In September we’re going to visit Vietnam with kids, our 3 kids! Craig and I had our honeymoon backpacking in Vietnam and I am super excited about heading back there with the kids. Its been over 11 years since Craig and I were there and I am expecting that plenty will have changed.
I was very lucky to pick up extremely cheap flights with Air Asia from Melbourne, all 5 return airfares for $680AUD! Yes you read that right, return for $680AUD. It was a freak 24 hour sale and I just happened to be sitting at the computer when the email come through.
Unfortunately I was rushing as I had to attend a meeting at the kid’s school so I didn’t properly check what the dates were before I paid. As it turned out I have only booked 9 days. Not so bad really as Craig is a bit short on leave so I suppose it worked out for the best. I would have preferred 2 weeks though but not to worry there’s always next year!
Our flight is arriving after 8pm in to Ho Chi Minh City. We also have a stop over in Kuala Lumpur for 4 hours so its going to be a long day for the kids. For that reason we decided it would be best to stay in Ho Chi Minh City for the night. We thought we would spend 4 days in Ho Chi Minh City and then move on to a beach side town for another 4 days. As it turns out, we are going to the beach side town first and then the last 4 days in Ho Chi Minh City. It was the cheaper option, I wasn’t really all that fussed either way was fine. My prefer the north of Vietnam, in particular Halong Bay including Cat Ba Island, my friend Mike has prepared a great post covering things to do on Cat Ba Island. We stayed on Cat Ba Island on our honeymoon and I loved it. It appears to have changed a lot since we were there in 2003!
We looked at Phu Quoc island as Craig and I didn’t visit there last time and I was keen for us to experience something new also. The flights to Phu Quoc were twice as expensive as what we eventually settled on so we decided to give it a miss this time. Next we considered Mui Ne on a recommendation from Sarah from Fit_Travels. Only problem was we couldn’t fly there and the only option was by road for at least 6-8 hours, not really an option with the kids after a 10 hour flight to get to Vietnam.
So after much discussion we decided we would return to Nha Trang. Craig and I did visit Nha Trang last time but we only stayed 2 nights. It was also 11 years ago now so I am sure its going to be different. The flights were pretty cheap, we could have got return flight with VietJet Airlines for $190AUD but……. the time I was booking them coincided with the downing of the GermanWings flight. I must admit it spooked me so for the piece of mind I chose to pay extra and fly with Jetstar. Update, on arrival in HCMC, we then changed our flights back to VietJet due to excessive delays by Jetstar Pacific. Our flights were $330 return Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang and the times were suitable, so I was very happy with that.
In Ho Chi Minh we are going to stay in District 1 at the Signature Saigon Hotel, this is closest to Ben Thanh Market, we went there on our first night in Ho Chi Minh City last time. Its a bit difficult for us as we are effectively requesting 2 rooms and I think thats a bit much to ask really, but we will see how we go.
In Nha Trang I’m going for beach front! Preferably with a private beach attached to the hotel. Again, I have contacted a few different places but no bites yet. We have tentatively booked a penthouse apartment at Muong Thanh Nha Trang Central Hotel. Only one thing missing – the swim up bar! We did end up staying in a private villa at An Lam Resort, it was just perfect.
I haven’t put too much thought into activities yet, I came across Suoi Tien Theme Park yesterday and thought we would visit there. A friend has suggested we do a food tour with Xo Tours as she knows them and strongly recommends their tours. Other than that we are going to go with the flow.
Have you been to Ho Chi Minh City or Nha Trang with kids? I would love some suggestions and feedback? Please leave them in the comments below. I have added some of my favourite photos from our first trip to Vietnam, hope you enjoy them. They were taken on our first digital camera, a Kodak 2 megapixel, can’t believe the images aren’t that bad!
Its less than 4 months away now, yay!