How to Plan a 2-Week Itinerary to Visit Thailand and Cambodia

How to Plan a 2-Week Itinerary to Visit Thailand and Cambodia

By Chris QuanUpdated Aug. 12, 2021

Both Thailand and Cambodia have a lot in common as they are neighboring countries. Many visitors who make the journey to Southeast Asia usually plan a combined trip and visit both countries.

Thanks to convenient air routes, you can experience both capital cities, visit the royal palaces, go temple spotting, take cycle tours, and still have time to soak up the sun on the tropical islands of Thailand and Cambodia.

In this guide, we are going to look at the best two-week itinerary for a tour of Thailand and Cambodia.

How to Get from Thailand to Cambodia

The most convenient way to travel to Cambodia is by air The most convenient way to travel to Cambodia is by air

By far the most convenient way to travel to Cambodia is by air. Both Don Muang (DMK) and Suvarnabhumi (BKK) airports in Bangkok have flights to Phnom Penh (PNH) that take just over an hour. You can also fly directly to Siem Reap (REP) from either of the airports in Bangkok.

We would not recommend driving across the border as it takes the better part of a day. That said, if you like casinos, then you can stop over in Poipet on the Thai/Cambodian border.

You can book a hotel room and try your luck in one of the several large casinos. You can then take a bus or private taxi to Phnom Penh, when you are ready to leave. If you enjoy gambling and spending time in a casino, then you should visit Naga World, which is a large luxury casino hotel in Phnom Penh.

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Do I Need a Visa for a Thailand and Cambodia Trip?

For a two-week trip, you will not need a visa for Thailand. You will be given a 30-day visa exemption stamp when you land. 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. The visa will set you back by USD 30 and you will need to make sure that you have two recent passport-sized photos.

2-Week Itinerary to Visit Thailand and Cambodia

Bangkok Floating Market Bangkok Floating Market

You can choose to fly to Phnom Penh first; however, this will require a stopover in Istanbul, Dubai, or Qatar if you fly via Turkish Airlines, Air Emirates, or Qatar Airways. Other stopover options include Shanghai and Seoul.

If you prefer to fly directly to Thailand, then the best way to begin your journey is by spending a couple of days in Bangkok, which is where we will start Day 1 of the perfect

two-week itinerary to visit Thailand and Cambodia.

  • Days 1 to 2: Bangkok — Lumpini Park, tuk tuk, Sky Bar, and Bang Krachao
  • Days 3 to 4: Siem Reap — Angkor Wat and cycling
  • Days 5 to 6: Phnom Penh — Royal Palace, S-21 Prison, Killing Fields, and riverside dining
  • Days 7 to 9: Koh Samui — Relax on the beach, Koh Tao snorkeling, and island tour
  • Days 10 to 12: Phuket — snorkeling, beach lunch, Phuket town, and Patong
  • Days 13 to 14: Bangkok — Siam shopping district, Mega Bangna, and Erawan Museum
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Day 1 Bangkok: Lumpini Park, Tuk Tuk, and Sky Bar

Bangkok Bangkok

After a long flight, you may want to stop over in Bangkok to begin your journey and experience life in Thailand’s bustling capital city.

If you arrive early in the morning, then you may want to turn in early and get some rest. If you arrive in the afternoon, then there won’t be enough time to fit many activities into your schedule.

If you are close enough to the Silom area of Bangkok, then get an MRT to Lumpini Park or a BTS to Sala Daeng station. Both stations are in the same location and within walking distance of Thailand’s most famous park.

You will be able to relax in the park, have a picnic, and feed fish and turtles. Plus, you will also run into Thailand’s notorious monitor lizards.

Once you have had your fill of the park, grab a tuk tuk, and for about 100 to 150 baht ($3 to $5), you can get to State Tower Building. Head to the 63rd floor, where you will be able to grab a late lunch, early dinner, or late dinner at the Sky Bar.

You will be seated high above the city, overlooking the Chao Phraya River while taking in the breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

Day 2 Bangkok: Bang Krachao

Often overlooked by most visitors, Bang Krachao is one of the most beautiful places in Bangkok. It is not only an island in the middle of the city, but it is also a national park covering 16 sq km (6 sq mi).

No large buildings are allowed to be constructed here. So when you visit this area, you will be amazed and feel like you have been transported to the countryside. Trees, swamps, forests, and canals with small local markets grace the long windy streets here, giving you more than a day’s worth of sight-seeing to keep you busy.

Things to do in Bang Krachao:

  • Visit the Ganesha statue of the Maha Dewalai Hindu Temple
  • Visit a variety of other Thai, Chinese, and Hindu temples
  • Hire a bike and cycle through the many villages
  • Eat duck noodles at one of the many Thai / Chinese style restaurants
  • Visit the floating market
  • Visit the park and bird sanctuary
  • Eat at Tree House Restaurant
  • Stop and grab a coffee

Day 3 Siem Reap: Fly to Siem Reap

Cambodia Cambodia

Flying to Siem Reap as early as possible will give you ample time to get in as much of Angkor Wat as possible. You will need at least three days here because the temple is enormous.

If you want to see every part of this huge temple, then you would need more than two weeks as it covers 402 acres (1,626,000 sq mi).

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Day 4 Siem Reap: Cycle through Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat Angkor Wat

One of the best ways to get around Angkor Wat is by cycling. Several specialist cycling companies offer a variety of tours. You will get a close look at the temples and understand how the locals spend their day-to-day lives.

One of the most amazing parts of this adventure is seeing the warmth and friendliness with which the locals interact with foreign tourists.

Day 5 Phnom Penh: Visit the Royal Palace and Eat Dinner on the Tonlé Sap River

The Royal Palace The Royal Palace

After two days of Angkor Wat, you can catch a flight to Phnom Penh. Your first stop should be the Royal Palace. The tour will take you through the history of the king’s coronation and how the royal family survived the Khmer Rouge era.

Next, head over to Aeon Mall to see a modern and more contemporary Cambodia. From here, go to the riverfront, visiting some the temples en-route.

The riverfront at dusk is simply breathtaking. If you find the right spot, you can get some amazing photographs of the sunset. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and cafes here.

Some are at the street-level, while others are on the second or third floor, giving you a good view of the riverfront. This is a great spot to watch people, relax, and wine and dine. It is reccomended that you get ample rest to prepare yourself for a heart-wrenching Day 6 of the trip.

Day 6 Phnom Penh: The Killing Fields and S-21 Prison

No visit to Phnom Penh should leave out the darkest era in Cambodian history.

This is a time when the Khmer Rouge (National Army of Democratic Kampuchea / NADK) took control of the country between 1975 to 1979.

In those 4 years, 1.5 million to 2 million Cambodians were executed in the Killing Fields around the country. You will be taken on a guided tour through one such execution field.

Next, you should visit the S-21 Prison, which had formerly been a school before it was turned into a prison by the Khmer Rouge.

The whole story is shocking, and to be honest, this will not be a fun day out. It is something you should do out of respect for the Cambodian people.

Day 7 Koh Samui: Fly and Relax on the Beach

Koh Samui Koh Samui

Flying to Koh Samui will take around half a day, as flights from Cambodia only fly into Bangkok. You will then need to catch a connecting flight to Koh Samui.

Once you arrive, head to the beach. Spend the day relaxing on the beach, swimming, soaking up the sun, reading a book next to the pool, breathing the fresh air, and unwinding from your city tours.

Day 8 Koh Samui: Snorkeling Day Trip to Koh Tao

You will be able to visit some of the other islands near Koh Samui by taking a boat trip. For the best snorkeling experience in the area, Koh Tao is the best island to visit.

You will be able to explore the coral reefs teeming with marine life at different reef spots and indulge in exotic fruits, snacks, and a tasty Thai lunch. The entire trip will take eight hours of your day. When you return, find a local restaurant, or eat and relax at your hotel.

Day 9 Koh Samui: All-Day Island Tour

Koh Samui island tours are pretty amazing. The island has so much to offer and you can fit most of the activities into a single day. You can visit shopping centers, relax on the beach, visit viewpoints, check out temples and waterfalls, go zip-lining, visit snake farms, and take a photograph with a tiger.

If you love action sports, then watch a local Muay Thai boxing bout. Also visit the island’s famous night markets such as Fisherman’s Village Walking Street and Elephant Walk Koh Samui.

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Day 10: Fly and Relax and Snorkel on Nai Yang Beach

You can easily fly to Phuket from Koh Samui Airport. The flight takes an hour, but including transportation to and from the airports, you should expect the journey to take around 3 to 4 hours.

Nai Yang Beach is just 5 minutes from the airport and well worth the visit. Most visitors do not think of stopping here, which is why it is its own mini paradise.

When you arrive, you will likely have the entire beach to yourself. Or there might be a few people. As you will arrive around midday, the best course of action would be to have lunch on the beach at one of the restaurants here.

Then head over to the coral reefs and snorkel. The water there is crystal clear, and as with Kao Tao, teeming with sea life. Most people that snorkel there also manage to catch a glimpse of sea turtles.

Once you are done snorkeling and relaxing on the beach, indulge in a fresh seafood meal at one of the local restaurants. Try Boss Bar, where fresh lobster and a local Phuket chef will help satisfy your appetite.

Day 11: Visit Phuket Town, Monkey Hill, and Patong Beach

Phuket Phuket

Much like the island trip around Koh Samui, Phuket also has a lot to offer. However, Phuket is a lot bigger than Samui and there is much more traffic. Therefore, to keep expectations realistic, you should plan to visit just a few places.

Phuket Town is one of the main places to visit on the island for Chinese / Thai style living. This is a small town with lots of small walkways, coffee shops, and restaurants. You will also find Naka Market and Phuket Walking Street — two of Thailand’s most famous night markets.

You will also be able to visit the famous Monkey Hill, where you can feed the troops of monkeys relaxing in the park and alongside the road.

You should also include Patong Beach. If you are a bit of a night owl and like to party, then Patong is the place to be — especially Bangla Road. It is Phuket’s party area with plenty of clubs and bars. You will also find one of Thailand’s famous red-light districts here.

Other places to include on your tour of Phuket:

  • Karon Viewpoint
  • Simon Cabaret Show
  • Phuket Trickeye Museum
  • Slip Fly Water Park
  • Soi Dog Foundation
  • Freedom Beach
  • Ton Sai Beach or Ton Ao Yon Waterfall

Day 12: James Bond Island and the Floating Gypsy Village

For your last day on Phuket, one of the best ways to end your visit to the southern beaches is to sail out into the Andaman Sea.

In the Phang Nga Bay area, you will be able to book a trip that takes you to the James Bond island featured in the movie Golden Eye.

This is just the highlight of the trip, while there is much more to see. Each trip is different, so you will need to check them all out to see what suits you best.

Side trips included in the James Bond island tour:

  • Snorkeling
  • Kayaking inside limestone islands and sea caves
  • Visiting the local gypsy sea villages on stilts
  • Koh Phi Phi Leh and Phi Phi Don
  • Lunch on an uninhabited island
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Day 13 Bangkok: Fly to Bangkok and Visit the Siam Shopping Area

You can fly direct from Phuket to Bangkok in just over an hour. Next, as you end your trip, you should get a last glimpse of Bangkok.

One of the best places to go to is Siam. There, you will find the notorious MBK Shopping Center, where you can still pick up pirated DVDs, knock-off clothing, and souvenirs.

You should also check out the Siam Paragon Shopping Center, where the rich and famous go to offload their cash. Other places to visit here include Siam Discovery Shopping Center, Madame Tussauds, Ocean World, and Hard Rock Café.

Day 14: Fly Home

On your last day, depending on the time of your flight, there are a few tourist attractions near the airport that you can visit. You can visit the huge shopping mall Mega Bangna for some last-minute shopping.

Another option is to visit Erawan Museum, which will set you back a mere 300 THB ($9) per head. This is an impressive structure inside lush gardens.

It is a three-headed elephant statue that stands 50 m (160 feet) high and weighs 136,000 kg (150 tons). You will be able to go inside the structure and see historic religious artifacts.

Once you get to the top of the museum, you will be staring out of the elephant’s head at a magnificent view of the city.

 

Travel Tips for a Thailand and Cambodia Trip

  • Make sure you have small US$ bills when you visit Cambodia
  • Always take plenty of water with you every time you go on a tour
  • Dress appropriately, and never visit temples topless or wearing a bikini
  • Install Grab App on your smartphone for taxi services in both countries
  • Obtain tourist SIM cards with internet connectivity when arriving at the airports
  • Never disrespect the royal family

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