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Southeast Asia Itinerary for 3 Weeks: Best 5 Ideas in 2024

By Chris QuanUpdated Mar. 15, 2024

A 3-week Southeast Asia adventure is the perfect duration, allowing you to delve into the region's treasures without feeling rushed. Depending on your travel preferences, you can immerse yourself in the highlights of 2-4 countries.

With over 20 years of expertise in curating private tours, our seasoned travel advisors are eager to assist you in maximizing your three weeks in Southeast Asia.

Which Countries to Visit in Southeast Asia in 3 Weeks

Top Destinations in Southeast Asia and How Long to Spend

For a 3-week trip to Southeast Asia, we recommend exploring Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia, as these are the most popular destinations for first-timers. A classic choice for a comprehensive 3-week journey in Southeast Asia is to combine these three countries, allowing you to delve into the rich culture, history, nature, cuisine, and beach experiences that the region offers.

For a more leisurely and in-depth tour, focusing on two countries like Thailand and Vietnam is an excellent option.

If you prefer a faster pace and are open to adding another country to your itinerary, consider options like Indonesia (Bali), Singapore, Laos, or Myanmar.

Let us know your interests and requirements, and our travel advisor can tailor-make a tour for you, whether it's an annual trip or a milestone celebration such as a birthday or anniversary.

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Itinerary #1: 3 Weeks Southeast Asia Itinerary to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam (Classic)

elaphants

Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia is the most popular and classic combination for a 3-week trip to Southeast Asia.

This itinerary encompasses almost all the quintessential elements of the region: splendid temples, gorgeous beaches, compelling history, amazing food, the Mekong Delta, and Buddhist culture.

Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam Tour Map

Days 1–9: Vietnam

Days 1-2: Hanoi
Day 3-4: Halong Bay
Days 4-5: Hoi An
Days 6-7: Mekong Delta
Days 8-9: Ho Chi Minh City

Days 1-2: Hanoi

Begin your adventure in the lively capital of Vietnam, Hanoi. Immerse yourself in the city's rich history and vibrant street life.

Day 3-4: Halong Bay

Cruise the stunning Halong Bay on Orchid Cruise, departing from typical group-tour boats. Kayak through hidden caves, bike along islets, and marvel at the limestone karsts.

Days 4-5: Hoi An

Head to the charming town of Hoi An. Experience the local way of life by paddling a traditional Vietnamese round basket boat and casting your net. In the evening, indulge in the flavors of Hoi An Ancient Town with an enchanting foodie walk.

Days 6-7: Mekong Delta

Journey to the Mekong Delta and explore the Cai Rang Floating Market, a vibrant cultural experience that provides a glimpse into traditional river life. Save time by taking a boat to the Cu Chi Tunnels, offering a unique perspective on this historical site.

Days 8-9: Ho Chi Minh City

Conclude your Vietnam exploration in the bustling metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City. Visit the War Remnants Museum, Reunification Palace, and indulge in a unique tuk-tuk ride through bustling streets.

Days 10–12: Cambodia

Days 10-12: Siem Reap

Cambodia is a relatively small country. Siem Reap is the main tourist destination for the great Angkor Wat. In 3 days, besides Angkor Wat, you can visit some unique attractions like the Cambodian Landmine Museum, showing Cambodian efforts to clear land mines, and take an ox cart ride along a country road to really appreciate its rustic views.

Days 13–21: Thailand

Days 13-14: Bangkok
Days 15-16: Chiang Mai
Days 17-20:
An island (Phuket or Koh Samui)
Day 21: Departure

Days 13-14: Bangkok

Take a tuk-tuk ride, explore vibrant markets, and visit iconic landmarks like the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. Indulge in diverse street food for a taste of Thai culinary delights.

Days 15-16: Chiang Mai

Head to Chiang Mai and explore the Elephant Rescue Park, connecting with elephants in a conservation-focused environment. Find serenity in Wat Phra That Doi Suthep after the crowds disperse.

Days 17-20: An Island (Phuket or Koh Samui)

Escape to the pristine beaches of either Phuket or Koh Samui. Enjoy the island's beauty and tranquility, savoring the final days of your journey in a tropical paradise.

Day 21: Departure

Conclude your 21-day adventure.

Further reading: The Best 3-Week Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam Itineraries

Itinerary #2: 21-Day Thailand and Vietnam Adventure Tour

Pedaling in Sukhothai Historical Park

This 21-day tour is suitable for adventurous couples wanting to explore the rich history of the dynasties of northern Thailand and the local culture of Vietnam via a less-crowded route.

Starting with a land tour of Thailand's kingdom cities — Ayutthaya, Sukhothai, and Lampang, and proceeding to Vietnam's cultural areas — Hue, Hoi An, and Can Tho, this tour would enable you to step inside vibrant and very different cultures.

Southeast Asia Tour Map

Days 1-10: Thailand

Days 1-2: Bangkok
Day 3: Ayutthaya
Days 4-6: Sukhothai
Day 7: Chiang Rai
Day 8-10: Chiang Mai

Days 1-2: Bangkok

Begin your journey in the vibrant capital city of Bangkok. Dive into the bustling street life, explore ornate temples like Wat Pho and Wat Arun, and experience the contrast between modernity and tradition. Don't miss the vibrant street markets and the grandeur of the Grand Palace.

Day 3: Ayutthaya

A day trip to Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Siam, offers a glimpse into Thailand's historical past. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ayutthaya Historical Park, where you'll find impressive ruins, temples, and iconic Buddha statues.

Days 4-6: Sukhothai

Head to Sukhothai, another UNESCO-listed historical city. Immerse yourself in the well-preserved Sukhothai Historical Park, known for its stunning ancient temples, Buddha images, and serene surroundings. Biking through the park is a popular way to explore.

Day 7: Chiang Rai

Venture north to Chiang Rai, known for its unique and artistic temples. Visit the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), a contemporary masterpiece, and explore the Blue Temple (Wat Rong Suea Ten). The city's charm lies in its blend of traditional and modern artistry.

Days 8-10: Chiang Mai

Conclude your journey in the cultural hub of Chiang Mai. Discover the Old City's ancient temples, participate in a traditional Thai cooking class, and experience the vibrant night markets. For adventure seekers, explore nearby mountains and visit an ethical elephant sanctuary.

Days 11-21: Vietnam

Days 11-12: Hanoi
Days 13-14: Halong Bay
Day 15: Hue
Days 16-17: Hoi An
Days 18-19: Mekong Delta
Days 20-21: Ho Chi Minh

Days 11-12: Hanoi

Explore the vibrant capital with its historical Old Quarter, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and the enchanting Water Puppet Theater.

Days 13-14: Halong Bay

Cruise through the stunning UNESCO-listed Halong Bay, surrounded by emerald waters and towering limestone karsts.

Day 15: Hue

Discover the imperial city of Hue, exploring the historic Imperial City, pagodas, and the serene Perfume River.

Days 16-17: Hoi An

Wander through the charming streets of Hoi An, known for its ancient architecture, lantern-lit evenings, and tailor shops. Experience a traditional basket boat ride and cast nets with a local fisherman as a guide.

Days 18-19: Mekong Delta

Immerse yourself in the lush landscapes and waterways of the Mekong Delta, exploring floating markets and traditional villages.

Days 20-21: Ho Chi Minh

Conclude your journey in the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh, visiting historical landmarks and indulging in the vibrant street food scene.

Further reading: How to Plan a Trip to Thailand and Vietnam

Itinerary #3: 3-Week Best of Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam Tour for Couples

Ho chi minh city tour by vintage Vespa

This tour is designed for couples who would like to have an in-depth Southeast Asia discovery experience at their own pace. It covers the most popular destinations with must-see sights and also some off-the-beaten-path places offering exclusive experiences in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. We would customize it for you.

India tour map

Days 1–9: Vietnam

Days 1-2: Hanoi
Day 3-4: Halong Bay
Days 4-5: Hoi An
Days 6-7: Mekong Delta
Days 8-9: Ho Chi Minh City

Days 1-2: Hanoi

Begin your adventure in the vibrant capital of Vietnam, Hanoi. Immerse yourself in the city's rich history, and explore the Old Quarter with a cyclo ride.

Day 3-4: Halong Bay

Cruise through the emerald waters of Halong Bay on a luxury, intimate-size overnight cruise (Emperor Cruise). Drift among picturesque limestone karsts, exploring caves and enjoying the breathtaking scenery.

Days 4-5: Hoi An

Head to the charming town of Hoi An, known for its ancient architecture. Learn to cook traditional Vietnamese dishes in the herb village, stroll through lantern-lit streets, and explore tailor shops.

Days 6-7: Mekong Delta

Venture to the Mekong Delta and travel aboard a private charter sampan. Immerse yourself in the lush landscapes, explore floating markets, and experience the local way of life.

Days 8-9: Ho Chi Minh City

Conclude your Vietnam leg in the bustling metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City. Indulge in a unique tuk-tuk ride, explore historical landmarks, and savor the vibrant street food scene.

Days 10–11: Cambodia

Days 10-11: Siem Reap

Cross over to Cambodia and explore the wonders of Siem Reap. Discover the ancient temples of Angkor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and delve into the rich Khmer history.

Days 12–21: Thailand

Days 12-13: Bangkok
Days 14-16: Chiang Mai
Days 17-19: Khao Sok National Park
Days 20-21: Phuket

Days 12-13: Bangkok

Arrive in Thailand's capital, Bangkok, and take a tuk-tuk ride for a truly unique cultural experience. Explore vibrant markets, visit ornate temples, and soak in the city's dynamic atmosphere.

Days 14-16: Chiang Mai

Head north to Chiang Mai, where you'll feed and interact with elephants in Elephant Hill's exclusive camp. Join the locals in a morning alms-offering and explore the cultural richness of this northern city.

Days 17-19: Khao Sok National Park

Experience the unique beauty of Khao Sok National Park. Spend a night in a rainforest floating house and embark on a canoe safari, a gentle trek in the jungle, and a long-tail boat journey.

Days 20-21: Phuket

Conclude your journey in the tropical paradise of Phuket. Relax on stunning beaches, explore the vibrant nightlife, and soak in the beauty of this island paradise.

Further reading: How to Plan a Trip to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam

Itinerary #4: 3 Weeks Southeast Asia Itinerary to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Singapore

This comprehensive itinerary offers the perfect blend of history, culture, and urban exploration, making it an ideal choice for travelers seeking a well-rounded Southeast Asian journey.

southeast asia map to thailand, vietnam, cambodia, singapore

Days 1–8: Vietnam (Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City)

Begin your odyssey in Vietnam, where the bustling streets of Hanoi welcome you to a tapestry of rich history and contemporary charm. Cruise through the iconic Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before immersing yourself in the timeless beauty of Hoi An.

Conclude your Vietnamese leg in the dynamic city of Ho Chi Minh, where history and modernity converge seamlessly.

Days 9–11: Cambodia (Siem Reap)

Venture into Cambodia and explore the captivating wonders of Siem Reap. Marvel at the architectural splendor of Angkor Wat, a UNESCO treasure, and delve into the ancient mysteries of the Angkor Thom complex. Siem Reap's cultural tapestry and archaeological marvels await your discovery.

Days 12–16: Thailand (Bangkok, Koh Samui)

The journey continues to Thailand, where the energetic pulse of Bangkok introduces you to a vibrant metropolis of temples, markets, and culinary delights. From the bustling capital, head to the tropical paradise of Koh Samui, where pristine beaches and lush landscapes invite relaxation and exploration.

Days 17–21: Singapore

In Singapore, feel the mix of different cultures by discovering ethnic enclaves — Chinese culture in Chinatown, Malay culture in Kampong Glam, and Indian culture in Little India.

Itinerary #5: 3 Weeks to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Bali

This 3-week adventure promises a perfect blend of diverse experiences, from exploring ancient temples and bustling markets to relaxing on pristine beaches and immersing yourself in the rich tapestry of Southeast Asian cultures.

Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Bali tour map
  • Days 1–3: Vietnam (Hanoi, Halong Bay)

Explore Hanoi and embark on a Halong Bay cruise.

Explore Hanoi's history and culture through its landmarks like the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, and the Old Quarter.

Enjoy stunning karst views and other Halong Bay cruise features, like sea swimming and an open bar on board.

  • Days 4–6: Cambodia (Siem Reap)

Discover Cambodia's top temple of Angkor in Siem Reap and discover its hidden story. Discover Banteay Srei, known as the 'Citadel of Women'. Visit the Cambodia Landmine Museum to see Cambodian's post-Civil-War cleanup efforts, and enjoy a sunset cocktail on Tonle Sap Lake.

  • Days 7–12: Thailand (Bangkok, Phuket)

In Bangkok, visit the Grand Palace, take a tuk-tuk ride, and explore Chinatown.

In Phuket, enjoy a leisurely time by the beach. Snorkel, hop to the Phi Phi Islands, and enjoy a serene cruise around the mystical Phang Nga Bay...

  • Days 13–20: Bali

Enjoy the Jimbaran sunset on a cruise. Visit its Hindu temples and find out the background legends. Try some exciting and interesting activities like white water rafting in the rainforest, Balinese cooking classes, and going on a vintage Volkswagen car tour.

Maybe you have other preferred countries or combos, you can also contact us and we will create your ideal itinerary based on your preferences, group size, budget, and other needs.

How Much Is a 3-Week Trip to Southeast Asia?

Southeast Asia is a great bang for your buck. For the cost of an average meal in Western countries, you can savor a fantastic meal at a Michelin-starred place in Southeast Asia. If you're thinking about a private tour, it can be a fancy yet affordable option.

Check out our private tour prices for reference – we make sure you get quality at a competitive price with our rich hotel and experience resources.

  • For travelers with a medium budget, an estimated expenditure of 200–250 USD per day per person covers essential components such as airfare within Southeast Asia, accommodation in carefully selected 4- or 5-star hotels, daily meals, entrance fees to attractions, the expertise of a guide, and hassle-free transfers. Thus, it may cost about 4,000–5,000 USD for 3 weeks.
  • For those with a higher budget, a higher budget ranging from US$250 to 350 per day per person is recommended. This elevated budget encompasses premium offerings such as airfare within Southeast Asia, opulent stays in 5-star or higher-grade hotels, delectable dining experiences, access to exclusive attractions, the guidance of an expert tour guide, and seamless transfers. The total cost for a 3-week is estimated to fall within the range of 5,000 to 7,000 USD.

With us, you're not just traveling; you're getting excellent value. We know the best spots, so you get a top-notch experience without breaking the bank. Easy, right? Let's make your Southeast Asia adventure amazing!

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Plan A Trip to Southeast Asia with Us

You are warmly welcome to have us customize your trip based on your group size, interests, and other needs. Sit back and use our Create My Trip service. Or start from a recommended fully-modifiable itinerary:

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