A young family on the beach in central Vietnam by Aaron Joel Santos
Finding a family-friendly destination that both kids and parents can enjoy can be a challenge. A beach vacation is one of the few surefire bets that gives children the chance to run, splash and play in the surf. Whether you have a toddler in tow who loves to sculpt sandcastles or a teen hoping to learn to ride the waves, the beach has something to offer every age group. Meanwhile mom and dad have the chance to join in the fun or watch from the sidelines while basking in the tropical rays. Instead of a mad dash through a dozen cultural attractions, slip into a slower rhythm and spend the time enjoying one another’s company.
Officially known as Non Nước, the beach generally referred to as Mỹ Khê is often thought to be one of Vietnam’s most spectacular. Families looking for a cultural foray often head to Hội An or Hué for the day. The former is a mere 10-minute bus ride away from the beach, while the latter is a slightly longer, though still easily manageable journey.
While more remote beaches might have a certain draw, there’s a great deal to be said for ease of accessibility when small ones are along for the ride. For families seeking both solace by the sea and the faster paced thrills of urban life, this spot beach just steps from the city strikes a perfect balance. Funky shops and eateries ensure that kids never have the chance to get bored. After bedtime, parents can stroll down the promenade for a drink at one of the dozens of no-frills beachside cocktail bars.
Teenagers will love learning how to surf or boogie board on the crashing waves off the coast, while their younger siblings can watch from a safe distance on dry land. Because of its unique microclimate, Mũi Né receives less annual rainfall than the rest of the area, meaning fewer soggy afternoons cooped up and more family time in the sun.
Serene, sheltered bays carpeted with soft sands make this a great spot for a lazy family day by the ocean. There’s little to intrude upon your collective beach-bliss here, save for a few tasteful boutique resorts, all of which happily cater to young globetrotters.
As its name implies, this strip of golden coastline seems to stretch all the way to the horizon. Although its 20-kilometre expanse has attracted a number of boutique resorts, these sands bordered by coconut palms still feel peaceful. Placid waters mostly free from strong undertows make it easy for little legs to dance about in the shallows.
Framed by a turquoise lagoon on one side and the lapping waters of the ocean on the other, this petite peninsula offers more than 10 kilometres of sandy beach. With its idyllic setting and easily accessible location from Danang International Airport, the area is perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer stay.
Part of a 15-island archipelago mostly shielded from development by a national marine park, Côn Đảo Island appears to have been plucked from a postcard. With pearlescent sands bordered by tropical greenery and oftentimes nary a soul in sight, it seems almost too perfect to be true. The easiest way to get here is with a turboprop plane, but the relative solitude and the scenery more than justify the extra jaunt. Here, kids can be kids—let them splash and whoop without fear of disturbing other sunbathers.
Though many associate this area with the Grand Ho Tram Strip, an upscale casino and resort complex, there’s much more to do here than try your hand at the roulette table. Thanks to the development, Hồ Tràm sports several upscale accommodation options and the infrastructure needed to ensure smooth sailing on a family getaway.
Less crowded and less affected by erosion than nearby Cua Dai Beach, An Bang hits all the right notes. Not only is it easily reached from Danang International Airport, it’s also a short trip from the cultural attractions in Hội An. Spend the day with the kids playing by the sea, then head to the Old Quarter after dark to spy colourful lanterns and the gorgeous, glowing Japanese Bridge.