Aerial view of Halong Bay

Vietnam Young Family Explorer

Trip code
VFE001

We know how hard it can be to please the whole family, but there won’t be any complaints of “I’m bored” on this fast-paced adventure.

Cycling, painting, boating, cooking, eating, farming, wildlife-spotting, squid-fishing, train-riding, lantern-making – did we leave anything out? Actually, yes. This trip is absolutely stuffed to the gills with the experiences we love, across all the different landscapes of Vietnam. But that’s just for starters — tell us what your family loves and we’ll make one tailored just for you.

Pricing

Price based on 3* accommodation
From
A$5,300
pp
Price based on 4* accommodation
From
A$5,800
pp

Key facts

15 days / 14 nights
Experience Asia’s most beautiful karst scenery on an overnight cruise through Lan Ha Bay and a sampan boat ride in Ninh Binh
Get creative with a puppet-painting class in Hanoi and a lantern-making workshop in Hoi An
Have a go at wet rice cultivation on a countryside tour in Hoi An
Get a sense of the past with history-focussed tours in Hanoi and Hue
Slow down the pace with a couple of days at Moon Garden Homestay, learning to cook and exploring traditional rural villages
See a traditional performance of Thai music and dance in Mai Chau, then go on a cycling trip through the surrounding minority villages
Go hiking in Cuc Phuong National Park and visit the residents at a Primate Rescue Centre
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DAY 11-12 HUE DAY 13-15 HOI AN DAY 3-4 KY SON DAY 1-2 HANOI DAY 5-6 MAI CHAU DAY 7-8 NINH BINH DAY 9-10 LAN HA BAY
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DAY 11-12 HUE DAY 13-15 HOI AN DAY 3-4 KY SON DAY 1-2 HANOI DAY 5-6 MAI CHAU DAY 7-8 NINH BINH DAY 9-10 LAN HA BAY

Most journeys will be by private car, with the exception of an internal flight between Hanoi and Hue and a scenic train journey between Hue and Danang.

What's great

All the included activities are suitable for young children to join in, so the whole family can enjoy every aspect of the trip

Plenty of guided experiences mean you’ll get a first-hand introduction to local life, and have plenty of opportunities to engage with the locals

This itinerary doesn’t follow the usual tourist trail, so you’ll get to a see a side of the country most visitors don’t

The variety of landscapes is incredible: rice-terraced mountains; rainforest; limestone karsts; rugged coastline and golden sandy beaches

It’s easy to extend your trip with more time on the beach in Hoi An or at the temples of Angkor in Cambodia

Things to consider

This is an action-packed itinerary, so it won’t suit those who prefer to explore at a more leisurely pace

Some of the included experiences are unsuitable for those with mobility issues

You’ll need to be prepared for all weathers! Vietnam’s varied climate and topography means it’s likely to be rainy at some locations in your trip

There are a few long (but very scenic!) road journeys – so if you prefer to keep road time to a minimum, it may not be for you

Southern Vietnam doesn’t feature in this itinerary

The experience

Every family is different, so every trip should be too. Use this itinerary as a starting point and let us craft your perfect holiday – it's what we do best.

Day 1-2

Hanoi

Many people start their adventure in Hanoi, but not many spend their first morning with a water puppetry master. Watch a performance where the puppets seem to dance on the water, then paint your own in bright, shiny colours. It's a fun and unusual way to gain an insight into traditional Vietnamese culture, and Mr Liem is a passionate expert. In the afternoon, you'll head out for a walking tour of the Old Quarter, wandering down alleys barely one person wide, and stopping at a teashop to hear stories of life in old Hanoi. We find traditional city tours a bit history-heavy for families, but this lively, hands-on day will bring Hanoian culture to life in a way that all ages can enjoy.

Hanoi waterpuppets

Highlights

Go behind the scenes to meet a seventh-generation puppet-maker, learn some water puppeteering techniques, and paint your own to take home

Eat at KOTO, a restaurant that provides opportunities, training and education to disadvantaged young people (and fantastic food to its guests!)

Go on a walking tour through the maze-like alleys of the Old Quarter, crammed with exciting sounds, smells and tastes

Flowers balanced on bicycle in Hanoi

Day 3-4

Ky Son

Hectic Hanoi can be a sensory overload, so now it’s time to slow the pace for a day or two at the Moon Garden Homestay. Join your hosts for a cooking lesson, stop in at local homes for tea and a chat, or help with the farming – making rice beds, transplanting seedlings, or harvesting rice, cassava, corn and sweet potatoes. If you’re an early riser, get up with the dawn for Yijin Jing exercises – but save some energy for the cycle to Duong Lam Ancient Village, whose brick courtyard houses and pretty old streets have survived intact for three centuries. Ky Son is full of things to see and do, but it’s also a wonderful place just to lie back in a hammock and soak up the scenery.

Cycling in Ky Son countryside

Highlights

Take some time to relax in the stunning natural surroundings of the Moon Garden Homestay

Learn to cook some traditional Vietnamese dishes with your hosts

Jump on your bike and cycle to Duong Lam, one of the oldest and best-preserved villages in Vietnam

Rice farming in Ky Son

The finer detail

  • Breakfast every day

  • Seven lunches: one at the Moon Garden Homestay cooking class; one at a local home in Duong Lam Ancient Village; one in Cuc Phuong National Park; one at a restaurant in Tam Coc Town; one onboard the Lan Ha Bay cruise; one at a local home near Hoi An

  • Four dinners: two at the Moon Garden Homestay; one in Mai Chau at the music and dance performance; one on the Lan Ha Bay cruise

  • Two full-day experiences: one at the Moon Garden Homestay; one exploring Ninh Binh by sampan boat and bicycle

  • Nine half-day experiences: one making water puppets in Hanoi; one city tour in Hanoi; one at the Moon Garden Homestay; two exploring the Mai Chau valley; one in Cuc Phuong National Park; one Hue city tour; one rice cultivation experience near Hoi An; one lantern-making workshop in Hoi An

  • One evening experience: Thai traditional dance performance and dinner in Mai Chau

  • Overnight cruise on Lan Ha Bay with activities

  • All accommodation

  • All entrance fees to sites included in guided experiences

  • All domestic transfers

Day 3:

Car transfer from Hanoi to Ky Son (1.5 hours)

Day 5:

Car transfer from Ky Son to Mai Chau (4 hours)

Day 7:

Car transfer from Mai Chau to Ninh Binh (4 hours)

Day 9:

Car transfer from Ninh Binh to Lan Ha Bay (4 hours)

Day 10:

Car transfer from Lan Ha Bay to Hanoi Airport (2 hours)

Flight from Hanoi to Hue (1.5 hours)

Day 12:

Train from Hue to Danang (2.5 hours)

  • International flights

  • Any necessary visas

  • Any lunches or dinners unless stated

  • Entrance fees to any sites not included in guided experiences

  • Tipping and personal expenses