Vietnam and Cambodia are the two fascinating tourist destinations in South East Asia. Both these countries are extremely tourist friendly and fellow nationals love the presence of tourists. Blessed landscapes, pristine beaches, mesmerizing rice paddy fields, waterfalls, islands, lime caves, underground tunnels, war memorials, mausoleums, historically significant locations, etc., make Vietnam and Cambodia tours an inevitable travel destination for all type of backpackers.
Travel agents offer package tours to Vietnam and Cambodia. You can find different types of package programs suitable for budget and nature of your Cambodia and Vietnam tour. Options of tourism packages spread over, family tour, honeymoon tour, vacation tour, study tour, private tour, etc. Tour operators can also take care of your visa processing, accommodation, and tailor-made tour packages meeting the interest of tourists.
Both these countries are safe to travel, and generally, the locals are polite and mingle with the tourists easily. People travel alone to these countries would find it a bit tricky, but it will be a pleasant experience if you can organize your tour with an experienced tour operator.
There are many benefits if you can organize a private tour to Vietnam and Cambodia with a tour operator. The tour operator can plan your program methodically, covering most of the important location without wasting your time and money. So, mainly you will have a packed tour program, and the tour operator can organize your travel depending on your budget and number of days you want to spend during the South East Asia tour.
How to reach to Vietnam from the different part of the world?
Reach Vietnam by Air
Vietnam has excellent international travel connectivity by air. It has three international airports;Hanoi or (Noi Bai International Airport), Da Nang (Danang International Airport) and Ho Chi Minh City (Tan Son Nhat International Airport). Tourist with visa on arrival can directly land at any of these airports and get their visa stamped. Of course, the best way to visit Vietnam and Cambodia is by air by which you can save a lot of travel time.
Instead of flying directly to Vietnam, it would be much economic if you can take a stopover flight, via Singapore, Bangkok or Hong Kong. Passengers can also have transit at any of these airports without any extra cost.
You can again reduce the cost flight ticket to Vietnam by taking a budget flight to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Bangkok and there take low-cost tickets to Vietnam through regional airlines, which is also a best way to visit Vietnam and Cambodia.
Regional airlines and some international careers also offer an open jaw ticket, which will let you to travel to an airport and depart from another city airport. These options are highly beneficial for people to move to different tourist destination other than the landing airport location.
How to get budget air tickets to Vietnam?
During peak season the airfares will be costly, and in the offseason, it will be much cheaper. Peak season starts from July to August. Besides, New Year holidays, Tet-the Vietnamese New Year celebration and Christmas, the airfares will be expensive. Air tickets will be cheaper during January and June. After the peak period, during September to the second week of December, the ticket prices will show a downward trend. Therefore plan your Vietnam and Cambodia trip accordingly and avail the best airfares.
Many tour operators are offering package tours by clubbing different South East Asian countries. These types of tour package will cover entry passes to different tourist centers, car rentals, railway tickets, hotel accommodation, cruise trips, etc. The package tours are ideal for people who are planning to travel in groups, which will be more economical. There won’t any problem for you to find out best Vietnam and Cambodia tour packages.
Presence of many regional airlines and their budget airline service from nearby countries, make travelling to Vietnam and Cambodia much cheaper than never before. In addition to all these options, tourists can find stopover flights from US, Canada, Europe, Middle East, India, China, Australia, and New Zealand. Read more: Cheap flights to Vietnam.
Reach Vietnam by Bus:
Vietnam has excellent international travel connectivity from Cambodia and Laos. Many companies are operating daily bus services, connecting Saigon with Cambodia and Laos with Central Vietnam.Tourists with a valid visa can use the bus services.
The most popular border crossing from Laos is Lao Bao Dansavanh, which is 80 km west of Dong Ha. Besides, Lao Bao, there are five border crossing open for foreign tourists. The other 5 border crossing points are Nam Can Nong Haet, Cau Treo Nam Phao, Boy Attapeu, Cha Lo Na Phao, and Na Meo Nam Xoi. The approximate traveling is 12 hours.
Reach Vietnam by Rail:
Tourists from China can travel to Vietnam by rail boarding from Beijing and Nanning. The rail journey will take the passengers right to the heart of Hanoi at Gia Lam station. The train journey is preferable for passengers who are planning to visit the northern part of Vietnam. It will take approximately 8-9 hours.
Reach Vietnam by Ferry service:
Tourists, embarking from Cambodia to Vietnam can opt for ferry services. From Cambodia, ferry service is operating via Mekong Delta. The cruise service will take 7-8 hours.
Touring in and around Vietnam:
Buses in Vietnam
The road network in Vietnam is comparatively good, and tourist can reach almost every corner of the country, which is one of the cheapest options to travel across. For a ride of 5 or 6 hours in a long distance bus will costs around $6 depending on distance. Long-distance buses are cheap, generally on time, and usually comfortable. The average speed of a bus journey will be 50-60km/h. You can find a lot of luxury tourist buses, deluxe buses, and local public transport bus services making your Vietnam and Cambodia tours a fantastic experience.
Public bus services are well-liked mostly in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Public buses are inexpensive but it is always crowded, and hence you will find it is a tough system to try. But you can see a myriad of private operators offering transport services on all main routes. Sometimes the pickup and drop off locations are quite extreme from main destinations, and this makes bus travel a bit unusable. However, you won't face many problems in finding a suitable bus service to your desired tourist destination. Between the cities, private transport companies are operating air-conditioned bus services, which can make your tour activities a pleasant experience. Make sure to book your ticket through your tour operator, to avoid last minute surprise.
Train ride in Vietnam
The train line starts from the north and continues to spear through the coastal area and ends at Ho Chi Minh City. The national carrier, Vietnam Railways operate the service and offers four different ticket classes, with a soft seat, hard seat, soft sleeper, and hard sleeper. You can have a/c and non a/c services in all categories. Since the railway accepts 60-90 days booking, a tourist who plans their trip well in advance will find it very convenient.
Motorbike experience in Vietnam
Motorbike may be another preferred travel options in Vietnam, especially if you want to visit the village side. Tourist can hire a bike or rent a motorcycle with a driver.
Fun with Cyclo
The 3 wheeled Cyclo is a bicycle taxi that has a double seat supported by 2 larger wheels in front and behind. Local mass commonly doesn't use them for transport, but it serves as a pleaser amongst tourists.
Xe Om amusement
Xe Om is nothing but a motorcycle taxi that runs all around the city of Vietnam and is a smart option to hire for your quick journey.The rent of Xe Om is negotiable depending on distance and traffic density of the area. Usually, the charges will be about 20,000 - 40,000 VND per trip to travel between short distance. It is an ideal mode of transport within the city.
A safe and sensible way to travel within the city is by hiring a metered taxi. Try to hire a taxi from a reputed organization that runs on a fixed meter, and it is a good option for first-time tourists, who are not familiar with the location or not having any arrangements with local tour operators.
How to reach Cambodia from different parts of the world?
The mystical land of Cambodia has excellent air connectivity from different from the part of the world and is the best way to visit Vietnam and Cambodia. It has two international airports, the Phnom Penh International Airport and Siem Reap International Airport. Besides, Cambodia also have some small airports. However, tourists mainly land at Phnom Penh International Airport and Siem Reap International Airport. Tourist can find regular flights from Bang Kong, Singapore, and Ho Chi Minh City.
From Europe, tourists can reach to Siem Reap by Trans-Siberian Railway. Similarly, the tourists from Bangkok and other cities can also enter to Siem Reap by train. The journey from Bangkok to Vietnam Cambodia border will take about 6 hours. Though the train journey is relatively slow, it had many advantages from the tourism point of view.
By bus and taxi service to Cambodia:
Bus services are the economical form of transport in Cambodia. It has well-connected state highway network services between Bangkok and Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. You can find frequent bus services between Cambodia and Bangkok. From Saigon, Vietnam and Phnom Penh also regular bus services are available.
Renting a taxi to Cambodia from Bangkok is also a preferred option as it is faster than bus services. If you have all the travel documents ready then crossing the Cambodian borderwill be easy.
Tourist can use the ferry services to reach Cambodia through the two international seaports, the Phnom Penh International Seaport, and Sihanouk International Seaport. Mekong, Tonl Sap, and Bassac rivers are using for the ferry service.
Getting in and around in Cambodia:
Transport in Cambodia
Comparing to Vietnam, Cambodia will paint a sorry picture of the transport service. The prolonged political unrest and war had the negative dent in the transport system. Therefore tourist venture on a private tour to Vietnam and Cambodiawill face tough situation traveling smoothly within Cambodia. Even though the domestic transport system is awful, there are a lot of things to see in Cambodia.
Bus journeys are always time-consuming because of the poor infrastructure. For long-distance routes, you can find a/c coaches, and for short distance, express minivans are the best option. Most of the major cities have express road link access, and you will have to change bus in between the transport hubs to reach the destination. Due to the road condition, on an average, it will take about 7 hours to cover 300 kilometers.
If you are not on a tight budget tour program, then it would be better to hire a taxi car with driver. Your tour operator can help you to engage an experienced taxi driver, which is an ideal option for the best Vietnam and Cambodia tour than depending on a public transport service.
Cambodian local transport
City bus services: Except in Phnom Penh, you cannot find any city bus services. In Phnom Penh too, the services have been recently introduced. For commuting between cities, bus services are always economical.
TukTuk: It is the most popular transport service in Cambodia, which is officially known as Remork-moto. It is one of the best options to travel economically in groups between short distances. You can hire it for a whole day. The service providers are very cordial.
Motodup: It is another form of city transport service, a motorcycle taxi alternative to TukTuk service. Moto is a quick way of taking hops around towns and cities. The minimum cost will be US$ 1.50 per short journey or more depending on the distance. As a tourist, if you are traveling without any local tour operator assistance, make sure to negotiate the rate before you hire a moto service.
Train service: The Cambodian government has recently started train service between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, which is modern, neat and very comfortable to travel.
You can find many taxi services in Cambodian towns, but very few are with metered taxis. Hence you need to negotiate the rate before hiring a taxi. But, it will always be better to arrange taxis through your tour operator, so that you can have a comfortable journey than negotiating for the rate. Sharing taxi services are also available in Cambodian cities, which will make your cost of travel much less. Sharing taxi services are available for long and short distance travel.
Passport essentials of Vietnam
For Vietnam and Cambodia tours, you need to have a valid passport, and it should have a minimum of 6 months validity from the date of boarding.
Tourists who are planning to visit Vietnam required a visa before the arrival, except for certain citizens who don't need a visa to enter Vietnam. Visa on arrival facilities are easier than applying for a visa through the embassies. When you can get online visa approval within 2 days, applying through embassy will take about 7 days. Tourists can opt for 1 month or 3-month visa, which are extendable before the expiry while staying at Vietnam. The entry fee and stamping fee shall vary depending on the type of visa. Tourists who have visa on arrival approval can directly fly to any of the three international airports.
People coming from Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Philippines Thailand and, Singapore do not need a visa for staying 30 days in Vietnam. Whereas citizens of Japan, Finland, Denmark, South Korea, do not require a visa for 15 days tour planning in Vietnam. Apply cheap Visa to Vietnam?
Cambodia visa system
Tourists planning to travel to Cambodia required a passport with minimum 6 months validity, online entry permit or visa from the Cambodian embassies of the respective country of the traveler. Visa on arrival permit can get stamped at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap International Airports. Passengers traveling from Thailand can get visas at Poipet Banteay Meanchey and Cham Yeam. Tourists from Vietnam can have their visa stamped at Bavet or Ka-Om Samnor. All passengers from Thailand and Vietnam should have prior visa approval from the respective overseas Cambodian Consulates.
Tourists can receive visa on arrival permit with 30 days with a possibility for extension. Some national like, people from Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Brunei, etc., do not require a visa to travel Cambodia and can stay 14 to 30 days depending on the types of passport.
If you can consult a tour operator for facilitating visa, tour package and accommodation, etc., can ease up your travel requirements.
Should one book ticket in advance for availing economical flight tickets?
Booking your air tickets in advance is the best option to avoid last minute rush and saving some money. Since many airlines are offering offseason rate cuts, you should grab the offers to enjoy the ticket benefits while planning for a Vietnam and Cambodia tour. If you want to enjoy your journey to Vietnam and Cambodia at a tight budget, then book your tickets in advance. The tickets charge may fluctuate depending on the season.
Opt for tour packages:
Visiting Vietnam and Cambodia will always give you memorable lifelong experiences. For making your visit a wonderful experience, be it a family tour, honeymoon trip, vacation, excursion or historical expedition, there is a lot an experienced tour operator can do for you. They can take care of your tour program from the date of conception and until your return. The tour operators can offer you tailor-made tour packages or conducted tours or package tour options, which you can select as per budget and tour plans.
Select a reliable tour operator:
It doesn't matter, whether you are a first-time traveler or a frequent traveler to South Eastern countries. As a tourist, it would be the best option to select a tour operator who can take care of your travel requirements. Therefore choose somebody who is an expert in organizing tour packages to Vietnam and Cambodia, who can understand your budget constraints and limitations. You have a lot of more places to visit in Cambodia and Vietnam. Many are the historically significant destinations, some are rich with serene beauty you never want to miss. The best way to visit Vietnam and Cambodia is by choosing a reliable tour operator, who can offer you a satisfactory tour package.