Vietnam's top 3 kid-friendly cities
Vietnam might not be on the top of some people’s list of places to travel with kids, but it really should be. Whether you’ve got energetic toddlers or teenagers who think they’re too cool for school, Vietnam definitely won’t disappoint. With its bustling cities and serene countryside there’s sure to be something for everyone. Though in a country so diverse, where do you start?
Well, these are the top 3 places to visit with your kids on your next family holiday.
Ho Chi Minh City
As the most populated city in Vietnam, the vibrant, chaotic nature of the city is simply irresistible and visitors can’t help but be immersed in the city’s rich culture and fall in love with ‘The Diamond of the Far-East’.
In the Southern region of Vietnam, the eclectic mix of a modern city-scape and French-colonial architecture, combined with the modern restaurant scene and traditional street food creates a dynamic urban area with a distinctly oriental feel.
A trip to Ho Chi Minh City is not complete without an evening at The Golden Dragon Puppet Theatre. A tradition that dates back as far as the 11th century, this modern take on water puppetry is a show the whole family will absolutely love. The vibrant performances are full of singing and dancing and the beautifully crafted puppets put on a spectacular show.
Once you’ve seen all the sights the city has to offer, why not head out to the Meekong Delta and experience life outside the chaos of the city. Just four hours’ drive outside Ho Chi Minh, you’ll find a serene countryside where villages, schools and markets float lazily through the labyrinth of waterways.
Spend a few days here and explore the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam. See the mangrove forests hum with life and visit the ancient temples built so high they seem to reach the clouds. Guided tours are great for families and an overnight trip along the canals is an unforgettable experience.
Situated on Vietnam’s Central coast, this beautiful beach-side city offers up the best of both worlds. With modern dining and skyscrapers all round, the night-life is crazy, while the ornate temples and sweeping coastline offer a contrasting sense of serenity and relaxation.
Why not treat yourselves to a gooey mud bath at the Thap Ba Hot Spring Centre for an experience the kids will never forget. Located just 7km outside the city, a communal package is just $9AUD. A warm mineral mud bath begins your journey of relaxation, followed by a 15 minute sunbake.
Rinse off under the mineral showers and take a walk through what looks like a human car wash with water jets that shoot from the walls, and then jump into a blissfully warm mineral hot bath for a chance to de-stress. Stop by the warm waterfall for a quick back massage on your way to the pool and swim in the warm water for as long as you please.
For kids and thrill-seekers alike, Vinpearl Land is a must do attraction with plenty of amusement for the whole family. Located right at the opening of Nha Trang Bay, it features an amusement park, water park and aquarium, a shopping street and for the foodies, and a cuisine village showcasing hundreds of different foods.
It even has the world’s longest sea cable car to transport you from the main entry across the river to the amusement park and resort. For an exhilarating experience which the whole family will enjoy, whether you take on the rides or just watch the variety of shows, Vinpearl land is one adventure not to miss.
As the capital of Vietnam, preservation has been a key consideration during the growth of the city; with the temples and colonial architecture of the old quarter aging gracefully alongside the more modern developments.
When exploring the city, Hanoikids tours are a great way to interact with locals and learn about Vietnamese culture. Local students volunteer to teach tourists about the area, while also working on their English and learning about your culture too. They’ll show you around the city according to an itinerary which you help to plan so it’s suited perfectly to what you and your family want to see.
Another attraction which everyone will enjoy, is a performance by the Vietnam Circus Federation. Located in the heart of the city at Lenin Park, the circus showcases animal performances with monkeys, dogs, bears and elephants, as well as the much loved acrobats, trapeze artists and clowns. All this, plus hilarious acts by magicians will surely keep the kids smiling all day, and for under $10 too!
With so many attractions in Hanoi which the kids will enjoy, why not have a go at rock climbing at the Vietclimb gym, or the Vietnam museum of ethnology where you’ll learn about the history and culture of Vietnam’s whopping 54 different ethnic groups.
When travelling to Vietnam, remember that it extends across two climatic zones, which can mean two completely different weather forecasts. Southern Vietnam has a tropical climate so Ho Chi Minh City is warm and humid all year round, while Hanoi in the North has a more moderate climate with damp winters spanning November to April. Nha Trang on the Central Coast sits in between with the wettest months being December to February.