Vietnam with kids/teens


Mar 21st, 2017, 02:16 AM
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Vietnam with kids/teens

Swedish family seeking advice
We are experienced (backpacker) travellers in different parts of the world, but this far not in Asia. Heading for Vietnam for about three weeks around Christmas this year, we would be very thankful for any advice as to where to go. Travelling with two teens (13 and 15) and a little one (3), we are thinking of staying in something like three different areas, plus a few days in Ho Chi Minh city flying in and out. One of the kids have read about Phu Quoc Island and is very eager to visit, so I guess maybe that should be one stop Any suggestions as to an itinerary..?
IdaSwe is offline  
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Mar 21st, 2017, 02:27 PM
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Sounds like you're heading mostly south, while we've stuck so far to Northern Vietnam (and loved it) but can't be helpful with an itinerary. Just wanted to say that travelling with kids could be the best part for you. I've never seen anyone so receptive to kids as were people in Vietnam. Having your children along will open up many conversations. If they're shy, that could make it a little harder on them though. (our 8 year old wasn't sure what to make of the older women touching her arm to get her attention at times, but they always smiled and meant well)

The down side is that like much of the developing world, you don't have usually have safety seats and such available. Sometimes also not cutlery except chopsticks and spoons, so you may want to bring some disposable forks for the non-chopstick users (as you probably don't want to rewash metal ones in water from the hostel room sink)
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Mar 21st, 2017, 10:16 PM
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Thanks CounterClifton! We have been advised not to go to the North in December due to cold/rainy climate, do you agree? If not, a combo north + south could definitely be an option (if possible time wise).
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Mar 22nd, 2017, 01:35 AM
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Sorry, I couldn't say about December. We haven't been that far north in the "winter" months. That's a great time for most of southeast Asia as it's usually so hot the rest of the year. But even in April, Hanoi was 10 degrees (C) cooler than Luang Prabang. I understand it's not very warm up north in December.

The central area is beautiful though, likely warmer, with lots to see around Hue. Hoi An is nice too, well preserved, but extremely tourist oriented.
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Mar 22nd, 2017, 02:30 AM
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As far as the weather is concerned, December is a great time to visited the south and the north of Vietnam, it is the centre of the country which sees the worst of the weather at that time. I find this site to be very useful

That said, in Vietnam it is not a perfect science and the weather does vary from year to year. It will be quit hot in the south and cooler in the north, especially in the mountains, but you should get blue skies most of the time.

With three weeks I would, if possible fly into Saigon and out of Hanoi and split my my time roughly equally between the two. We were there at that time a couple of years ago so you may get some ideas of what to do, where to go from the Vietnam section of our blog @ which also has a lot of photos of the places we visited.

If you are experienced backpackers, you will find it easy to organise things yourself but there are occasions where an organised tour will be cost and time effective.

Phu Quoc wou be a perfect choice for a beach destination as it is easily reached from HCMC but do book your flights and accomodation as early as possible as December will be busy.

Saigon is worth 3 days at least and I would highly recommend another 3-4 days in the Mekong Delta. That should take care of your time in the south

To get to the north, as a family, the train would be a fun option but it would take a long time but you could always stop along the way. Depends how you think the children would cope. More detail of our experience on the our blog above and is a great resource

In the north Hanoi is a frenetic city, the traffic is horrendous but the food is amazing and there is so much to see that 5 days is a minimum. I would recommend getting out into the countryside and mountains, Mai Chau & Ninh Binh are easily combined and there is always Sapa and Halong Bay.

CounterClifton makes very valid points re travelling with children. The Vietnamese love kids and I am sure they will open up lots of interaction! Safety is not a primary consideration in Vietnam so avoid travelling by bus at night and only use the best companies by day. Check with tour operators that they can provide child seats.

Finally, if you haven't booked flights yet, I just got an email from Emirates saying that they are operating direct flights from some European cities to Hanoi from July
crellston is offline  
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Jul 12th, 2017, 10:12 AM
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We did our trip to Vietnam with our 15 month son. It was so enjoyable but a little bit challenging.
if you need some tips about traveling to Vietnam with kids you can check this article:

Enjoy it will be an unforgettable experience!
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Aug 8th, 2017, 10:32 AM
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Thanks ArwaKassir!
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Aug 15th, 2017, 06:52 PM
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The weather during Nov/Dec in Vietnam is apparently a best time to visit the entire country, although it is a little bit challenging from North to South.

Some destinations I would suggest for each regions as below:

- North: Hanoi, Ninh Binh Mai Chau (and Pu Luong Natural Reserve), Halong Bay
- Central: Hue, Hoi An, Quang Binh (Chay Lap Farmstay)

- Central South: Tuy Hoa town (Phu Yen province), Dalat

- South: HCMC, Mekong Delta, Phu Quoc Beach
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