The Indochina trail is South East Asia’s most infamous travel route. A popular itinerary crosses 3 countries, namely Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam. It often extends to Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar, and Singapore.

This trip is very exciting, especially among travelers embarking on their first multi-country journey in the region. I highly recommend it because you’ll be able to see many awe-inspiring sights including the Grand Palace & temples in Thailand, majestic Angkor temples in Cambodia & energetic urban scene in Vietnam. Of course, all the while enjoying the different cultures and cuisines along the way.

I’ve followed the Indochina trail and have been to these Southeast Asian countries separately many times. Because of its popularity, the trip is very doable even with little planning.

This detailed travel guide will make it even easier to start your adventure. I’ve included important things to prepare and detailed step-by-step tips. Followed by budget estimates, recommended places to stay & extra tips that can help you save money and time.

Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Click here to see more on Instagram.

Travel Checklist

Before we go on with the actual itinerary, here are things that you might need to prepare and bring for a hassle-free trip. I’ll be discussing these items in more detail on the extra tips posted at the end of this guide.

Passport & Tourist Visa  — The most important thing you need to bring is a passport that must not expire within the next 6 months. Specifically, on arrival in the last country you’ll be visiting (Vietnam, if you follow this itinerary in exact order). Fortunately, Pinoy travelers can enjoy Visa-free travel to all three countries. For short stays, there’s no need to apply for a tourist visa before going.

Accommodations

Have your confirmed reservations in hand before arriving. Book your stay online for rock-bottom prices & instant confirmation. Reserve your room as soon as you know you are going because prices rarely go down the closer you are to your trip.

Click below to compare prices & read reviews by other travelers.

Bangkok hotel reservation

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Siem Reap hotel reservation

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Ho Chi Minh hotel reservation

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Tours & Attraction tickets

You can go about the tours independently (a.k.a do-it-yourself or DIY). In case you want to enjoy a guided tour, pre-booking online will save you money, avoid the hassles of exchanging and bringing large amounts of cash. You can even show your tickets as proof that you are traveling as a tourist, at immigration checkpoints. Click below to check prices.

Bangkok discountsSiem Reap discountsHo Chi Minh discounts

Flights & transport

Flight tickets — This is first thing that immigration officers might ask you to show. You must have a confirmed return plane ticket back to your home country or an onward flight to a country you’re allowed to enter. Book your flights well in advance if you want to grab cheaper fares.

Compare airlines

Bus & border crossing transfers — This itinerary makes use of land border crossing between Thailand-Cambodia & Cambodia-Vietnam. To maximize your trip, book direct transfers that includes the border crossings. The point-to-point shuttle/bus will save you a lot of time & inconveniences from multiple transfers & scammers at the border.

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Indochina Itinerary

Here’s a sample 5-day itinerary that includes 3 countries and 4 cities in Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam.

Many of you might be thinking that 5 days is too short to comfortably visit these places. It’s doable, but yes, the trip will be rushed & exhausting especially if you’re used to slow travel. Despite the time constraints, I’ve met many travelers who have done & enjoyed a trip. Nearly all of them have regular working hours/days and can only travel this long by combining weekends, holidays & limited vacation leaves.

However long you want to do your trip, you can still use the detailed tips below as a guide. If you can, extend the trip to at least 7 days so that you can enjoy a more relaxed pace. I’ve included a 1-week itinerary & more places to visit in case you do.

Leg 1 — Thailand

Day 1 — Bangkok

8:40 am — Bangkok Airport arrival

Suvarnabhumi International Airport near Bangkok, Thailand

There are two airports that serve Bangkok: (1) Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) and (2) Don Muang International Airport. Flights by Thai Airways & most foreign carriers arrive at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Your arrival airport should be indicated on the flight itinerary sent when you booked your plane ticket.

Getting to Bangkok city center is easy. If you are traveling light, take the train to avoid getting stuck in traffic.

Make sure to click on the “Show more” buttons below to see itinerary details & helpful tips.
Philippines-Manila to Bangkok flight & itinerary

3:20 am — ETA Manila-NAIA Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL)

Flight check-in & baggage drop

Clear Philippine immigration checkpoint.

6:20 am — ETD Manila. Manila to Bangkok flight.

8:40 am — Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK)

Clear Thailand immigration checkpoint.

Pickup luggage (if any). Clear Thailand customs checkpoint.

Exchange currency to Thai Baht (THB) or withdraw at ATM.

Pickup WiFi Device or SIM Card pre-ordered online.

How to get to Bangkok city center from Suvarnabhumi Airport by train/public transport

Follow the signs to the Airport rail link/train found at the basement level.

To Khao San Road, drop off at Makkasan station. Train fare is THB 35 per person. Travel time is 20 minutes. From the exit, ride Bus 556 and drop off at the stop just after Democracy Monument. Bus fare is THB 15 per person. Then, walk 30 meters down to Khao San Road.

To Hua Lamphong/MRT, drop off at Makkasan station. Walk/switch to Phetchaburi MRT station. Ride the train to Hua Lamphong MRT station. Train fare is THB 29 per person.

To Siam/BTS, drop off at Phaya Thai station. Walk/switch to Phaya Thai MRT station. Ride the train to Siam BTS station.

Pre-book Bangkok airport transfer
10 am — Bangkok hotel check-in

Search below to find discounts & top rated places to stay.

10:30 am — Free time

Marcos at Jim Thompson House, in Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok can get really hot during midday hours. Here are some suggestions on places you can go if you want to beat the Bangkok heat. Choose one that suits the kind of places you want to see: (1) Jim Thompson House, (2) Bangkok mall or (3) Wat Saket (Golden Mount temple), Giant Swing & Wat Suthat.

Jim Thompson House — For culture lovers. Houses the impressive art collection of Jim Thompson, an American expat famous for revitalizing the Thai silk industry in the 1950s and 1960s. The site also features traditional Thai-style houses surrounded by cool greeneries.

Bangkok mall — You’d want to go here not only for shopping & air-conditioning, most shopping malls in the city also have large food courts that serve a variety of affordable Thai food. Top picks include Siam Paragon, Central World & Platinum Mall.

Wat Saket (Golden Mount temple), Giant Swing & Wat Suthat — If the heat is bearable and you want to maximize your sightseeing in Bangkok, these are excellent places to explore near the Grand Palace and Khao San Road.

1:30 pm — Grand Palace & Bangkok temples

Temple exteriors at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand

Don’t miss a visit to the Grand Palace and interesting temples nearby including Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) and Wat Pho (Temple of the Giant Reclining Buddha).

Bangkok Grand Palace half-day itinerary

1:30 pm — Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) — Admission is THB 500 per person. Remember to wear appropriate clothing. Women can wear a dress/short at least down to the knees or long trousers, and a top that covers the shoulders. Men need to wear long pants. No long shorts allowed. Covered footwear is advised, but not required. Don’t fret too much about it because you can rent clothes if the guards find yours inappropriate.

Walk from Grand Palace to Wat Pho

3:30 pm — Wat Pho (Giant Reclining Buddha Temple) tour — Admission is THB 100 per person.

Walk to Tha Tien pier & ride the local ferry to Wat Arun — The ferry costs THB 3 per person.

4:30 pm — Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) tour — Admission is THB 100 per person.

Go on the ferry back to the other side of the river.

5:30 pm — Rest & watch the sunset at the riverside bars/restaurants with a good view of Wat Arun.

7 pm — Bangkok at night

Wat Arun at night, in Bangkok, Thailand. Click here to see more on Instagram.

Bangkok is just as exciting if not more after sundown. Here are some ideas for your last night in Bangkok. Your itinerary will depend on what you like to do.

Top things to do in Bangkok at night

Have a sumptuous dinner while enjoying the night views of the city on one of the Chao Phraya River cruises.

Drink & dine at Bangkok’s famous rooftop bars — Including Vertigo – Banyan Tree, Sky Bar, Octave Rooftop Bar, Park Society – Sofitel, Three Sixty – Millennium Hilton & more.

Enjoy a buffet with a view at rooftop restaurants — Including Baiyoke Sky Restaurant.

Explore the nightlife in Silom & Sukhumvit

See the infamous show in Patpong

Go mall shopping in Siam — Check out Siam Paragon, Central World, MBK, Gaysorn & Platinum Mall. You can also find cheap bargains at the Pratunam night market

Stroll & shop at Asiatique: The Riverfront Mall — Home of the famous Calypso Cabaret show

More Bangkok tours & discounts

Top tours in case you want to extend your trip in Thailand.

See also

Day 2 — Thailand to Cambodia

8 am — Bangkok to Siem Reap transport

The land journey from Bangkok to Siem Reap spans a bit over 400 kilometers and usually takes 9 hours. It’ll eat up the better part of your day. To avoid time lost changing buses & potential scams at the book direct transfers that include the border crossing, with a reputable company. The fare is around USD 32 per person per way.

Reputable bus companies include Giant Ibis, which offers pickup in Khao San Road, and Transport Co. (Nattakan), which departs from the Morchit (Mochit)-Northern Thailand Bus Station. You also have the option of booking from your hotel/hostel if you want to enjoy pickup directly from there. Or, book online to avoid fully-booked seats.

Whatever your decision, it’s important to arrive at the pickup point 1 hour before departure time. Carefully check the schedule, pick-up and drop-off areas. Also, always remember that Pinoys enjoy Visa-free travel in Cambodia. Do not believe anyone who says that you have to pay to cross the border.

Bangkok to Siem Reap bus tickets

Click below to see current prices you can book online.

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5 pm — Siem Reap arrival & hotel check-in

Search below to find discounts & top rated places to stay.

6 pm — Siem Reap city at night

Apsara Dancers, in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap isn’t just a gateway to Angkor, it has its own exciting attractions too. There’s a lot of things to do here at night. Watch a traditional Khmer Apsara dance, which is usually packaged with a filling dinner buffet. Then, go shopping & explore Cambodian street food at the night markets. Enjoy the cosmopolitan nightlife along infamous Pub Street. Or, indulge in a relaxing spa/massage.

Popular Siem Reap tours & discounts

Day 3 — Angkor temples & Siem Reap

The long land travel will be all worth it after you get to see Angkor Wat and other temple ruins in the Ancient City of Angkor. With a 1-day tour from Siem Reap, you can already see most of the major temples. Greet the sunrise at Angkor Wat and spend the whole day exploring other must-see sights in the ancient city including Ta Phrom, the “tomb raider” temple, Bayon and sunset on the top of Phnom Bakheng.

5 am — Start Angkor temples tour

Huge trees growing out of Ta Prohm (temple), in Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia

During your short visit, I recommend that you follow the Little Circuit route. It’s the most popular tour that includes the most impressive temples. You have two options, either going on a join-in tour or hiring your own transport (moto dop, tuk-tuk, or private car). The join-in tours usually include 3 major temples: (1) Angkor Wat, (2) Bayon & (3) Ta Phrom, best suited for solo travelers who are looking to share the cost of transport/guide. If you are traveling in a group, you can hire your own tuk-tuk or private car. The transport charter is recommended if you want to maximize your tour from sunrise to sundown.

Angkor Little Circuit DIY itinerary

5 am or earlier — ETD Siem Reap hotel

Buy Angkor Archaeological Park — 1-Day ticket costs USD 37 per person.

5:30 am — Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Prasat Kravan

Ta Prohm

Banteay Kdei

Ta Keo

Spean Thma

Chau Say Tevoda

Angkor Thom West Gate

Thommanon

Phimeanakas

Baphuon

Bayon

Angkor Thom South Gate

Angkor Wat

5 pm — Sunset at Phnom Bakheng

For more information on planning your day, check out the Siem Reap Itinerary guide.

7 pm — Continue tour of Siem Reap at night

Pub Street at night, in Siem Reap, Cambodia

10:30 pm — Siem Reap to Phnom Penh night bus

The 460-kilometer land journey from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam takes around 13 hours. You can cut this trip in half by taking a night bus to Phnom Penh, which takes around 7 hours. Although shuttles are faster, I recommend that you take the more comfortable bus. Bus fare is USD 15 per person. Remember to check out of the hotel/hostel before going on your tour of Angkor to avoid being charged an extra night. Most places will let you keep your bag/luggage at the concierge even after checking out.

Siem Reap to Phnom Penh bus tickets

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Day 4 — Phnom Penh & Cambodia to Vietnam

6 am — Phnom Penh Arrival

While you are in Phnom Penh, might as well go to some of the city’s famous tourist spots. Almost all bus stations are conveniently near the riverside and interesting places to visit. Allow 3 to 4 hours for your quick tour of Phnom Penh.

Phnom Penh half-day city tour

Angkor Wat replica at the Royal Palace, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Phnom Penh Riverside

Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda — Admission fee is USD 10 per person.

Cambodia National Museum — Admission fee is USD 10 per person.

Central Market

12:30 nn — Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh transfer

Bus travel from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam usually takes 6 to 7 hours. Again, go with a reputable bus company like Giant Ibis, Mekong Express or Capitol Tours. The fare is around USD 18 per person per way. The trip from Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap passes through the immigration border gates in Bavet (Cambodia side) and Moc Bai (Vietnam side).

See prices

7 pm — Ho Chi Minh Arrival and hotel check-in

Drop-off at District 1, the tourist district in Ho Chi Minh. Search below to find discounts & top rated places to stay.

Ho Chi Minh at night

Head to Nguyen Hue Walking Street for a scenic evening stroll. If you’re not ready to call it a night, enjoy cool drinks & sweeping views from one of many rooftop bars in Ho Chi Minh.

Nguyen Hue Walking Street in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam

Day 5 — Ho Chi Minh

Formerly Saigon, Ho Chi Minh (HCMC) is Vietnam’s most populated and chaotic city. Don’t let that scare you because the most of the major tourist sites & the main hotel/backpacker district are found in one small area — District 1.

8 am — Ho Chi Minh city tour

Start the day right with Vietnamese breakfast and coffee/tea at the local market or street side stalls. Then, see the city’s surviving French-colonial heritage sites and museums that offer insight into the war-time history/independence movement of the country. Most of Ho Chi Minh’s top sights are located near each other & can be easily visited on a whole or half day walking tour.

Ho Chi Minh City Hall in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh walking tour places to visit & things to do

Ho Chi Minh City Hall

Saigon Norte-Dame Basilica

Saigon Central Post Office

Reunification Palace — VND 15,000 admission fee per adult.

War Remnants Museum — VND 15,000 admission fee per adult.

Saigon’s Lunch Lady

Jade Emperor Pagoda

Saigon Skydeck — VND 200,000 admission fee per adult.

Saigon guided tours

Click below if you want to check prices/book a guided tour of the city.

See more Vietnam blogs & guides

Popular Ho Chi Minh tours & discounts

Planning to spend 2 days, 3 days or more in HCMC? Check out these online deals.

6 pm — Ho Chi Minh Airport transfer

Flights arrive at Tan Son Nhat-Ho Chi Minh International Airport (SGN), which is around 45 minutes away from the city center. You can go with the convenient taxi or the more affordable airport shuttle.

How to get to Ho Chi Minh Airport from District 1 (HCMC City Center)

By bus — Ride Bus #109, which has a stop at Pham Ngu Lao street in District 1. The fare is VND 20,000 per person. This route operates from 5:30 am until 1:30 am. You can also go on Bus #49, which also passes by Pham Ngu Lao & popular hotel areas beyond. The fare is VND 40,000 per person. The cheapest way to the airport is via Bus #152, which departs from the bus station near Ben Thanh. This route only runs until 6 pm. The fare is VND 5,000 per person.

By Uber, Grab, or taxi — Ride-sharing apps are popular in Vietnam. Make sure to take advantage of them if you want a secure and hassle-free ride. If you want to go with a taxi, metered rates range from VND 150,000 to VND 170,000 per ride.

7 pm — Ho Chi Minh Airport arrival
Ho Chi Minh to Manila flight & itinerary

Flight check-in & baggage drop

Clear Vietnam immigration checkpoint.

10 pm — ETD Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh to Manila flight.

1:45 am — ETA Manila-NAIA Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL)

Clear Philippine immigration checkpoint.

See also

Budget & Expenses

To help you set a budget plan, here’s a list of expenses to expect if you follow the Indochina itinerary above. Keep in mind that these are estimates. As you know, actual budgets/expenses may be different depending on a person’s traveling style & time of visit.

Indochina budgetBudget traveler. Per person.
USD 64Tours & Attractions — Including admission to Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun & Angkor temples. And, shared transport to Angkor Wat.
USD 67Transport — Including airport-city center transfers & all long distance transfers. Excluding short city center rides.
USD 50Food — Budget street food meals. USD 10 per day/person x 5 days. One meal costs between USD 1 to 3.
USD 18Accommodations — Backpacker dorms. USD 6 per night/bed x 3 nights.
USD 200Total — Approximately PHP 10,000.

The total budget above is for the entire 5 days. I’ve included backpacker budget estimates for food & accommodations to give you an idea of how cheaply you can do this trip. If you have money to splurge on mid-range hotels/food and luxuries, simply use the expenses posted on this page to calculate your own budget. The estimate excludes flights, short city center rides/transport & admission to other attractions.

Can you travel cheaper? The tour of Angkor alone eats up almost 1/5 of the total budget. It’s expensive, yes. You can easily achieve a budget of less than USD 30 per day if you skip the attractions completely… DON’T! because they are really worth the price.

Long-distance transport is going to cost the same regardless of how long you spend on your trip. One way to maximize your money is to extend more days on each stop. You might spend more for the whole trip, but you’ll also enjoy more places & lower the cost per day.

Transport breakdown
USD 1.5Bangkok Airport train — THB 50 per person.
USD 32Bangkok to Siem Reap bus
USD 15Siem Reap to Phnom Penh bus
USD 18Phom Penh to Ho Chi Minh bus
USD 0.88Ho Chi Minh Airport bus — VND 20,000.
Attractions & Tours breakdown
USD 20.6Bangkok Grand Palace & temples admission fee — Grand Palace admission is THB 500. Wat Arun admission is THB 100. Wat Pho admission is THB 100.
USD 37Angkor Archeological Park 1-day pass.
USD 6Angkor temples transport — Shared. Per Person.
USD 1.3Ho Chi Minh tourist spots admission fees — Including Reunification Palace & War Remnants Museum. Admission fee is VND 15,000 each museum per person.

Other expenses not included in the budget estimates above.

USD 4.5Jim Thompson House admission — THB 150 per adult.
USD 10Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda admission —  Per adult.
USD 10Cambodia National Museum admission —  Per adult.
USD 8.8Saigon Skydeck admission —  VND 200,000 per adult.

Ho Chi Minh to Manila flight
Manila to Bangkok flight
PHP 1,620Philippine Travel Tax – For outbound Pinoy tourists only.

Prices are accurate as of the time of writing. Kindly confirm current prices as it may change without prior notice.

Travel tips before you go

Here are extra tips to help you plan a trip. You can find more in-depth information on the travel guides of each destination/country.

Where to stay

In Bangkok

The most popular place to stay for budget travelers is Khao San Road & nearby areas. There are a lot of hostel, travel agencies & transport options here, which makes it an easy base to explore Thailand. Want better views & comfort? Try the mid-range & luxury hotels on the Chao Phraya Riverside. If you’re after the exciting shopping scene in Bangkok, stay near the BTS (MRT) train stations preferably in the area of Siam BTS station.

See discounts

In Siem Reap

You can find most of the budget hotels and backpackers hotels near the night markets/Pub Street in Siem Reap city center. Meanwhile, high-end hotels are located along Charles De Gaulle, the main road leading to Angkor Wat. For peaceful yet accessible hotels & guesthouses, there are plenty along the Siem Reap Riverside.

See discounts

In Ho Chi Minh

There’s no shortage of accommodations in District 1. Cheaper backpacker hostels are mostly found in the area of Pham Ngu Lao street. Meanwhile, many mid-range and high-end hotels are located along Nguyen Hue Walking Street and near the Saigon River banks.

See discounts

Where to book

See more places to stay on these trusted booking sites. I book with them frequently to grab rock bottom prices, often cheaper than walk-in rates. Click below to compare rates and book online.

AgodaBooking.comExpedia

Don’t forget to set the check-in/check-out dates to see current prices on your travel dates.

To view the best hotels/hostels, simply sort the results by guest ratings. Filter the results by “price per night” or “price range” to find rooms perfect for your budget. Carefully check the number of reviews, not only the review score.

To easily view the cheapest rooms, sort the results by price from lowest to highest. Again, be mindful of the review score and number of review to find the best options, as experienced by other travelers.

How to find cheap flights?

The easy way is to search on airfare comparison sites that can show you the lowest fares on many airlines in one go.

Click below to start searching:

MomondoWegoTripAdvisorSkyscanner

When are you going? See the cheapest flights that you can book right now. Enter your travel details and search.

Check promo alerts several weeks or months ahead of your trip if you are planning your trip early. The cheapest promos are sold up to a year in advance of the travel/flight departure date & are often only available if you book directly with the airline. Click below for the latest.

Thailand PromoCambodia PromoVietnam Promo

To learn more, visit the guide on how to book cheap flights.

Do I need a Visa?

Filipinos (Philippine passport holders) do not need to apply for a tourist visa before arriving in all three countries featured on this itinerary.

Pinoy travelers can enjoy Visa-free travel in Thailand for stays of 30 days or less. There’s a maximum of 2 visits annually if arriving by land. Don’t worry because you’ll only be crossing once. For Cambodia and Vietnam, the maximum stay is 21 days.

If anyone tells you that you need to pay anything when crossing the border, insist that Filipinos are not required to apply for a tourist visa and refuse their offer. Walk straight to the official immigration booths at the checkpoint. Before leaving, carefully check the new stamp on your passport & make sure that the date indicated is past your last day in the country.

For other nationalities, kindly visit the immigration website of each country.

How to get money/cash?

Bring cash in US Dollars (USD) for the whole trip. Or, major currencies like Euros or British Pounds. Philippine Pesos has awful exchange rates in these countries. Don’t exchange a lot at the airport because rates are the city center are usually better.

To avoid bringing large amounts of cash or worry about exchange rates, book tours, transport & rooms online if possible.

You can also use your Philippine-issued ATM card to withdraw money in the local currency. Fees usually range between USD 3 to 5 per withdrawal. Make sure to activate your ATM card for international withdrawal because you can still use it as a backup. Since you are spending very little time in each country, I highly suggest that you bring cash instead.

Here are the local currencies for your reference:

Vietnam — Vietnamese Dong (VND / ₫)

Cambodia — US Dollar is the unofficial second currency. It’s accepted almost everywhere in the country & the exchange rate you will get is quite fair. Officially it’s Cambodia Riel (KHR / ៛) but you don’t need to worry about exchanging money to riel.

Thailand — Thai Baht (THB / ฿)

Useful travel apps

Google Maps — This travel app will make it a lot easier to navigate around Singapore on your own. The directions feature only works online.

Maps.me — Excellent offline maps.

XE Currency — Free & easy currency converter.

Google Translate — Very useful to communicate with locals who do not speak English.

Can I do this trip longer?

Definitely! See the itineraries below for a quick look at how to plan your trip.

Indochina 1 week itinerary (7 days)

Day 1

Early morning flight to Bangkok

Bangkok city tour

Day 2

Bangkok floating markets tour or day trip to Ayutthaya

Bangkok shopping malls

Day 3

Bangkok to Siem Reap transfer

Siem Reap night tour

Day 4

Angkor temples tour

Siem Reap night tour

Siem Reap to Phnom Penh night bus

Day 5

Phnom Penh city tour

Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh transfer

Ho Chi Minh at night

Day 6

Chu Chi Tunnels or Mekong Delta tour

Ho Chi Minh shopping/night tour

Day 7

Ho Chi Minh – District 1 tour

Ho Chi Minh shopping

Late evening flight from Ho Chi Minh

If you only have 3 or 4 days, consider visiting only one destination or doing a twin-city tour of Bangkok-Siem Reap. Come back and visit more places on a separate trip.

Indochina 2 weeks itinerary

If you have two weeks or more, here are more places you can include in your itinerary:

Vietnam — Mekong Delta, Phu Quoc, Mui Ne, Dalat, Nha Trang

Cambodia — Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville

Thailand — Ayutthaya, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Phuket, Ko Samui/Ko Tao/Ko Phangan

Where to book tours & attraction tickets?

As mentioned, booking online can save you money, time and let you enjoy cashless convenience. In case you want to see more discounts and options, here’s a list of sites that you can check.

KlookKKdayExpedia

What bus company to go with?

Giant Ibis is quite reliable. They offer direct bus transfers between Bangkok, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh & Ho Chi Minh. The bus fare is a couple of dollars more expensive than competitors, but you’re assured of a safe and comfortable ride. This will be especially appreciated during the border crossings where scams are commonplace.

Transport Co. (Nattakan) is also a good option for Bangkok-Siem Reap transfers. Go with Capitol Tours and Mekong Express for travel in Cambodia-Ho Chi Minh.

There are also cheaper buses (not as well maintained as the options above) and shuttles (faster but less leg room/comfort). These can be booked directly with your hotel/hostel. Upside is that they provide free pickup from your hotel/hostel. Downside is that you won’t be sure of the quality of the bus company.

Where to book bus tickets online?

Pick one below that offers the best rates, schedule & comfort. Buy your tickets days ahead to avoid fully-booked seats.

12go.asiaBookMeBus

How to cross the border between Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam?

Go with a reputable bus company, which will provide a representative that will guide you through the border crossing process.

Upon reaching the border, in Thailand, for example, you will need to clear the Thailand immigration checkpoint and get the exit stamp on your passport. You either line up at the immigration counters yourself or a representative from the bus company may offer to do it for all passengers (in bulk).

Then, get off the bus and walk to the Cambodia side of the border. Do not leave important things on the bus. Also, take a picture of the bus no./plate no. and ask the bus driver/representative if it’s the same bus that will take you to Siem Reap. If yes, it’s okay to leave your big luggage. Just bring your valuables with you.

At the Cambodia side, line up for the immigration checkpoint, get an entry stamp and look for the onward bus to Siem Reap.

The process above only applies to direct buses. Expect the same procedure when crossing between Cambodia and Vietnam.

How get around Bangkok?

Go by train (MRT/BTS/Airport rail) whenever possible to avoid Bangkok’s infamous heavy road traffic. There are no train stations near The Grand Palace & Khao San Road. You can go by bus, taxi or ride sharing apps.

During my latest trip, I used Uber & Grab for stress-free transfers. Grab Bike (motorcycle) is available in Bangkok. Yes, it’s not the safest way to get around, but it’s undeniably faster and cheaper. Taxis are quite safe but don’t ever take the tuktuk, not unless you want to get ripped off.

How get around Ho Chi Minh?

I also used Uber & Grab almost exclusively to get around Ho Chi Minh. Grab Bike is quite popular too. In my experience, travel time takes 5x longer by car/taxi because of very busy roads. When taxing the taxi, go with a reputable company like Mai Linh.

How get around Siem Reap?

Unfortunately, Grab/Uber is not available in Cambodia. Tuk-tuks are the most popular way of getting around. A ride within the city center should cost USD 1 to 3 per tuk-tuk.

How to get mobile data sim card/WIFI

If you can’t get a good roaming data plan from your current provider, get a roaming SIM card when you arrive at Bangkok Airport.

Check out the SIM2FLY SIM card by AIS to enjoy mobile internet/data access in Thailand and Cambodia.

For Vietnam, you can rent a pocket WiFi device with pickup directly at your hotel.

Don’t stop here

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