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How to Plan a Trip to Thailand and Cambodia (2024/2025)

How to Plan a Trip to Thailand and Cambodia (2024/2025)

By Chris QuanUpdated Oct. 19, 2023

Thailand and Cambodia are neighboring countries. Many visitors who make the journey to Southeast Asia plan a combined trip and visit both countries.

In this guide, we are going to look at how to plan a travel itinerary for a tour of Thailand and Cambodia.

Which Country to Enter First?

Thailand and Cambodia Location Map

Before the outbreak, we generally recommended entry through Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, because Bangkok has more international flight options.

However, due to the decrease in international flights during the pandemic, whether to enter from Thailand first or Cambodia depends on the international flight choices available for your departure point.

Traveling from Europe and Australia

For travelers from Europe and Australia, there are few direct international flights to Cambodia at the moment. Passengers typically need to transfer in Singapore, which is a very good airport. But direct flights to/from Thailand are available.

Thus, we usually suggest entering at Cambodia and leaving from Thailand. Taking a direct flight after your trip would give you the best chance of coming back from your holiday refreshed, and making your beachside stay in Thailand your final stop would give the optimum wind-down experience for the whole trip.

You could also choose to fly in and out from Thailand. However, you would need some extra travel time to journey from Thailand and Cambodia and back.

Traveling from the US and Canada

For travelers from the United States and Canada, currently the flight availability doesn't make a big difference to the itinerary, as either Thailand or Cambodia requires a connecting flight. Thus, you can decide according to the most convenient flight times, ticket prices, and your travel dates.

All things being equal, we still suggest Cambodia entry and Thailand exit, for a relaxing beach finish.

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How Do I Travel Between Thailand and Cambodia?

By far the most convenient way to travel between Cambodia and Thailand is by air. Bangkok has direct flights to Phnom Penh (Cambodia's capital) and Siem Reap (most famous tourist city). Both journeys take just over an hour.

You can also travel by land between Bangkok and Siem Reap. Poipet (Cambodia) / Aranya Prathet (Thailand) port on the Cambodian/Thai border is the most popular port for tourists. The journey takes about 6–9 hours. You can purchase the bus tickets on the travel agencies in Bangkok's Khao San Road and Downtown Siem Reap.

How Many Days are Needed?

Cambodia Angkor Wat, Cambodia

A trip to Thailand and Cambodia with all the must-sees takes at least 10 days. Most people arrange 10 days to 2 weeks: spending 3–5 days in Cambodia and 7–9 days in Thailand.

Thailand is bigger than Cambodia and has more attractions. So, most travelers set aside more time to visit Thailand.

For a tour to Thailand, the popular combination is Bangkok (capital city), Chiang Mai (the largest city in northern Thailand), and an island in southern Thailand (usually Phuket or Koh Samui). Phuket is the most popular, while some couples prefer Koh Samui's romantic vibe.

Cambodia is a small country. Siem Reap (the second largest city in Cambodia) is a must-visit for its incredible Angkor Wat. Phnom Penh (its capital city) is an option if you have time. Its temples and local markets are popular features.

Extending reading: How Long to Spend in Southeast Asia (for First Timers)

10-Day Thailand and Cambodia Itinerary

A 10-day trip allows you to see the most popular attractions of both countries. Here's a favorite way to organize the itinerary:

  • Days 1–2: Siem Reap sightseeing
  • Day 3: Fly to Bangkok
  • Day 4: Visit Bangkok
  • Day 5: Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • Days 6–7: Explore Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai to Phuket
  • Days 8–10: Phuket beach time

A 2-Week Thailand and Cambodia Itinerary

Compared with only two days in Siem Reap during the 10-day itinerary, you can leave yourself plenty of time to explore Siem Reap with 2 weeks' touring time.

  • Day 1-5: Siem Reap tour in depth
  • Day 6: Fly to Bangkok
  • Day 7-8: Bangkok sightseeing
  • Day 9: Fly to Phuket
  • Day 10-13: Explore Phuket
  • Day 14: Back to Bangkok

For more detail on this 2-week Thailand and Cambodia tour plan, see our 9-Day Thailand Tour with Elephant Encounter and Island Escape and 5-Day Siem Reap in Depth Tour. Or get more itinerary ideas to plan your 2-week dream trip>>>

All our tours can be adjusted to suit you. We can make a trip based on your interests, group size, and other requirements. Feel free to contact us.

>>>How to Plan 2-Week Southeast Asia Itineraries for Honeymoons, Families, and More

3-Week Thailand and Cambodia Itineraries

In three weeks, apart from five days in Siem Reap, you can spend 1 or 2 days exploring Phnom Penh. You will also have more time for exploring Thailand's temples, palaces, national parks, and island hopping. Learn more itineraries about 3 weeks in Thailand and Cambodia>>>

Some people like their 2-to-3-week tours to combine Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Check out our How to Plan a Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam Tour.

How Much Does a Cambodia and Thailand Trip Cost?

Cambodia and Thailand are not expensive countries. They can match a wide range of budgets. The cost of traveling in Cambodia is slightly lower than in Thailand by US$10–30 per day.

Travel Costs in Thailand

  • For backpackers, the budget is around 30 USD/day per person (hostels, street food, local public transportation).
  • For a medium budget, it will cost around 50 USD per day per person (3-star hotels, sit-down restaurants, tuk-tuks, taxies sometimes).
  • For a higher standard and a more refined experience, US$100–150 per day per person is needed (4/5-star hotels, nice meals, taxies or private transfers).

Travel Costs in Cambodia

  • For backpackers, the budget is around 15 USD/day per person (hostels, street food, local public transportation).
  • For a medium budget, it will cost around 25–35 USD per day per person (3-star hotels, sit-down restaurants, taxies sometimes).
  • For a higher standard and a more refined experience, US$70–150 per day per person is needed (4/5-star hotels, nice meals, taxies or private transfers).

Visa and Entry Requirements for a Thailand and Cambodia Trip

Thailand allows visa-free entry from 64 countries, including Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Norway, the USA, and the UK. (If you do not qualify for the visa-free policy, you will need to apply for a visa to visit Thailand.)

However, Cambodia requires you to obtain a tourist visa, which can either be obtained online, or when you arrive at Phnom Penh or Siem Reap Airport. >>> How to Apply for a Cambodia Visa

Best Times to Visit Thailand and Cambodia

Thailand and Cambodia enjoy similar climates because of their close proximity. November to April is the best time to visit Thailand and Cambodia with the sunny and dry weather.

One of the busiest times is around Christmas/New Year holiday. As international travel continues its recovery, during the Christmas & New Year holiday season, hotels in popular cities/islands such as Bangkok, and flights between popular destinations such as Siem Reap - Bangkok are likely to be sold out in advance. Be sure to plan ahead and make reservations in advance. Let us know your interests and requirements, and we'll take care of everything. Want more dry places to go in Southeast Asia? Check Southeast Asia Weather in December>>>

We promise you enjoy 100% refund of any payments made to China Highlights prior to 3 weeks before departure (detail⇒).

August to early October sees the heaviest rains in both countries. Usually, there are short afternoon/dusk downpours, so it won't affect your trip too much.

Festival Tips

If you want the best festival experiences, consider visiting in April or November:

  • Cambodia and Thailand's New Years both fall in April (usually April 13–15). It's one of their biggest festivals.
  • November is the month of Thailand's Lantern Festivals. It is one of the top reasons for tourists to come to Thailand.

Travel Tips

  • Thailand and Cambodia are both Buddhist countries. Dress in an appropriate way when you visit temples: cover your shoulders and knees.
  • Though Cambodia's national currency is the Riel, US dollars are accepted in most hotels, restaurants, and shops. But Thailand only accepts the local currency, the baht.
  • Tipping is common in Cambodia and Thailand, both to show appreciation and to receive better service. A tip of one to two dollars is appropriate.

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You can find yet more Thailand travel itineraries on our Most Popular Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam Tours page.

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