Vietnam and Cambodia are fascinating countries that are extremely hot with travellers from around the world. From the ancient capital of Hanoi and sparkling waters of Halong Bay to the beautiful beaches in Sihanoukville and the incredible ruins of Angkor, a trip to these two destinations is certain to provide a rewarding mix of friendly locals, lush jungles, perfect coastlines and big cities.
When to go
In general, the best time to organise the Vietnam and Cambodia tour is November-April. At this time of year, the humidity and temperature starts to fall in the northern and central regions of Vietnam. Plus, the rainfall is less frequent in both countries at this time.
While the dry season (November-April) is a great time to travel, the costs for tourists in Vietnam and Cambodia are likely to rise. If travelling at this time of this year it is worthwhile organising the itinerary and accommodation as soon as possible. A particularly busy time is late January or early February when the weeklong Vietnamese Tet Festival takes place.
May-October is the quiet time for the tour Vietnam and Cambodia. This is the off season (also called wet season) when there is less tourist traffic and prices are lower. But, most of the rain is short and sharp showers, so still a good time to travel.
Travel to Vietnam
From the ancient city of Hanoi and the fascinating beauty of Halong bay down to the bustling Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam have plenty of things to fall in love with: crazy metropolises, hill-tribe villages, rice paddies, jungles, mountains and beaches.
There are so many different things to see and do in our Vietnam and Cambodia travel guide. Here are a few of the best bits:
Hanoi is Vietnam's bustling capital city and rich with street food vendors, bars, cafes and shops that are quick to captivate on the Indochina holiday. Get a real insight into the country’s history by visiting the city's various museums and Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum
A trip into the northern hills provides a practical opportunity to unearth the more rugged side of Vietnam. Sapa is a region of stunning beauty and this mountainous area has vivid green rice terraces and several local ethnic minority villages nearby. A 2-3 day tour of Sapa is perfect to get a complete break from city life and admire the incredible scenery on a trekking adventure.
Halong Bay is one of the country’s biggest highlights. It is just a 4 hour drive to reach from Hanoi and best experienced on an overnight cruise. With its thousands of limestone islands and emerald waters, Halong Bay is well worth the time and effort to reach. A trip around the islands on board a traditional junk-style boat is certain to create a memorable travel trip. For the longer cruise, a great place to visit is Cat Ba Island (largest island in Halong Bay) and a perfect place to stay for a night or two.
Hoi An is a must visit destination on the organised trips to Vietnam and Cambodia with its rich ancient temples, cafes, pretty colonial houses, and picture perfect streets. While walking the quiet streets it is possible to stop at one of the many fantastic tailors, or simply relax by visiting one of the charming waterside bars. When in Hoi An it is worth hiring a bicycle to head out and explore the nearby countryside.
Ho Chi Minh City
A visit to Ho Chi Minh City gives a perfect opportunity to explore Vietnam's economical hub that is a lively, bustling region and full of energy. Discover more about local culture and history by visiting the museums, temples, and pagodas. Try some of the incredible local cuisine or shop for gifts and souvenirs at the exciting Ben Thanh Market. Also, there is plenty of nightlife to enjoy, from Pham Ngu Lao Street with its restaurants, bars and clubs to the stylish and sleek rooftop bars.
Travel to Cambodia
Cambodia is well loved travel destination in SE Asia with many different highlights such as Siem Reap with the awe-inspiring ruins of Angkor nearby to the mostly undiscovered coastline that is perfect to completely escape from the commotion of the built up tourist areas.
Siem Reap is a fast-growing city with plenty of nightclubs, restaurants and hotels. It is a major tourist destination because it is right next to the temples of Angkor, so makes a great base for two or three days. Also, there is the Angkor National Museum, which is great to visit while in the area.
The temples of Angkor are stunning and awe-inspiring with an impressive grand scale that attracts throngs of visitors. This fascinating religious monument is the largest complex of its type in the world. A tour of the park can easily fill a full day or longer and includes visiting not only the main temple of Angkor Wat, but also other popular temples like Bayon, Banteay Srei, Ta Phrohm, and Banteay Samre.
Phnom Penh is the nation's capital and gives travellers the chance to see the real Cambodia after witnessing the more tourism side of Siem Reap. A visit to Phnom Penh is great for visitors that want to discover more about the recent tragic past in the country, such as the Killing Fields and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. They give a great insight into the country's history, but may not be the type of trip for the faint hearted.
Sihanoukville is Cambodia's popular beach hangout with its tropical coastline and chilled out atmosphere. Also, it is a great springboard to reach the southern islands of Cambodia, such as Koh Rong Sanloem and Koh Rong.