Top 5 Things To Do For Your Family Holiday In Vietnam

Nga Do
Vietnam is jam-packed with fabulous activities for family holiday but reading some holiday itineraries you wouldn’t know this. Yes, we know that there is a rich and sometimes troubled history, and yes, we should learn a bit about this, but endless temples and historical sights are going to leave the kids cold.

The trick to a enjoying a holiday to Vietnam with family is to intersperse the sightseeing with activities that the your family will love. Here are our top 5 things to do with family in Vietnam but if you want more ideas, do let us know.

Kayaking in Halong Bay

You have to be careful with Halong Bay. Parts of this are now horribly over-crowded and hundreds of boats ply the same routes through the bay. The views are gorgeous… or would be if they weren’t blocked by other boats.

Top 5 Things To Do For Your Family Holiday In Vietnam
Photo by pixabay
Our advice is to head to the more remote Bai Tu Long Bay. Quite aside from the family jokes you can enjoy at the name of the bay, here you find pristine scenery but few other tourists. We can’t quite work out why more people don’t head this way, but for now they don’t, so enjoy it whilst it lasts!

Once here, our advice is to head out in a kayak to explore some of the smaller bays, stop on a deserted beach, swim in the emerald waters and generally enjoy the idyllic scenery.

Watching the terraced fields and trekking in Sapa

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Photo by Bob Tubbs
You may have been heard some information of a touristic Sapa with more concrete roads and it is true. However, please understand that tourism helps develop local’s life and concrete roads also play an important role in that task. However, until now, ethnic villages and scenery in Sapa are still distinctive and intact as well as offer great trekking options and cultural learning opportunities.

Food tour in Hanoi

Vietnam is a food lover’s paradise, with countless tasty and affordable options, but the sheer amount of things and places to eat, especially in the big cities, can be overwhelming. Hanoi was the culinary highlight for me and a tour with a local guide is the perfect way to sample a wide selection in a relatively short amount of time. 

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Photo by katiebordner
Bun cha (pork with rice noodles), mi quang (fantastic noodle dish), happy pancakes, spring rolls, pho, beautiful steamed fish, sticky rice and egg coffee (yes, you read it correctly) were some of the highlights. You will be instructed on the best food and which sauces go best for each dish in the correct dipping order. This is definitely a highlight of Vietnam's travel to the world.

Water puppet shows

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Photo by Steven C. Price
Water puppetry is a Vietnamese tradition and was one of the best cultural activities I did on my trip. If your experience of puppet shows consists of Punch and Judy-type performances you are in for a surprise. The stage is a large pool of water in which the puppets act out tales from Vietnamese folklore with a traditional Vietnamese orchestra playing throughout. The puppeteers are extremely skilled and great artistry goes into the puppets themselves. Apart from just a handful of tourists, the theatre was filled with local families enjoying the show. This really is something you can only experience in Vietnam, but is an activity that seems to get overlooked by many visitors, explore the unique markets of ethnic minority groups.

Basket boat ride and crabbing in Hoi An

The enticing streets of Hoi An need little introduction and are an essential stop on any Vietnam family holiday. Families will be seduced by the pretty town with its wooden shop fronts, bustling markets and sensational restaurants. Few tourists venture far beyond the bustling town centre but if you do, you find a slower pace of life that offers great activities for children. Take a boat out into the estuary and then into one of the narrow channels that weave through the paddy fields. Here you can switch to a circular basket boat and paddle into thick groves of water bamboo. Have a go at crabbing, Vietnamese style, trying to catch the well camouflaged purple crabs that scuttle around the bamboo stems.

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Photo by hienmtd
After lunch in a local restaurant on the banks of the river you can continue on by bike, cycling through friendly villages with beautiful views. This is similar to the scenery of the Mekong Delta so if you don’t have time to make it to the far south, this is a great alternative.

These top 5 activities can be incorporated into most of our Vietnam family holidays. In order to get the most out of your trip make sure that you check what the weather will be like when you are due to travel. A holiday to Vietnam with your family can be an experience they’ll never forget but you don’t want to arrive expecting sunshine only to realise that it’s winter time and likely to be cold and wet!

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