From the fun family activities to the world-class kids’ clubs to the delicious Vietnamese food, there are endless reasons why Vietnam tops our holiday hitlist for when we can travel safely again. Here are just a few, by Lightfoot Travel.
For the ultimate in soothing ways to see Vietnam’s hotspots, book your seat on the new The Vietage train. From July, you can kick back in the luxury lounge with bar, set menu, and massage area, and you might be able to forget that 2020 began with a shaky start. Ideal for non-fidgety children, the five-and-a-half-hour route powered by Anantara will whisk you through the countryside linking Da Nang and Quy Nhon, so there’ll be plenty to see.
Vietnam’s Golden Hands Bridge in Da Nang opened in June 2018 and fast became one of the country’s icons. The bridge looks like it’s being held up by two stone hands and is an Instagram winner, best shot at sunrise or sunset for stunning views over Ba Na Hills. Combine your visit with a stay at Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, an hour’s drive away from the bridge in Hoi An. It comes with exceptional babysitting services and kids’ club (ages 4-12) meaning that parents can hang horizontally by the pool with a book in hand and your butler nearby.
The Vietnamese are keen to introduce visitors to their enchanting world. During a stay at Amanoi you can dine at Ong Bay’s family home, watch people at work in their villages and try a traditional Vietnamese afternoon tea. Meanwhile, Topas Ecolodge escorts guests to the ethnic minority markets of Northern Vietnam where you can mingle with the hill tribes. Also, don’t miss The Unicorn Dance (mua Lan) here if you have the chance!
Trekking any significant distance away from your home may seem impossible right now, but when restrictions lift those keen on continuing social distancing should head for Sapa in the northwest of Vietnam. While hot-footing it with a toddler-in-tow may not be appealing, it’s great for those with older offspring. Famous for its picturesque rice fields and local villages, guests can dine with the locals at a tribal village, go mountain biking and take the cable car up to Mt Fansipan – the highest mountain in the country.
If you’re not keen on staying on dry land for too long, then a boat trip is a brilliant option. With Aqua Mekong you can set sail from Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, slinking through the ports on the Mekong River and soaking up scenes of daily life: local farmers with conical hats working in fields; water buffalo plowing the paddies; and children playing by the riverbank as the sunsets. We love the journey that takes you on to Cambodia, giving you the chance to explore two countries in one.
Lovely Hue (pronounced ‘hway’) is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the place to delve into Vietnam’s history. Despite some sad undertones, the tombs, catacombs, pagodas and monuments can all be fascinating for children, especially when combined with fun bike rides, hikes, houseboat trips and street food tours. Stay at Azerai La Residence, located on the Perfume River. The big pool, shady gardens and kids’ club with indoor and outdoor play areas makes it ideal for families.
Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, is the home of family activities. Pile onto a cyclo (hold on for dear life) and see the city at speed; watch colorful street artists at work; catch a traditional puppet show; learn pottery at Bah Trang Ceramic Village, and roam free at Hoan Kiem Lake with its cute cafes. Stay at Sofitel Legend Hotel Metropole which comes with an outdoor swimming pool, three-story spa, and six restaurants, making it the dream post-lockdown escape.