Traveling in Vietnam with kids

What does Responsible Travel recommend?

The cities are frenetic, the markets full of strange sounds and smells, and the long journeys from north-south will test the patience of little ones – and big ones.
But there is much to enjoy in Vietnam with kids – the enchanting water puppet theatres, laid-back beach resorts and islands, friendly local communities and of course the trains, boats and cyclo rides.
Cycling, kayaking, hiking and snorkelling will keep energetic teenagers entertained, and there is an excellent balance of culture and nature, chaos and tranquillity, allowing families to plan the perfect, personalised itinerary.

Activities for families in Vietnam

What to do with little ones

We certainly don’t recommend a trip to any of Vietnam’s zoos or animal parks unless you want distressed children on your hands, but you can get up close to several species of endangered langur in Cuc Phuong’s Primate Rescue Centre. The centre runs a successful breeding programme, and also supports carnivore and pangolin conservation programmes. Ethical, educational – and fun.

The Mekong Delta is a wonderful world for children to discover. Traveling by car, minibus or boat, the delta has plenty of opportunities to explore floating markets on small wooden sampans, see how coconut sweets are made, trek out to traditional villages and meet the people whose lives depend on this immense river.
If you’re worried about navigating the metropolises of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi with kids, try laid-back Hoi An – whose name means “peaceful meeting place”. It’s small and beautiful with little traffic. There are plenty of cycling options outside the town – and the beach is just a short hop away.

Traveling in Vietnam with kids asks the experts

Vo Thi Bich Ha, from our supplier Haivenu, is Vietnamese and has travelled in the country with her two young children. She shares her tips on traveling in Vietnam with kids:
“I wouldn’t advise traveling with toddlers because the facilities are not very child friendly. It’s nothing like what you’re used to in England – the toilets are difficult with a young child, the restaurants and museums don’t have changing tables and other facilities. But kids from eight upwards who like to explore will love Vietnam. They can ride a pony in Sapa, go rafting down the river, paddle a large basket boat, make decorative lanterns from silk in Hoi An. You can also learn to make spring rolls, salads, noodles... the children go out to the markets with a guide to get the ingredients and come back to cook and eat them.”
Lesley Schofield, from our supplier All Points East, has young children and has travelled with them extensively in Southeast Asia. Here’s her advice on visiting Vietnam with kids:
"The Mekong Delta’s really nice for children. There’s an awful lot of travel on boats rather than minibuses. And other than the big boats that take you from one country to the next, most of them are quite small boats that meander round the backwaters of the delta. They’ll just carry one family or one group, so that’s a really nice thing because the kids aren’t cooped up inside a minibus getting bored.”
Photo credits: [Puppets: Mike Hauser] [Langur: Art G.] [Coconut sweets: Katina Rogers] [Hoi An beach: marin] [Boat: Tu]
Written by Vicki Brown
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