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12-Day Southeast Asia Itinerary 2024: Top 5 Options With Maps

By RitaUpdated Dec. 30, 2023

Is 12 days enough for Southeast Asia? With careful planning, yes.

If you just like to see as many different countries as you can, try Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam in 12 days. In these three neighboring countries, you can immerse yourself in the most distinctive Southeast Asian charm from rich culture to tropical islands.

For a more relaxing pace, visiting 2 neighboring countries is more recommended. Thailand-Vietnam, Vietnam-Cambodia, and Singapore-Indonesia(Bali) are highly welcomed by couples and families.

Read further to get more top-notch options for inspiration. We're also happy to customize them as per your interests.  

Itinerary 1: 12-Day Essential Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam Tour

Known as the epitome of Southeast Asia, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam stand out as the first-time destinations. This itinerary would give you a glimpse of their iconic highlights: photo-worthy tropical islands, Angkor Wat and Halong Bay.

The outline and highlights below are for your inspiration:

  • Days 1–4: Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
  • Days 5–7: Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Days 8–9: Bangkok, Thailand
  • Days 10–12: Phuket, Thailand
Vietnam Map

4 Days in Vietnam

In Vietnam, you'll mainly focus on Hanoi and Halong Bay. In Hanoi, pass through the Old Quarter by a local cyclo, taste a bowl of Pho at a street vendor and watch a traditional water puppet show.

Then venture into Halong Bay for an overnight stay. Away from day-trippers, swim/kayak in the less-crowded areas and embrace the serenity with sunsets/sunrises.

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3 Days in Cambodia

Continue your journey to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Marvel at the intricate architecture of Angkor Wat, take a boat trip to see stilted houses of a floating village and take in a cooking class at a local family. Don't miss the enchanting Apsara Dance Performance for a magical night.

5 Days in Thailand

Touch down in the bustling city of Bangkok, where the modern meets the traditional. Walk into the magnificent Grand Palace, take a longtail boat along the ancient canals and watch a Muay Thai match.

After a week of exploration, conclude your journey with a beach retreat. You can choose Phuket for easily access and rich water activities or Koh Samui for tranquil vibe.

If you look for a more in-depth exploration of these three countries, you can check our extended 15-day and 19-day Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam tours.

Itinerary 2: 12-Day Family Trip to Vietnam and Thailand

Packed with kid-friendly activities, this itinerary is ideal for families, especially those with teenagers.

To perfectly blend exploration and relaxation, your trip will start from Vietnam and top off on Thailand's beach.

Here is the itinerary for your reference:

  • Days 1–2: Hanoi sightseeing
  • Days 3–4: A Halong Bay cruise
  • Days 5–6: Hoi An exploration
  • Days 7–8: Discover Ho Chi Minh City
  • Day 9: Bangkok sightseeing
  • Days 10–12: Phuket beach time
Classic Vietnam and Thailand Tour Map

You and your family can take a foodie adventure by cyclo and watch a water puppet show in Hanoi.

As for the Halong Bay cruise, parents can get some leisure moments while kids can engage in water activities like kayaking and swimming.

In Hoi An, children will love the thrilling basket-boat ride and the Vietnamese fishing experience. You and your kids can also have interactive experiences in a cooking class at a local family and create a paper lantern together in a traditional workshop.

For something educational, learn about the Vietnam War as you squeeze your way through the historical Cu Chi tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City.

Finally, immerse yourselves in the vibrant Bangkok before unwinding on the sun-kissed beaches of Phuket.

In Phuket, enjoy leisure time at a beachside bungalow, hop between islands like Koh Phi Phi and James Bond Island, and embrace adventure with a jungle zipline experience.

Itinerary 3: 12-Day Romantic Getaway to Vietnam and Cambodia 

If you are looking for a cultural immersion with romantic experiences, take this itinerary.

Cambodia is a great place to experience rustic life and see the UNESCO-listed Angkor Wat. In Phnom Penh, you'll learn the dark history and take a sunset cruise on the Mekong River. In Siem Reap, besides the amazing sunset balloon ride, you and your partner can attend a blessing ceremony together by local monks.

In Vietnam, a private junk would enhance your Halong Bay experience. You and your partner would have more one-of-a-kind experiences in postcard-perfect Hoi An: an ancient town walking tour, Vietnamese clothing try-on experience and pottery-making experiences.

A classic route is suggested below for your inspiration: 7 days in Vietnam and 5 days in Cambodia.

  • Days 1–2: Phnom Penh, Cambodia (city tour with its iconic Royal Palace)
  • Days 3–5: Siem Reap, Cambodia (Angkor Wat walking tour, and a sunset balloon ride)
  • Days 6–7: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam with a day trip to the Mekong Delta
  • Days 8–9: Hoi An, Vietnam
  • Day 10: Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Days 11–12 Ha Long Bay cruise
Cambodia and Vietnam Highlights tour map

Itinerary 4: 12-Day Relaxation Trip to Thailand and Cambodia

If you're an active traveler with a love for elephants, this itinerary is best for you. You'll tick off the classic highlights of Thailand and Cambodia: bustling Bangkok, cultural Chiang Mai, tropical Phuket and Angkor Wat.  

In this itinerary, Chiang Mai is one of the highlights. You'll delight in the traditional Thai massages, the Loy Krathong festival (often in November) and an elephant sanctuary. If you want to add a thrilling touch, go for a zip-lining through the rainforest and trek through the long-neck tribes.

You can see the following itinerary for inspiration:

  • Days 1–3: Bangkok (Grand Palace, renowned temples, a railway market, a longtail boat ride, a foodie tour)
  • Days 4–6: Siem Reap (Angkor Wat, 1-hour sunset quad ride, a boat trip on Tonle Sap lake)
  • Days 7–9: Chiang Mai (Elephant Rescue Park, Thai cooking class, flower market, temples, zip-lining through the rainforest)
  • Days 10–12: Phuket (beach time and seaside activities)
Thailand and Cambodia tour map

Itinerary 5: 12-Day Summer Escape to Singapore and Bali

Looking to avoid the Southeast Asian rainy season (May to October)? Consider Singapore and Bali for your getaway. From the futuristic skylines of Singapore to the cultural haven of Ubud in Bali, and finally, the sun-kissed beaches, this itinerary offers a perfect balance of culture and relaxation.

  • Days 1–3: Singapore
  • Days 4–7: Ubud, Bali
  • Days 8–12: Beach time, Bali
Singapore and bali map

Start your 12-day Southeast Asian adventure in Singapore, a popular gateway to the region. Spend 3 days exploring futuristic skylines, enjoying the night safari, and savoring vibrant street foods.

Then, escape to Bali for the remaining 9 days. In central Bali—Ubud, take a jungle yoga class, swing through the sky, and indulge in Balinese royal high tea and spa. Active travelers can try white water rafting, watch a sunrise on volcanic Mt. Batur, and bike around the rice field. For a family with kids, go to a chocolate factory and make your chocolate together.

Your trip will finish at the sun-kissed beaches in Bali. Party-seekers would love Semingyak, while Nusa Dua and Sanur offer more family-friendly hotels and activities. If you prefer a tranquil and luxurious vibe, go to Uluwatu.

How Much is a 12-Day Southeast Asia Tour?

For a 12-day Southeast Asia tour, it usually costs US$200-250 per person per day on a private basis. Therefore, your family of 2 adults and 2 kids can expect to spend around US$7,800–10,200. If it's just the two of you, as a couple, the budget would range from approximately US$4,800–6,000.

Travel with us to enjoy our exclusive customized private tours. Save from overwhelming planning logistics, discover Southeast Asia worry-free with our highly-praised private guide and driver, and surprise your loved one(s) with our special arrangements on big days!

Contact Us for Booking

You are warmly welcomed to have us customize your trip based on your group size, interests, and other needs. Sit back and use our Create My Trip service.

In addition to the above itineraries, we also have other itineraries you may be interested in:

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Get Inspired with Some Popular Itineraries

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