Travelling to Vietnam with kids is one of the most popular family adventures we offer. And with good reason! Stretching from the Chinese border in the north to the Gulf of Thailand, Vietnam’s length means you can visit at almost any time of year. This makes it a great destination for nearly every school holiday. And oh, the food!

Staggeringly beautiful and with a fascinating if sometimes tragic history, Vietnam is jam-packed with activities the whole family will love. The trick to keeping all members happy on a Vietnam with kids trip is balance. Go sightseeing but do it by cyclo-rickshaw! Visit temples or tunnels but splice it up with beach breaks or hang out at the hotel pool!

Phu Quoc - family Christmas breaks

Explore secluded bays in Phu Quoc by boat

We’d love you to take a look at our Vietnam Family Holidays to get even more ideas of where to visit and when to go. For now, allow us to tempt you to our top 10 family experiences in Vietnam with the kids (we could go on…).

Our Vietnam with kids Top Ten

1. Take a cyclo-rickshaw ride through the backstreets of Hanoi

Vietnam with kids - Cyclo ride Hanoi

Family fun on a cyclo-rickshaw tour of Hanoi

The absolute best way to explore the teeming, million-motorbikes-city of Hanoi is by cyclo-rickshaw. Sit back, relax, and be wowed by the sights, sounds, and smells of Hanoi’s old town. You can stop along the way for colourful souvenirs or to stock up on freshly made doughnuts. You might also want to visit the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum or the 1,000-year-old Temple of Literature.

2. Take a boat ride through a cave system in Ninh Binh

Vietnam with kids holiday - Ninh Binh boat trip

Ninh Binh boat ride

Want to experience some of the most sublime karst scenery in Vietnam? Near the small village of Trang An, you can take a guided rowing boat ride through the paddy fields, flanked by towering mountains. The journey is spectacular and the kids will love the section through a long, low dark cave that tunnels through the hills. Watch out for low-hanging stalactites! Find out more about this amazing experience in our 10-day Northern Vietnam adventure.

3. Crawl through the Cu Chi Tunnels

Crawl through the Cu Chi tunnels on a Vietnam with kids itinerary

Cu Chi tunnels

There are no two ways about it, the history of the Cu Chi tunnels is harrowing. However, somehow a visit to the tunnels invariably turns out to be a highlight of any holiday to Vietnam with kids. Children of all ages are entranced by the stories that they hear and the younger ones perhaps don’t understand the more traumatic aspects of history. Everyone will enjoy searching the forest floor for the entrance to the tunnels – an almost completely impossible feat. The kids will also like climbing on the old tank and heading down into the tunnels to follow them as far as you can manage.

Most parents have to give up quite quickly as the heat and the need to crouch and crawl takes its toll. However, most children will happily continue through the whole length of the tunnel, meeting you at the end. Inspired? See our example Cambodia and Southern Vietnam itinerary which includes a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels.

4. Bike ride through Hanoi’s backstreets and help cook lunch

Cooking lessons in Vietnam for all the family

Home-cooking Red River District

For a bit of respite from the chaotic streets of central Hanoi, make your way to the Red River District. This is one of the few parts of Hanoi that escaped bombing during the Vietnam War. The quiet streets are lined with traditional courtyard houses and peaceful Buddhist temples. Join a local family in their ancestral home and help grandma make a tasty lunch of spring rolls washed down with a pot of green tea.

From here take a bike ride out into the countryside, passing through paddy fields, fruit plantations and small villages. The busy streets of central Hanoi seem a million miles away! Check out our example Vietnam itineraries – two of which visit Hanoi.

5. Explore less visited parts of Halong Bay

Holidays with teenagers - on boat in Halong Bay, Vietnam

Explore the more secluded areas of Halong Bay on a Vietnam with kids holiday

The pristine karst limestone scenery of Halong Bay is world renowned, but there is no getting away from the fact that it’s busy. At peark periods (ie any school holiday), the crowds can detract from the splendour so we have a top tip! Our advice is to head to the more remote Bai Tu Long Bay. This offers spectacular views but without the crowds (for now). Once here, you can stop on a deserted beach, paddle in the emerald waters, explore remote caves, and generally enjoy the idyllic scenery.

See our Highlights of Vietnam example itinerary 

6. Homestay in a traditional village in Pu Luong

Playing cards on a home stay on a long haul family holiday

Homestay Pu Luong

For many families, learning about local hill-tribe life in the mountains of Northern Vietnam is a highlight of the trip. Take our Northern Vietnam itinerary and you’ll stay with a friendly local family in a small village of stilt houses. Here you will find a lifestyle virtually unchanged for centuries. You can enjoy a home-cooked meal over an open fire and chat with your hosts. The village is surrounded by cascading rice terraces and the beautiful landscape of Pu Long nature reserve.

7. Basket boat ride and crabbing in Hoi An (together with beach time!)

Vietnam with kids - Basket boat ride and crabbing, Hoi An

Basket boat ride and crabbing, Hoi An

Is this Vietnam’s prettiest town? The enticing streets of Hoi An are a charming mix of 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. Hoi An is also famous for its fabulous beaches just outside the town. These provide the perfect foil after an adventurous morning’s activities. They are at their best if travelling during the Easter or the summer school holidays.

8. Zip-wire into the ‘Dark Cave’ in Phong Nha Ke National Park

Zip-lining on a Vietnam with kids holiday

Zipline in Nha-Ke Bang National Park on our Vietnam with kids holidays – grown-ups love it too!

Phong Nha Ke National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its incredibly beautiful scenery. Here you find the oldest karst mountains in Asia together with a vast network of underground rivers and caves. Many of these remain completely unexplored. The area is a paradise for families, with endless scope for activities. You can take bike rides through the beautiful karst landscape or head underground to explore some of the caves. You can jump into deep water pools and take boat rides along the picturesque Son River.

The highlight, though, of any Vietnam with kids adventure has to be taking a zip-line into the appropriately named Dark Cave. Junior Adrenalin Junkies are welcome! See our Highlights of Vietnam for more.

9. Boat trip along the Perfume River

Vietnam boat trip

Boat trip for all the family

The Imperial capital of Hue is at the heart of Vietnam’s long history and snaking through the centre is the fabled Perfume River. Take a boat ride along the river to the imperial palace where the kids will learn about the emperors and their many concubines. Those with an interest in the Vietnam war will also be keen to learn about Hue’s more recent history, and the brutal Tet offensive of 1968. As an antidote to the history, there’s also a great market in Hue. You can spend hours here, browsing the many stalls.

10. Ride bikes along the narrow channels of Mekong Delta

Vietnam with kids - Biking in the Mekong Delta

Biking in the Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta may have changed has changed immeasurably in recent years but is still well worth a visit. Here you will find an endless network of channels that have created hundreds of small islands. These are best explored by bike and sampan, with bucolic views along the way. Families with older children might also enjoy a night on a converted rice barge. You can spend your days slowly cruising along the palm-fringed canals and enjoying dinner on deck. Bliss!

More on holidaying in Vietnam with kids

These top 10 activities can be incorporated into many of our Vietnam family holidays. In order to get the most out of your trip, take a look at our when to go page and read some of our customer reviews. A holiday to Vietnam with kids can be an experience they’ll never forget but you don’t want to arrive expecting sunshine only to realise that it’s the wet season!

Vietnam also combines well with Cambodia so you might like to visit our Cambodia family holidays section and also check out an example itinerary that includes Southern Vietnam and Cambodia.

Kids on holiday in Vietnam

Traditional conical hats are the perfect way to protect the kids from the sun on a Vietnam family holiday

Liddy Pleasants, MD Stubborn Mule Travel
I’d love to hear from you about your experiences of travelling to Vietnam with kids so do email me at [email protected].