Best Recommended Vietnam Cambodia Itinerary: 10 Days - 2 Weeks of Exploring Southeast Asia's Gems
Vietnam and Cambodia, two Southeast Asian countries steeped in rich history, captivating culture, and breathtaking natural beauty, offer an incredible travel experience that can leave you enchanted for a lifetime. Whether you have 10 days or 2 weeks to spare, a well-planned itinerary can help you make the most of your journey through these two mesmerizing destinations. In this article, we will guide you through the best recommended Vietnam Cambodia itinerary for an unforgettable 10-14 day trip.
Day 1-3: Hanoi - The Heart of Vietnam
Begin your adventure in the vibrant city of Hanoi, Vietnam's capital, where ancient traditions blend seamlessly with modern life.
Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
Arrive at Noi Bai International Airport and check into your accommodation, preferably in the heart of the historic Old Quarter.
Acquaint yourself with the city by taking a leisurely stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake and relishing your first taste of delectable Vietnamese street food.
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour
Explore the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, a tribute to Vietnam's founding father.
Visit the Temple of Literature, dedicated to Confucius and Vietnam's first national university.
Learn about the country's tumultuous history at Hoa Lo Prison, often referred to as the "Hanoi Hilton."
Enjoy a cyclo ride through the winding streets of the Old Quarter, where narrow lanes are brimming with shops and eateries.
Conclude your day with a mesmerizing traditional water puppet show.
Today, embark on a mesmerizing journey to Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its emerald waters and towering limestone karsts.
Upon arrival in Halong Bay, board a traditional wooden junk boat for an unforgettable overnight cruise.
As you set sail, you'll be greeted by breathtaking vistas of the karst formations rising dramatically from the tranquil waters.
Explore the mystical caves and grottoes that pepper the bay, each with its unique charm and history.
Enjoy a sumptuous seafood lunch on board as you continue to cruise through this natural wonder.
In the afternoon, you can opt for activities such as kayaking to get up close to the karsts or simply relax on the sundeck, taking in the serenity of the bay.
As the day draws to a close, watch the sun dip below the horizon, casting the bay in an enchanting, golden hue.
Enjoy a delectable dinner on the boat, and if you're feeling adventurous, try some squid fishing under the stars.
Retire to your cozy cabin for a peaceful night's sleep, rocked gently by the gentle waves of Halong Bay, making this an extraordinary and serene experience.
Day 4: Hanoi to Hue
Travel from Hanoi to Hue by either a short flight or an overnight sleeper bus, with the journey taking approximately 2 hours by air or 13 hours by bus.
Upon arrival in Hue, check into your chosen accommodation and spend your evening exploring the vibrant night markets.
Day 5: Hue City Tour
Embark on a journey through time as you explore the Imperial City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that once served as the seat of the Nguyen emperors.
Discover the beautifully designed tombs of the Nguyen emperors, with highlights including the ornate tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh.
Take a serene boat ride along the Perfume River, where you can admire the Thien Mu Pagoda, a seven-story temple that stands as a symbol of the city.
Day 6-7: Hoi An - Ancient Charm
Travel further south to Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed town celebrated for its well-preserved architecture and traditional lantern-lit evenings.
Day 6: Hue to Hoi An
Enjoy a scenic drive from Hue to Hoi An along the famed Hai Van Pass, known for its breathtaking vistas.
Check into your hotel in Hoi An, a town that oozes old-world charm, and lose yourself in its captivating streets.
Day 7: Hoi An Exploration
Set out to explore the well-preserved Ancient Town of Hoi An, a captivating fusion of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese influences.
Visit iconic landmarks such as the Japanese Covered Bridge, the Old House of Tan Ky, and the bustling local market.
For an immersive experience, consider taking a cooking class to delve deeper into the secrets of Vietnamese cuisine.
Day 8-9: Ho Chi Minh City - The Southern Metropolis
Leave Hoi An behind and make your way to Ho Chi Minh City, the economic hub of Vietnam.
Day 8: Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City
Fly to Ho Chi Minh City, commonly referred to as Saigon, where the pace of life is considerably faster than in the north.
Start your Ho Chi Minh city exploration with a visit to the War Remnants Museum, which provides a sobering perspective on the Vietnam War.
Wander through the bustling streets, sampling mouthwatering street food offerings that make the city's culinary scene famous.
Day 9: Cu Chi Tunnels and Mekong Delta
Embark on a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels, an intricate underground network used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. Here, you can learn about the resilience and resourcefulness of the soldiers.
Extend your journey to the Mekong Delta, often called the "Rice Bowl" of Vietnam, where you can immerse yourself in the local river life.
Day 10-12: Siem Reap - The Gateway to Angkor
Cross the border into Cambodia and set your sights on Siem Reap, the gateway to the awe-inspiring Angkor temples.
Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap
Fly from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, where the mysteries of Angkor await.
Start your Siem Reap adventure with a visit to the Angkor National Museum, which provides valuable insights into the history and significance of the temples.
In the evening, immerse yourself in Cambodian culture with a traditional Apsara dance performance.
Day 11: Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom
Rise early to catch the mesmerizing sunrise over Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world.
Spend your day exploring the Angkor Thom complex, including the Bayon Temple with its iconic stone faces and the Terrace of the Elephants.
As the day draws to a close, make your way to Phnom Bakheng Hill to capture the breathtaking sunset over the Angkor Archaeological Park.
Day 12: Banteay Srei and Beyond
Discover the intricacies of Banteay Srei, a temple renowned for its stunning pink sandstone carvings.
Venture to Ta Prohm, the famous "Tomb Raider" temple where enormous tree roots entwine with ancient stones.
Explore other lesser-known temples such as Preah Khan and Ta Som, which provide a more intimate and peaceful experience.
Day 13-14: Phnom Penh - Cambodia's Capital
Complete your 10-14 day journey with a visit to the bustling capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, where you can delve into the country's recent history and vibrant culture.
Day 13: Siem Reap to Phnom Penh
Travel from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, either by a short flight or a comfortable bus ride.
Begin your Phnom Penh exploration with visits to the Royal Palace, home to the Cambodian royal family, the Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum.
Day 14: Explore Phnom Penh
Dedicate your final day to exploring Phnom Penh's vibrant markets, including the Central Market and Russian Market, where you can hunt for souvenirs and immerse yourself in local life.
Enjoy a boat ride along the Tonlé Sap River to witness the lively activity along the water, and perhaps even take a cooking class to master the art of Cambodian cuisine.
As the sun sets over the majestic Mekong River, savor a traditional Cambodian dinner at a riverside restaurant, reflecting on the incredible journey you've just completed.
Your 10-14 day Vietnam Cambodia tour offers a whirlwind exploration of two countries brimming with history, culture, and natural beauty. From the historic streets of Hanoi to the enigmatic temples of Angkor, this journey is sure to leave an indelible mark on your soul. Remember to tailor the itinerary to your preferences and pace, and embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in these captivating Southeast Asian destinations. In the end, you will return home with cherished memories of your journey through Vietnam and Cambodia.