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Plan a Trip to Cambodia and Vietnam: Cost, Best Time, Places to See

Plan a Trip to Cambodia and Vietnam: Cost, Best Time, Places to See

By Ruby ZhaoUpdated Nov. 6, 2023

In the heart of Southeast Asia, Cambodia and Vietnam have long been in the limelight for many travelers. They border each other, offering convenient travel connections.

Marvelous sea beaches in Phu Quoc Island, flourishing floating markets along the Mekong River, spectacular karst scenery in Halong Bay, a mysterious temple complex in Angkor Wat... mean the two countries are well endowed with inmate charms for travelers to discover.

China Highlights, Asia Highlights, and Global Highlights collaborate to provide families and couples with personalized and stress-free experiences in diverse destinations.

Places to See in Cambodia and Vietnam

Diversity is absolutely one of the most enchanting features of Vietnam and Cambodia. Plunging into Halong Bay, climbing up Pre Rup for a breathtaking sunset in Siem Reap, or delving into Hanoi's alleys for delicacies... no matter whether you're traveling for a honeymoon, anniversary, or family vacation… Vietnam and Cambodia will not disappoint you.

Top Things to Do in Cambodia

  • North Cambodia: Siem Reap and Tonle Sap Lake
  • South Cambodia: Phnom Penh
Sunset at Angkor Wat in Cambodia Ride a bike through the jungle to enjoy a sunset view at Angkor Wat

1. Ride a bike through the jungle from the center of Siem Reap to Angkor Wat, walking on the stone roads covered with moss and wandering in the mysterious corridors, you will feel like you are in a time tunnel.

2. Take in the charming countryside scenery on a quad bike in Siem Reap: pass the seldom visited local villages, rice fields, and temples, and reward yourself with an amazing countryside sunset.

3. Sit on a mini Tara river boat to cruise the flowing heart of Cambodia — Tonle Sap. See Siem Reap from another perspective as you pass the floating villages, which still retain the lifestyle of the ancient Cambodians.

4. Sense the misery of the Khmer Rouge period in Phnom Penh: Although it's sad and even disturbing to visit the Killing Fields and S-21 Prison, this will get you acquainted with one of the worst human tragedies of the last century.

Top Things to Do in Vietnam

  • North Vietnam: Hanoi, Halong Bay, and Sapa
  • Central Vietnam: Hoi An, Hue
  • South Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh, Mekong Delta, Phu Quoc
Halong Bay Cruise in Vietnam Take a Cruise Through the Karst Scenery in Halong Bay

1. Explore the Old Quarter in Hanoi: explore the city's charm by visiting sites like the elegant Bach Ma Temple and Dong Xuan Market, the oldest local market in the city.

2. Stay overnight on a junk to see Halong Bay: exercise with water activities like swimming, kayaking, or canoeing, and enjoy the sunset on the cruise deck with a cup of beer in hand.

3. Trek in Sapa among the rice fields: bring yourself closer to the raw nature of Vietnam.

4. Track back to the last emperor's life in Hue: a good destination for history buffs.

5. Soak in the beauty of Hoi An Old Town: strolling around the lantern-lit streets, you will have a sense of peace and tranquility.

6. Visit the floating markets along the Mekong Delta via a boat ride: they have retained their traditional way of doing business.

7. Relax on a wonderful beach on Phu Quoc Island in south Vietnam: enjoy sun bathing, fresh seafood, as well as fantastic scuba diving and snorkeling.

How Much Does It Cost to Travel Vietnam and Cambodia?

When traveling to Vietnam and Cambodia, you can expect lower prices than in Thailand and Singapore. For a 2-week private trip, the daily cost usually ranges from US$170 to US$250 per person. Travel with us, and you can enjoy better per-person rates per person when inviting more family or friends to join.

Beyond regular sightseeing, you can enjoy more exclusive activities with us: foodie adventures, a fishing tour with a basket boat ride, sunset quad bike rides, and an Angkor Wat walking tour led by our Khmer scholar.

We've also carefully selected various hotels at the best agent rates whether you look for a family resort or a boutique hotel with unparalleled views.

You can see our two handpicked private tours to get more details about costs and itineraries. The prices are based on a group of 2+ people. 

Inquire now! Your 1:1 travel consultant will reply within 1 working day.

What Is the Best Time to Visit Vietnam and Cambodia?

Floating market in Mekong Delta in Vietnam See trading traditionally in the flourishing floating markets in Mekong Delta in Vietnam

Both countries are subject to a monsoon climate. Average daytime temperatures in summertime (late April to September) are around 27–36°C (81–97°F). Winter has milder weather, getting up to 20–28°C (68–82°F) in the day, but cooler at night and up north.

There are three main seasons in Vietnam and Cambodia:

  • Dry season: November to February
  • Hot season: March to May (temperatures consistently get up to around 38°C (100°F))
  • Rainy season: June to October (it usually rains in the afternoon and at night, and so it's easy to plan around the weather)

The period from November to February (cool/mild and dry) is the most comfortable time to travel Vietnam and Cambodia. If you plan to travel during the cool season, make sure to book at least 3 months in advance, as this will be the busiest time of the year.

The hot season and the rainy season are not so comfortable for travel, but you will find fewer crowds and lower prices for flights and accommodation.

Typhoons from July to September

Typhoons hit the coast of northern to central Vietnam during the July-to-September typhon season, which usually mean cruises in Halong Bay are canceled. Always get insurance if you wish to cruise at this time.

Southern Vietnam sees some storms from October to early December, yet the major cities are pretty safe from rain and wind. Cambodia seldom gets struck by storms, except for Sihanoukville during the typhoon season.

How Long Do You Need in Vietnam and Cambodia?

Cambodia and Vietnam Highlights tour map

For a nice school kids' holidays or annual vacation, it is critical to get the essence of each destination without wearing yourself out. This typically requires at least 12 days for both Cambodia and Vietnam.

A classic route is suggested below for your inspiration. What we are suggesting is a hardest-to-easiest approach. Cambodia's cultural attributes demand more of your engagement: emotions are drawn at the Killing Fields and S21 Museum and a lot of walking is required at the Angkor Wat Complex. Vietnam is relatively relaxing and can be a good wind-down after Cambodia.

  • Day 1: Phnom Penh Arrival, Cambodia
  • Day 2: Phnom Penh (Heart-Breaking Past and Hopeful Present)
  • Day 3: Phnom Penh – Siem Reap (1-hour flight or 6-hour drive along Tonle Sap), Tomb Raider Experience
  • Day 4: Siem Reap (Angkor Wat in Depth)
  • Day 5: Siem Reap – Ho Chi Minh City by flight | Saigon at Dusk
  • Day 6: Ho Chi Minh City | Mekong Impression
  • Day 7: Ho Chi Minh City – Hoi An (Danang Airport)
  • Day 8: Hoi An Ancient Town
  • Day 9: Hoi An (Danang Airport) – Hanoi
  • Day 10: Hanoi from a Different Angle
  • Day 11: Hanoi – Halong Bay | Relaxing Cruising in Halong Bay
  • Day 12: Halong Bay – Hanoi, Hanoi Departure

To extend a tour to Sapa in north Vietnam, another 3 days are needed. More itinerary options are suggested in 2 weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia>>>

How to Get to Vietnam and Cambodia?

Hui An Ancient Town in Vietnam Walking in the Narrow Lane in Hoi An Ancient Town

As the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh is more conveniently connected with other countries than Siem Reap. There are 1-stop flights available transiting in Singapore or Seoul from Los Angles, New York, Toronto, Paris, Frankfurt, London, Sydney, Auckland, etc.

For getting in and out of Vietnam, the first option is to go to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. From the US or Canada, there are 1-stop flights via Bangkok, Singapore, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, or other major international hubs. From London or Frankfurt, there is a non-stop flight to Hanoi once a week.

As a way to ensure you get the utmost out of all destinations, always fly out to the next destination on an afternoon flight if possible.

How to Obtain Visas for Vietnam and Cambodia?

Vietnam Visas

Holders of normal passports issued by the following countries do not require a visa to visit Vietnam:

  • Europe: United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Belarus, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Russia, Sweden
  • South and Middle America: Chile, Panama
  • Asia: Japan, South Korea, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, Brunei

Starting from August 15, 2023, Vietnam e-visas are issued to citizens of all countries and territories, and they are issued for multiple entries for up to 90 days. You can now apply for the e-visa online. The e-visa fee is approximately 25 USD, and your application will usually be processed within 3 working days. Applying for an e-visa is efficient and convenient.  

Cambodia Visas

Regular passport holders from the following countries do not require a visa to visit Cambodia (for the following periods):

  • Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam (30 days)
  • Philippines (21 days)
  • Thailand (14 days)

If you are from other countries, you can apply for an e-Visa online for US$37 before arrival, or you may do it on the spot when you enter Cambodia as a Visa-on-Arrival (30 USD for single entry). Visa-on-Arrival is not available at the border-crossing from Chau Doc in Vietnam, but it is at most other ports.

Visit Vietnam and Cambodia with Asia Highlights

Traveling is all about experiences. That is the very thing that you cannot cut corners on. It is also nice to get inspired by experiences. Here, we have designed classic tour itineraries catering to almost all palates for inspiration. If that doesn't strike your fancy, talk to us and get started here: Help Me Plan Now.

Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)

  • Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
  • Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
  • Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
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