Having trouble choosing between Vietnam and Thailand for your family trip to Southeast Asia? This exciting two-week itinerary includes highlights from both countries. The tour starts in Hanoi and spends time in Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City before flying to Thailand, where you'll get busy in Bangkok and Ayutthaya before taking things down a few notches in Phuket. Kids and parents will love this trip's combination of culture, active adventures, and relaxation.


  • Eat your way around the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi
  • Kayak on the UNESCO-listed Ha Long Bay
  • Learn about Thai culture in Bangkok and Ayutthaya
  • Cruise around stunning Phang Nga Bay off Phuket

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Hanoi, Street Food Tour Hanoi
Day 2 Explore Hanoi, Water Puppet Show Hanoi
Day 3 Transfer to Ha Long Bay, Outdoor Activities Ha Long Bay
Day 4 More Ha Long Bay Adventures, Transfer to Hoi An Hoi An
Day 5 Village Cycle & Basket Boat Tour Hoi An
Day 6 Fly to Ho Chi Minh City, Family Activities Ho Chi Minh City
Day 7 Luxury Yacht Trip on Mekong Delta Ho Chi Minh City
Day 8 Fly to Bangkok, Free Time Bangkok
Day 9 Family-Focused Bangkok City Tour Bangkok
Day 10 Day Trip to Ayutthaya Bangkok
Day 11 Fly to Phuket Phuket
Day 12 Free Day in Phuket Phuket
Day 13 Day Cruise in Phang Nga Bay Phuket
Day 14 Depart Phuket  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi, Street Food Tour

Welcome to bustling Hanoi!

Welcome to Vietnam! A driver will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel for check-in. Settle in and then head out to explore Hanoi, Vietnam's exciting capital located in the north of the country. Depending on your time of arrival and how tired you and your kids are from the trip, you can wander the streets of the Old Quarter, which is a fantastic introduction to Hanoi's sights, sounds, smells, and tastes.

If you're all feeling full of energy, why not hit the ground running on a two-hour street food tour of Hanoi? You'll try a wide variety of delicious meals that will satisfy the taste of every family member. Start with a trip to Thanh Ha Market, a busy and eclectic market. Along the perimeter, dozens of street hawkers sell a staggering variety of produce, from live seafood to exotic fruits and spices. This is a great chance for children to better understand Vietnamese culture while browsing the food stalls, hearing about local culinary culture, and sampling Hanoi delicacies.

Day 2: Explore Hanoi, Water Puppet Show

Explore Hanoi, Water Puppetry
Learn the art of Water Puppetry today

Today's activities will be interesting, educational, and fun for everyone in the family. Start by exploring the city, as your driver and tour guide takes you around Hanoi's most interesting sights, including the Ho Chi Minh Complex (outside), Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum (if your kids are older and you're comfortable with them seeing an embalmed body), the Presidential Palace, and the One Pillar Pagoda nearby.

Then, explore the maze of streets and guilds in the Old Quarter, and walk around the Lake of the Restored Sword, a favorite among Hanoian families. See the Ngoc Son Temple there. Continue to the Temple of Literature, the first university in Hanoi, and enjoy a relaxing time in its beautiful garden while your children play. The last stop is the peaceful West Lake and the nearby Thanh Nien Street and sedate Tran Quoc Pagoda.

Take a short break and enjoy lunch with local dishes. In the afternoon, treat your kids to a private water puppet show, where you'll get the chance to go backstage. Meet Mr. Liem, a passionate seventh-generation puppet maker, and performer. Enjoy a private show in his small theater. After, learn the basic techniques of using bamboo rods to move puppets through the water and become a performer yourself. This is an experience your kids are unlikely to forget!

Day 3: Transfer to Ha Long Bay, Outdoor Activities

Swim, kayak, and have fun in Ha Long Bay

In the morning, your private driver will meet you at your hotel and take you to Ha Long Bay, a stunning UNESCO-listed area east of Hanoi. Enjoy the views of rice paddies along the scenic route. Cruising is one of the most comfortable and relaxing ways of exploring Ha Long Bay, especially with kids. This trip includes a variety of interesting activities but it's all done at a slow pace. Upon arrival at the harbor, enjoy a welcome drink and check into your cabin, where you'll spend the night.

Refuel with a tasty lunch while cruising through the breathtaking scenery of limestone rocks and karst grottoes. After lunch, the cruise will stop in a quiet place where adventurous kids can explore the limestone islets and caves from a kayak. Younger ages can relax on deck and enjoy the beautiful views, or take a gentle boat ride. Continue cruising to one of the islands where you can swim or relax at the beach. Return to your boat in the evening to watch the sunset, take part in some activities prepared by the cruise team, and relax over dinner.

Day 4: More Ha Long Bay Adventures, Transfer to Hoi An

Colorful lanterns over Hoi An

Rise early to see the sunrise and take part in some family tai chi on deck. Then enjoy a hearty breakfast and get ready to explore a limestone cave by boat. The cavern is full of stalagmites and stalactites, and it will be a lot of fun for your children (and you, too) to explore this otherworldly natural wonder. Return to your boat to complete the check-out formalities and have an early lunch while the ship cruises back to the dock.

After the cruise, you will be transferred to the airport in Hanoi by private car, from where you will fly south to Da Nang, a coastal city in central Vietnam that's the gateway to historic Hoi An. Upon arrival in Da Nang, your driver will meet you at the airport with a signboard with your name and take you to the hotel in Hoi An. Don't miss this evening's opportunity to eat out in Hoi An, which is a culinary powerhouse where you're certainly find something to please everyone in the family.

Day 5: Village Cycle & Basket Boat Tour

Kids will love a trip down the local waterways by basket boat

Today, your guide will meet you at the hotel in the morning and take you for a cycling trip into the countryside and along the rivers around Hoi An. Don't worry if your kids can't ride a bike by themselves because they can sit with you or the guide. Alternatively, if you don't want to cycle, you can take a private car tour.

As you meander through the countryside, experience the friendliness of the local people greeting you along the way. This easy biking trip will take you to the beautiful vegetable-farming village of Tra Que. Walk around the village and take some great photos before heading to the fishing village of Cam Thanh, where you'll take a paddleboat trip down the waterways in a unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boat. Join in with the hands-on experience of traditional net fishing, which kids will love. Enjoy a tasty lunch, then cycle back to your hotel.

In the afternoon, you can rest or explore Hoi An's attractions on foot, as the old part of town is quite compact. Admire the colorful merchant houses, check out the Japanese Bridge, or shop for souvenirs at the many beautiful boutiques, as Hoi An is one of the most pleasant places in Vietnam to shop.

Day 6: Fly to Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Family Activities

Kids can enjoy shopping too in Ho Chi Minh City

Continue south today to Ho Chi Minh City (previously named Saigon), a 90-minute flight from Da Nang. Your driver will transfer you to your hotel. Spend time settling and resting before you're picked up for a fun cyclo tour. Kids will love this local mode of transport, and it's a good way to cover a lot of ground in a big, busy city without having to walk.

Along the tour, you'll pass many of Ho Chi Minh City's highlights, including the Ben Thanh Market, where you can try local street food specialties and shop for souvenirs. Next, visit the Artinus 3D Art Museum and have fun taking pictures with the 3D art objects.

Day 7: Luxury Yacht Trip on Mekong Delta

Cruise the waterways of the Mekong Delta

Today's family-friendly trip to the Mekong Delta on a luxurious yacht is the perfect way to explore the culture and nature of this remarkable place. The Mekong Delta is known as the rice bowl of Vietnam, and children will be amazed by the beautiful nature and farms. You'll be picked up from your hotel early and transferred to Tan Cang Pier, from where you'll depart for My Tho. Enjoy a 2.5-hour cruise with fresh fruit and drinks on board. On the way, stop at a riverside market full of local curiosities, tropical fruits, and seafood.

Continue to Ben Tre. Board a sampan (a traditional flat-bottomed wooden boat) and paddle through canals lined with coconut trees on both sides. After the boat trip, visit a coconut candy workshop to see how delicious candies are made (a favorite with kids who'll enjoy tasting the freshly-made sweets). Continue to a honey farm, where you can have a cup of honey tea and see how bees are raised here. After a traditional music performance, hop on a tuk-tuk to explore more of the surrounding villages before having lunch at a riverside restaurant. After lunch, you'll be transferred back to your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.
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Day 8: Fly to Bangkok

Explore the megacity of Bangkok

It's time to say farewell to Vietnam, as today you'll be catching a 1.5-hour flight across Cambodia and landing in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand! After being transferred to your hotel and settling in, enjoy some free time to spend as you wish.

Bangkok is a hub of tourism, and you will be overwhelmed with the variety of places you can go with your kids. Apart from shopping and eating delicious Thai meals, you can visit Sealife Bangkok Ocean World, the largest aquarium complex in Southeast Asia. If time permits, visit the Muang Boram Museum, which has miniature copies of the most remarkable ancient landmarks of Thailand. Your children will feel like they're visiting a fairy-tale world, and you will learn more about the most famous places in Thailand.

Day 9: Family-Focused Bangkok City Tour

Bangkok City Tour for Families
Kids will love the sights of Bangkok
Today's plan is to get to know Bangkok a little better. Begin at the Bangkok Flower Market, a riot of multicolored blooms in the Old City. Ride a tuk-tuk to the temple of Wat Pho, home of the Reclining Buddha and the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. Your children will be amazed by the colorful architecture and decorations in the temple, as well as by the size of the Buddha statue.

Next, visit the Grand Palace, an immense complex of ornate buildings, halls, and gardens spreading along the bank of Thailand's main river, the Chao Phraya. Kids will be delighted by the gold and sparkling mirrors that adorn almost every surface, as well as its fantastical architecture and characterful statues. Look out for the elaborate Temple of the Emerald Buddha, with its venerated 31-inch (79 cm) high statue carved from a single piece of jade. Finish this tour with a delicious lunch and return to your hotel to rest.

Day 10: Day Trip to Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya is full of beautiful temples

Spend today visiting the old capital of Thailand at Ayutthaya, upriver from Bangkok. Explore the many temples and pagodas in the beautiful city, including Wat Phra Si Sanphet in the Grand Palace compound and Wat Maha That (or the "Monastery of the Great Relic"), an impressive temple that also features a Buddha's stone head entwined within the roots of a tree. Later, board a traditional wooden boat and cruise slowly along the Chao Phraya. Many local people live in stilt houses along the riverside. After your boat ride, transfer back to Bangkok and enjoy your last evening in the city at leisure.

Day 11: Fly to Phuket

It's time to chill out in Phuket

Today you'll fly to Phuket, a beautiful island off Thailand's southwestern coast famous for its gorgeous beaches, comfortable resorts, and incredible limestone islets. It's a perfect destination for families of all ages because you can choose the level of activity that suits you best: lounge on a beach, swim in the sea or take part in more active adventures. After arriving in Phuket and settling into your hotel, spend the rest of your day at your leisure—the kids will most likely want to head straight to the beach!

Day 12: Free Day in Phuket

Be as active or as relaxed as you like in Phuket

Enjoy a free day in Phuket today, unwinding after the busy weeks of sightseeing you've just had. You can relax at the beach or try some fun activities, such as visiting a water park. There are a few options: Splash Jungle Waterpark, Blue Tree Waterpark, and Rawai Park (the latter is ideal for kids aged under six). More adventurous kids can try ziplining at the Flying Hanuman, which has various platforms, sky bridges, and ziplines. The venue also has some activities suitable for smaller children, but the minimum age is four.

If the weather is not perfect, you can visit the Phuket Aquarium, where you can explore the diverse sea life and learn more about it, or you can go snorkeling to see fish in a real-life setting. In the evening, don't miss visiting the night market to try the local street food and see many interesting things for sale.

Day 13: Day Cruise in Phang Nga Bay

Traditional long-tailed boats at Phang Nga Bay

Get out into the islands and bays around Phuket and explore landscapes that are almost too beautiful to be real. Everyone in the family will love a full-day cruise at Phang Nga Bay, a stunning spot with turquoise waters, limestone cliffs, sandy beaches, and lush jungles. Go canoeing at Bat Cave or Mangrove Cave, then depart to Hong Island for more canoeing. Paddle through mangrove ecosystems and stalactite-filled caves to explore hidden grottoes and lagoons with a guide.

For lunch, enjoy a delicious seafood buffet on board your boat. In the afternoon, continue to Tapu Island, more commonly known as "James Bond Island." Soak in the views, see where "The Man with the Golden Gun" was filmed, and enjoy swimming and relaxing. Experience the beautiful sunset on the way back to Ao Po Pier.

Day 14: Depart Phuket

Farewell Phuket!

It's time to say goodbye to Phuket and Southeast Asia. Check out of your hotel and, depending on the time of your departure flight, visit the local markets to buy souvenirs to take home or spend a few more precious hours at the beach. When the time comes, a private driver will transfer you to Phuket International Airport for your onward journey. Safe travels!

More Great Vietnam Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your family trip to Vietnam? Check out these other Vietnam itineraries, explore different ways to spend two weeks in Vietnam with your family, or discover the best time to visit Vietnam.


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Map of Family Trip to Vietnam & Thailand: From Hanoi to Phuket - 14 Days
Map of Family Trip to Vietnam & Thailand: From Hanoi to Phuket - 14 Days
Written by Long Dao, updated Jan 5, 2023