Vietnam is one destination in Asia that should be on everyone’s bucket list. This destination is best known for its history, culture, and gastronomy. But many tourists who come to Vietnam are realizing that it has plenty of natural beauty and attractions to offer, too. It is also a family-friendly destination with several easy trails that you can follow to discover the best scenic views and pristine natural beauty that Vietnam has kept so well hidden.
The great thing about the hiking trails in Vietnam is that they vary in difficulty to a great degree. There are many adventurous hikes that will push you to your limits. But there are also relatively easy trails that you can bring smaller kids to. Whatever your goal is for hiking, and however old your kids are, there is a trail to match your kind of adventure.
Are you looking for kid-friendly trails for the entire family?
This is a list of the top kid-friendly trails worth conquering, whether you have a day or more to spend.
1. Ta Nang – Phan Dung (Lam Dong, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan)
By far, this is among Vietnam’s most beautiful trekking path and is on the bucket list for many trekkers. The trail crosses three provinces’ forest regions: Lam Dong, Ninh Thuan, and Binh Thuan. The average trekking time could last three days. The starting point is Ta Nang ward (Lam Dong province), you will walk nearly 60 km in 3 days, 2 nights. Expect some challenge as there will be many changes in topography such as rivers, mountains, and forests. The height of the peak is 1100 meters. The fantastic and scenic natural views of green fields, pine forests, and mountains surrounded by fog and clouds will amaze you and your kids throughout the trip.
This trip features a range of terrain for anyone who enjoys nature and trekking. With a total of 35 km from the municipality of Ta Nang in Lam Dong County, you and your kids as explorers will have an unforgettable experience through pine forest, grassy mountains, tropical forests and wade across streams to the municipality of Phan Dung in Binh Thuan sea territory, from an altitude of 1100 meters to 500 meters above sea level. Since this trail is quite long, you can choose to trek only certain sections of it, depending on how many days you have to spare and how experienced your kids are when it comes to hiking.
Undoubtedly the top hiking destination in Vietnam, Sapa is home to a dense trail network. However, there is no single path that stands out from the rest. The various trais to explore along the way makes it possible to link paths and create the ideal walk for your level of skill. This is what makes this region so accessible and to be even dubbed as a family-friendly hiking destination. Sapa also boasts some of Vietnam’s most astounding mountain landscapes, a landscape of terraced rice paddies and beautiful mountain villages. It is the best place to go to enjoy stunning natural views with your kids.
Your adventure-looking kids will have the time of their lives in Sapa. Fan Si Pan is the highest mountain in Vietnam, the most prominent attraction in the area around Sapa. It is just 19 km from the city. Along this hike, you can uncover rare wildlife species that can only be found in this region of Vietnam. It will be fun for your kids to discover the wildlife during the hike as it will pique their curiosity.
From Sapa, you can easily walk around the tribal village to Ta Phin Village. Several hill-tribe villages are located in Ta Phin, from Sapa town it is about 30 minutes away. The other hiking trails in Sapa are Lao Chai and the village of Ta Van. You have the opportunity marvel at the spectacular mountain scenery and walk through traditional villages and the rice paddies around them. Your children will surely love to play around in these trails. The local villagers are hospitable and friendly.
3. En Cave (Quang Binh)
Over the past few years, En Cave, the third biggest cave in the world that features a diverse ecosystem, has become a famous trekking destination among tourists. It is the best hiking trail that you can visit with your kids, especially if you are keen to try something new. Located inside Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Forest, you have to overcome the challenge of primitive park topography while admiring amazing natural scenery. The route is approximately 8 km long, which takes you through several streams and small ethnic villages that your kids will enjoy. You will observe 300-year-old fossils lying deep down in the cave when you reach En cave. From En Cave, walk another 2 km to Son Doong Cave – the world’s most significantly known cross-section of cave passage.
The best time to do the trek is in the early months of the year, as the dry and cold weather in the middle region is excellent for hiking and trekking. It is best to avoid the trekking route during the rainy season. The route is short and less challenging, so you can easily enjoy it with your kids.
Ba Be National Park (Image by Lonely Planet)
4. Ba Be National Park
Kids are innately adventurous. And if you are planning on visiting hiking trails in Vietnam with your kids, then this is the best option for you. Ba Be National Park was founded in 1992 and is also known as Ba Be Lakes. The park also boasts of a rich biodiversity, with over 550 plant species, 65 mammal species, 353 butterflies, 233 birds, and over 100 fish species. Although some of the wildlife may be quite shy and hard to spot, it is easy to spot macaque monkeys, colorful parrots, and herons near the lake’s bank.
The park is centered on Vietnam’s most significant natural lake with beautiful landscapes including stunning valleys, thick rainforests, waterfalls, and steep limestone hills. Ba Be National Park has many hiking trails, too. A multi-day walk with your kids is the best way to experience and discover this fantastic region. These walks will lead you past waterfalls and caves, karst outcrops and fields of rice.
The best time for trekking Ba Be National Park is during the dry season. Trekking plus kayaking with more adventure and exercise is the best option for you and your kids. While trekking with your kids, you will meet a lot of locals and water buffalo along your way.
Cat Tien National Park
5. Cat Tien National Park
Cat Tien National Park, which spans 70,548 hectares in total land area, is a nature reserve situated in the province of Dong Nai, Lam Dong, and Binh Phuoc. With its rich and varied flora and fauna, the park is distinguished by its lowland tropical forest. UNESCO also recognizes Cat Tien as a “World Biosphere Reserve.”
It is the best option for you to visit with your kids if you like to see the best of Vietnam’s natural landscape. This park has so many attractions for your kids that they will surely enjoy it. For hiking and watching wildlife, head to Cat Tien National Park. Protecting ancient trees and an impressive number of wild animals, this is where gibbons, some of the 79 reptile species and about 400 brightly colored butterfly species can be spotted, if you’re lucky. Your kids will be attracted to the beautiful butterflies that can be found here. You may even catch a glimpse of a tiger or an elephant. You need to call in advance to make a reservation, however, as this park only accommodates a limited number of tourists or hikers per day.
Cat Tien National Park is an excellent place for those who want to get away from the bustling city life. It gives you a chance to return to nature, immerse yourself in the feeling of being surrounded by a thick rainforest, and hike with their kids.
Ba Na Hill
6. Ba Na Hill
Ba Na Hills is one of Vietnam’s latest and most interesting projects. It’s a mountain resort complex that looks like a medieval castle, but within these stone walls, there are contemporary accommodations, world-class restaurants, and a fantasy park full of interesting rides that your kids will enjoy.
The Ba Na Hills cable car system was completed in 2013 and maintains several Guinness World Records, including the largest station gap and the biggest elevation shift. The distance between Danang and the coast is impressive.
You may feel like you’re in the French Alps. The illusion is even more complete when the mists come in at night, or when the clouds cover the whole mountaintop. Considering that this resort is in Vietnam and at an altitude of 1,500 meters (4,921 feet), the cobblestone roads and European-style houses are extremely well-built. You and your kids will enjoy this enchanting place. And you should add Ba Na Hill on your list.
7. Mai Chau
Mai Chau is another recommended hiking trail or destination in Vietnam if you want to go on an adventure to the off-the-beaten path with your kids. Like many others on this list, Mai Chau is a notable trekking route that will give you a chance to explore the local villages that live among a field of rice paddies and mountains. As you make your way through the paddy fields, you will be greeted by friendly locals and farmers. This is your chance to see how the locals live and what they do for a living. This is a rare opportunity that you will get to experience only when you choose to hike beyond the usual tourist spots in Vietnam.
In general, Mai Chau offers casual hiking, which is ideal when you tag your kids along. it is a great destination for a day trip from Hoi An or Danang. So, when you are staying in any of these cities, you are sure to find it convenient to visit this hiking route with your kids and get a first-hand look at the authentic side of Vietnam.
This is another casual hiking trail that you should add to your list when looking for family-friendly hikes in Vietnam. Kids will love this site because it is known as the westernmost point of Vietnam and is very close to the border of Laos. If that is not enough to pique your child’s curiosity, maybe the promise of the most gorgeous sunset view in Vietnam will!
This hiking trail will start at 317 stations. Known as the “Enormous Land”, this is quite a long trek that can last for up to 5 hours, depending on your pace. You will be treated to the sight of Cortaderia Selloana fields, primitive forests, and other gorgeous natural landscapes. It’s guaranteed to bring out the excitement in your kids!
Which of these kid-friendly trails in Vietnam have you got your eye on? Remember that you need to research each trail thoroughly before you go. Even when certain trails are regarded as easy or kid-friendly, you can never underestimate nature. Bring a trail map, wear comfortable walking shoes, and always bring water with you!