Families wanting to get to know authentic Vietnamese culture, history, crafts, and food, as well as the main tourist attractions, will enjoy this varied two-week tour. Starting in northern Vietnam, you'll check out a range of cultural and natural highlights around Hanoi, including Ha Long Bay and Ba Vi National Park. Head to central Hue, the former imperial capital, before ending in the south with family-friendly sightseeing excursions around Ho Chi Minh City and a few days relaxing on the beaches of Mui Ne.


  • Explore the countryside around Ba Vi National Park
  • Cruise and kayak on UNESCO-listed Ha Long Bay
  • Get creative at a kite-making workshop in Hue
  • Relax on the beaches of Mui Ne

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Hanoi Hanoi
Day 2 Countryside Tour at Ba Vi Hanoi
Day 3 Transfer to Ha Long Bay, Board Cruise Ha Long Bay
Day 4 Ha Long Bay Activities, Transfer to Hanoi Hanoi
Day 5 Transfer to Hue Hue
Day 6 Kite-Making Lesson Hue
Day 7 Hue Cyclo Sightseeing Tour Hue
Day 8 Transfer to Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City
Day 9 Transfer to Mui Ne Mui Ne
Days 10-12 Free Time in Mui Ne Mui Ne
Day 13 Transfer to Ho Chi Minh City, Evening Cultural Show Ho Chi Minh City
Day 14 Depart Ho Chi Minh City  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi

Family Leisure Day in Hanoi
Enjoy free time getting to know Hanoi

Welcome to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam! Your driver and tour guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Check into the hotel and have free time to explore the city at your own pace or rest after the flight.

If you and your kids are feeling ready to get out into the city, you could enjoy walking through the Old Quarter, where there are lots of traffic-free areas. Jump on a cyclo (a three-wheeled bicycle taxi) to explore the narrow streets of the district in a relaxing and authentic way. The Old Quarter is also a great place to discover Hanoi's street food. Stop at a local vendor's shop to taste kid-friendly favorites like bun cha (Vietnamese meatballs) or pho (noodle soup). Then treat yourself to a famous egg coffee and your kids a Trang Tien ice cream, a Hanoi specialty.

In the evening, take your children to watch a water puppet show, a remarkable performance that originated in northern Vietnam and dates back as far as the 11th century. Water acts as a stage while the puppeteers stand behind a screen and manipulate the wooden puppets using bamboo rods. When this ancient and entertaining spectacle ends, return to your hotel and get a good night's sleep to prepare you for the adventures ahead.

Day 2: Countryside Tour at Ba Vi

See rural life on a cycling tour of the Ba Vi countryside

Escape busy Hanoi and get close to nature on a day tour to Ba Vi, a national park area set within mountains that's just west of Hanoi. Your first stop will be at Ri village. Meet Mr. Duoc, a Vietnam War veteran. Listen to his stories before touring his tea plantation. He'll teach you how to pick tea leaves and you will be shown how to collect the best part of the tea plant for making traditional Vietnamese tea. Learn more about tea production in his small workshop, where most of the work is manual. You and your kids can try your hand at all steps of the tea processing journey.

Say goodbye to Mr. Duoc and visit your next host in Moc village. Ms. Chin will teach you how to cook local Vietnamese dishes, and your family can make delicious food together. Then, enjoy eating the meals you cooked for lunch in Ms. Chin's beautiful garden. Rest after lunch and take a walk around the village, where you will visit local families and see their lifestyle. You will have a chance to talk to them, see how they live, and make local products such as tofu and conical hats. Gain a better understanding of traditional Vietnamese lifestyles. It's a great way for kids to learn about the diversity of the world.

Energized after lunch, it's time for some physical activities: join a cycling trip through rice paddies and banana trees. The cycle route will depend on your physical fitness and the age of your kids. For the smallest ones, bicycles with child seats on the back will be available. After the cycling trip, rest a while at Mr. Chinh's house and garden, and refresh with fresh mint lemon juice. Wrap up your countryside tour with a traditional foot soak in warm water with herbs. A great way to end an active day!

Day 3: Transfer to Ha Long Bay, Board Cruise

Explore Ha Long Bay by kayak

In the morning, your private driver will meet you at your hotel and take you to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site east of Hanoi. Enjoy the views of rice paddies along the scenic route to the bay. Cruising is one of the most comfortable and relaxing ways of exploring Ha Long Bay, especially if you're traveling 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 will spend the night.

Sit down to 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 by 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, then 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: Ha Long Bay Activities, Transfer to Hanoi

Continue cruising Ha Long Bay this morning

Get up 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 the boat to complete the check-out formalities and have an early lunch while the ship cruises back to the dock. When the cruise returns to the harbor, your driver will wait to transfer you back to your hotel in Hanoi. Spend the evening relaxing or head out into the city for dinner.

Day 5: Fly to Hue

Encounter Vietnamese history at Hue's Imperial Palace

Today you'll leave northern Vietnam and fly south to Hue, a city near the coast in central Vietnam. After arriving at your hotel in Hue, the rest of the day will be free to spend as you like, depending on the needs and interests of your family. You can rent a bike at your hotel and cycle around the streets or take a dragon boat ride on the Perfume River, which kids are sure to love. If you're into crafts, you could visit one of the city's famed ceramic workshops to watch the fascinating casting process and pick out some special keepsakes to take home. 

Day 6: Kite-Making Lesson

Paint your own Vietnamese kite

Kids love flying kites, so why not take things up a notch and let them make their own kites to take home as souvenirs? Hue is known for its beautiful kites and has a long tradition of kite-making and flying. Today you can visit a local kitemaker to learn more about this traditional craft. Start by cycling for about 3 miles (5 km) through town (if your children can't ride a bike, a car can be arranged). You'll arrive at the house of a third-generation kitemaker and take a tour of their house as you learn about the history of kites in Vietnam, a form of entertainment once favored by the aristocracy and mandarins of the Nguyen Dynasty.

Next, step into the workshop, where they use traditional methods to make one-of-a-kind kites. Get the chance to paint your own with your instructor's help. You'll end with a unique handmade souvenir and a reminder of Hue's rich artistic heritage, which your kids can treasure. After a break at a local café for a cup of delicious Vietnamese coffee and some soft drinks for the kids, return to your hotel by bicycle (or car, if required). The rest of the day can be spent at your leisure; perhaps find somewhere to fly the lovely kites you made!

Plan your trip to Vietnam
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 7: Hue Cyclo Sightseeing Tour

Get around Hue on a cyclo

If you'd like to tour Hue in a memorable way and treat your children to a special experience, consider exploring the city by cyclo. See Hue's famous tourist attractions and watch the daily life of the local people. Start in the Old City. Pass along the south of the Huong River and the Truong Tien Bridge. From the cyclo, you'll have a great view of the streets. Your guide will tell you all about Hue along the way. Continue to the Imperial Citadel, the place from where the Nguyen Dynasty, the former kings of Vietnam, ruled the country from 1802 to 1945.

Next, visit the Royal Antiquities Museum, where you'll find a huge gallery of antiques displaying a collection of bronze pottery, chinaware, Phap Lam enamel, court robes, headgear, and personal belongings of former Vietnamese emperors. You and your children will learn a lot about Vietnam's history while admiring the collection of ornaments. 

After the museum, ride a short way to lively Dong Ba Market, a large local market with colorful stalls and all kinds of goods, from tropical fruit and street food to souvenirs and bronze goods. Get some local snacks for the kids while you observe traditional Vietnamese life. You'll end the tour after being pedaled back to your hotel. 

Day 8: Fly to Ho Chi Minh City

Visit Ho Chi Minh City's beautiful old buildings, including the Notre Dame Cathedral

Today you'll fly farther south to Vietnam's largest metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. After arriving and checking into the hotel, your guide will meet you for a family-friendly tour of the city by cyclo. Stop at 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—kids will love the wild, interactive exhibits. Other city highlights include the Notre Dame Cathedral, the General Post Office, the Saigon Opera House, and the War Remnants Museum

Day 9: Transfer to Mui Ne

Relax on the beaches of Mui Ne
Today you'll be driven to Mui Ne Beach, near Phan Thiet, a vibrant fishing port on the coast about four hours east of Ho Chi Minh City. Mui Ne serves as a gateway to the region's many lavish coastal resorts, as well as the towering sand dunes of the same name, and you'll find plenty to entertain the whole family here. Get checked into your hotel, then spend the rest of the day as you please—kids will likely want to head straight to the beach! 

Days 10-12: Free Time in Mui Ne

Ride various kinds of boats in Mui Ne

After a busy few days on the tour, spend the next three days chilling out and spending quality time with your family. Go swimming and play on Mui Ne's pristine beaches, or try your hand at some of the many watersports on offer; Mui Ne is known for its kitesurfing in particular. Head to the local market to watch fisherman haul in the day's catch, then sample some of the region's typical dishes like pha lau (a pork dish in coconut sauce), spring rolls, and banh xeo (rice pancakes with pork and seafood).

For something more adventurous, go for a ride in a round basket boat (youngsters, in particular, enjoy the spinning motion of these traditional crafts) or take a Jeep tour to Mui Ne's red-orange sand dunes, where kids can hike up wind-sculpted peaks and fly back down on a sandboard.

Day 13: Return to Ho Chi Minh City, Evening Cultural Show

Return to the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City

Enjoy a final morning at the beach and perhaps one last dip in the sea. Then it's time to return to Ho Chi Minh City by private car transfer. The rest of the day is yours to spend as you like, perhaps doing some souvenir shopping or splurging on a special family meal.

In the evening, head out for a show at the iconic Saigon Opera House, built by the French in 1898, where you'll enjoy an authentic night of Vietnamese culture and art. A O Show by Lune Production is known as a "bamboo circus." The show depicts the transition of rural Vietnam to modern life, as performers use a variety of props such as giant woven baskets, ropes, and bamboo, accompanied by traditional live music, dance, and acrobatic performances such as balancing on top of bamboo poles. It's a fun evening out for the whole family and the perfect way to celebrate your final night in Vietnam.

Day 14: Depart Ho Chi Minh City

Goodbye Vietnam!
It's time to say farewell to Vietnam. After breakfast, spend a final few hours soaking up the atmosphere in Ho Chi Minh City before you're transferred to the airport for your departing flight. 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.


A note on diacritical markings: In order to support the best technical experience and search functions, diacritical markings have been omitted from this article.


Map of Off-the-Beaten-Track Vietnam for Families - 14 Days
Map of Off-the-Beaten-Track Vietnam for Families - 14 Days
Written by Hien Do, updated Jan 5, 2023