Get a taste of why Vietnam is such a perfect kid-friendly destination in seven action-packed days. This itinerary takes families from north to south, offering a glimpse into city life plus an overnight cruise in the spectacular seascapes of Ha Long Bay. Introduce the whole family to the cultural heritage of Vietnam on a visit to the Mekong Delta and the Cu Chi Tunnels before finishing your trip in Ho Chi Minh City.


  • Explore Hanoi's sights, sounds, and flavors on foot
  • Spend the night on a junk boat in gorgeous Ha Long Bay
  • Explore the complex Cu Chi underground tunnels
  • Take a boat ride on the Mekong Delta

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Hanoi Hanoi
Day 2 Ba Vi Countryside Tour for Families Hanoi
Day 3 Transfer to Ha Long Bay, Cruising & Exploring by Boat Ha Long Bay
Day 4 Continue Exploring Ha Long Bay, Fly to Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City
Day 5 Cu Chi Tunnels & Ho Chi Minh City Tour Ho Chi Minh City
Day 6 Mekong Delta Day Trip Ho Chi Minh City
Day 7 Depart Ho Chi Minh City  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi

Explore Hanoi's historical highlights and scenic lakes

Welcome to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam! On arrival at the Hanoi airport, your driver will pick up your family and transfer you to your hotel. After taking some time to relax and unwind, get over the jet lag by exploring one of the most ancient capital cities in the world. Today, Hanoi is a mix of the old and the new, with contrasts of traditional society mixing with the influx of modern conveniences. 

Take your family on a walk in the Old Quarter, where there are traffic-free areas. Kids will love a ride on a cyclo (a three-wheeled bicycle taxi) to explore the narrow streets of the district. The Old Quarter is also a great place to discover the unique dishes of Hanoi's street food. Stop at a local vendor's shop to taste bun cha (a traditional pork dish of Hanoi) or pho bo (beef noodle soup). Then treat yourself to famous egg coffee and your kids to Trang Tien ice cream (a famous brand in Hanoi offering sweet and savory flavors).

In the evening, you can take your children to watch the water puppet show, a distinctive performance that originated in northern Vietnam and dates back as far as the 11th century. You can also choose to attend the "Lang Toi" ("My Village") show, a lively performance depicting ancient Vietnamese village life on the contemporary stage through enchanting folk melodies. Witness acrobats, dancers, and juggers bringing rural Vietnamese villages to life on the stage as you listen to classical Vietnamese music. 

Day 2: Ba Vi Countryside Tour for Families

Ba Vi Countryside Tour for Families
Cycle through the Vietnamese countryside

After breakfast at the hotel, meet with your guide and take a 1.5-hour drive toward the quiet Vietnamese countryside around Ba Vi. Your first stop will be at Ri village for a welcome drink and local snacks and to meet Mr. Duoc, a Vietnam War veteran. Listen to his engaging life stories for a word-of-mouth history of Vietnam. While visiting Mr. Duoc, your family will have a hands-on experience learning how to pick tea leaves and then manually process the leaves for traditional tea.

Say goodbye to Mr. Duoc and visit your next host in Moc village. Ms. Chin will offer a hands-on cooking class for all ages. Enjoy your delicious creations for lunch, then set off to explore more of the Ba Vi countryside on two wheels. Cycle through the rice paddies and banana trees for an authentic glimpse into traditional life in Vietnam. For children too small to ride, the bikes have back seats!

After burning off some energy, visit Mr. Chinh's house to learn about local farming and taste fresh lemon mint juice made from ingredients from his farm. Wrap up your countryside tour with a traditional foot soak in warm water with herbs, following the traditional recipes of the region's Muong ethnic minority. 

Day 3: Transfer to Ha Long Bay, Cruise & Explore by Boat

Family-Friendly Exploration of Halong Bay
Cruise the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay

Bid Hanoi farewell this morning as you depart for the coastal retreat and fishing community of Ha Long Bay. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the true natural wonders of the natural world. Board your ship for an overnight sail across the paper-flat waters, taking in views of more than 2,000 limestone karsts steeped in Vietnamese legend. 

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Enjoy lunch while you are cruising through the breathtaking scenery of towering rocks and karst grottoes. After lunch, explore the limestone islets and caves from a kayak. After kayaking, spend some beach time swimming and relaxing onshore. Return to your boat in the evening to watch the sunset, enjoy some family-friendly activities prepared by the cruise team, and relax over dinner.

Day 4: Continue Exploring Ha Long Bay, Fly to Ho Chi Minh City

Continue Exploring Halong Bay in a Family-Friendly Way
Continue exploring Ha Long Bay

Rise early to see the sunrise and take part in some tai chi on deck. Then enjoy a hearty breakfast and get ready to explore a limestone cave by boat. Kids will be fascinated by the stalagmites and stalactites all over the cave. After exploring, enjoy an early lunch while watching the limestone islands go by as you cruise back to port.

Your driver will meet you at the harbor and transfer you to Hanoi International Airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Formerly known as Saigon, this bustling cosmopolitan metropolis blends ancient history and modern life with plenty of significant landmarks, local boutiques, and satisfying street food to enjoy. Upon arrival, your driver will transfer you through the scooter-packed streets to your hotel, where you can get settled in and spend the evening at your leisure.

Day 5: Cu Chi Tunnels & Ho Chi Minh City Tour

End today's adventures in Ho Chi Minh's colorful markets

A full day of family adventure lies ahead, starting with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Your tour guide will give you an overview of the tunnels and their dramatic history as a network of underground passages built during the Vietnam War. The construction of this underground metropolis—which includes living rooms, kitchens, hospitals, weapon factories, storage facilities, and a command center—took roughly 25 years. The network stretches over 155 miles (250 km). The kids will love exploring the network of underground tunnels and learning about life underground.

After lunch at a local restaurant, you'll head back into the city. Explore the Independence Palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the historic Central Post Office. Finally, visit Ben Thanh Market, one of the largest markets in the city. Here, you can practice your bargaining skills while shopping for souvenirs and picking up some treats for the kids. With its lively and laid-back atmosphere, the market is a fun place for your kids to experience local life and culture. 

Day 6: Mekong Delta Day Trip

Travel down the Mekong
Travel down the Mekong Delta

Today you'll get a deep immersion into local life in the Mekong Delta at a relaxed pace and with plenty of family-friendly activities. Your tour guide will pick you up from the hotel around 8 am and transfer you to Ben Tre, where you will board a boat and set off on a cruise down the Ben Tre River. Your kids will be fascinated by the lively activities they'll see, such as fishing and the coconut cargo boats that carry goods on the river. The interactive day continues with stops to see how bricks and rice paper are made. 

Moving on to Cai Son Canal, wind through the coconut palm-filled jungle and visit a coconut workshop to see how coconuts are processed. Travel down a small waterway and stop at a bee farm where you can try some fruits and honey tea and listen to local music. Kids are sure to love seeing the candy workshop, too. Nearby, you can also visit the house of a farmer who makes sleep mats.

End with a cycle or tuk-tuk tour through coconut groves and vegetable farms. Then ride a row boat down a shady canal and stop for lunch at Green Garden, a riverside restaurant. At the end of the day, take a motorboat back to Hung Vuong Pier and transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 7: Depart Ho Chi Minh City

Goodbye Ho Chi Minh City
After a traditional Vietnamese breakfast of family favorites like banh tieu (fried donuts) and milky iced tea, spend a few hours soaking up the atmosphere in Ho Chi Minh City, perhaps shopping for souvenirs in the markets, before you and your family transfer to the airport for your flight home. Safe travels!

More Great Vietnam Itineraries

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


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Map of Northern & Southern Vietnam for Families: Hanoi, Ha Long Bay & Ho Chi Minh City - 7 Days
Map of Northern & Southern Vietnam for Families: Hanoi, Ha Long Bay & Ho Chi Minh City - 7 Days
Written by Hien Do, updated Jan 5, 2023