week, we called for advice from some of the world’s best explorers – our
readers! Responses poured in on Facebook, providing tips for BBC Travel reader
Donita Richards, who asked: “Is there anything that is a must do or must avoid
for families in Vietnam? We are planning to take our children (3½ and 1½ years
old) next February.”
Check out some of the advice we received
from our travel community.
From Noelle Morgan: "Beautiful county, lovely people. They drive like nuts so
look left and right and 20 times more before crossing the road. I got bitten to
death, so maybe bring mosquito nets for the kids’ beds."
McGregor: "I don't have children but I have led tour groups through
Vietnam. Like almost everywhere around the world – everyone loves children.
Highlights for me were always the food (hire a babysitter for a couple of
nights and enjoy some adult time – the seafood is to die for), wandering the
markets (expose your children to the wonderful sights and smells), and some
beach time. One of my favorite places was Hoi An – so beautiful at night with
lanterns, markets, shopping, restaurants, boat rides on Perfume River, safe at
night, traffic not as busy as Saigon or Hanoi, beachside close by and just a
lovely atmosphere. Whatever you choose to do I am sure you will enjoy!"
Nguyen: "During February, we celebrate The Lunar New Year. There are
loads of things to do: visit the flower market, eat delicious foods and wander
around Saigon. Be careful with the traffic. I hope you will enjoy my country."
From Robin Mason: "Before going, get vaccinations and do not venture into
chicken-chopping markets. Sapa is fine, we drove from Haiphong to Sapa – it was
a windy road so train is best from Hanoi. Halong Bay is wonderful, as is most
From Rachel Lynn Collins: "Be very careful in
traffic. Before I went to Ho Chi Minh City, I was given lessons on how to cross
the road. Sounded silly at the time but it’s very different there! Traffic does
not stop, you just walk at an even pace in a straight line and vehicles swerve
From Anne Bendiksby: "Loved travelling in beautiful
Vietnam with my 5-year- old! I can't recommend it enough. It is such a
child-friendly nation! It's so easy travelling in Asia with children! Be sure
to visit the stunning island of Phu Quoc. Get up at 4 am and wander down to the
beach in Nha Trang – you'll mingle with thousands of locals, families with
children, all enjoying the cool part of the day... it’s amazing! The amusement park
in Nha Trang is fabulous! The Waterpark in Ho Chi Minh is a must! Your children
will love it! Happy travelling."
From Lilli Maier: "Seriously, bring mosquito nets, thin long sleeves and
trousers, and baseball caps (for the sun) and kids-friendly sunscreen. Food is
good in Vietnam – rice with veggies is always okay. I travelled with my eight-month-old
daughter for eight months through Africa, so I think nothing would go wrong in Vietnam
From Sean Sager: "Go to the Thang Long Water Puppet Show in Hanoi! Also, go to
the Vinpearl Amusement Park in Nha Trang (get a ride in the longest over-water
cable car). Expose them to some of the best food in the world. And be careful
crossing the roads!"
From Travel Junkie Diary: "Take a good first aid kit, travel insurance and a baby
backpack. Do: Thang Long Water Puppet Show, Hanoi Water Park. Stay away from
the highlands, hugging the coast from Hanoi down to Saigon. Stock up on
From Alfred Tann: "When someone wants to carry things for you in train
stations, be careful. Either you won't get them back or this person would charge
you $5 to $10."
Traveller: "Do not miss Hoi An and Hué
for anything. Lots of history, clothes and good food to indulge in."
Maier: "Depends what you want: if you really want to get the feeling
of a Vietnamese family with two kids, rent a motorbike and drive around the
city. Based on firsthand experience, let somebody take pictures – your friends
at home won’t believe it otherwise."
From Michelle Shoucair Karam: "Hygiene, hygiene, hygiene when
traveling with kids to Southeast Asia. Visit temples but read what to do and
what not to do as they are very strict and religious. Always stay safe and
don't forget the anti-bug gels, especially for kids!"
From Cecile De Forest: "Don't miss the Highlands! Take the overnight train from Hanoi to Sapa.
Gorgeous! When crossing the street in Hanoi, go! Don't stop! The motorcyclists
figure out your pace and avoid you. If you stop, you are in trouble. I loved Hanoi
but hated Saigon. Halong Bay would be fun for the kids if they like boats."
From Corbett Villarrial: "I lived in Hanoi for six months
opening a children’s fitness center. I had an amazing experience. The last 10
days of the trip, I went on a tour of five cities from Hanoi to the centre of
Vietnam. People are lovely. Traffic is dangerous. Vietnam is a great way to get
good food delivered for great prices. If you go to Hoi An, you can buy custom
tailored shoes and clothes for good prices. If you see something you really
like but the price is expensive, it's ok to barter – just keep it light and
fun. Don’t eat fresh leafy greens... they can lead to tummy problems. Take bug
repellent and sun screen. Hanoi has some great French architecture. Halong Bay
might be fun for the kids, plus you can swim and explore some caves. The
beaches of Da Nang are safe and fun. If I were to plan a trip again, I would
prefer to do more 'hands-on' tours, like the lantern making and rice
pancake making in Hoi An."
To join the next
discussion or have your travel question answered by fellow readers, stay tuned
to our BBC Travel Facebook page and Twitter.