The Ultimate Guide to a Vietnam Vacation

How to plan your family vacation to Vietnam

We spent three weeks in Vietnam exploring from the south to the north and then to central Vietnam. Below are our tips on how to spend your time in Vietnam and where you should look at going.  We have a list of our trip highlights and what we wouold change.

Hanoi City has pockets of quietness and calm

We used a variety of transportation while in Vietnam and we never had an issue with getting from one city to another.  We caught local buses, trains, taxis and we used two different airlines while we were in Vietnam.

This was our itinerary for our three weeks:

  • Ho Chi Minh City – 2 nights then a 3 hour bus ride to
  • Can Tho – 3 nights in a homestay exploring the Mekong then a 2 hour flight to
  • Hanoi – 3 nights then a 4 hour bus ride to
  • Cat Ba Island 2 nights to explore the Halong Bay region. Return by bus to
  • Hanoi – 2 nights then 90min flight to
  • Da Nang then 45min by car to
  • Hoi An – 5 nights then 2 hour train ride to
  • Hue – 2 nights then return to Da Nang to catch a 1 Hour flight to
  • Ho Chi Minh City – 2 nights

This itinerary did not feel rushed in any way and we certainly felt like we saw as much in each location as was possible.

Sunset from Cat Ba Island

Sunset from Cat Ba Island

What I would change

Places that I wish we could have gone to if we had longer: Sapa, Nihn Binh (staying with Nguyen Shack as we did in Can Tho), Phu Quoc Island, and Da Lat.

If we were to redo this trip I would have reduced our time in Hoi An during the rainy month of December. The beaches are not suitable for swimming and 5 days during this time of year was too long. I would have spent the extra time heading north from Hanoi and visited Sapa even though it would be cold there.

Trip Highlights

Our Family Guide to Can Tho Vietnam

Sunrise view from the shower at Can Tho

The Highlights from our 3 weeks were:

  • Eating all the local food and trying each different regional cuisine. We never hesitated to eat street food and to try any type of food on offer.
  • The Nguyen Shacks in Can Tho will remain one of the best family experiences we have had
  • Exploring the Old Quarter of Hanoi and the endless laneways
  • Spending the day on a junk boat cruise in Ha Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay
  • Shopping in the markets

    Kayaking in Ha Long Bay

Before you Arrive

Before you arrive in Vietnam, you will need to have your visas organised. There are also a few other necessities that you should know before you arrive. Read about how to get organised for your trip here.

Wander the streets of Hanoi

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