- Cruise and cycle through the rural Mekong Delta
- Make traditional Vietnamese kites in Hue
- Learn to prepare Vietnamese food in historic Hoi An
- Enjoy outdoor activities at UNESCO-listed Ha Long Bay
|Day 1||Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City||Ho Chi Minh City|
|Day 2||Transfer to Can Tho, Ben Tre & Can Tho Tour||Can Tho|
|Day 3||Cai Rang Floating Market, Transfer to Ho Chi Minh City||Ho Chi Minh City|
|Day 4||Fly to Hue, Half-Day Tour||Hue|
|Day 5||Hue Tour, Kite-Making Workshop||Hue|
|Day 6||Transfer to Hoi An, Afternoon Food Tour||Hoi An|
|Day 7||Cam Thanh Village Tour||Hoi An|
|Day 8||Free Day in Hoi An||Hoi An|
|Day 9||Fly to Hanoi||Hanoi|
|Day 10||Dong Ngac Village Half-Day Tour||Hanoi|
|Day 11||Ninh Binh Day Tour||Hanoi|
|Day 12||Transfer to Ha Long Bay, Board Cruise||Ha Long Bay|
|Day 13||Ha Long Bay Activities, Transfer to Hanoi||Hanoi|
|Day 14||Depart Hanoi|
Day 1: Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City
Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's largest metropolis! A guide and driver will meet you at the airport for a transfer to your hotel. After you and your kids have had a chance to rest and refresh after the journey, your guide will pick you up at your hotel and take you out to explore the city center by cyclo (a three-wheeled bicycle taxi). This is a fun way of getting around as you can cover more ground than walking and won't get tired.
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—your kids will love it! End the day with an early dinner of Vietnamese street food or tasty French-inspired fare if you're looking for something more upmarket.
Day 2: Transfer to Can Tho, Ben Tre & Can Tho Tour
Head further south today to the Mekong Delta, where you'll experience rural Vietnamese life in a huge network of waterways dotted with villages and farmland. The mix of nature and activity will be ideal for everyone in the family. You'll be picked up at your hotel and taken to Ben Tre, for around two hours. After arriving at Ham Luong dock, board the boat and cruise along Ham Luong River, a tributary of the Mekong River. Enjoy the cool breeze from the river and views of the lush tropical islands along its banks.
In Ben Tre, visit various local workshops to see many wonderful examples of how local people use traditional techniques to create their crafts, including activated charcoal, dried coconut, and coconut husk brooms. See how many family businesses use coir (coconut fiber) to create amazing art. The kids will be amazed by the processes they see and learn a lot.
Ride around the village roads by xe loi, a local vehicle similar to a tuk-tuk. Then, kayak through the natural canals to get a close-up look at the peaceful beauty of the Mekong River and the rural life there. If your kids are small, your tour guide will help you paddle the kayak while you watch the kids. Older ages can paddle themselves. Have lunch at a local restaurant, then take a break before continuing with more activities, such as cycling or walking around the village, fishing, and cooking with the locals. At the end of the day, you'll be transferred to your hotel in Can Tho for a relaxed dinner on your own.
Day 3: Cai Rang Floating Market, Transfer to Ho Chi Minh City
This morning, take a leisurely boat trip to explore the picturesque tributaries of the Lower Mekong River, then proceed to the Cai Rang Floating Market, the liveliest floating market in the region. Each boat displays its produce by hanging an example from its mast. It'll be interesting for you and your kids to see the local people cooking and selling fruit and other goods from their boats.There will also be a chance to sample local food. See how vermicelli soup is cooked, then have a taste. Wander around the village and, meet the friendly local people, cross a "monkey bridge," made from only one stem of bamboo—but don't worry, as the kids will be supported on the way across the bridge. Then, visit the orchard garden and taste many kinds of local fruits. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant before heading back to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon.
Day 4: Fly to Hue, Half-Day Tour
After a free morning to enjoy a leisurely breakfast, your driver will transfer you to the airport for a domestic flight to Hue, a historic city in central Vietnam. Once you've settled into your hotel, set out to explore the city's beautiful attractions. Start at the Imperial Citadel, the capital of Vietnam's last royal dynasty, the Nguyen Dynasty, and the place from which the former kings of Vietnam ruled from 1802 to 1945. Children will be excited to see where the royal family lived and learn about the citadel's storied past.Next, walk around the bustling Dong Ba Market, where you'll find colorful stalls selling all kinds of goods, from tropical fruits and street food to souvenirs and bronze goods. Grab local snacks for the kids while you observe a whirlwind of traditional Vietnamese life at this market.
Day 5: Hue Tour, Kite-Making Workshop
Continue exploring Hue's historic treasures today. See the royal tombs and learn about the life of the former royal family in beautiful gardens. In the morning, visit the Nguyen Emperor Khai Dinh's Royal Tomb, unique among the royal tombs of Hue. Where other royal tombs are expansive and invite respectful reflection, Khai Dinh built his final resting place to be monumental in style and bombastic in execution. Then, visit the Minh Mang Tomb, which reflects Chinese architectural concepts. Don't miss the nearby statues, gardens, and bridge over a lake of lotus flowers, which provides access to the tomb.Enjoy some of Hue's famous cuisine for lunch. In the afternoon, treat your children to a kite-making lesson at the house of a local third-generation kitemaker. Take a tour of their house and hear about the history of kite flying in Vietnam, a form of entertainment once favored by the aristocracy and mandarins of the Nguyen Dynasty. Step into the workshop, where they use traditional methods to make one-of-a-kind kites, then get the chance to paint your own. These make great souvenirs, especially for kids.
Day 6: Transfer to Hoi An, Afternoon Food Tour
This morning, head three hours south along the coast to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Hoi An. The journey is incredibly scenic and includes traveling over the impressive Hai Van Pass, known as the Ocean Cloud Pass, for its aerial views over the coast. Ask your driver to make a photo stop along the way.
Once you've checked into your hotel, set out to explore this colorful, traditional, and relaxed city. Hoi An is famous for its delicious cuisine, so taking a food-focused tour is a great way to learn more about the city's culture and history. Meet with a specialist in Vietnamese gastronomy and enjoy a delicious street food tour. Over the course of three hours, gain a fantastic knowledge of the town of Hoi An: its history, culture, and also its restaurants, traditional food, culinary specialties, and unique flavors. Kids will be able to find their new favorite Vietnamese food.End the day with a relaxing sunset boat trip while the kids spot fish and other marine life along Thu Bon River. Admire the colorful lanterns strung up around Hoi An, which are most impressive after dark. Later, head back to the hotel, where you'll have the rest of the evening at your leisure.
Day 7: Cam Thanh Village Tour
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Today, your guide will meet you at the hotel around 9 am 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, where you'll see how locals plant their crops. 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. Enjoy a hands-on experience of traditional net fishing, which is lots of fun, especially for kids.
Day 8: Free Day in Hoi AnToday is yours to spend as you like in and around Hoi An. You could cycle or take a car to the beach for swimming and sandcastles. You'll find many small cafés where you can sit back with a fresh fruit drink while the kids play. Another favorite Hoi An activity is visiting a tailor's shop to have new clothes, bags, or shoes made overnight. Kids might love to have a custom-made Vietnamese outfit to take home. In the evening, walk around the Old Town area, with its colorful lanterns and fun performances organized on the street in the evening.
Day 9: Fly to Hanoi
A driver will meet you at your hotel in Hoi An and transfer you to Da Nang airport for a flight to Hanoi, where a driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Hanoi is a fascinating city with lots to see and do, and plenty of appeal or kids and adults alike. After checking in to your hotel, spend your free time exploring the city at your own pace. You could stroll through the Old Quarter, where there are lots of traffic-free areas, or jump on a cyclo to explore the narrow streets of the district in a relaxing and authentic way.
Day 10: Dong Ngac Village Half-Day Tour
Today, escape the busy city for a day trip into the countryside. Your guide will meet you at the hotel lobby and transfer you to Dong Ngac village. Here, jump on a bike and cycle to the market. If you are traveling with small kids, they could sit at the back of your bike or your guide's. Alternatively, replace the cycling activities with a car transfer and walking tour. Venture deeper into the village on your bikes. Visit the Communal House, built in the shape of a dragon, and pass the oldest school in the village, built in 1921.Back at your host family's house, it's time for a private cooking demonstration. After watching your host demonstrate, you'll get the chance to whip up some local recipes yourselves. At the end comes the best part—trying your dishes! Kids will love the sense of achievement they feel after eating their own creations. After all your efforts, rest in some reclining chairs in your host's garden or courtyard. All too soon, it will be mid-afternoon and time to say goodbye to your new friends as you transfer back to Hanoi.
Day 11: Ninh Binh Day Tour
Head back into the fresh air today with a scenic boat trip through the waterways of Ninh Binh. Considered one of the most beautiful places in the country, this city and natural area sit in the Red River Delta of northern Vietnam. Start at Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, an old capital dating back to the 11th century with many beautiful temples. Your children will find touring here an interesting way to learn about Vietnamese history.Next, visit the Bich Dong Pagoda, a complex composed of three pagodas and cave temples. Inside each cave, looming statues peer from the haze of burning incense. Ride along country lanes and through small villages to enjoy the beautiful scenery of limestone mountains. Try some local dishes for lunch, then head to the most popular attraction in Ninh Binh, the Trang An Grottoes (a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site). Your children will love the adventurous boat trip that passes through four splendid limestone caves and three spiritual spots, including Dia Linh Mountain.
Day 12: Transfer to Ha Long Bay, Board Cruise
In the morning, your private driver will meet you at your hotel and take you to Ha Long Bay in a comfortable car. Enjoy the views of rice paddies along the scenic route. Cruising is one of the most comfortable and relaxing ways of exploring this spectacular UNESCO-listed natural wonder, especially if you are 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.Enjoy lunch while you are 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, 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 13: Ha Long Bay Activities, Transfer to HanoiGet 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 underground spectacle. Return to your boat to complete the check-out formalities and have an early lunch while the ship cruises back to the dock, where a driver will be waiting to take you back to Hanoi. Enjoy your final night in the city at your leisure.
Day 14: Depart Hanoi
Enjoy free time this morning, perhaps doing some last-minute souvenir shopping, until your driver transfers you to the airport for your return flight. It's time to say goodbye to Hanoi and to Vietnam. Safe travels!
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