Planning your next family holiday can be child’s play as long as you choose the right destination. And, whilst Vietnam may not be on the tip of everybody’s tongue, this incredible country in Southeast Asia boasts a variety of stunning landscapes that will wow travellers of all ages.
From relaxing on picture perfect beaches to exploring distant paddy fields, floating next to towering karst formations and making friend with the locals, Vietnam is a rewarding destination for both grown-ups and little ones alike. A Vietnam family holiday offers culture, relaxation, adventure and, because of its convenient transport links and wide range of accommodation, is also one of the easiest countries in Southeast Asia to travel with children. On the menu, there is far more to Vietnam than noodles and soups; in fact, its Western influences makes it an ideal place for even the fussiest eaters, with baguettes and familiar cuisines always just around the corner.
Taking your children on a trip can be a truly enriching experience for the entire family. New memories can be created, shared – and photographed! – forming stronger bonds within a family. The ongoing benefits of exposing kids to different cultures, lifestyles and environments will continue to develop throughout their childhood, as they grow more flexible and adaptable to different situations whilst also encouraging a sense of adventure and curiosity. Travel is the ultimate experiential learning process for all ages.
To make the most of your Vietnam family holiday, we have compiled a list of five fun and educational activities that enable the entire family to dive right into the country’s fascinating culture.
1. Experience the local way of life with a cruise through the Mekong Delta
Swap the hullabaloo of Ho Chi Minh City for the peaceful atmosphere of the Mekong Delta. Teeming with wildlife, the region has been dubbed the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam and produces large quantities of the country’s ubiquitous crop. It’s a place for the entire family to unwind and watch the jungle pass by as a boat travels through secluded waterways. Observe scenes of laid-back local life, including children riding on water buffaloes, rice workers in the emerald green fields, bustling local markets and sleepy villages. On the way, the boat stops at different cottage factories where you can watch how coconut candy or puffed rice is made. Journeying through the Mekong Delta is both a relaxing and immersive day.
2. Memorable history lesson at the Cu Chi Tunnels
Let’s be honest, history classes can be pretty boring. Who can remember all those dates and names? But, witnessing the very place where battles were fought, and wars were won, makes learning much more interesting. If you want to see history come to life, don’t miss out on the notorious Cu Chi Tunnels on your next Vietnam family holiday. Easily reachable from Ho Chi Minh City, the underground network served as a stronghold of the Viet Cong during the war with America. Non-claustrophobic visitors can climb down into one of the tunnels and experience first-hand the difficult conditions the guerrilla fighters had to endure, as well as witness a showcase of the inventive traps that were used against American forces. It’s an equally informative and adventurous day for the whole family, learning about the brutal past of this fascinating country. In case you want to delve deeper into the history of the war, stop by the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City.
3. From farm to plate at the Tra Que Vegetable Village
When travelling to the picturesque coastal town of Hoi An in Central Vietnam, plan a day to explore the nearby Tra Que Vegetable Village. A short distance away, the village is known for growing a large array of different kinds of herbs and vegetables, supplying restaurants, hotels and households in Hoi An and other districts with the freshest veggies. All the vegetables are grown organically without any chemical fertilisers. It’s a fun way for children to spend a day outside, learn about organic farming methods and get their hands dirty as they help raking, sowing, watering and picking greens.
To top off this experience, visitors can also participate in a cooking class, turning the freshly picked veggies into delicious Vietnamese dishes. This true farm-to-table experience not only teaches children where their food comes from and what it takes to produce but also might make them more excited about getting their daily dose of veggies. In case you’re not visiting Hoi An, but want to learn about Vietnamese cooking, classes are offered throughout the entire country and are a great way of introducing children to the local cuisine on your Vietnam family holiday.
4. Create your own souvenir at a local art workshop
What better way to immerse yourself in the local culture than taking part in a DIY workshop? One of the first things you’ll notice when visiting Hoi An, are the beautifully crafted traditional lanterns lighting up the streets of this picturesque town. In addition to their charm, these luminous ornaments also have a long history steeped in tradition. Sign up for a course and learn about their cultural significance whilst creating your very own to light up your home.
Alternatively, get involved in the ancient art of paper mask making in Hanoi. Of historical and cultural significance, these masks are worn by children to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, depicting different characters of Vietnamese folk tales. Using traditional methods, learn how to mould a mask from scratch, before painting and decorating your own pre-made one. This is a fun way to learn about local culture and ancient handicraft whilst crafting a unique and personal memento of your trip.
5. Explore Halong Bay on your Vietnam Family Holiday
When planning your trip to Vietnam, Halong Bay is probably already on your list of places to visit. And rightly so! The scenery of the soaring limestone mountains rising out of the sea is one of the most breath-taking in the world. Fortunately, it’s also a great destination to bring your kids along; most tours offer travellers one or two nights at sea as well as a bunch of activities, including swimming, kayaking, hiking to viewpoints and exploring caves – more than enough to keep the whole family entertained!
Travelling with children can be challenging, but by picking the right activities it can be a rewarding in-depth experience for both kids and parents. If the above-mentioned activities sound intriguing, reach out to Buffalo Tours and let us help organise your tailor-made Vietnam family holiday. We take care of all the pesky stuff, so you can focus your full attention on spending quality time with your family whilst exploring a different part of the world. Find out what your Vietnam family holiday could look like here or for more ideas read up about other great destinations for a family-friendly holiday in Asia.