Top 10 Things to Do in Vietnam with Kids

Family-friendly Activities to Do in Vietnam with Kids

Rachel Tran
Rachel Tran | Published: June 2, 2020

Vietnam is well known for its beautiful landscapes, rich history and fascinating culture. If you’re married, congratulations, you’ve hit the jackpot. There are plenty of things to do in Vietnam with kids, be them toddlers, young kids or even teenagers. Read on to find out the top 10 things to do in Vietnam with kids, as well as a few tips and tricks to avoid a disastrous experience with your little ones.

 1. Watch a Water Puppet Show in Hanoi

Watch a Water Puppet Show in Hanoi
Photo: citypassguide.com

Why is it kid-friendly?

Water puppet shows top in every to-do list with children for their fun and easy-to-understand side. The puppets are playful and entertaining, the jokes are simple and the music is highly upbeat. Though fully narrated in Vietnamese, the show will keep their attention and crack them up without fail.

What to do?

Water puppet is a form of art derived from wet rice farming tradition in the ancient Red River Delta. The show depicts the rustic life of farmers and tells the stories of their daily activities: fishing,tending to buffaloes, catching foxes. Some Vietnamese historical legends such as the story of fire-breathing dragons and dancing fairies will also capture the kids’ heart. With a traditional orchestra playing in the background, the show is kept fast-paced and entertaining all the time.

The show lasts about 45 minutes. Watch out for some splash if you sit in the front rows.

>> Check Out Our Tour on Behind the Scene of Water Puppet Show in Hanoi!

2. Take a Boat Ride in Trang An Complex

Take a boat ride in Trang An complex
Photo: hanoiexploretravel.com

Why is it kid-friendly?

Dodging the hanging stalactites, while trying to see through the dark is captivating for most any children. While some find it an exciting pirate’s adventure, some might feel the calming effect of slow paddling and limestone karst watching. The ride is best suited for kids who can sit still and wear a life jacket properly.

What to do?

Trang An Complex is located in Ninh Binh province in the north of Vietnam. Like a mini Halong Bay, Trang An features clear waters, lush limestone karsts and quiet atmosphere. A cruise on a wooden boat will take your family through the caves to discover the stalactites and stalagmites, as well as allowing the kids to try paddling. If they ever get tired of sitting still, they can get on the islands to check out traditional villages and waterside temples.

3. Lantern Making in Hoi An

Lantern Making in Hoi An
Photo: hiddenhoian.com

Why is it kid-friendly?

Lantern is among the most popular activities in Hoi An to try as a family. With the same amount for a lantern, your kids will learn how to make one. It’s fun, easy and you will have a handmade souvenir to bring home.

What to do?

Hoi An is known as the lantern lit town, so you won’t have any problem finding a place to learn how to make lanterns. There are places which schedule lantern making workshops at certain times, and also places which you can drop by anytime you want. 

You will be provided with lantern frames. You will handpick your materials, including cloth materials and colors. Having your materials in hand, you will learn how to stretch and glue it to the frame properly. 5-year-old and older kids can do it on their own, while the younger might need a lot of help from parents. However, the lanterns are pretty fragile; make sure you pack them carefully in your luggage.

4. Ride the Phu Quoc Cable Car

Ride the Phu Quoc Cable Car - Things to do in Vietnam with kids

Why is it kid-friendly?

The longest cable car in Phu Quoc connects between two islands in An Thoi Archipelago. It’s 8 kilometers long, featuring a wonderful view of the fishing boats, emerald water and busy fishing villages. While sitting in a glass car is definitely a unique experience, your kids won’t have time to get bored as the ride only lasts 15 minutes.

What to do?

To get to An Thoi Archipelago, you can take a bike, taxi or shuttle bus from the city center. Arriving there, all you need to do is spend 150,000 VND for adults and 100,000 VND for kids to get on the cable car. After 15 minutes of photo-taking and sea-watching, you will reach a white sandy beach on Hon Thom island, where the whole family can enjoy a good time on the playground.

5. Shopping at the Cai Rang Floating Market

Shopping at the Cai Rang Floating Market

Why is it kid-friendly?

Cai Rang Floating Market is the biggest among the four floating markets in the Mekong Delta. Located in Can Tho province, Cai Rang is known for its spectacular dishes and fresh fruits served right on boats. The kids will love the hectic life on water, while trying the tastiest Southern food. Chef Gordon Ramsay once claimed that the “hu tieu” he had here was one of the best dishes he’d ever had in life.

What to do?

All floating markets in Mekong Delta open very early in the morning, making it less preferable for families with young children. The tip is to live near the Ninh Kieu Port, so that you can reach it within minutes. It’s best to get on board around 6-7 am, enjoy a hearty breakfast with “hu tieu” and juice there, and travel around for some island hopping. There are pagodas, traditional handicraft villages and fruit gardens to check out. A tour will typically take 3-4 hours with visits to all said destinations. While it’s a fun and unique way to experience life on water, be well prepared to get up really early in the morning.

6. Ice Skating in Ho Chi Minh

Ice Skating in Ho Chi Minh

Why is it kid-friendly?

While you’re in the Mekong Delta, make sure you check out the ice skating rink in Ho Chi Minh City. The rink is in Landmark 81, the tallest building in town and also one of the main draws of the city. A fun-filled skating afternoon is ideal for kids of all ages.

What to do?

The building offers a great observation deck up high, and an ice skating rink on the ground floor. There will be ice skates, skating aids and helmets available. The entrance fee is around 170,000 VND for adults and 130,000 VND for kids. The best time to go ice skating is in summer, when the rink is ideal to let off some steam. If you don’t feel like skating around, check out the food court and gallery nearby.

7. Kayak Around Lan Ha Bay

Kayak Around Lan Ha Bay - Things to do in Vietnam with kids
Photo: medium.com

Why is it kid-friendly?

Lan Ha Bay is a nice off-the-beaten-track destination near Halong Bay, just off Cat Ba Island. While its pristine beauty, clear waters and beautiful limestones are worth seeing, the perfect privacy is the thing you’ll value most. It’s perfect for a quiet morning of kayaking, swimming and chilling on the beach with your kids. 

What to do?

Getting to Lan Ha Bay is a bit trickier, which is why it’s less visited than Halong Bay. From Cat Ba Island, you can hire individual kayaks or have a group of people sitting on the same kayak. The kids will love paddling through magnificent limestone islands and islets, while taking a swim in turquoise waters and having fun on a white sandy beach. The kayaks can be rented via an agent or by yourself. 

8. Crawl through the Cu Chi Tunnels

Crawl through the Cu Chi Tunnels

Why is it kid-friendly?

Had enough paddling? It’s time to get down on your knees, crawl through the Cu Chi Tunnels and pick up some history lessons. The tunnels are an underground network set up by Viet Cong in the Vietnam War, the fight against the United States. The kids will crawl in a tunnel of 50 meters, check out some abandoned tanks and learn how devastating wars can be.

What to do?

Located 60 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City canter, Cu Chi Tunnels are a perfect destination to spend at least half a day. Everything is underground: a hospital, supply route and living quarters. You can choose either a 50 meters or a 100 meters tunnel for your kids to crawl in. A few traps and tanks are on display, while there is a special area for you to test your shooting skills. 

9. Trekking in Sapa

Trekking in Sapa - Things to do in Vietnam with kids
Photo : saltinourhair.com

Why is it kid-friendly?

If your kid is more on the athletic side, don’t hesitate to send them on a trekking journey. Trekking tours in Sapa can be highly tailormade – you can choose your own route and activities. While the kids might feel a bit weary to climb up and down mountains, they will surely enjoy a meal with locals, where you try Sapa’s mouth-watering barbecues and other cuisines.

What to do?

Simply search for a tour operator which provides Sapa trekking tours. You are advised to go for sustainable tours, whose profit goes to local businesses and goodwill funds. You and your kids will visit a market, climb up a mountain and check out a village, where you cook and enjoy a meal with locals. Kids will also enjoy seeing how a piece of colorful brocade is made under the sophisticated hands of local artisans.

10. Go on a Night Safari at Cat Tien National Park

Go for a night safari in Cat Tien National Park (saigonriders.com)
Photo: saigonriders.com

Why is it kid-friendly?

Cat Tien National Park is only a two-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City. The park is home to numerous tropical animals such as barking deer, vivet cats, samba deer, wild pigs, porcupines, gaur, and weasels. The kids will have fun spotting wild animals while sitting on a truck to avoid disturbing them.

What to do?

The price range is 200,000 – 250,000 VND per person. There is no minimum age limit for kids. No need to worry about young kids; the wild animals are cute and gentle. Make sure you sign up for a truck tour, which also includes tour guide services. They will give you and your kids some really valuable information about wildlife and biodiversity.

Tips When Traveling to Vietnam with Kids:

  • Bring along light jackets and raincoats for kids. 
  • Buy water and snacks from supermarkets and convenience stores, rather than some suspicious mom-and-pop stalls. Kids are really vulnerable to food poisoning.
  • While food is not readily available everywhere, make sure you feed/bring along food for your really young ones.
  • Make kids wear trekking scandals.
  • Hold their hands tightly when crossing the road.

Traveling to Vietnam with your little ones can be challenging, especially when your destination is a wild Asian country like Vietnam. Fear not, however, as there are plenty of good things to try and great moments to share. Double check the weather and physical activity level before heading anywhere, and you will put a big smile on your kids’ face.

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