Having a holiday abroad might be a challenge the coming period…What a bummer! But we try to look at it from the bright side: it’s a great opportunity for traveling in beautiful Vietnam. And pssst…there are some amazing deals now!
Traveling in Vietnam: bucket list destinations
Of course we should pay attention to the bucket list destinations in Vietnam. The summer months are not the best period for North Vietnam, but hey, we’re used to hot temperatures and rain in Saigon as well.
In Vietnam, adventurous Halong Bay is a must do destination. Named on all the global travel lists as one of the most beautiful places on earth, it will take your breath away. Spending at least 2 (better 3) nights on the water is ideal and will give you enough time to explore the caves, go kayaking, enjoy the scenery and get zen. But make sure to visit the right area in the right time of year, mid summer can be quite hot and humid. Best to go a bit before or just after summer. Check out our tips here.
Hanoi is a perfect city trip, with or without the family. September an October are perfect months to visit the capital. Packed with history and full of great sight seeing and the yummiest street food ever, it’s a family friendly hotspot you shouldn’t miss. We have summarized all our tips for the perfect city trip here.
We highly recommend to combine your Hanoi trip with some days in Sapa, where the Sapa sisters can organize a nice hike for you. Take the night train or arrange a car transfer via the hotel (5.5 hours drive). Hanoi is also a great combo with a visit to the beautiful Ninh Binh area, which is only 2 hours away.
Traveling in Vietnam: let’s explore further
For all adventurous souls, we recommend a trip to the caves in Phuong Nha. As you might know, the biggest cave in the world is in Vietnam and people from all around the world come to experience it. Not a light expedition though. But luckily for us there are other, smaller caves around it. The caves are situated near Phong Nha National Park, which is also perfect for medium trekking.
If your travel companions are old enough, you can do a bike- or hike tour to explore this fantastic green area. The whole family will be happy the peppy! Check out Chay Lap Farmstay for your stay and Oxalis for all kinds of hikes and tours.
Zip lining and hot springs
Another great tip for traveling in Vietnam is an adventurous slash relaxed stay at the Alba resort in Hue. Next to the historic site of Hue, this resort is known for its relaxing hot springs and its awesome zip line park. Something for everyone!
Cool down in green Dalat
Did someone say fresh air? As the temperatures can rise high in Ho Chi Minh City, Dalat has one big fat plus and that’s the climate. Set in the Central Highlands, most of Vietnam’s flowers, coffee and strawberries come from here. There’s lots to do around Dalat: you can visit a coffee- or flower farm or go ziplining with the kids. Take one of the lovely hiking trails in the woods of Dalat, check out the mind boggling crazy house or let yourself go at rafting.
Visit between November and May to see Dalat at its best; when the flowers are blooming and everything’s green. After May it can be a bit more wet but we love to go there anyway.
Long weekends in Vietnam: let’s hit the beach
It’s lovely to be traveling in Vietnam and to explore, but sometimes you just need some beach time. Vietnam has great beach destinations, like Hoi An, Na Trang or the hidden gem Whale Island and they’re perfect for a quick getaway. Plus, it will be much more relaxed without the hundreds of tourists now. All the inside tips for our all time fav destination Hoi An can be found here.
Of course Con Dao is the ultimate beach destination. Relax, enjoy, relax seems to be the motto of this small island of the coast of Ho Chi Minh City. Chances are you’re overwhelmed with its beauty and the magnificent views. It’s the ultimate zone-out place, but also a treat for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts.
If you’re traveling in Vietnam and want to avoid air travel, then head off to Mui Ne. It’s a 3.5-hour drive from Saigon and has many amazing resorts to choose from. The weather is beautiful this time of the year, which makes Mui Ne the perfect, hassle free destination. Check out our great tips for hotels and activities in Mui Ne.
Great stays just around the corner
Let’s start with some great options just around the corner. For a stay in the Mekong, it’s only a 90 minute drive to the lovely Island Lodge. Perfect for a quick getaway, it offers a lovely scenery by the river, beautiful rooms and a nice pool to relax by.
The five star alternative in the Mekong is called The Azerai. It’s a bit further, in Can Tho (3.5 hour drive). But if you’re in need of some serious pampering, it’s sooo worth the drive. Enjoy a trip to the floating market, take a Vietnamese cooking class or take some laps in the extensive pool, it’s all bliss!
Up for some glamping in the green? The Hippo Farm is perfect for you. The Hippo Farm is situated at a convenient 40 minute drive from Ho Chi Minh City, in the green countryside. Bring your own food and drinks, fire up the BBQ and sit at the lovely pool. Or do some walking or horseback riding (the hippo part refers to the lovely horses they keep here). You can even take riding lessons. And if you want to stay over, you can rent one of the 4 basic cabins. Very kid- and dog friendly and great for groups.
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When in Vietnam, make sure to visit one of the oldest capitals in the world: Hanoi. Full of historical buildings, charming walkways and lovely restaurants. Fun for a romantic escape with your loved one, but it's just as great to visit Hanoi with your kids!
During and before Tet the city will be bustling with events! But where to go exactly to sniff up some Tet atmosphere? And what are the best locations to watch the Tet fireworks in Ho Chi Minh? We’ll tell you here.
Visit these Tet celebrations with the family to get in the Tet mood
Of course Tet is a great period to travel, but this year everything is different. Also, if you really want to get the hang of this great Vietnamese tradition, why not stay here? Pack up the kids, head into town and enjoy some celebrations!
It’s nice to take the family up and down the always energetic Nguyen Hue street where beautiful Tet displays will be up from February 9-17. This year is all about the Ox, so you will be able to see lots of buffalo images. Go early, because it can get crowded. The streets around Nguyen Hue in District 1 will be light up beautifully as well.
Most major hotel, such as the Caravelle, the Rex and the Continental will have outdoor performances with drums, lion dances in the month of February. Best to check their local Facebook pages for the exact dates.
Also great to do; visit the flower festival at Tao Dan Park in district 3. This Tet festival they’ll have a flower and fish exhibition, games and calligraphy and a traditional martial arts performance. Or do like the Vietnamese and honor your predecessors by burning some incense in the Chinese Temple in District 5.
Festive Tet flower market in Ho Chi Minh
See the traditional flower markets for Tet
It’s a Tet tradition to visit one of the beautiful flower markets in Vietnam and there are more than 125 this year! They’re open from January 27 till February 11. One of the biggest flower markets in Ho Chi Minh is in district 1 at 23/9 Park on Pham Ngu Lao Street (near Ben Thanh Market). Another traditional market is Dinh Park, on the corner of Nguyen Kiem Street and Nguyen Thai Son Street.
If you want to go a bit off the beaten track and see one of the oldest flower markets, popular with locals, check out the Ben Binh Dong Flower Market in district 8. The flowers here are brought from Mekong Delta by boat and sold on the riverside.
In district 7, the area around the Crescent Mall is always bustling: the Crescent Tet Flower Street & Market is open from 7 pm on during Tet week. Next to flowers, there will be traditional Tet food and a Vietnamese traditional music performance every night.
The best spots to watch the fireworks in Ho Chi Minh
Are you here this Tet? Lucky you! You will be able to enjoy the beautiful Tet fireworks in Ho Chi Minh.
On New Years Eve, at February 11, the prime 15-minute fireworks will be set off at midnight at 6 different locations, such as the Landmark 81 building and the Thu Thiem Tunnel that links Districts 1 and 2 and the Historical Cultural Park in D9. There will also be fireworks at the Dam Sen Park in District 11.
So make sure to have some drinks at one of the great rooftop bars that Ho Chi Minh has to offer and sit front row to the fireworks show!
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38 Nguyen U Di, D2
This lovely little Italian restaurant feels as if you’re sitting outdoors in an Italian neighbourhood eating la mama’s fresh pasta. Hard to imagine that you’re actually in the Family Gardens, in the middle of Thao Dien. Although not specifically targeted to kids, it’s perfect to have a meal here with your family. We also love to spend time here with friends or on date nights. Tradition at our house is to share the lovely tiramisu, so popular it is sometimes sold out. If you can’t get enough of their pasta, try the recently opened second venue in D3.