What are the best places to visit with your family in Vietnam?
Vietnam is an astonishingly diverse country, with a rich history. From the mountains of the North, through the Central Highlands and down to the Mekong Delta, there’s an enormous amount to discover. The country has an extensive tourism industry, and a reliable train route connecting the entire country. As a result, it’s a fantastic spot to choose for your holidays, and more than family friendly. No matter what you and your family are looking for, you’re guaranteed to have an amazing time in this stunning Southeast Asian country. We’re going to look at a few of the best options when it comes to putting together the perfect holiday.
Hanoi offers a traditional taste of Vietnam
Hanoi, capital of Vietnam, is situated in the North. The city experienced extensive destruction during the Vietnam War due to American bombing, but large parts of it remained untouched. As a result, there’s no shortage of beautiful architecture and historic sites to enjoy. Hanoi has always been regarded as the more traditional city in Vietnam, in comparison to Ho Chi Minh City in the South. Compared to other parts of the country, much of the city retains its atmospheric alleyways, as well as impressive parks, and the central Hoan Kiem Lake. You can visit beautiful, still active temples such as the Temple of Literature. The Old Quarter remains the most popular area for tourists, and offers plenty in the way of accommodation and food, as well as a few historic sites. Ba Vi national park is just a short drive away. Offering beautiful views, as well as remnants of the French Colonial era such as the ruins of a church, it’s a perfect day trip away from the capital.
Ha Long and Cat Ba are favourite tourist spots
Many people can’t visit Northern Vietnam without giving Ha Long Bay a look in. Situated near Haiphong, the North’s major port, Ha Long Bay is home to beautiful limestone karsts jutting out of the water. It’s a famously scenic spot. However, if you’re looking for something a bit quieter, Cat Ba Island is the ideal choice. It’s reached by a short ferry from Haiphong, and is favoured as the alternative to Ha Long. The island is mostly covered by a national park, home to a small community of monkeys that can be spotted on a jungle hike. It also offers boat trips out to its own set of karsts, similar to those offered at Ha Long but far less busy.
Head South for stunning landscapes
Further South, on the way towards the Central Highlands, are two great attractions for families. Mai Chau is perfect if you want a chance to get a taste of rural Vietnam. A few hours by bus from the capital, it is situated amid hilltops and offers truly Vietnamese scenery. Rice paddies crisscross the landscape, and the location is an easy place for walking or cycling. Caves set into the mountains are now home to a small museum to their use during wartime. And a far more impressive cave can be reached by a short walk, and extremely long ascent up stone steps. It’s really worth the trip. Ninh Binh is another beautiful spot, and ideal for families. The area is most famous for Tam Quoc, a series of caves situated over river and lakes. Boat trips take you through the caves, and into some genuinely beautiful scenery. The nearby karsts play host to a Dragon Temple, accessed by a long but worthwhile walk up steps carved into the limestone.
Hue and Hoi An are national jewels
The Central Highlands can be reached by train, or by a flight in to Danang, the country’s third city. The two main attractions here are the ancient city of Hue, and the more scenic Hoi An. Hue was the seat of the Nguyen imperial family, and despite major damage during the war, the citadel remains one of the most beautiful sites in the country. Likewise, the tombs of the emperors can be reached on a short drive, and offer a more secluded but no less fascinating chance to explore ancient structures. Hoi An is renowned as one of the most beautiful towns in the country. With a long history as a Japanese trading town, Hoi An is home to some stunning historic buildings that are extremely well preserved. There’s also no shortage of great food on offer, including regional specialities.
Dalat and Nha Trang offer unique experinces
Further South, two of the best options are Dalat and Nha Trang. Dalat can be found inland, in what is regarded as the Vietnamese Alps. The city is popular among domestic tourists, and offers cooler and more temperate temperatures compared to the rest of the country. Situated in the mountains, it is also exceptionally scenic, and home to a number of great tourist attractions. Nha Trang is home to one of Vietnam’s most popular beaches, as well as some beautiful Cham ruins. Constructed during the same era as neighbouring Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, these ruins, situated atop a hill, have done remarkably well at withstanding the test of time.
The South is diverse and interesting
Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, is the biggest city in Vietnam. For many tourists, the city isn’t quite worth the amount of stress, considering the hectic traffic and multi-lane motorways. It offers a few great attractions, such as the Presidential Palace, and a number of museums. However, from here, there are a few great spots that can be easily reached. Vung Tau and Mui Ne lie to the South. Vung Tau’s main attraction is an enormous statue of Jesus, while Mui Ne offers some stunning, Sahara-like sand dunes that are famous throughout the country. If you head West from Ho Chi Minh, you reach the famous Mekong Delta. This region is where the river, which originates in China, spreads out into the South China Sea. River tours can give you a taste of the scenery, as well as of some of the local delicacies, such as Ben Tre coconut candies. And further Southeast, just off the mainland, lies Phu Quoc island. This is a favourite spot for Vietnamese tourists, offering stunning food, and a huge national park that covers most of the island.
Vietnam is a stunning location for tourists and travellers, offering truly stunning scenery, and a rich and diverse history. Thanks to its extensive tourism industry, it can easily be seen as a whole family. And with so much on offer, it’s the ideal choice for not just you, but your children as well.
Gregory Benetton is a professional freelance writer. He loves professional photography and web design, also he is a fan of motorcycles. You can visit his own website motorjunkiez.com and find something interesting for you.