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5-Week Southeast Asia Itinerary: 3 Options (2024/2025)

By RitaUpdated Mar. 1, 2024

With 5 weeks in Southeast Asia, you could either visit the highlights of 4–5 countries or delve deeply into the most representative three countries.

In this article, we introduce three hand-picked itineraries based on the most popular destinations of Southeast Asia. They are fully-customizable and have been welcomed by our clients as the basis for many a tour. These suggestions will help you optimize your time and create your dream trip.

Which Countries Would Be Best for Your 5-Week SE Asia Trip?

When planning a 5-week trip to Southeast Asia, you're suggested to limit your travels to 3–5 countries to save costs in transportation and to avoid travel fatigue.

If you want a more relaxing tour pace, focus on three countries: Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam are recommended. They are the top combo among all the popular itineraries for Southeast Asia, particularly for first-timers. Meanwhile, with five weeks you could have many more in-depth travel experiences.

If you would prefer to use your time to travel more widely, you could combine the above three with two other countries for a wider variety of experiences: Myanmar-Laos or Singapore-Bali. Myanmar and Laos are more recommended for people who are keen on in-depth cultural experiences, while Singapore and Indonesia (Bali) are best for leisurely relaxation opportunities.

Below are the countries recommended above with their recommended travel durations and destination areas.

  • Thailand: 8 days to 3 weeks. Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and islands like Phuket and Koh Samui are the top highlights.
  • Vietnam: 10 days to 2 weeks. Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, Ho Chi Min City, and the Mekong Delta are must-sees.
  • Myanmar: 1–2 weeks. Mandalay, Bagan, and Yangon are three of its best destinations.
  • Cambodia: 3 days to 1 week. Siem Reap, home to Angkor Wat, tops the bucket list for most Cambodia trips.
  • Laos: 1 week. Luang Prabang is the main tourist city.
  • Singapore (3 days) and Bali (7–10 days) usually work as a unique pair: rich culinary experiences and shopping paradise in Singapore plus laid-back island exploring in Bali.

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1. A Classic 5-Week Grand Indochina Tour: Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Laos

This tour shows you the multiple facets of Southeast Asia at a comfortable pace. Besides the most-popular Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia, you'd explore Southeast Asia beyond the beaten path in Myanmar and Laos.

With us, you'd not only see the iconic attractions in each country but also have the chance to explore their cultures deeper with our exclusive experiences.

Map of Grand Indochina Tour

Check out this brief itinerary and description for inspiration:

8 Days in Myanmar

  • Days 1–2 in Mandalay (city tour with temples, witness thousands of monks dining, watch the sunset over U Bein Bridge)
  • Days 3–4 in Bagan (underground monastery, local markets, and sunset balloon ride over 2,000 pagodas)
  • Days 5–6 at Inle Lake (floating villages, floating markets, stunning lake view, and traditional fishing)
  • Days 7–8 in Yangon (an interesting local train ride, museums, and Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset)

In Myanmar, temples and pagodas are the top highlights, while Inle Lake presents rustic and authentic floating village life for you to discover. Bagan is best for romantic celebrations, milestone trips in particular. What could be more romantic than holding your partner and seeing the sun set over 2,000 pagodas from a hot air balloon?

10 Days in Vietnam

  • Days 9–10 in Ho Chi Minh City (city tour with coffee experience, the Cu Chi Tunnels)
  • Days 11–13 in Hoi An (lantern-making, sunset boat ride, an evening foodie tour, plus a free day)
  • Days 14–15 in Hanoi (Old Quarter walking tour, museums, water puppet show)
  • Days 16–18 in Ha Long Bay (Trung Trang Cave, squid fishing, cooking class, biking around a rustic village near Ha Long Bay)

In Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City presents bustling modern city life and tragic war history in the Cu Chi Tunnels. Hoi An balances old town architecture with laid-back rustic life.

A Ha Long Bay cruise is a perfect combo of outdoor fun and laid-back activities. We suggest a 3-day cruise to escape the big tour groups and enjoy kayaking, swimming, and tranquil private hours in the unspoiled and less-visited coves. Want more private experiences? Contact us for a private junk just for the two of you.

4 Days in Laos

  • Days 19–22 in Luang Prabang (offering alms to monks in the early morning, temples, Royal Palace, waterfall, sunset long-tail boat ride)

Featuring serenity, Luang Prabang is an ideal place to refresh after 2 weeks of travel. Don't miss the awe-inspiring traditional ritual: morning almsgiving. You and your partner could relax in your boutique hotel with swim-up pool rooms and quality massages during your free days.

3 Days in Cambodia

  • Days 23–25 in Siem Reap (Angkor Wat, Apsara Dance Show, 1-hour sunset quad bike ride, sunset cocktail on Tonle Sap Lake)

In Siem Reap, Angkor Wat is the big draw. A sunset quad bike ride and sunset cocktail on Tonle Sap Lake would enhance your trip with special moments.

10 Days in Thailand

  • Days 26–27 in Bangkok (Grand Palace, temples, railway market, and a dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya River)
  • Days 28–30 in Chiang Mai (foodie tour, flower market visit, elephant sanctuary)
  • Days 31–35 on Phuket (5 days of beach time, your choice of activities)
Chiang Mai Yi Peng Festival in Chiang Mai

In Thailand, one of the highlight areas is Chiang Mai. Your trip would not be complete without an elephant sanctuary and local flower market visits. Around November, you'd have chances to celebrate the 2-day Yi Peng Festival (November 15–16, 2024). Travel with us to have a premium experience (only sold by us): release your own lanterns into the sky and capture enchanting moments with thousands of floating lanterns.

This itinerary also includes the island of Phuket, which is easily accessible and rich in water activities. If you're looking for a more romantic vibe and private times, Koh Samui is suggested for more high-end boutique hotels and fine dining.

2. A 5-Week In-Depth Exploration with a Luxury Mekong River Cruise: Thailand–Cambodia–Vietnam

If you would prefer an in-depth experience at a slow pace, this itinerary is best for you. For first-timers, the classic combo of Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam perfectly shows you the best of Southeast Asia: awe-inspiring temples, rustic life, amazing food, as well as mesmerizing islands.

During your 5 weeks' travel, you'd explore the iconic sights, but also some offbeat areas, like Chiang Rai and the Mekong River.

Here is a brief summary of the itinerary for your inspiration:

10 Days in Vietnam

  • Days 1–2 in Hanoi (1-hour cyclo tour around the Old Quarter, water puppet show)
  • Days 3–5 in Ha Long Bay (Trung Trang Cave, squid fishing, cooking class, biking around a rustic village near Ha Long Bay)
  • Days 6–8 in Hoi An (biking around the countryside, basket boat tour, sunset riverside dinner)
  • Days 9–10 in Ho Chi Minh City (city tour with coffee experience, Cu Chi tunnels)

Read more itinerary options about 10 days in Vietnam>>>

8-Day Mekong River Cruise

Mekong River cruise Mekong River cruise
  • Days 11–13 on the Mekong Cruise — Vietnam section (floating markets, countryside visit by motor trishaw)
  • Days 14–18 on the Mekong Cruise — the Cambodia section (cyclo tour in Phnom Penh, blessing ceremony by local monks in Angkor Ban)

A week-long Mekong River cruise offers interesting activities onboard and ashore, such as sunset cocktails, a sampan trip to a floating market, and an exotic blessing ceremony by local monks. Without frequent hotel changes, you would conveniently indulge in the hidden beauty and rustic life along the Mekong. Our carefully-selected cruise just has just 14 rooms, so you'd be away from chaotic tour groups and could enjoy more quality time alone. See more details on our Mekong Cruise tour>>>

4 Days in Cambodia

  • Days 19–22 in Siem Reap (Angkor Wat walking tour with a Khmer scholar, 1-hour sunset quad bike ride, Tonle Sap Lake)

13 Days in Thailand

Our client is interacting with lovely elephants in Thailand.Our client is interacting with lovely elephants in Thailand.
  • Days 23–24 in Bangkok (city tour with iconic temples, long-tail boat ride, Railway Market, foodie tour)
  • Days 25–26 in Chiang Rai (temples, the Golden Triangle, hill tribe villages)
  • Days 27–29 Chiang Mai (elephant sanctuary, morning flower market visit, Doi Suthep walking tour, floating lantern making)
  • Days 30–35 Koh Samui (your choice of beach time activities)

To create lifelong memories, we also have customizable and exclusive experiences in each destination:

In Vietnam, the cyclo tour in Hanoi would help you to unveil real life in the Old Quarter comfortably. A unique basket-boat ride in Hoi An would bring you closer to traditional fishermen's local life.

In Cambodia, taking a sunset quad bike ride would add something thrilling, and would allow you to see more of the idyllic rural scenery.

In Thailand, a foodie tour would add fun to your Bangkok trip: go through streets by tuk-tuk, stroll through local hidden neighborhoods and sample authentic Thai street foods.

3. A 5-Week Relaxation Tour with Bali Beaches: Vietnam–Thailand–Singapore–Bali

This itinerary delivers the distinctive cultures and best islands of Southeast Asia on a leisurely journey of discovery and destressing.

With this itinerary, you'd experience the unique colonial style of Vietnam, rich Buddhist culture in Thailand, distinctive Hinduism in Bali, and a diverse melting pot of cultures in Singapore.

After every week of cultural and outdoorsy travel, what could be better than refreshing yourselves on a stunning tropical island for 4–6 days? We have picked three islands for you: Phu Quoc Island for tranquil experiences, Phuket for various water activities, and Bali for artistic beauty, yoga, and culture.

During your 5 weeks' travel, you'd stay at various character-filled boutique hotels: elegant 1920s-style hotels, floating houses, jungle hotels, tree houses, and cliff hotels with infinity pools... all of them embrace tranquility and unique experiences, perfect for quality time alone.

The best time to visit these three islands is March, April, and October, because the dry seasons of Phuket and Phu Quoc Island is November to April while that of Bali is April to October.

Check out the following itinerary, hand-picked for rich experiences and tropical relaxation:

10 Days in Vietnam

  • Days 1–2 in Hanoi (Old Quarter walking tour, museums, water puppet show)
  • Days 3–4 in Ha Long Bay (sunset + sunrise over the Bay, water activities on the Bay)
  • Days 5–6 in Hoi An (lantern-making, sunset boat ride, evening foodie tour)
  • Days 7–10 on Phu Quoc Island (your choice of beach time activities)

14 Days in Thailand

  • Days 11–12 in Bangkok (city tour with iconic temples, long-tail boat ride, Railway Market, floating market, foodie tour)
  • Days 13–15 in Kanchanaburi (bridge over the River Kwai, Erawan Falls, overnight stay at a floating house)
  • Days 16–18 in Chiang Mai (elephant sanctuary, morning flower market visit, Doi Suthep walking tour, floating lantern making)
  • Days 19–24 on Phuket (your choice of beach time activities)

3 Days in Singapore and 8 Days in Bali

Watch sunsets with your partner from the infinity poolBali
  • Days 25–27 in Singapore (multicultural city sightseeing, special skylines, food hunting tour)
  • Days 28–35 on Bali (jungle adventure, rice terraces, yoga class, your choice of beach time activities)

For more details on this 5-week itinerary, see our Vietnam Exploration with Beach Free Days, Thailand Holiday & Singapore and Bali Journey of Discovery. Or you could get your personalized one by

Costs for a 5-Week Southeast Asia Tour

Alms giving in Laos Alms giving in Laos

Compared with developed countries, a private tour in Southeast Asia is affordable, exclusive, and hassle-free — ideal for your milestone trip.

Usually, you would need around US$200–250 per day per person for quality 4/5-star hotels, nice meals, convenient transport, and private, tailored touring.

So, apart from the international flights from/to your country, you would need to spend around US$14,000–17,500 on a 5-week private trip for a couple.

Southeast Asia's prices depend on the seasons as well. You'd better prepare for the highest prices in the dry season (mostly November to April). The lowest costs arrive in the rainy season (mostly May to October), which typically brings short-lived 1–2-hour afternoon rainfall.

If you prefer to enjoy the best weather without exceeding your budget, consider inviting your friends or wider family to share costs and create unforgettable memories together.

Personalizing Your Southeast Asia Trips With Us

You are warmly welcomed to have us customize your own 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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