Vietnam is one of the hottest destinations for Australian families. It’s safe, beautiful, warm and affordable.
But it’s also big. And diverse. It’s hard to know where you should go.
Hoa Nguyen is a marketing executive with Vietnam tourism. No matter where you choose, Hoa says you will love Vietnam, the food, the culture and the warm weather can’t be beaten.
These are her top pics for Australian families travelling to Vietnam with kids.
If you want to travel to Vietnam in July, August or September, Hoa recommends a visit to Da Lat.
“In Da Lat, families will find flower fields, tea gardens and picturesque creeks meandering through pine forests,” Hoa says.
“Da Lat is simple and rustic, it will bring the feeling of relaxing, peace, and romance.”
At this time of year Da Lat, has ample sunshine and little rain. Hoa says the scent of candy and jam fills the air and the kids will love the colourful souvenirs such as woollen hats, keychains and shiny coloured dolls.
If your kids love adrenaline, Da Lat can deliver. Take a half day canyoning tour and the guides will help you to abseil and zipline down waterfalls.
Da Nang is the place you will see popping up all over your Instagram feed. This city is home to that incredible Golden Bridge – the one with stone hands holding it up.
Hoa says Da Nag is called a “living city” because of it’s “beautiful scenery and unique culture”. It’s a place where the mountains and dense jungle meet the sea.
“Da Nang is famous for many tourist attractions such as Ba Na hill, Son Tra peninsula, Linh Ung pagoda
and a system of sparkling, brilliant and impressive bridges, Han River Bridge, and Dragon Bridge,” Hoa says.
The food in Da Nang is not to be missed.
Think freshly toasted baguettes with ham, chilli and cucumber, beef noodle soup (Bun) and Mi Quang – a combination of beef, noodles and salad that will leave you wanting more.
Hoa also suggests visiting nearby Hoi An ancient town, Hue, and Quang Binh if you have more than a week here.
Hoa says Phu Quoc is a city not to be skipped. This delightful stretch of islands is nothing short of paradise.
“You will love the beautiful blue colour of the sea, the mountains, forests, and the white sand beaches,” Hoa says.
“The 12 different small islands, such as Hon Tay, Hon Bang, Doi Moi, on the South Island are great for sailing, fishing or just relaxing.”
Families who go to Phu Quoc can delve into Vietnam’s history. The island holds many historical relics, including Phu Quoc prison. U. S. Army Engineers built the prison in 1967-68 by for detention of captured Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers.
“Phu Quoc reminds us of Vietnam’s painful but heroic past, the history of our people and beloved country,” Hoa says.
Australian families may be exempt from a Vietnam Visa is they travel to Phu Quoc Island for less than 30 days.
“Nha Trang is the pearl of the far east and it’s ideal for kids who love action,” Hoa says.
The South Central Coast town is the political, economic and cultural heart of Khanh Hoa Province. Here you will find a slightly cooler climate, long stretches of white sand beaches and offshore islands with unique ecosystems.
“The Sea Lagoon in Nha Trang is famous for its Salanganes nest, one of the most nutritious delicacies enjoyed by kings 400 years ago,” Hoa says.
Kids will love the Nha Tran amusement park and the mud bath service. Hoa also recommends visiting Ponagar Tower – a tower complex unique Cham architecture and guided tours of the islands.
“Nha Trang is also considered a gastronomic paradise with fancy food at affordable prices,” Hoa says.
“Don’t miss the opportunity to eat seafood such as grilled crab, oysters or Nha Trang noodle soups.”
Mai Chau is known as “the peaceful land”. This is mountain country, a place where you can learn about the culture, customs and habits of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities.
“Mai Chau is a beautiful valley in the midst of the majestic mountains of the northwest where people communicate with each other by music,” Hoa says.
Families can stay in traditional village homes built on stilts. The homestays come with blankets, cushions and pillows.
This is a place to reconnect with nature, to reduce noise and to stare in awe at the mountains.
Ly Son Island
Ly Son Island is the only island district of Quang Ngai. Families who come here can tell their friends they stayed on a volcano.
“A trip to Ly Son island will be one of the most interesting and memorable trips in your life,” Hoa says.
“The island is the remains of a volcano with five mouths, formed 25-30 million years ago.”
Ly Son has two distinct seasons. The wet season runs from September to February. The dry season lasts from March to August. Hoa says the best time to visit is between June and September when the weather is nice and sunny and you can swim in the ocean.
If you come here, you must visit Vo Arch “the most beautiful rock in Vietnam”.
“From the main pier at the entrance of Ly Son, turn left and go along the small road to the monastery, you will see a small stone cliff which is close to the sea.”
You may need a visa to travel to Vietnam. The best way to do this is to visit the Vietnamese Consulate or use their website to submit your application. It should take about 48 hours.
Check Smart Traveller for details on safety for Australian visitors heading to Vietnam or anywhere else in the world.
Intrepid Family Tour of Vietnam – REVIEW