for sun bears and moon bears and gibbons), night safaris and a lake that’s home to endangered siamese crocodiles.
Gather the troupe for a journey into the jungle – a 3-day tour like this one showcases all the highlights of this amazing natural playground and lets you see what the park’s like after dark, when all the nocturnal critters come out. Cat Tien is around 170 kilometers from Saigon, so a trip like this can easily be paired with a city stay.
FOR FOODIE FAMILIES: HANOI
Famous for bringing pho to the world, the Vietnamese capital is a fantastic place for delving into local food culture. It’s easy to visit with children of any age group – all the better if they’re old enough to appreciate the fresh flavors of Indochine cuisine. Street food is obviously a must – the Old Town is great for that, especially if you do the tour by Vespa. Hanoi is generally very easy to explore on foot, with plenty of cafes to stop in for a rest and a sweet iced tea – or why not try an egg coffee, Hanoi’s specialty.
The influence of the French is keenly felt in Vietnamese culture, especially in its cuisine. You’ll find plenty of restaurants – including the iconic Le Beaulieu at the Metropole – that bring a nostalgic colonial ambience to life. It is equally possible to arrange a private dinner with a local family home for a true taste of authentic local dining.
If you’re after a longer journey, consider an unforgettable multi-country family tour through Indochina that showcases the culinary cultures of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
FOR A REMOTE ISLAND HOLIDAY: CON DAO
A tropical island holiday is always a great idea and Vietnam has some truly breathtaking islands to explore. Less touristy than Phu Quoc, the Con Dao archipelago gives you the chance to really reboot and get in touch with nature, offering a effortless balance of relaxation, activity and discovery. It’s the perfect Vietnam beach break for families who want to get away from it all.
Aside from pristine bays to swim in and incredible coral reefs to snorkel, the main island of Con Son offers Con Dao National Park, and treks that crisscross the island. Con Son was once a prison island run by the French, so you’ll also find an array of 19th- and 20th-century prisons and camps open for exploration. The island is also the home of local heroine Vo Thi Sau, a teenage girl who fought against French occupation. Many older Vietnamese people come to Con Son on a pilgrimage to her memorial site.
Even though it’s not the most popular Vietnamese island, you’ll find plenty of Con Dao family hotels and resorts, from the super luxurious to the budget-friendly. There’s an airport on Con Son island, which takes flights from Ho Chi Minh City (1 hour), and a new fast boat from Soc Tran on the Mekong Delta, and taxis and bicycles on the island make it easy to get around.
FOR AN EPIC FAMILY JOURNEY: MULTIPLE COUNTRIES
If one destination isn’t enough for your globetrotting family, consider combining your Vietnam travels with a tour of neighboring countries. Southeast Asia is relatively compact, so overland journeys by train, boat, bus or air are easily achieved. Laos and Cambodia form a nice trifecta with Vietnam, being linked by their history of French occupation, yet remaining totally distinct countries with vastly different cultures.
An epic journey along the Mekong is one way to approach a multi-country family tour through Vietnam. Following a tour of ancient Angkor with a beach break in Phu Quoc is a dream holiday for any family.
TIPS FOR VIETNAM FAMILY TRAVEL
- Vietnamese culture is very baby- and child-friendly. Be prepared for your children to receive a lot of attention.
- The bigger cities will have all the supplies you need – formula, diapers, wipes, milk, baby food. The remote and rural destinations will not, so you need to stock up before you go.
- Always bring bottled water, every time you go out. It’s hot!
- Bring plenty of snacks – if you have fussy children, bring them from home
- Vietnam is very safe, but snatch-thefts do happen, so keep all your bags and valuables (including tables and phones) close to your person at all times.
- If you have a favorite kids’ stomach remedy, bring it with you. Holiday tummy bugs are not fun.
Always have tissues on hand – for toilets, meals, spills. Cafes and restaurants don’t always give them out, but you can get them in any Circle K or mom and pop store for next to nothing.
- You’ll all need a visa, so arrange one at your local Vietnamese embassy before you go to minimise the wait at the airport. Phu Quoc, a special economic zone, is the exception – no visa is required.
- Public toilets are usually squat-style, with a hose for cleaning. Bring your own tissues.
- Roads in the big cities are busy, with a lot of motorcycle traffic, but it tends to flow around you. Locals cross the road by walking out confidently when the traffic slows.
- If you plan to ride a bicycle or scooter, bring your children’s helmets.
- Leave the stroller at home, the sidewalks even in the big cities are uneven. A baby carrier is a much better idea.