Family Destination Guide: Vietnam
Vietnam: Why You’ll Love It
There is a lot to love about Vietnam. This long, narrow country is blessed with a striking coastline, beautiful national parks, dramatic landscapes, dynamic cities and some of the tastiest food in the world.
Kayak around the islands of Halong Bay, spend the night in a remote hill tribe village in the north, relax on the gorgeous beaches at Mui Ne, and explore the graceful boulevards of Hanoi and the motorbike-filled streets of Saigon. And that’s just for starters…
Vietnam also provides visitors with a fascinating history lesson; from the ancient palaces, royal tombs and pagodas of Hue to the remains of the American War that can be found almost everywhere.
Vietnam: Why The Kids Will Love It
There is so much to see and do in Vietnam that you’re guaranteed to find something for the whole family to enjoy.
The beaches are a huge draw for kids but they’ll also enjoy kayaking around the islands of Halong Bay, overnighting in remote hill villages, touring Hanoi by cyclo, watching a traditional performance of Vietnamese water puppets and challenging mum and dad to try snake wine and fried scorpion – we dare you!
The geography of the country means that at almost any time of year you’ll be able to find a destination with a climate suitable for you. The Easter holidays are an ideal time to visit Sapa in the mountains, for example. Take a look at our sample Vietnam itinerary and remember that this can be tailored to suit the needs of your family.
Scroll down to see our recommended family holidays in Vietnam.
When To Go
Vietnam’s climate varies considerably from region to region – you can experience frost in the mountains in the north and temperatures above 40C in the south.
In general from October through to March is is cold in the north (particularly in the mountains) with some rain, and it is much warmer and generally dry in the south. The summer (from April to September) is warm or hot throughout the country with a good chance of rain on some days.
If you are travelling the breadth of Vietnam from Hanoi in the north to Saigon in the south, there isn’t really an ideal time to visit. But if we were pushed, then probably the best time of year would be spring (March – May) or autumn (September – October).
Time: GMT +7
Language: Vietnamese is the main language. Khmer, Lao, English and French are also spoken.
Voltage: 220 v
Visas: All foreign nationals entering Vietnam require a visa; check with your nearest Vietnamese Embassy or consulate for requirements prior to travel. Vietnamese visas are generally valid for single entry. There are legitimate companies that can arrange for visas on arrival but this must be organised prior to travel and it is usually easier to apply for a visa through your nearest Vietnamese Embassy before your trip.
Health & Vaccinations: Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before travelling. The following vaccinations should be considered before holidaying in Vietnam: Hepatitis A and Typhoid, however it is imperative that you discuss your needs with your doctor prior to travel. Remember to leave enough time before travel to organise your vaccinations, as some will require more than one injection over a period of time. Malaria is a risk factor in Vietnam; make sure you discus malaria prevention options with you doctor before travelling.
Getting There: There are three international airports in Vietnam. Tan Son Nhat airport (SGN) serves Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and is Vietnam’s busiest international airport. Noi Ban Airport (HAN) in Hanoi is the best point of entry for those visitors wishing to visit northern Vietnam. Danang Airport (DAD) receives a handful of international flights and is useful for exploring central Vietnam.
Money: Vietnam’s national currency, the dong (d), is divided into the following banknotes: 500d, 1000d, 2000d, 5000d, 10,000d, 20,000d, 50,000d, 100,000d, 200,000d and 500,000d. US dollars are also widely used.ATMs are widely available.
Safety: Please check with your national foreign travel advisory service, such as gov.uk/fco before travel.
There are currently no blog entries or videos for Vietnam but there will be soon!
Join our globetotting communities!
Family Holidays in Vietnam
There is so much to see and do in Vietnam that you’re guaranteed to find something for the whole family to enjoy. The beaches are a huge draw for kids but they’ll also enjoy kayaking around the islands of Halong Bay, overnighting in remote hill villages, touring the leafy boulevards of Hanoi by cyclo and challenging mum and dad to try snake wine and fried scorpion – we dare you!