What to do in Vietnam with kids

Vietnam is one of those countries that we have a love hate relationship with.  It always takes us two days after arriving in a city before we start to truly enjoy and appreciate it.  Here is what we loved about each city we visited.

Of course, what we did not like about each city is universal:
  1. The pestering and sometimes overly aggressive touts, "You buy something?".  
  2. The dishonest cab drivers who drive around in circles to bring up the fare, "ok, ok, I know, ok, ok", um, ok, NO you don't!  
  3. Oh, and of course, the pickpockets and muggers!!  

So ignoring the touts, the "ok, ok" cabbies and muggers here are the highlights of Vietnam:

We started in Saigon and fell in love with the crazy, methodical motorbikes. We mastered cross the street without looking and got a thrill from it.  We loved the Palace, the museums and all the wonderful kids play parks. We also enjoyed our side trip to the Mekong Delta.  A must before you leave Saigon.

Next we bought our open bus tickets and hit the road to Dalat, the strawberry capital of Vietnam.  Seriously, my kids could not get enough and they were cheap too!  We loved exploring the market, the Crazy House, the Ludge, the cool weather and more.  Remember to negotiate and check out various strawberry vendors cuz they are cheap

After Dalat, we took the over night bus from hell, I mean, night bus to Nha Trang.  We loved the beach vibe and our two bedroom condo.  The have loads of kid friendly things to do.  Our kids loved VinPearl and the brew house pool and beach the most.  But we did so much more.

After a week in Nha Trang we took the open bus to Hoi An.  Such a beautiful, serene and cheap city to be in.  This was my favorite city to wander around.

From Hoi An we ventured to Hue.  We arrived with temperatures over 100 F.  Hot!  Had it been cooler we might have enjoyed it more. We did love the boat ride, the Citadel, and carnival rides, but found it not too toddler friendly.

For our final leg of the bus journey, we braved another over night bus ride figuring nothing could be as bad as the first, right?  Hanoi was our final stop and once again the cool weather felt amazing. There are tons of things to do in Hanoi such as secret parks and a fun circus. Despite mugging, I wish we had more time in Hanoi.

We were able to take a side trip to Halong Bay for an incredible cruise.  A bit pricy at $337 for our family of 5, but well worth the adventure.  The kids loved the boat cruise, kayaking, private beaches and squid fishing and more.  A must do at any age!

Someday when the kids are older I would love to return to Vietnam and stay longer.  What is your favorite city in Vietnam?
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