3 Ideas for Vietnam and Cambodia Itinerary – How Long to Stay?

Are you planning a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia but not sure about the ideal duration? In this blog, I will share with you three exciting itinerary ideas to help you make the most of your time in these captivating countries. Whether you have 13 days, 15 days, or even longer I have got you covered with carefully crafted Vietnam and Cambodia itinerary suggestions that showcase the best of these two countries.

How long to spend in Vietnam and Cambodia?

how long to spend in Vietnam and Cambodia
Infogarphic to help you choose which Vietnam and Cambodia itinerary is suit you most

The number of days you need for a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia depends on your travel preferences, interests, and the specific places you wish to visit. However, as a general guideline, a minimum of 10 to 14 days is recommended to get a meaningful experience in both countries. This timeframe allows you to explore key destinations and immerse yourself in the rich cultural and historical attractions these countries have to offer.

For a more comprehensive journey, a duration of 2 to 3 weeks (14 to 21 days) is ideal. This allows you to delve deeper into the local culture, visit a wider range of destinations, and have a more relaxed pace during your trip. You can explore iconic sites such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, and Siem Reap with its stunning temples in Cambodia. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to visit natural wonders like Halong Bay in Vietnam and the beautiful beaches of Cambodia’s southern coast.

If you have limited time for travel, you can still have a meaningful experience with a shorter trip of about 7 to 10 days. It’s best to focus on one country or combine a part of others instead of trying to cover both countries. You can choose to explore Vietnam and Cambodia, or just one of these countries. By doing so, you can delve deeper into the local culture, history, and attractions of that specific country.

>>> Check out this list of Vietnam and Cambodia tour packages to find more ideas

Vietnam and Cambodia 17 Days Itinerary

This 17-day itinerary allows you to experience the highlights of both Vietnam and Cambodia while providing ample time for exploration and relaxation. From the vibrant streets of Hanoi to the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, every moment promises an adventure worth cherishing. Our meticulously crafted Vietnam and Cambodia itinerary ensures you make the most of your visit.

local life in Mekong Delta
Local life at Mekong Delta in September

1 Hanoi arrival and free night.AirplaneHanoi
2Full-day city tour for sightseeing and experiencing local life.CarHanoi
3Transfer to Halong Bay. Overnight cruise.Shuttle bus & cruiseHalong Bay
4Morning cruise, transfer to Hanoi.Cruise & shuttle busHanoi
5 Fly to Hue and enjoy Hue specialties for dinner.AirplaneHue
6Full-day Hue city tour to see the highlight destinations.CarHue
7Transfer to Hoi An The journey crosses through the picturesque Ocean Clouds Mountain PassCarHoi An
8– Half-day city tour to explore the traditional structure.
– Relax and explore Hoi An at your own speed or go outskirts to escape the crowd.
CarHoi An
9Flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Half-day city tour to see the landmarks in.AirplaneHo Chi Minh City
10Explore Cu Chi Tunnels CarHo Chi Minh City
11-12Boat tour along the Mekong DeltaCruise & sampanMekong Delta
13-14Fight to Phnom Penh. Full-day city tour.Airplane & carPhnom Penh
15-16Transfer to Siem Reap. Take a day trip to Angkor Wat and explore the suburbs.Car & tuk tukSiem Reap
17Leisure stroll and depart Siem ReapAirplaneSiem Reap
Highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia 17 days tour

Day 1 – 2: Hanoi Arrival and City Tour

Arrival in Hanoi: Begin your odyssey in the vibrant capital of Vietnam, where French colonial architecture blends seamlessly with traditional Vietnamese charm.

City Tour Highlights: Explore the bustling Old Quarter, witness the solemnity of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and indulge in the flavors of authentic Vietnamese cuisine.

Local Experiences: Immerse yourself in the rhythm of local life with a visit to the local market as Cho Troi and a leisurely stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake.

Day 3 – 4: Halong Cruise Adventure

Embark on a Halong Cruise: Set sail on the emerald waters of Halong Bay, where limestone karsts tower majestically against the horizon.

Cruise Highlights: Kayak through hidden caves, visit floating fishing villages, and marvel at the ethereal beauty of Sung Sot Cave.

Cultural Insights: Engage with local fishermen and learn about their traditional way of life, deeply rooted in the maritime heritage of Vietnam.

Day 5 – 6: Explore Hue’s Royal Legacy

Royal Structures: Discover the grandeur of the Imperial Citadel and the serenity of the Thien Mu Pagoda, icons of Vietnam’s royal legacy.

– City Tour: Wander through the labyrinthine alleyways of the Forbidden Purple City and uncover hidden gems tucked away in Hue’s historic neighborhoods.

Day 7 – 8: Hoi An’s Timeless Charm

Wander Hoi An Ancient Town: Step back in time as you meander through the cobblestone streets of Hoi An, adorned with colorful lanterns and preserved merchant houses.

Cultural Immersion: Participate in a hands-on lantern-making workshop, savor the delectable flavors of Cao Lau, and immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance of the Japanese Covered Bridge.

Relaxation: Unwind on the pristine shores of An Bang Beach, where the azure waters of the South China Sea beckon.

Day 9 – 10: Ho Chi Minh highlights

Flight to Ho Chi Minh City: Descend upon the bustling metropolis formerly known as Saigon, where modern skyscrapers stand in stark contrast to colonial-era landmarks.

– Landmark Tour: Pay homage to the War Remnants Museum, marvel at the Neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral, and delve into the depths of the Cu Chi Tunnels.

– Historical Insights: Gain a deeper understanding of Vietnam’s tumultuous past through immersive exhibits and firsthand accounts of wartime experiences.

Day 11 – 12: Mekong Delta Discovery

Boat Tour: Navigate the labyrinthine waterways of the Mekong Delta, where life unfolds at a gentle pace amidst verdant rice paddies and swaying palm trees.

– Sampans and Floating Villages: Cruise along the Mekong River aboard a traditional sampan, encountering floating markets bustling with activity and serene rural landscapes.

– Local Encounters: Interact with friendly locals as you visit riverside villages, where age-old traditions of artisanal crafts and agricultural practices continue to thrive.

Day 13 – 14: Unveiling Phnom Penh’s History

– Flight to Phnom Penh: Cross the border into Cambodia and arrive in the capital city, Phnom Penh.

Historical Exploration: Embark on a poignant journey through Cambodia’s tumultuous past with visits to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the haunting Killing Fields.

– Cultural Immersion: Dive into the vibrant tapestry of Cambodian culture with a stroll along the bustling riverfront promenade and a visit to the resplendent Royal Palace.

Day 15 – 17: Angkor Wat & Siem Reap Exploration

– Transfer to Siem Reap: Journey to the crown jewel of Cambodian heritage, Siem Reap, gateway to the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor.

– Angkor Wat Discovery: Marvel at the architectural splendor of Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, and witness the ethereal beauty of sunrise over its ancient spires.

– Exploration Beyond Angkor: Venture into the lesser-known temples of Ta Prohm and Bayon, where nature intertwines with history in a mesmerizing dance.

– Suburban Excursions: Delve into the rural heartland of Cambodia with a visit to the floating villages of Tonle Sap Lake, where stilted houses and floating markets offer a glimpse into traditional Khmer life.

Departure: Bid farewell to the enchanting landscapes and warm hospitality of Vietnam and Cambodia, carrying with you memories that will last a lifetime.

>>> View tour details: Splendors Of Vietnam & Cambodia 17 Days

Vietnam Cambodia in 15 Days

If you have fewer days, you can choose to visit Vietnam and Cambodia in two weeks and still have a fulfilling travel experience. While it may require some careful planning and prioritization, you can cover key highlights in both countries during this timeframe. Consider spending more time in Hanoi and Siem Reap to fully absorb the cultural and historical significance of these cities. Additionally, you might choose to visit either Halong Bay or Hoi An, depending on your personal preferences.

Sapa rice terrace
The stunning rice terraces in Sapa
1Hanoi arrivalAirplane & carHanoi
2 Transfer to Halong and have an overnight cruiseShuttle bus & cruiseHalong
3Morning activities on Halong cruise. Return to Hanoi and take a night train to SapaCruise, car & trainTrain
4 Sapa arrive and trek to Muong Hoa valley and Ta Van village for stunning rice terracesCarSapa
5Trek through villages and interact with local people. Night train to HanoiCar & TrainOn train
6 Hanoi half-day city tour to see highlight sites. Flight to HueCar & airplaneHue
7Hue full-day city tour CarHue
8 Arrive at Hoi An ancient town and walk through Old QuaterCarHoi An
9My Son half day tourCarHoi An
10Hoi An full free dayCarHoi An
11Hoi An half-free day. Transfer to Da Nang airport to flight to Siem ReapCar & airplaneSiem Reap
12A glimpse of Angkor and visit Ta Prohm & Banteay KdeiCarSiem Reap
13Visit the quiet temple of Beng Mealea and boat tour to Tonle Sap LakeCar & boatSiem Reap
14Siem Reap city tour to see highlight sitesCarSiem Reap
15Morning visit to Banteay Srei and departureCar & airplane
Highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia tour in 15 days

Day 1: Hanoi arrival

Arrival in Hanoi: Begin your journey in the vibrant capital city of Hanoi, where centuries-old temples, bustling markets, and aromatic street food stalls await.

City Highlights: Dive into the heart of Hanoi with a city tour around the bustling Old Quarter.

Day 2: Hanoi – Halong Bay

Scenic Journey: Depart for the mesmerizing Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its emerald waters and towering limestone karsts.

– Cruise Experience: Embark on a luxurious cruise through the bay, where you’ll spend the day kayaking, swimming, and exploring hidden caves.

Day 3: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Night train to Sapa

Morning Excursion: Wake up to the breathtaking beauty of Halong Bay and enjoy a morning of leisure on board your cruise ship.

– Return to Hanoi: Bid farewell to Halong Bay and return to Hanoi, where you’ll catch a train to Sapa, a picturesque town nestled in the Hoang Lien Son Mountains.

Day 4 – 5: Sapa trekking adventure through villages – Night train to Hanoi

– Exploration: Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Sapa as you embark on a trekking adventure through the region’s lush valleys and terraced rice fields.

– Cultural Encounters: Interact with local H’mong and Red Dao ethnic minority communities, learning about their traditional way of life and unique customs.

Night train to Hanoi: After finishing the trekking tour in Sapa, you will be back to Lao Cai to catch the night train back to Hanoi.

Day 6: Hanoi half-day city tour – Airport – Flight to Hue

Morning Sightseeing: Spend the morning exploring the highlights of Hanoi, including the Ho Chi Minh Complex and Vietnamese Women’s Museum.

– Flight to Hue: After the tour, our driver will pick you up to get to the airport for your flight to Hue, where you’ll discover the ancient Imperial Citadel and the serene Thien Mu Pagoda.

Day 7: Full-day Hue city tour

Historical Exploration: Delve into Hue’s rich history with a full-day tour of the Citadel in this former Imperial City with many well-preserved royal monuments in Hue.

– Cultural Insights: Gain insight into Hue’s cultural heritage with visits to local market and take a boat cruise along the Huong River.

Day 8: Hue – Danang – Hoi An

– Transfer to Hoi An: Journey to the charming town of Hoi An, where you’ll be captivated by its ancient architecture and riverside charm.

Walking Tour: Explore the UNESCO-listed Old Town, visiting attractions such as the Japanese Covered Bridge and the Quan Cong Temple.

Day 9: Hoi An – My Son half-day tour

Cultural Excursion: After breakfast, you take the half-day private tour to discover the My Son Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site showcasing the remnants of the ancient Cham civilization.

Beach Relaxation: Spend the afternoon soaking up the sun on the pristine shores of An Bang Beach, indulging in water sports or simply lounging by the sea.

Day 10: Free Leisure Day in Hoi An

– Relaxation: Enjoy a leisurely day at your own pace, exploring Hoi An’s quaint streets, shopping for souvenirs, or simply relaxing at a sidewalk cafe.

– Cultural Experiences: Dive into Hoi An’s vibrant culinary scene with a cooking class, or opt for a bicycle tour through the surrounding countryside.

Day 11: Hoi An half-free day – Danang airport – Flight to Siem Reap

Morning Exploration: Spend the morning exploring Hoi An’s hidden gems or relaxing at your hotel before catching a flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Day 12 – 15: Angkor Wat Discovery and Suburban Excursions

Arrival in Siem Reap: Upon your arrival, our local driver and tour guide will be there to pick you up. We will then head to the central town for your hotel. You will have the rest of the day to yourself.

– Angkor Wat Exploration: Discover the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor Wat, Bayon, and Ta Prohm, where ancient ruins are intertwined with towering trees.

Cultural Immersion: Experience the vibrant culture of Cambodia with a traditional Apsara dance performance, explore the floating villages of Tonle Sap Lake, and visit the intricately carved temples of Banteay Srei.

– Departure: Bid farewell to the wonders of Vietnam and Cambodia, filled with unforgettable memories and experiences that will last a lifetime.

View tour details: Vietnam & Cambodia Holiday 15 Days

Discovery Southern Vietnam and Cambodia in 13 days

For a shorter 13-day itinerary, it becomes necessary to be more selective with your destinations. A suggested approach would be to focus on either Vietnam or Cambodia for the majority of your trip. In Vietnam, you can focus on southern regions, while in Cambodia you can explore Phnom Penh, Battambang, and Siem Reap. This way, you can soak in the essence of one country while still experiencing its cultural and historical highlights.

Monk in Ta Prohm temple
Explore the mystery of Ta Prohm temple
1Ho Chi Minh City arrivalAirplaneHo Chi Minh City
2Ho Chi Minh city tourCarHo Chi Minh City
3Visit Cao Dai temple and explore Cu Chi TunnelsCarHo Chi Minh City
4Mekong Delta River cruise CruiseOn cruise
5Sightseeing life on the waterSampan boatChau Doc
6Cruise through the border towards Phnom Penh. Half-day city tourCruise & carPhnom Penh
7Depart for Battambang and visit craft villages to witness the crowd’s daily lifeCarBattambang
8Battambang exploration to see the main spots and visit the bustling local marketCar Battambang
9Transfer to Siem Reap and take a tuk-tuk ride to visit Les Artisans d’AngkorCar Siem Reap
10Explore the Angkor ComplexCar Siem Reap
11Visit Banteay Srei and Ta Prohm located on the outskirtsCar Siem Reap
12Visit Roluos Group and Beng Mealea which is a lesser-known templeCar Siem Reap
13Siem Reap departureAirplane

Day 1 – 2: Ho Chi Minh City Arrival and City Tour

Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City: Begin your journey in the bustling metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City, where the echoes of history mingle with the vibrant energy of modern life.

– City Exploration: Dive into the heart of the city with a guided tour that takes you to iconic landmarks such as the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the historic Ben Thanh Market.

Day 3: Visit Cao Dai temple and Cu Chi tunnels

Spiritual Journey: Venture to the mystical Cao Dai Temple, where you’ll witness the unique fusion of Buddhist, Taoist, Confucian, and Christian beliefs.

– Historical Insights: Explore the intricate network of underground tunnels at the Cu Chi Tunnels, gaining insight into Vietnam’s wartime history and the resilience of its people.

Day 4 – 5: Mekong Delta Cruise and Rural Life

– Adventure: Set sail on a scenic cruise along the Mekong Delta, where you’ll discover lush landscapes, floating markets, and traditional villages.

– Local Encounters: Immerse yourself in the rhythms of rural life as you visit local fruit orchards, rice paddies, and artisanal workshops, engaging with friendly locals along the way.

Day 6: Cross the Border to Phnom Penh

Border Crossing: Journey across the border into Cambodia, where you’ll arrive in the vibrant capital city of Phnom Penh.

– Historical Exploration: Dive into Cambodia’s rich history with visits to the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and the poignant Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.

Day 7 – 8: Battambang Discovery

bamboo train in Battambang
Experience the bamboo train in Battambang

– Exploration: Visit the lovely town of Battambang, which is known for its colonial architecture, ancient temples, and beautiful countryside. To start your adventure, take a scenic drive along the Sangker River, where you’ll find green landscapes and charming villages along the riverbanks.

– Cultural Immersion: Explore the highlights of Battambang, including the Bamboo Train, Phnom Sampeau, and the captivating Phare Ponleu Selpak Circus.

Highlight Sites: Discover Battambang’s cultural landmarks, including the Phnom Sampeau, Wat Ek Phnom, and Provincial Museum, where you’ll gain insight into Cambodia’s tumultuous history. Drive to Phnom Banon and enjoy a magnificent view of the surrounding plains until sunset.

– Local Markets in Prahoc: Discover the energetic atmosphere of Prahoc Market, where locals come together to buy and sell fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, and handcrafted items.

Day 9 – 13: Siem Reap and Angkor Wat Exploration

Arrival in Siem Reap: Journey to the gateway of the ancient Khmer empire, Siem Reap, where the majestic temples of Angkor Wat await.

– Temple Exploration: Spend your days exploring the sprawling temple complex of Angkor, including iconic sites such as Bayon, Ta Prohm, and Banteay Srei. Don’t miss Beng Mealea temple if you are looking for a lesser-known temple without crowds.

– Cultural Experiences: Immerse yourself in Cambodian culture with a traditional Apsara dance performance, a visit to the floating villages of Tonle Sap Lake, and a taste of authentic Khmer cuisine.

>>> View tour details: Discovery Southern Vietnam & Cambodia 13 days

In conclusion, crafting the Vietnam and Cambodia itinerary is an exciting experience that lets you fully immerse yourself in the rich cultures, awe-inspiring landscapes, and historical wonders of these two captivating countries. Whether you have 17 days, 15 days, or 13 days to spare, there are tailored options to suit your available time and travel preferences. You can request a quote by emailing us at [email protected] or filling out our contact form. We’ll respond within 12 hours.

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