I travelled to Vietnam as an adult, and let’s just say, it could sometimes be a challenge. Out of everywhere I have been in south east Asia, I found Vietnam to be the most challenging in terms of culture, food, and even health. Vietnam is after all, where my travelling partner came down with Salmonella poisoning.
So it was with a little trepidation that I booked the trip for Dan and Jacob to go to Vietnam with some other members of the family. What if their boat in Halong Bay didn’t have appropriate railings or safety for a fearless toddler? What if he got sick from the water or food? What if he got run over by a motorbike in Saigon? These were some of my concerns.
When it comes to travelling with kids, South East Asia is one of the most welcoming places for families with young children. The Vietnamese people, both male and female, adore children. Every where we went with Jacob he was like a tiny little rock star.
Vietnam with a baby
Vietnam would be an incredibly easy country to travel with a baby. The Vietnamese people LOVE children. The only problem you would face is having everyone want to hold your baby. When travelling with an infant, the main thing you need to be careful of is the water quality (if you bottle feed). You should be safe as long as you stick to bottled water. I also recommend Milton tablets to clean and sterilize your bottle feeding equipment.
Vietnam with a toddler
Our Jacob was a toddler when Dan took him to Vietnam. He was 18 months old, and a very quick sprinter. He also had that cheeky fearlessness that is characteristic of toddlers. I was worried that he might run into the street, and get flattened amongst the insanity that is Vietnamese road traffic. I was concerned about the safety conditions on the boats in Halong Bay. Also, since he is solely eating solid foods now, I was concerned he might get sick from something in the food or water.
But all was well, and my little man returned to me safe and sound. Yes the traffic is hectic, so ensure you hold on to your toddler if they are not in the stroller. And yes, you need to be careful with food, but if you stick to cooked foods and stay away from fresh fruits and veggies that are not peeled, you should be pretty safe.
The most difficult thing about travel in Vietnam with toddlers is that most restaurants do not have highchairs. We recommend travelling with a small folding highchair, that can be easily stored under your pram.
Vietnam with older children
Vietnam is a great place for older children. You don’t need to worry as much about them getting ill, as older children can take a much wider range of medicines if they get sick. Also, Vietnam has tons of great cultural and natural attractions to keep older children busy every day.
In Hanoi make sure to not miss the water puppet theatre, and in Saigon kids will love a trip to the Cu Chi tunnels. In Dalat there is love valley to run around in, and in Na Trang there are beaches and island trips.