Vietnam Cambodia Itinerary

Vietnam & Cambodia: 6 Days DIY Itinerary and Travel Guide

This 2018, I started my international travels with a flight to our neighbor Southeast Asian countries – Vietnam & Cambodia. And before you even say “Aren’t those countries look like Manila?”, I’ll answer you with a big YES! After almost a week in Viet-Cam, I witnessed how their cities are less advanced than Manila and how the locals look like Filipinos too. So before you even start your trip to Indochina, I challenged you to shift your focus on this countries.

Focus on their rich history and culture. Focus on their architecture and majestic temples. Focus on their food and extra good coffee. And most of all, focus on the people you’ll meet on your journey.

And when you do, you’ll definitely love it. Plus, it’s cheap!

All About Indochina

It was only in my trip that I learned that Indochina originally refers to the colonies, consists of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, of the French empire before. But now it is referred to be as the “Mainland Southeast Asia” and the land historically influenced and bounded by India (in the west) and China (in the north). Indochina now consists of Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.

It is very common for travelers to visit multi-cities when heading to the Indochina region for months. But the famous route would be the Thailand – Cambodia – Vietnam by bus for 7-10 days. Since I’ve been to Thailand before, I decided to just explore Vietnam and Cambodia.

If you wanted more than Viet-Cam then here’s some itineraries from other travel bloggers:

Thailand – Cambodia – Vietnam for 7 Days
Cambodia – Vietnam – Thailand – Laos for 6 Days
Singapore – Malaysia – Thailand – Cambodia – Vietnam for 19 Day

Airfare

Vietnam2018

First thing you need to do is decide where to start and end so you’ll be able to know where your entry point and exit point are. I booked a multi city flight from Manila to Ho Chi Minh & Siem Reap to Manila via Cebu Pacific for 6,200 pesos, three months before the travel dates.
P.S. You can also check the other way around to compare airfare prices.

There are only two airlines – Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines – who offer direct flights from Manila to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. While only Cebu Pacific offers direct flight from Siem Reap, Cambodia to Manila.

Itinerary (with Expenses)

Vietnam-Cambodia Itinerary

TOTAL EXPENSES:

Airfare – 6,000 PHP
Travel Tax – 1,620 PHP
Accommodations – 4,800 PHP (P5,700 + P2,500 + P6,200)/3
Food, Transpo & Tours – 10,000 PHP
Shopping – 2,800 PHP
GRAND TOTAL: 27,000 PHP

This itinerary is overpriced for the backpackers’ style travelers. This is more suitable for travelers who prefer comfort or for those who have kids and parents in tow. I chose to splurge a little for our accommodation. There are other cheaper choices.

Travel Guides

Foreign Exchange Tips

NEVER exchange your Philippine Peso to Vietnamese Dong (VND) here in Manila. I exchanged my 5,100 PHP (100 USD) here for 1.7 Million VND. My mom chose to exchange her 100 USD to Vietnam and she got a freaking 2.25 Million VND! I lost 550,000 VND which cost around 1,250 PHP. *cries*

It is advisable to bring US Dollars in your Indochina trip.

Ho Chi Minh

Where to buy Sim Card?

I bought my sim card (Vinaphone) in Ho Chi Minh via Klook. It only cost 234 PHP for 2 GB data & local calls. It will also be delivered to your hotel which is a good thing since I don’t have enough time to look for telco stores.

In Cambodia, I bought a sim card (Cellcard) outside the border for 5 USD for 3 GB.

Best time to go?

The weather is the same with the Philippines. There’s hot and very hot. The best months are December to February since rainfall is minimal and the temperature is lower than summer months April-July.

How many days should I allot for each country?

We only have 2 full days in Ho Chi Minh and it wasn’t enough. If you wanted to see the city, Cu Chi tunnel & Mekong River, then 3 full days is advisable. 24 hours in Phnom Penh is enough. While in Siem Reap, it will depend on your budget. There are a lot of temples and it will require 3-5 days to see them all. So the question will always be how much are you willing to shell out for the Angkor Day Pass ($62 for 3 days; $72 for 7 days)? Next question will be, how many days are you willing to walk hundred of step?

Shopping?

Clothes are almost at the same price here in Manila. North Face products are the best buy on Vietnam since even their class A are in good quality and price. Cambodia has good quality sarongs and scarves. In terms of food pasalubongs, they only have dried fruits.

Other Intercity Bus Companies

Giant Ibis

Vietnam 2018

Kumho Samco

Vietnam 2018

There are two ways you can travel to Cambodia from Vietnam – by bus or by plane. Plane tickets can cost you around 150 USD one way.  If you’re willing to spend that much money, then book your ticket with Vietnam Airlines (Phnom Penh & Siem Reap entry) or Cambodia Angkor Air (Siem Reap entry only). If you want to save some money, then let’s stick with the bus.

Is it safe?

Amidst all the blogs and scams I’ve read online, I felt safe on Ho Chi Minh and Siem Reap. But keep in mind to be still alert. Their money is confusing so avoid showing it to the vendors or drivers. They usually tricked tourist of getting the different value (e.g getting 100,000 bill instead of 10,000 bill). I’ve also heard a lot of scamming incident with habal-habal drivers offering you a city tour. Try to stick with Grab or Uber.

Phnom Penh, on the other hand, is the opposite. I felt like that someone will just grab my bag and phone even at noontime. Our tuk-tuk driver even warned us.

Cambodia

Before, I thought that Vietnam and Cambodia are the countries I’ll only be going once (the Philippines has a lot more to offer they said). I never saw myself enjoying these countries and thinking of going back someday. But I did. And I hope you will too.

Ho Chi Minh City

Heading to Ho Chi Minh soon?

Click the image on the left for a detailed island travel guide that will help you more.

Or have been already?

We can share tips, experience and guides in the comment section below!

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8 Comments. Leave new

  • I have done a small Indochina tour before but the countries I visited are Cambodia and Thailand. I’m going to Vietnam in a few months time, so thanks for sharing this! I’m kinda excited for the trip because I heard Vietnamese food is so good! I am also looking forward to visit Cu Chi Tunnels and the War Remnants Museum as I am really fascinated by war. Weird, I know. Lol.

    Reply
  • I’ve visited Vietnam, this is a quite nice place.

    Reply
  • Bianca Trovela
    July 10, 2018 11:51 am

    Hi, Bea! Will definitely bookmark this travel guide of yours. 🙂

    http://brokenbiyahera.com

    Reply
  • Edgreen Caballero
    July 27, 2018 10:27 am

    Hi! Your travel guide helped me a lot in planning my family’s December Viet-Cam trip. Thanks a lot for this. Just want to ask how were you able to get the 30 dollar airfare from Phnom Pehn to Siem Reap?

    Reply
  • The Fun-sized Traveller
    May 22, 2019 3:20 am

    The Angkor Temples would really require at least 3 days to fully explore its vastness. Given my too limited attention span, it was a surprise not being easily templed out getting around the temples. I loved looking at the carvings which were to intricate especially at Bayon, Angkor Wat and Preah Khan. I didn’t get a chance to explore other places in IndoChina but I would surely love to be back and have this article as reference. Love the details you put out here. 😉

    Reply
  • […] READ Vietnam & Cambodia: 6 DAYS ITINERARY AND TRAVEL GUIDE […]

    Reply

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