Our guide to the best of exploring Vietnam with families will have you booking tickets pronto.
You’ve visited these luxury camping spots and tried these alternative beach holidays, and now you’re looking for your next family adventure. Exotic, exciting and easy to reach from Hong Kong, Vietnam is a fantastic destination for families, offering amazing experiences at every leafy turn. Whether your brood are big on thrills, chills, history, or hunting down the best bowl of Pho; keep your wits about you, watch out for crazy motorcyclists, and prepare for the time of your life with this guide to Vietnam with families thanks to Lightfoot Travel.
Best for a kids’ club: Hoi An
Located on the pristine white sand of Vietnam’s China Beach in Hoi An is the Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, welcoming you with its family-friendly arms, luxurious architecture and breezy tropical vibe. Make the most of the babysitting services or send older children to the kids’ club (ages 4-12) for games, exploration or – if they’re feeling super-brainy – Vietnamese classes. Meanwhile, you can go cycling in the surrounding rice paddy fields or indulge your Zen-side with beach tai chi. Alternatively, remain mostly horizontal by the pool of your private villa with a good book in hand and your butler nearby.
Best for off-the-beaten track: Sapa
While trekking with a toddler may not be high up on your holiday hit-list, those with older offspring should head for Sapa, in the north west of Vietnam. Famous for its picturesque rice fields and local villages, this is a fabulous destination for outdoorsy exploration; hike the lush landscape; dine with the locals at a tribal village; watch local performances at Quang Truong Square; go mountain biking; and take a cable car up to Mt Fansipan – the highest mountain in the country. Stay at the super-chilled Topas Ecolodge where you can forget all about your weary legs and soak up the valley views, relax in the infinity pool, and rehydrate with a cocktail.
Best for adventurous families: Nha Trang
Accessible only by boat from Cam Ranh Airport, getting to Six Senses Hideaway Ninh Van Bay is an adventure in itself. Great for children aged 12 and over, once you reach this beautiful sheltered bay, treehouse-style thatched villas will win you over, and your schedule will revolve around seclusion and quality family time together. Try yoga and tai chi at the property, then head out for some snorkelling and diving on Mun Island, kayaking to Bai Nho, and hiking the Bai Nho trail to the top of Heo mountain. The hotel is also known for its romantic ambience, so pack the children off to the kids’ club and make the most of the sea-facing bath tubs, Wine Cave and fine-dining restaurant set high on a cliffside.
Best for history & culture: Hue
Lovely Hue (pronounced ‘hway’) is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the place to delve into Vietnam’s tangly history. Despite some sad undertones, the tombs, catacombs, pagodas and monuments that await can all be fascinating for children, and can transform from boring to brilliant with fun bike rides, hikes, houseboat trips and street food tours. Stay at the Art Deco governor’s mansion-turned-Azerai La Residence hotel, located on the charmingly-named Perfume River, where the scent of frangipani blossoms wafts onto your balcony. A retro-refit, big pool, shady gardens and a kids’ club with indoor and outdoor play areas makes it ideal for families.
Best for family activities: Hanoi
Wear sturdy shoes, remember to hold hands (and walk with confidence!) when you cross the roads, and embrace the hustle and bustle of Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi. Pile onto a cyclo, hold on for dear life, and see the city at speed; watch colourful street artists at work; catch a traditional puppet show; whip up some wares at Bah Trang Ceramic Village; and let your little ones run free at Hoan Kiem Lake where the cafes are many and the Insta-opportunities are plenty. Stay at the luxurious Sofitel Legend Hotel Metropole, one of the old colonial hotels of south-east Asia. With an outdoor swimming pool, three story spa and six restaurants, this French-feeling fancy is the perfect respite from the crowds.