Visiting Vietnam with your family is sure to be an exciting and enriching experience for everyone. A beautiful and diverse country, there is an abundance of ancient history, stunning landscapes, delicious cuisine, and friendly locals. While it can be intimidating venturing to this enchanting faraway land, in the company of our expert local guides, you’ll visit it all seamlessly on foot and at eye level.
Just imagine boarding a luxury boat to sail around Halong Bay, learning how to make spring rolls from scratch, and strolling through bamboo groves and seaport villages all while spending precious time together. Pack your sense of adventure (and get your camera ready for some Instagrammable sites) when you head to Vietnam with your family. Whether you’re 8, 18, 48, or 80, you’ll love weaving through the lively markets, dining on delicious local specialties, and experiencing the traditional cultures first-hand by meeting the welcoming locals. Read on for the best things to explore here together for unforgettable memories.
Take In The Beauty Of Halong Bay
Halong Bay is a stunning place that you’ll all remember long after you’ve returned home. Located in northeastern Vietnam, these emerald waters are known for their natural beauty as thousands of limestone karsts and islets rise up from its sea. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it entices visitors from all over the world, so efforts are being made to preserve its natural beauty for future generations. To make your trip truly special, you’ll explore it all on a luxury junk boat as you sail around in style. Take in the spectacular sites of the chalk and limestone outcroppings, cliffs, arches, and coves all around you. Ready for some adventure? Hop into a kayak and head into Luon cave and stroll the beaches of Titov Island in the company of your expert local guide.
While on board admiring the views, everyone can roll up their sleeves for a hands-on cooking instruction as you make spring rolls together. You’ll never make (or eat) spring rolls again without flashing back to this incredibly memorable experience. Dine on them afterward and compare who made the best ones!
Stay Active While Exploring
Bamboo groves? Yep. Rice fields? You bet. Pagodas? Absolutely. There are so many cool things to see and do here without the constant interruption of your busy schedules back home. And the best part of this country’s diverse landscapes? Getting to explore it all together. All ages will enjoy a gentle bike ride along the Mekong River and taking in the sights during an authentic rickshaw ride. You can also try a tai chi lesson while on board the luxury junk boat!
Each day you’ll also be exploring on foot and at eye level allowing everyone to slow down and soak in the atmosphere all around you. Enjoy strolling along footpaths to Hoa Chau, a village in the endless rice fields, for a special insight into everyday life. Together you’ll all get to explore Tra Que Organic Village, meandering through the market gardens where local farmers work on their fields using the traditional methods of hundreds of years ago. Your kids (and grandkids) will be amazed that there is no electrical machinery here! Not only is walking a gentle exercise for all ages, but it’s one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the local culture. When you’re on foot, the world can’t slide past you faster than you can absorb it. Take your time to chat about this unique corner of the world and truly savor every step together.
Enjoy Vietnam’s Diverse Cuisine
Curious about what your younger travelers will eat overseas? Vietnamese cuisine offers a wide range of options, including mild and flavorful dishes that even kids can enjoy. Embrace the local flavors and let your family savor the multitude of culinary delights that Vietnam has to offer. The food reflects their history, geography, and regional influences so indulge in trying the tastes of Vietnam’s diverse flavors.
A national treasure, Pho is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup made with beef or chicken, rice noodles, and a flavorful broth. It’s often served with fresh herbs, lime, bean sprouts, and chili for customization according to personal taste. It’s a must-try when visiting so be sure to enjoy a warm bowl. Spring Rolls (Goi Cuon) are also quite popular and typically contain rice vermicelli, shrimp or pork, fresh herbs, and other veggies wrapped in rice paper. The rolls are often served with a peanut dipping sauce that adds a touch of sweetness. Ask each other how they compare to the ones you’ve had back home (and to the ones you made by hand on the luxury junk boat).
Hailing from Hanoi, you’ll also want to try some Bun Cha, which is a delicious dish consisting of grilled pork served with vermicelli noodles, fresh herbs, and dipping sauce. It’s a flavorful and satisfying meal that satisfies all palates. And a legacy of French colonial influence, Banh Mi is made with a crispy baguette filled with various ingredients such as grilled meats, pate, fresh herbs, pickled vegetables, and a dash of chili sauce. It’s a delightful fusion of flavors and textures that everyone can try. Share bites of your Vietnamese sandwiches to determine who created the best combination of ingredients.
Experience Vietnam’s Rich Culture & History
Visiting Vietnam will enrich all generations with its rich tapestry of culture and history. Given their diverse heritage shaped by ancient history, indigenous traditions, colonial influences, and modern developments, you’ll immerse yourselves on tour. Enjoy exploring the ancient town of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with its well-preserved architecture, old temples, and bustling atmosphere. An exciting highlight is visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels near Ho Chi Minh City, to learn about the country’s more recent history. You’ll be amazed as your guide uncovers the secrets of the infamous Tunnels, a vast network of underground passageways built and used by the Viet Cong to evade detection during the Vietnam War.
You’ll also get the special opportunity to stop at a local village school for an interactive visit. Watch as your kids make authentic connections with these school children and their teachers, which will leave a lasting impression. It’s also a great conversation starter to discuss how things are similar to their own classrooms back home (and serves as a heartwarming reminder that we are all more alike than we are different).
Visit Angkor Wat & Laos
Classic Journeys’ cultural walking tour to Vietnam also takes you into Cambodia and Laos for a fascinating look at life there, beginning with a very moving experience with the local monks. In Luang Prabang, you’ll get the chance to witness the centuries-old tradition where long lines of barefoot monks walk silently through the streets on their morning alms rounds. Some young monks are similar in age to your kids (or grandkids) so it’s an impressionable moment to see how other younger generations live and the traditions that they keep alive.
Lastly, you’ll explore Siem Reap in Cambodia and meet one of our most popular local guides, who enjoys showing off his country. Together, you’ll be able to watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat (don’t forget your camera for the ultimate family photo there)! Then enjoy a walking tour of Ta Prohm, one of the world’s largest temples and take in the monastic complex of Preah Khan (The Sacred Sword). You might feel like you are on a movie set as you explore these marvelous structures. With a wealth of history, ruins, and culture, your time in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia is sure to be the greatest family adventure yet!