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  • Writer's pictureDorothee Perrault

Where should families spend time this summer in Vietnam? Our recommendation might surprise you...

Updated: Jun 20

Hội An and Huế are two of Vietnam's must-visit destinations, each with its own unique charm and history, they offer visitors a unique experience.

Often people feel like they have to choose one or the other - or think they'll just do Hoi An and Danang together and skip Hue all together!

Keep reading to hear more about Lucie's experience visiting these two famous cities plus learn which city comes out as our recommendation for you and your family to visit this summer.

PS Keep in mind that the summer is the best time of year to visit this central region. With so many options for families, this should definitely be on your to-visit list no matter what!

The Ghost village in Hue : an exceptional place with a rich history and captivating atmosphere. Abandoned after the Vietnam War, this village offers a glimpse into the country's tumultuous past.
The Ghost Village in Huế : a worthwhile site with a rich history. Abandoned after the Vietnam War, this village offers a glimpse into the country's tumultuous past.

Let's get to know Hội An and Huế!

Learning from self-experience :

Hi adventurers! My name's Lucie, I'm 24 and I've been on an internship in Vietnam for the last 2 months. And, like you, I asked myself this question whether to explore Hội An only or if I should also add Huế.

With 4 days to travel, I decided to spend 2 days in Hội An (including a 1 day by motorbike from Hội An to Huế,) and then 1 day in Huế. Before arriving in Vietnam I'd dreamt of visiting Hội An because I'd often seen photos of it on the internet. But when I arrived in Vietnam, I realized that Hội An often went hand in hand with Huế.

Not being a big fan of history I was hesitant if I wanted to fully commit Huế, but decided it was worth pushing myself out of my comfort zone even just a little bit to discover Huế. I will admit that I visited many touristy spots such as the citadel and the tombs, which are historical places not to be missed. But the incense village is pretty but does not give an authentic experience.

What I really loved during this trip were the natural areas and the spectacular views. Huế is full of hidden gems and so many travellers miss out on these great experiences. I do have some regrets that I didn't do as much as I could have:

Huế is most known for its rich historical and cultural heritage and is also home to some neglected but breathtakingly beautiful natural areas, in particular Bạch Mã National Park. Set in a picturesque mountainous area, the park offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Really, It's a precious aspect of this region that deserves to be highlighted to enrich the experience of discovering Huế. 

Next time I'll listen to Dorotheé's advice more because I wish I had focussed more of my time on off-the-beaten-path locations!

So without further ado....

Let’s explore these cities with Chôm Chôm Travel!

We promise you a unique trip, tailor-made to suit your family's needs, so children and parents alike will come away delighted! 

Hoi An versus Hue: the Central Vietnam duo!

Hi An is an incredibly charming port city, best known for its well-preserved architecture dating back to its golden age in the 17th and 18th centuries, fusing Chinese, Japanese, and European influences. Its cobbled streets and nostalgic ambiance create a unique picturesque and multicultural atmosphere.

Shopping enthusiasts will find plenty to tempt them, with a plethora of shops of all kinds, including linen clothing shops, made-to-measure clothing and footwear shops (as they are specialists in this field), and souvenir shops! You can also take the opportunity to explore the temples and pagodas or relax on the banks of the Thu Bồn River. It's a tourist city in Vietnam that can be interesting to explore by bike.

On the other hand, Huế is renowned for being a city steeped in history and culture as it's the former imperial capital of Vietnam. When visiting, you'll have the chance to explore the Imperial City, a vast architectural complex dating back to the time of the Vietnamese emperors, and visit sites such as the Pagoda of the Heavenly Lady and the tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh. Architecture fans will be fascinated by the ancient fortifications and well-preserved palaces.

Plus, I'm a fan of foodies as Huế's cuisine is renowned for its diversity and unique flavors, offering a true culinary adventure that you'll only experience in Huế.

Whether in Huế or Hội An, having a private local guide is the best way to get the most of local culture immersion.

Would I regret skipping Huế?

A rich culinary heritage

Discover Huế's refined imperial cuisine, with traditional dishes such as bún bò Huế (beef noodle soup flavored with herbs) and bánh khoái (crispy rice pancakes filled with prawns and pork), which will awaken your senses with their unique flavors. While here, we recommend immersing yourself in daily life by exploring the bustling markets, where you can observe local traditions and taste fresh local produce (most of which may be completely new to you if you're visiting Vietnam for the first time!

Lucie: How many times has Dorothée extolled the culinary virtues of the city of Huế? As someone who has traveled all over Vietnam, we have to believe her!  You can't miss it! 

Explore the local way of life

Explore the daily life of the people of Huế by venturing into its bustling markets, such as Đông Ba Market. Here you'll find a variety of local produce, from spices to handicrafts. Don't hesitate to mingle with the locals and observe their traditions and way of life. Discover the local way of life by bicycle in the Huế countryside. 

Discover Huế Citadel

We also recommend visiting the majestic Huế Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and exploring its ramparts, ornate gates, and well-preserved imperial palaces. If you're lucky enough to visit between 8 and 22 June, you'll be able to witness the famous Festival of Lights, a magical event that illuminates the citadel and celebrates its cultural heritage. 

The citadel of Hue:
The citadel of Huế
The citadel of Hue: a destination that also appeals to younger visitors.
A destination that also appeals to younger visitors.

Let one of our enthusiastic local guides take you on a tour of the historic city of Huế and the sunset over the lagoon. Book your trip here

Bach Ma National Park (Huế)

Bach Ma National Park, also known as Huế National Park in Vietnam, is a natural wonder. From the summit of Vong Hai Dai at 1430 meters, admire breathtaking panoramic views. From the valleys to the sea at Canh Duong in Huế and Lang Co in Da Nang, every corner of this area reveals a slice of pure natural beauty. It really is an unforgettable getaway for lovers of both adventure and tranquility.

Huế National Park offers a wide variety of landscapes, including Ngu Ho (Five Lakes), the Do Quyen waterfall surrounded by rhododendron flowers, and the Zen monastery of Truc Lam at the foot of Bach Ma mountain. Take the opportunity to discover a remarkable diversity of landscapes, from lush forests to crystal-clear rivers and magnificent waterfalls. 

A family day in Bach Ma National Park: precious moments in the heart of lush nature and majestic waterfalls.
A family day in Bach Ma National Park: creating special memories in nature. A majestic waterfall makes a unique backgdrop!

Bach Ma National Park has preserved more than 1,400 species of plants and there are many rare wild animals, including millions of species of birds and hundreds of monkeys. A visit to Bach Ma National Park will give you an invaluable chance to observe this precious flora and fauna.

Other activities 

Outside the citadel, Huế is full of historical and cultural sites to discover, such as royal tombs, ancient pagodas and traditional houses. You can also take part in Vietnamese cookery classes to learn how to prepare local dishes or relax on a cruise on the peaceful Perfume River, which runs through the city.

Our little traveller is proud of her first handmade flower!
Our little traveler from India is proud of her first handmade flower!

The Chom Chom Difference: Flower-making workshop 

If you're looking for an authentic and enriching experience in Huế, don't miss the opportunity to participate in a unique flower-making workshop. In this session, you will learn traditional techniques used to replicate the beauty and delicacy of natural flowers with paper. From the selection of paper to the application of color nuances, each step of the creative process will allow you to create something unique!

What makes this workshop even more special is its commitment to inclusion and empowerment. The majority of the staff consists of people with disabilities, some of whom suffer from osteomyelitis, hearing impairments, or speech impairments. Their contribution to the workshop adds a unique dimension to the experience, highlighting the strength and diversity of the local community.

Getting exposure to deaf and mute people and learning from them was very interesting. It helps children understand the importance of inclusivity and that anyone can learn anything. - Sravanthi & Family - Chôm Chôm Travelers in 2024.

Don't miss out on Huế Festival Light!

During the Huế Festival 2024, the famous Festival of Lights will illuminate the city from 8 to 22 June, from 6 pm to 10 pm. This emblematic event of the festival, a true symbol of the harmony between tradition and modernity, invites residents and visitors to come together for a unique cultural experience. To mark the occasion, activities featuring international artistic troupes will take place, offering a colorful and diverse spectacle.


Beyond the visual aspect, the Festival of Lights also offers a diverse program of cultural events, art shows, and musical performances. Local and international artists perform throughout the city, offering visitors a total immersion in the cultural richness of Huế and Vietnam.

Among the highlights of the Festival of Lights are colorful parades featuring traditional costumes, theatrical performances, folk dance shows, and martial arts demonstrations. Visitors can also take part in craft workshops, local food tastings, and contemporary art exhibitions.

In addition to its festive aspect, the Festival of Lights in Huế has a spiritual and symbolic dimension, underlining the importance of light in Vietnamese culture and the profound meaning of illumination and transformation.

Discover Hội An - An Ideal Destination for Slow Travel

After exploring the historical and cultural charms of Huế, it's time to discover the picturesque port city of Hội An. Once you've immersed yourself in the history and authenticity of Huế, immerse yourself in the multicultural atmosphere of Hội An, where Chinese, Japanese, and European influences blend harmoniously.

A Cycling Adventure in Hoi An is what works best with family!

Timeless architecture

Immerse yourself in the past as you stroll through the narrow streets of Hội An, where centuries-old architecture transports you to a bygone era. The wooden and brick houses, adorned with colorful lanterns, tell the fascinating story of this port city. Every evening, Hội An lights up with a magical glow thanks to its thousands of colorful lanterns.

Exquisite cuisine

Let your taste buds travel with Hội An's delicious cuisine. From local delicacies like Cao Lầu to Mì Quảng or Bánh Xèo, the town offers a gastronomic experience like no other. Don't miss the fun private cooking class to take some of Hội An's culinary magic home with you.

Take this chance and let your kid be a chef in Hoi An - they'll remember this moment for life.

Serenity by the Sea

Close to pristine white sandy beaches, Hội An offers a peaceful haven to relax and recharge. Soak up the sun on An Bang beach or dive into the waters of Cua Dai for the perfect seaside getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.

As you may have gathered, Hội An is a very touristy town with a lot of media coverage, but it's no less charming for all that.

To escape the crowds, Chôm Chôm Travel invites you to immerse yourself in the picturesque landscape, in the company of our experienced local guides. By bike or motorbike, you will discover the talent of local craftsmen who preserve age-old traditional techniques.

Huế vs Hội An: which one will win your heart?

In a duel between Huế and Hội An, determining the winner really depends on what you're looking for in your trip. 

But in our opinion, if you have to choose, spend a little more time in Huế than in Hội An, but don't leave either city out! 

Huế offers deep cultural immersion, a rich gastronomic experience, and a variety of interesting activities. Hội An is for those seeking a more relaxed and romantic atmosphere. In both cases, you'll discover the beauty and richness of Vietnam uniquely.

Choose this agency with your eyes closed, but keep them wide open during the excursions. Unforgettable moments! Thank you to the whole team. I will share your contact. - David and Family - Chôm Chôm Travelers in 2024.

With our Epic 2-Day Motorbike Adventure from Huế to Hội Anprogram, turn your journey between Huế and Hội An into a discovery! 

All our programs are tested and approved by us. Take off on an ADVENTURE with your family in complete safety! Our adventures are child-friendly! 

Book your stay today and leave with peace of mind! 

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