Vietnam is adorned with scintillating landscapes, rich history, top-notch restaurants, and cultural highlights. Its if touted as one of the most destinations in South East Asia. Travelers Coming from walk walks for life visit Vietnam for a relaxing and adventurous vacation. We prefer to visit destinations that are rich in natural beauty. We had been to Vietnam earlier almost ten years back and loved it. That’s why as an extended family with relatives, children, and grandchildren, we decided on a trip to Vietnam. Also, we felt that exploring Vietnam with kids will be a unique experience altogether. Looking for a trip organizer was no brainer for us as we had already heard good reviews about TravelTriangle. So, we connected with them and they took really great care of the rest of the things. The executives were highly informative and cordial and agents were supportive as well. They paid great heed to our requirements and budget preferences as well.
Details Of Our Vietnam Trip
Trip Type: Family Trip
Cost: INR 4,42,605 (Approximately)
Duration: 6 Days
No. Of People: 9 Adults, 2 Children
Inclusions: Airfare, Taxes, Airport Transfer, Sightseeing, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Entrance Fees
Exclusions: Visa Stamp Fee, Personal Expenses, Insurance
Itinerary For Our Trip To Vietnam With Kids
Day 1: Reach Hanoi and check-in at the hotel
Day 2: Explore the city
Day 3: Reach Dong Hoi and explore the city
Day 4: Sightseeing and overnight stay in Dong Hoi
Day 5: Explore dark cave and try water sports
Day 6: Ho Chi Minh city tour
Day 7: Departure
Weather In Vietnam In July
We were in Vietnam in July and it turned out to be the correct time. Our programs were never affected due to weather. Temperatures were hot but compared to summer in India was not an issue. Most of the travel was in AC vans, so really one did not feel the heat.
Some Highlights Of Our Vietnam Trip
We had a wonderful time while visiting the best attractions in Vietnam with kids. There were so many things to try and we made the most of our vacation.
1. Halong Bay On Seasun Cruise
We started off our wonderful journey while going on a cruise. Ours was a two-day one night package. One the cruise, we were able to enjoy the views of fantastic landscapes, seascapes and limestone karsts rising from the sea. We also visited Sun Sot (Surprise) caves with myriad stalactite and stalagmites. The food onboard the cruise was sumptuous and very local.
The next day we tried our hands on Kayaking in the bay which was really a very good experience. Facilities provided as part of the package. We also visit the Pearl culture center was very educative but too pricey to buy. Next, we returned to the airport to transfer to Dong Hoi. The timing was tight but managed well by the travel agent.
2. Phong Na Ke Bang National Park: Dark & Paradise Caves
Dong Hoi to Phong Na is almost one and a half hour through the central Vietnamese plains. After a safety briefing Zing lined across the river to the dark caves. We walked barefoot through the muddy caves (almost a kilometer) in the dark with headlights and had a mud bath (like elephants and buffalos rolling in the mud). then , we canoed back and enjoyed the fun activities at the theme park.
Later we visited the Paradise Caves, a majestic creation of nature. A brief walk and climb up the slopes lead you to the cave entrance. Cave itself is A massive collection of stalactite and stalagmites of all sizes, shapes, and colors. It could have taken a million years to create such artistry. This is something extraordinary not seen in other parts of the world. Just watch nature at its best. Returned to Dong Hoi in the evening.
3. Phong Na Caves
A one hour boat (motorized canoe) ride through the serene waters of the Song Con river brings you to the cave entrance. The final boat ride ( quant poled), half a kilometer, is through the underground river. Dark except for the occasional lights from the passing boats and the floodlights in the cave. Again, a massive collection of stalactite and stalagmites of all sizes, shapes, and colors. The boat ride back to the bus, lunch at the local restaurant and back to the airport .
Caves in the Phong Na ke Bang National Park were the best. This is something totally different for those who are used to beaches, waterfalls and theme parks. These caves have been opened to the public only in the last 10 years, a marvel of mother nature.
4. Ho Chi Minh City – Saigon
We traveled through the busy streets of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. A brief stopover at the disabled war veteran’s handicraft factory. We also witnessed the effect of Napalm and agent Orange on future generations. The inlay work is of very good quality. But quality always comes at a price.
We visited the Chu Chi tunnels. This gives one an insight into the Vietcong’s underground lifestyle in the tunnels and how they fought the war against the Western forces. The ingenious booby traps and facilities built underground all show the VietCong’s resolute spirit of fighting back. Crawling through the tunnels one understands the agony of the war. Here could get to fire a real AK 47.
Locals And Hospitality In Vietnam
Vietnamese are very helpful and unassuming. A war-ravaged history, heavy tourist inflows, have not deterred them from maintaining their way of life, keeping up with their traditions and lifestyle and being a good host. This was experienced throughout our travel.
Our Personal Expenses In Vietnam
Approximately 60 USD or INR 4,000 per person per day inclusive of food, drinks, hotel, local transport, entrance fees, and guide charges. Internal airfares are extra. 25 USD or INR 1,700 per person visa fee is additional to be paid at the airport. Besides this, our Vietnam trip with kids was a private trip tailored to our needs. This was costly, but considering the limited time, personal conveniences and children in tow I think the price offered was good. One can still get cheaper packages if you opt for standard packages with no time constraints.
Shopping In Vietnam
Street and night market vendors offer cheap branded clothes (could be fake). Bargaining is a must. Disabled war veteran’s handicraft factories offer good quality (price is not cheap) inlay and hand-crafted items. Visit these factories that are normally built into the tour packages. Also, shopping in Vietnam with family was altogether a wonderful experience for all of us.
Restaurants In Vietnam
The best way to enjoy food in Vietnam is to have it in local restaurants and street food, and that’s what we did. A wide variety is available to suit all palates. Down it with local beer for the best experience. Bun cha and egg coffee at Hanoi, Seafood at Ho Chi Minh were special. Apart from this, one should definitely try Vietnamese street food.
Our Hotels In Vietnam
Hanoi – First Aden Hotel.
Halong Bay on the cruise – SeaSun Cruise. Food was very nice with friendly and helpful staff.
Dong Hoi – CAO Minh hotel.
Ho Chi Minh – Good Vibe Central Hotel.
These were three-star categories with breakfast included. Breakfast was generally a mix of western and local. Locations were mostly in city centers so we could always go walking for food and shopping. Facilities were as shown in their website brochures.
How To Reach Vietnam
We traveled from hometown to Hanoi and return from Ho Chi Minh was using budget airlines. Apart from savings in fares, restrictions in checked-in baggage helped us travel light.
What To Pack For Vietnam
Vietnam in summer does not require any special clothes to pack. The best way to travel is with a backpack. Food and water are available in most of the destinations (Unless one has very specific food restrictions).
Vietnam Travel Tips For Future Travelers
- To make the best of the time available in Vietnam, one must plan the trip factoring the air / train timings and stay places. Vietnam is a long country, almost One Thousand Six Hundred kilometers, traveling from one destination to other will take time. Most of the natural view destinations are far from cities. One should consider this to get the most from the trip
- Travel companies normally suggest standard packages. This may not suit you. You must discuss many times with them to come to an optimum package to suit your interest and timings
- Internal air or train tickets must be booked earlier to get the best price. Internal flights and seats to many destinations are limited, so book early
- External food and liquor are not allowed on the Halong bay cruises. The cruise bar provides liquor at reasonable rates. Food served also is excellent.
Do’s & Dont’s In Vietnam
- Bargaining with street vendors of local items can get good gains
- If you have food restrictions, you should carry packaged or canned foods. Or you should give special requirement in the restaurants
- Keep enough Vietnam Dong with you. Exchange rates at local destinations may not be attractive
- Be good to tip guides and drivers
- There are many off beat places in Vietnam, far from the madding crowd. If you have time and is adventurous can try these
- Train travel is a cheaper option but requires more time
- At Phong Na Dark Caves they do not allow camera or phone. But later we came to know that they sell waterproof pouches for carrying the phones. Also, they have funny rule that women must wear bikinis only
- Do your part to keep the environment clean
Our Experience With TravelTriangle
Ours was a private tour and was arranged considering children and seniors. Timings were flexible avoiding unnecessary tensions. Vietnam Cheap tours was the agent. Did a great job. Lunch & dinner arranged as promised was sumptuous and local. Water was supplied during the whole travel. Local travels were well organized with English speaking guides and comfortable coaches. Prompt pickup at airports and hotels and good time planning helped us to catch flights with a tight schedule.
Hotel bookings were as planned. Travel agent arranged adjacent rooms so that children had no problem. No hassle in internal air ticket bookings. Tour planning required a bit of discussion and changes for optimizing within the time frame. Online Payments and co-ordination were well taken care of by Travel Triangle and were hassle free. Everything was as promised.
Going on a trip to Vietnam with kids was indeed a rejuvenating experience for John. They tried out some of the best things and indulged in several delightful experiences. If you also wish to make your Vietnam trip a spectacular one, then get in touch with TravelTriangle and get your itinerary customized.
Common Queries You May Have
A. Yes, Vietnam is indeed a great destination for family travellers. Moreover, there are various entertainment options for adults as well as kids.
A. Yes, Vietnam is one of the safest tourist destinations and travellers for all kinds of including families, couples and even solo travellers can visit here and enjoy their vacation. Also, there are various places to visit in Vietnam where families should definitely visit and make the most of their vacation.
A. Vietnamese believe in the concept of the extended family. The love staying together with their kids, grandparents, and if possible with relatives as well.
A. There are various that kids can do in Hanoi. They can visit the temple of Literature or watch the magical water puppets dance. They can also try their hands at pottery and visit the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology.
A. Vietnam is considered as an Atheist state. However, some people follow 3 main religions including Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.
A. December is a great time to explore Hanoi and there are masses of attractions where you can visit in this chilly weather. Hanoi Flower Festival is something that travellers must not miss. Other than this, they must catch a Christmas concert, watch ballet at the Hanoi Opera House, and go on a cruise.