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Summer Itinerary for Vietnam and Cambodia

Summer Itinerary for Vietnam and Cambodia

This itinerary for Vietnam and Cambodia covers the best things to do in these Southeast Asia countries, perfect for those taking a trip this Summer.

A trip to Vietnam and Cambodia this summer promises to be an adventure of a lifetime. From exploring ancient temples to indulging in mouth-watering cuisine, there’s something for every traveler to discover. 

Get ready, because this trip is going to be nothing short of spectacular! Here are our most favorite things to do at the heart of Southeast Asia.

Itinerary for Vietnam and Cambodia

planning a trip to vietnam

Best things to do in Vietnam

Firstly, begin by planning a trip to Vietnam. Because of the international airports here and the great connections the country has to nearby Asian destinations, Vietnam is often the best place to start.

We have a full Vietnam itinerary if you want to fully explore the country but here are just some of the best places to explore and things to experience in Vietnam:


Known for its historic temples and the fascinating Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum; the final resting place of the former leader, Ho Chi Minh, there is plenty of things to do in Hanoi. Not far from the mausoleum are the Presidential Palace, One Pillar Pagoda, and Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House.

You also need to visit the Temple of Literature to see the traditional Vietnamese architecture and serene garden. This was, in fact, Vietnam’s first university, dating back to 1070.

Learn about the harsh conditions of the Vietnamese revolutionaries at the Hoa Lo Prison but also learn about the dedicated role of women in Vietnam at the Vietnamese Women’s Museum.

We recommend you spend at least 2 days in Hanoi to see all of the best sights and stay in the Old Quarter for its bustling streets, street food vendors, and local stores.

For a scenic spot, head to the Hoan Kiem Lake where you can find the Ngoc Son Temple but then head to West Lake, to see the Tran Quoc Pagoda.

Halong Bay

Next, book a 2-day boat tour from Hanoi to Halong Bay. There are so many different cruises to choose from and we loved our time on the Alisa Cruises. Cruise companies will arrange a pick-up from your Hanoi hotel, bring you down to the ship, and then take you back to Hanoi at the end of your trip.

Halong Bay is a beautiful place to explore, known for its karst mountains protruding from the waters.


If you have time, we recommend heading over to Sapa. You can catch the train to Sapa from Hanoi, but these are incredible rice terraces that are often overlooked.

On and near the fields are plenty of accommodation options, from the luxurious Topas EcoLodge to the comfortable, unique Sapa Clay House.

Hoi An 3 weeks in Vietnam

Danang and Hoi An

From here, head down to Danang and Hoi An. You can fly domestically using cheap, budget airlines or take a scenic train journey.

In Danang, you can visit My Khe Beach, one of the most famous beaches in Vietnam, but also visit the Marble Mountains, a cluster of five marble and limestone hills.

One of our favorite things to do in Danang is the Ba Nah Hills. This is a mountain resort with an amusement park, a French-themed village, and an incredible Golden Bridge, made to look like it is being held up by a hand.

Then, not far from Danang is Hoi An. Wander through the Hoi An Ancient Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site with well-preserved buildings, temples, and bridges. Explore the night market, visit the Assembly Halls, and try your hand at a lantern-making workshop.

Ho Chi Minh City

Finally, end your Vietnam trip in Ho Chi Minh City. Head out to see the Cu Chi Tunnels, visit the War Remnants Museum, and then see the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Enjoy some amazing food whilst in the city and make sure to try Vietnamese Coffee whilst you are here.


Best things to do in Cambodia

Next up on your itinerary in Vietnam and Cambodia, we head to Cambodia. You could choose to fly from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh but there is also the option to take the bus. This journey takes around 6 hours and crosses the border between the countries. When planning a trip to Cambodia, many choose to start in Phnom Penh and then travel to Siem Reap.


Phnom Penh

Start your trip to Cambodia with the capital, Phnom Penh. Learn about the dark history of the country by visiting the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Choeung Ek Genocidal Center; moving harrowing, moving experiences.

Whilst you are here, you should also visit the Royal Palace, before heading to Wat Phnom Daun Penh; a gorgeous Buddhist temple.

Siem Reap

And the grand finale of your itinerary for Vietnam and Cambodia is Siem Reap.

Angkor Wat is one of the most breathtaking, mesmerizing temple complexes we have ever visited (and after living in Asia for 8 years, we have seen a lot).

Spend time exploring the temple complex but also enjoy local and quirky food along Pub Street. Take a cooking class, visit the Angkor National Museum, and then relax in one of the affordable, luxury hotels.

What Not to miss during your itinerary for Vietnam and Cambodia?

Things to do in Hanoi Vietnam

1. Go on a Gastronomic Adventure

No trip to Vietnam would be complete without indulging in its world-renowned cuisine. From pho and crispy banh mi to savory bun cha and mouth-watering fresh spring rolls, Vietnam’s culinary offerings are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

So, be sure to embark on a street food tour to sample an array of dishes and flavors or learn the art of Vietnamese cooking with a hands-on cooking class.

Also, do not forget to pair your meals with a glass of refreshing Vietnamese iced coffee or a bowl of freshly squeezed sugarcane juice for the ultimate culinary experience.

2. Explore the Cities by Riding a Tuk-Tuk

When on a trip to Vietnam, ditch the conventional modes of transportation and hop on a tuk-tuk. These colorful three-wheeled vehicles offer a unique perspective as you explore bustling streets and narrow alleyways.

Feel the pulse of the cities as you zip through vibrant markets, ancient pagodas, and colonial-era buildings. Explore the streets of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam or venture around the most populous city of Cambodia and let the rhythm of the cities guide you on an unforgettable journey.

3. Try Artisanal Traditions with Silk- and Mat-Weaving

Still thinking of what to do in Cambodia and Vietnam? One of the most captivating aspects of Vietnamese and Cambodian culture is their rich tradition of silk and mat-weaving.

Dive into the heart of local craftsmanship by visiting silk villages such as Hoi An in Vietnam and the town of Siem Reap in Cambodia. Observe the masterful craftsmanship of artisans as they expertly weave intricate patterns into exquisite textiles.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to pick up some souvenirs to take home!

4. Immerse in Vietnam and Cambodia’s History by Visiting Temples

No trip to Vietnam and Cambodia would be complete without exploring their ancient temples and ruins. Embark on an unforgettable journey through these countries, where ancient marvels whisper tales of bygone eras.

Behold the breathtaking Royal Palace and the legendary Angkor Wat, a colossal testament to spiritual devotion and architectural brilliance, and delve into the enigmatic history of the Khmer Empire as you wander amidst these timeless structures, each one a portal to another time.

For those seeking summer adventures in Vietnam, venture to the historic city of Hue. Here, the Imperial City stands as a revered UNESCO World Heritage Site, preserving the majestic remnants of Vietnam’s imperial legacy for modern explorers to uncover.

Junk Boat Vietnam

5. Visit Floating Villages

To truly understand life in the two Southeast Asia countries, venture off the beaten path and visit floating villages along the Mekong Delta and Tonle Sap Lake. Witness the daily rhythms of life as locals go about their activities, from fishing to trading goods at floating markets.

Engage with the communities, learn about their traditional way of life, and gain a deeper appreciation for their resilience in the face of adversity.

Exploring these floating villages promises to be a highlight of your travels, providing a unique window into a realm unlike any other you’ll encounter on your journey.

6. Cruise the Mekong River 

For those celebrating a special occasion, embark on a Mekong River cruise. Drift along the tranquil waters of the Mekong Delta, passing lush rice paddies, floating markets, and sleepy riverside villages.

Watch the sunset paint the sky in hues of orange and pink as you sip on a cocktail on the deck of your luxurious riverboat. With stops at charming towns and cultural landmarks along the way, a Mekong River cruise promises to be the highlight of your summer this year. 

Check out what you’ll experience on a Mekong River Cruise here.

Ready for Your Trip? Here are a Few Extra Tips!

  • Stay hydrated. The summer heat in Vietnam and Cambodia can be intense, so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Dress appropriately. Ensure to adhere to conservative attire guidelines when exploring temples and sacred landmarks in both nations. Bring lightweight, breathable clothing to stay comfortable in the heat.
  • Respect local customs. Familiarize yourself with local customs and traditions to show respect for the local culture. Learn a few basic phrases in the local language to enhance your interactions with locals.
  • Be mindful of wildlife. If you’re planning to visit wildlife sanctuaries or natural attractions, remember to observe animals from a respectful distance and avoid activities that could harm their natural habitat.
  • Stay informed. Keep yourself updated on travel advisories and local regulations. Follow guidelines from health authorities and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

We want to be a part of your adventure! Let us know which of these activities excites you the most in the comments below!

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