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Hoi An vs Hanoi -- Which is "child friendly"?

  • placeshifter

    Joined Travelfish
    26th July, 2010
    Posts: 22

    We have a 3 year old who loves to run around outside all day, all night, esp. in grassy environments.

    Which would be a better place for a family to spent a few weeks in, Hoi An or Hanoi?

    #1 Posted: 28/7/2010 - 21:14

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  • NYTim

    Joined Travelfish
    11th September, 2009
    Posts: 106
    Total reviews: 2

    Hoi An is probably better for children as there is some open spaces mainly beaches; however, Hanoi has lots of lovely parks and late front public spaces.

    #2 Posted: 28/7/2010 - 21:47

  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 887
    Total reviews: 2

    I agree that Hoi An might be a tad better, but I suggest you put one of those child leashes on the 3 yr old before you let him run around Vietnam. The Vietnamese are child lovers, so he will be very well looked after - it's the traffic and confusion that worries me.

    #3 Posted: 30/7/2010 - 02:06

  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
    31st December, 2007
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 2043
    Total reviews: 20
    Places visited:
    At least 107

    "it's the traffic and confusion that worries me." My thoughts, too!

    Hanoi, whilst a fascinating city the traffic is..... a nightmare! I think it would be hard for you to relax with a young toddler running around.

    Hoi An is somewhat more laid back, and it is easy to get out of the main town and onto quieter country roads for bicycle rides, walking, etc. And I there are some good beaches nearby. They close off the roads to motorised vehicles in the central historical area several days a week (or is it everyday now?)which will make for a safer experience for your child, and probably more relaxing for you! Be sure to cross over the bridge from the main town to explore.

    #4 Posted: 30/7/2010 - 03:58

  • placeshifter

    Joined Travelfish
    26th July, 2010
    Posts: 22

    Thank you! Hoi An sounds great.

    Off optic, is it as touristy and an artificial 'tourist trap' as they say it is?

    I would imagine there must be parts that are more local, esp. if you get out into the nearby countryside, where you can get a a more local flavor if you stay a few weeks?

    #5 Posted: 30/7/2010 - 15:16

  • CharleyNoir

    Joined Travelfish
    7th July, 2010
    Posts: 8

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    One man's tourist trap is another's paradise destination. But for my money, it's every bit as touristy and artificial as 'they' say it is...

    #6 Posted: 30/7/2010 - 15:36

  • rawjer

    Joined Travelfish
    20th January, 2010
    Posts: 104
    Total reviews: 9

    Many people seem to think Hoi An is "too touristy" and I still can't quite understand it, although I do accept it's the way they felt.

    The old city center is a wonderfully preserved (not pre-fabricated) Chinese-influenced fishing village, as well as a UNESCO Heritage site. There are many souvenir shops selling art objects and so forth, along with dozens of restaurants and a few bars. I absolutely loved it and I would say it was the highlight of my 4-month Vietnam trip earlier this year.

    After speaking to many people, some of whom didn't care for Hoi An, I have concluded that most of those who don't like it actually stayed in or near the Old town area. And nearly all of those who stayed a bit outside of it, in the area that is similar to all other tourist cities in Vietnam, really love the place.

    My guess is that those who stay in that area tend to never leave it, and it does have a bit of a Disney feel to it. And those who stay outside the Old Town area have most of their meals and spend most of their time in the "real Vietnam," and only visit the really touristy area part of the time.

    #7 Posted: 30/7/2010 - 16:27

  • Nokka

    Joined Travelfish
    6th April, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 259

    Yes, it is touristy, but extremely difficult not to like.

    #8 Posted: 30/7/2010 - 17:41

  • KazAussie

    Joined Travelfish
    18th July, 2009
    Posts: 221

    My vote would be Hoi An . Hanoi is lovely but it is just a city. If you a flying in or out through there then a day or so would be okay. At Hoi An however you not only have the lovely town, but the nearby beach is also great and there are lots of day trips you can do... My Son, Marble Mountain, Danang, China Beach etc.... seems to me a lot more appealing to children.

    To touristy.... perhaps, but there is good reason for it. It is a great place with plenty to see and do.

    #9 Posted: 31/7/2010 - 16:06

  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 887
    Total reviews: 2

    I would imagine there must be parts that are more local, esp. if you get out into the nearby countryside, where you can get a a more local flavor if you stay a few weeks?

    All you need do is walk a few blocks away from the main tourist trail and you will find the real Vietnam - even in heavily touristed Hoi An or Sapa. Notice I said walk, and not ride!

    #10 Posted: 2/8/2010 - 23:36

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  • violets

    Joined Travelfish
    6th July, 2009
    Posts: 150
    Total reviews: 28

    I noticed a few families staying at the Army hotel in Hanoi; it has a big grassy area and is on a quiet, dead end street. there are also areas like the temple of Literature and Lenin Park where a small child could safely run around. And there are green areas in lots of places.

    While Hoi An is quieter i can't think of similar areas where a child could run around. The streets are only cut off at night so not very useful for you. Of all the places in Vietnam Hoi An is one of the hardest to find anything resembling ordinary Vietnamese life. You can get a ferry over to one of the little islands, walk down the path by the river toward the Red Bridge restaurant or walk across the Cam Nam bridge and wander around the quiet streets (though you might see more expat life there.) I understand you can do a homestay on the cham islands. They have no electricity bu it's quiet and the water is very clean.

    #11 Posted: 3/8/2010 - 09:04

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