8-Day Itinerary for Cambodia and Vietnam

Cambodia Vietnam One Week

This post is to show you how we narrowed down our trip to Cambodia and Vietnam after tons and tons of browsing and interacting with travelers who have been there earlier. This travel itinerary (it was rather hectic due to lack of time) for Cambodia and Vietnam in 8 days should help you with all the necessary information before you zero down on the places you would like to visit.

Inside Angkor Wat

We tried adding offbeat places than the regular ones to have a peaceful, non-crowded experience. For Eg: Hanoi was knocked out of our list though our return flight was from there. Yes, we do not regret not going to Hanoi after visiting the other places in Vietnam. A lot of people still don’t know about Hue and Hoi An and these places – my oh my -what beauty and amazing stories they have in store for us to carry back home.

Tunnels Ho Chi Minh City

Quick Info on Cities Covered

Flew from Chennai, India
When: August 2016
Cambodia: Siem Reap and Phnom Penh
Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Hué (pronounced as Huway) and Hoi An (our favorite)

Visa

Cambodia: Multiple options, read more about getting a Cambodian Visa
Vietnam: Applied 4 weeks ahead of our travel date through VFS, India

Temple Run Itinerary

Day NumberCityWhat where we upto
Day 1Kuala LumpurWearing huge smiles, we took flight from Chennai to Kuala Lumpur in Air India. Land in KL at 2230 hrs local time.
Day 2Siem ReapNext day, flight from Kuala Lumpur to Siem Reap in Air Asia. Picked up from the airport by our tour guide. Checked in at Hotel Villa Médamrei. Visited Koh Ker, Preah Vihear, and Beng Mealea. This takes a whole day and Preah Vihear is quite an intensive walk. After returning, go for a massage, and then head over to the Night Market, and then Pub Street.
Day 3Siem ReapStarted at 0500 AM for Angkor Wat sunrise, proceeded to Angkor Thom, Bayon, Ta Prohm, Baphoun etc. After finishing all the ruins, head over to Pub Street again (yes, it is addictive!), we proceeded to take the bus (we chose Giant Ibis) to Phnom Penh. (In the evening you can also choose to go to Tonle Sap River for sunset.)
Day 4Phnom PenhReached Phnom Penh at 0430 AM. Checked in to Hotel Relax. After breakfast, we took a tuk-tuk to go to Killing Fields, Tuol Sleng Prison Museum and chill by the Tonle Sap River in the evening.
Day 5Phnom PenhDay two in Phnom Penh - Independence Monument, Central Market, Royal Palace, Russian Market, Wat Ounalom. (The Russian Market was better than Central Market). Took the bus to Ho Chi Minh City at the Mekong Bus Station at 1430 hrs. After crossing border and Visa stamping, arrived at HCMC at 2030 hrs.
Day 6Phnom PenhAfter breakfast, at 0800 AM, took the guided bus tour to Cu Chi Tunnels. After returning at 1430 hrs, visit War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, General Post Office, Ben Thanh Market and Independence Palace. In the evening visited the Bitexco Financial Skydeck for awesome views of HCMC, then left for the Night Market and ended the day at Backpackers street. (This city is crazy and had we known more about this place earlier, would have definitely stayed for a couple of more days.)
Day 7HueTook an early morning flight from HCMC. After landing in Hue, took a cab to check in at Hotel Serene Palace and drove to Phong Nha Caves. (There are two other caves as well - Paradise Caves & Dark Caves. You cannot do all in one day, so plan accordingly if you want to visit all.) After visiting the Phong Nha caves and the amazing Stalactites and Stalagmites, we returned to Hue for the night life experience. We went to Hue Walking Street and kept staring at the Dragon boats on the Perfume River (don't know why ;)). Don't miss Truong Bridge which is now a symbol of this beautiful city.
Day 8Hoi AnNext Day, we took a tour guide to explore Hue, including the Thanh Toan Bridge, Minh Mang’s Tomb, Khai Dinh’s Tomb, The Citadel (Imperial City), Thien Mu Pagoda and boating on the Perfume River. After this at about 1645 hrs, we proceeded to Hoi An via Da Nang by car. (On the way, if time permits, visit the Lang Co beach and the Hai Van Pass). After reaching Hoi An, explored the beautiful night scenes in the Old Town.
Day 9Hoi AnRented a two-wheeler to visit the Cu Dai and An Lang Beach. Paid a visit to the Old Town on the other side of the Japanese Bridge. (Make sure you stitch your suits, dresses in Hoi An as they have mastered the art of perfect fittings. We got two dresses, one blazer and one pant - all under 24 hours). Proceeded to Da Nang Airport to end the trip with a huge sad smiley face.
Day 10ChennaiFlight to Malaysia and back to Chennai.
Our 10-day itinerary to Cambodia and Vietnam Cambodia and Vietnam TransportTravel in Cambodia

Also Read:  Top 5 Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh City

Other cities you could consider apart from the cities mentioned above

Cambodia – Sihanoukville (beaches), Kampot (Bokor National Park)
Vietnam – Ninh Binh, Nha Trang, Sapa, Hanoi (Ha Long), Da Nang.

Phong Nha Caves Vietnam

Hotels we stayed in:

Cambodia
Siem Reap: Hotel Villa Medamrei (they pack breakfast for early morning temple visits)
Phnom Penh: Relax Hotel (Being vegetarians, we did not enjoy the breakfast here – was too smelly)

Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City: Elios Hotel (brilliant location)
Hue: Hotel Serene Palace Hotel (Room was excellent!)
Hoi An: Ving Hung Library Hotel (this was my favorite of all the properties we stayed in)

Our travel guide at Siem Reap: San Park – sanpark.angkor@googlemail.com – +855 12788354

Our travel guide (car) at Vietnam right from Da Nang Airport pick up to dropping us back – VM Travels

Total cost for two (includes all kinds of Travel, Visa, Hotels, Entrance Fees, Food and Shopping): ₹1,85,000 / US $2700 odd.

Are you planning a trip to Cambodia or Vietnam? Have any questions that are unanswered? Ask away in the comment section below.

Comments

    1. Narayanan Hariharan

      That’s a brilliant idea! Spend two days in Siem Reap, and then cover Beng Mealeah and Prea Vihar the next day. Take the night bus (take a Giant Ibis bus, they are good!) to Phnom Penh. One day in Phnom Penh is good enough. After that, head over to Kampot and Sihanoukville for the last couple of days before getting back.

      Happy to answer any other questions that you may have. Also, I’d recommend you take an eVisa to Cambodia before you leave from here.

  1. KrishAyyan

    Thanks for the post and some useful information. I am solo traveller and backpacker. I am planning for a 2 week budgeted trip to Cambodia sometime between October to December this year and collecting details from experienced travelers. I have few questions for now and hope you could help.

    1. How much approx will it cost in Rupees for a budgeted travel for two weeks in Cambodia (excluding Flight expense of India to Cambodia and back)
    2. What all places do you recommend for this duration including offbeat ones.
    3. Is the expense done in dollars or do I need to convert my rupees to riel?
    4. How do we book hotels there? Hope MMT booking work?
    5. What are you thoughts about flight bookings through AirAsia?

    Thanks,
    Krish

    1. Post
      Author
      Preethika

      Hey there!
      1. Keep an average of about 3000-7000 INR a day depending on your entry fees, shopping, hotel room etc. 3000 INR can come down if you chose hostels to stay.
      2. Other than Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, check out Battambang, Kampot and Sihanoukville. Also check Ream National park – get a feeling you may like this one.
      3. Dollars
      4. Are you kidding??? This is one of the most touristy destination (Siem Reap) in the world and actually a paradise of backpackers. Let me know if you need help there or check Agoda.com / Booking.com (you could either use these links or the ones on the sidebar of our website, these are affiliate links, and help us earn a small commission 🙂 ).
      5. That’s the best for connectivity 🙂 Make sure you book them when they are on sale!!!

      Please let me know if I have answered to your expectations and ping for more info if need be 🙂

  2. KrishAyyan

    Thanks Preethika and the answers are useful. I will come back to you if there are more questions and hope that’s ok? I will try using the links in your site for booking if that helps you get some commission, after all we should be helping each other 🙂

    1. Post
      Author
      Preethika

      Hi Cassie. We took VietJet from HCM to Hue, from Da Nang to Hanoi we took Jetstar. Hanoi to KL and back to Chennai, India – we flew Air Asia. Hope this helps 🙂

        1. Post
          Author
          Preethika

          Hi Cassie, if you are referring to Ha Long – then no. We had little time on us and cruise was way out of our league 🙂

  3. Vijayprakash

    Hi,
    Planning for a 10day trip to Vietnam and Cambodia with family. We are three. My itinerary is
    Ha Long Bay – Hui – Hoi An – Cambodia. Arrival and departure both is in Hanoi by air Asia.

    I am getting a quote from local traveler for a budget of USD1750. Is it worth to consider. (Excluding Visa fees.)
    I am planning to carry Forex Card and Credit card for the trip. How much cash do I need.
    How many days needed for Cambodia.
    For both Vietnam and Cambodia, getting e-visa has no issues both during processing and during travel.

    Appreciate if you can throw some light on this.

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  6. Bikram K Singh

    What is the process to get Visa for Vietnam? I am planning to go to Vietnam first and then to Cambodia, is it a right choice? And what should we cover in a 20 days trip? Please suggest.

    Thanks in advance

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