Visiting Hoi An with kids is an amazing experience for the whole family. With its stunning natural beauty, vibrant culture, and plethora of activities to enjoy, it’s no surprise that this historic city has become a popular destination for families.
On our extended tour of Vietnam we spent almost a month taking in all of the sites, smells, and experiences that Hoi An has to offer. From exploring ancient temples and monuments to taking part in traditional festivals or simply enjoying a relaxing beach day, there’s something for everyone in Hoi An. Whether you’re looking to discover the area’s fascinating history or just have some fun on your vacation, here are some things you need to know before planning your trip with kids in 2023!
About Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An is a city with Chinese, Japanese, and later European influence located in central Vietnam. It has been an important port since the 16th century and was once one of the most prosperous trading ports in Southeast Asia, with merchants from all over the world coming to conduct business here. Today, Hoi An is still known for its rich culture, unique architecture, and beautiful natural scenery.
It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 due to its historical significance and architectural beauty. The old town of Hoi An is especially well-preserved, showcasing traditional Vietnamese houses built along narrow streets lined with lanterns. These streets are also home to many cultural attractions such as temples, museums, and galleries that offer visitors insight into this vibrant city’s past and present life.
Hoi An with Kids
Visiting Hoi An with our kids (ages 12, 10, 7 and 5) was an incredible experience for us all. We had a great time exploring all the unique attractions that this city has to offer — from museums and temples to beaches and markets, there was something for everyone in our family.
One of our favorite activities was to walk around the old town of Hoi An and take in all the sights and sounds. The kids loved seeing the colorful lanterns and street vendors, as well as exploring traditional Vietnamese homes. We also enjoyed taking part in some of the cultural activities such as pottery making and taking a ride in the Vietnamese basket boats!
Is Hoi An Safe for Kids?
Hoi An is generally a very safe place for kids, with low crime rates and friendly locals. However, as in any other city or country, it’s important to take some precautions when traveling with children.
For instance, streets can be busy and chaotic at times so make sure that your kids are always supervised and avoid making any sudden movement or running when crossing the roads. It’s also a good idea to avoid visiting Hoi An during peak travel times, such as the Vietnamese New Year or Tet holiday when it can get quite crowded.
Things To Do in Hoi An with Kids
Hoi An, Vietnam is a beautiful and vibrant city that offers plenty of activities for families to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for fun outdoor adventures or educational cultural experiences, Hoi An has something special for everyone in your family. Here’s a look at some of the top attractions and activities that will keep your children entertained while visiting this stunning destination.
Ba Na Hills
One of our family’s favorite activities while visiting Hoi An was exploring Ba Na Hills. It’s a cross between Disney’s Epcot theme park, a European ski resort, and a Buddhist religious site. It’s like nothing else you have ever seen! The views from this mountain village are simply breathtaking and the whole family will enjoy the cable car ride up to it.
This amazing theme park has something for everyone – from thrilling roller coasters to zip lines, bumper cars, and even the most unique Golden Hands Bridge (Cầu Vàng).
If you’re looking to fill up some squares on your Instagram profile grid, Ba Na Hill is definitely a must-visit place while visiting Hoi An or Da Nang.
If your family is into ancient ruins, My Son should be on the top of your list. This cluster of Hindu temples is one of the most important heritage sites in Southeast Asia and it’s a big part of Vietnam’s history. The ruins are scattered around natural hills and surrounded by lush vegetation, making it an absolutely stunning place to explore.
The kids will love running around the ruins, imagining what life was like for the people who built them. It’s also a great opportunity to teach your children about Vietnam’s ancient culture and its importance in today’s world.
If you’re old like I am you’ll probably remember the pottery-making scene in the movie “Ghost.” Well, that was the first thing that came to my mind while visiting the pottery-making village near Hoi An. It’s a great place to take the kids for an educational and creative experience.
The village is located in Tra Que, about 4 kilometers from Hoi An Old Town. The locals will show you how to make pottery from clay and let your kids get their hands dirty while they learn all about traditional Vietnamese pottery-making techniques.
We loved seeing and exploring the Marble Mountains while we were in Hoi An. The kids were fascinated by the amazing views from the top of the mountain, as well as all the temples and caves scattered throughout.
You can take a cable car to get up to the top or if you’re feeling adventurous you can go for a hike. At the end of your journey, you’ll get to explore an incredible pagoda and temple complex.
Basket Boat Rides
One of the most memorable experiences we had while in Hoi An was riding in the traditional basket boats. These boats are made from giant woven baskets and have been used by locals for centuries to fish in the canals.
The boat rides last about 45 minutes, giving your family plenty of time to explore the local villages, learn about traditional Vietnamese fishing techniques, and take some stunning pictures of life along the river.
Take a Walking Tour of Old Town Hoi An
Taking a walking tour of Hoi An’s Old Town is one of the best ways to really explore this picturesque city. We learned so much more about the history and culture of the area while also taking in the beautiful sights.
The tour begins with a stroll through the ancient streets, lined with centuries-old buildings, and then continues to explore the local market, temples, and bridges. The tour also includes a visit to some of the most famous sites in Hoi An like the Japanese Bridge and Traditional Art Performance House.
Food in Hoi An for Kids
Is there kid-friendly food in Hoi An? Absolutely. Hoi An is full of delicious and friendly food options that the kids will enjoy. From amazing traditional Vietnamese dishes to western specialties, there is something for everyone in the family.
Some of our favorite places to eat in Hoi An were Morning Glory Street Food Restaurant, Oodles Street Kitchen, and Little World Cafe. All of these places serve up great food that even picky eaters will love!
But, our all-time favorite eating spot in Hoi An is Bánh Mì Phượng. I can’t even remember how many times we visited this place for some delicious Banh Mi. I think the cost was under $2 USD and our kids loved it!
Best Time to Visit Hoi An
The best time to visit Hoi An is from March to May, when the temperatures start to get a bit cooler. During this time, you can enjoy clear skies and sunshine without feeling too hot or having to worry about the rain.
Visiting Hoi An during the winter months (November to February) is also great if you want to avoid the crowds and take advantage of the lower prices. However, you should be aware that some of the attractions might be closed due to rain or other weather conditions during this time.
How to Get to Hoi An
Getting to Hoi An from most major cities in the region can be done easily and affordably, by plane or train.
The closest airport to Hoi An is Da Nang International Airport, which has direct flights from other cities in Vietnam such as Hanoi and Saigon as well as international destinations like Bangkok and Singapore. From the airport, it’s just a short drive to Old Town Hoi An and there are plenty of taxis available at the arrivals hall.
Alternatively, you can also take the train directly from Hanoi or Saigon with overnight trips taking anywhere between 12-20 hours depending on your departure city. Trains run several times per day so you’ll have plenty of options when planning your trip. Once you arrive at Da Nang Station it’s only about 20 minutes away by taxi or bus to get into town.
Another option that we prefer while we were traveling in Vietnam with our family is hiring luxury van transportation. We love being able to see the country and avoiding all of the station crowds. Your hotel concierge will be able to arrange private car transportation anywhere you want to go in Vietnam.
Best Places to Stay in Hoi An with Kids
The best places to stay in Hoi An for families are the An Retreat Resort, La Siesta Hoi An, and the Vinh Hung Emerald Resort. All of these resorts offer tons of amenities for families, including a pool, kid-friendly activities, and delicious onsite restaurants.
We also love staying in Airbnb’s sometimes with our family of six to have a little more space and a fully functioning kitchen. We loved our stay in this Hoi An seaside home with a one-minute walk to the popular kid-friendly An Bang Beach.
How to Get Around Hoi An
There are many ways to get around Hoi An. The most popular method of transport is by bicycle. There are many different bike rental companies in Hoi An and most will provide you with a map to help you find your way around town. This is a fun option if your kids are older and experienced bike riders.
Another great option for getting around the city is by taxi or Grab (a Southeast Asian version of Uber). Both services offer flat rates for trips within Hoi An, and you can easily book them on your smartphone.
Hoi An Beaches for Kids
Hoi An has great beaches for kids with plenty to keep them occupied. An Bang Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Hoi An and has shallow waters that are perfect for young swimmers. It also has a few beach cafes and restaurants where you can get snacks and drinks while your kids play in the sand.
Cua Dai Beach is another great option for families, as it has a wide stretch of sand that is perfect for building sandcastles and playing fun beach games. There are also several restaurants right on the beach, with fresh seafood dishes being some of the most popular items.
Visit Da Nang with Family
If you’re looking for a little faster pace adventure with your family, Da Nang is the destination for you. Just a short drive from Hoi An, it’s known for its beautiful beaches and unique attractions like the Dragon Bridge and Ba Na Hills amusement park.
For kids that love animals and nature, a trip to the Son Tra Peninsula is a must. Here you’ll find an abundance of wildlife, breathtaking cliffside views, and a serene atmosphere.
Conclusion: Hoi An with Kids
Hoi An is an amazing destination for families, offering plenty of activities and attractions to keep kids entertained. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or something more adventurous, Hoi An has it all! With convenient transportation options like bike rentals, Grab cars, and luxury van transfers available, getting around the city with your family won’t be a problem either.
If you want to explore even further beyond Hoi An’s beaches and Old Town streets there are also exciting day trips to nearby Da Nang that will truly make your trip unforgettable. Pack your bags and come experience the beauty of Vietnam with your family in historic Hoi An!