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.

How to spend 7 days in Indochina? Check out my recommended Indochina itinerary below. The sample itinerary is easy to follow or customize in case you plan to go for 5 days, 2 weeks (14 days) or more. Scroll down to see the detailed do-it-yourself (DIY) itinerary blog, followed by a budget/expenses breakdown and lots of extra travel tips.

Follow me on Instagram

Trip Checklist

Before we go on with the actual itinerary, here are things you might need to prepare and bring for a hassle-free trip.

I’ve posted a lot of discounts on this guide. Make sure to check them out and pre-book online to save money, time & avoid the hassles of bringing/exchanging cash during your trip.

Swipe left to read expanded text below:

Accommodations — You should have your confirmed hotel reservations at hand to show at the immigration checkpoint. Book your room as soon as you know you are going because prices often go up the closer you are to your trip.
Cheapest ratesBest reviews Bangkok hotel booking — Stay in Central Bangkok, near train stations, in Hua Lamphong, Khao San Road or Chao Phraya Riverside areas.
Cheapest ratesBest reviews Siem Reap hotel booking — Stay in Siem Reap central area, near Pub Street, riverside area or Charles De Gaulle.
Cheapest ratesBest reviews Ho Chi Minh hotel booking — Stay in District 1, near Nguyen Hue Walking Street, Pham Ngu Lao or Bui Vien.
Essentials
Passport — Must not expire within the next 6 months.
Tours & attraction tickets — Pre-book online to enjoy often cheaper prices compared to buying on site & avoid queueing at ticket counters. You can show these as well to immigration officers as proof that you’re visiting as a tourist.
See discounts Bangkok tours + attraction booking
Book here Floating Markets day tour from
Book here Chao Phraya river cruise + dinner buffet
See discounts Siem Reap tours + attraction booking
Book here Angkor Wat & ancient city tour
See discounts Ho Chi Minh tours + attraction booking
Book here Mekong Delta day tour from Ho Chi Minh
Transport
Check fareSee more Bangkok to Siem Reap bus ticket — Book online to reserve a seat in your preferred bus schedule.
Check fareSee more Siem Reap to Phnom Penh bus ticket
Check fareSee more Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh bus ticket
Others
See discounts Thailand Internet WIFI/SIM card — Enjoy easy access to online map directions & helpful travel apps.
See discounts Cambodia Internet WIFI/SIM card
See discounts Vietnam Internet WIFI/SIM card

Indochina Itinerary Blog Contents

Indochina Trip Checklist

Indochina Itinerary

Indochina Budget

Where to Stay in Bangkok

Where to Stay in Siem Reap

Where to Stay in Ho Chi Minh

Indochina Travel Tips

See More Travel Guides & Blogs

Indochina Itinerary

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

Feel free to tweak the activities & timings based on your traveling style, schedule, & attractions that interest you the most.

Indochina Itinerary

Day/Time Activity
LEG 1 THAILAND
Day 1 Bangkok highlights
Flight to Bangkok
0840 am Bangkok Airport arrival
Bangkok Airport to hotel
1000 am Bangkok hotel check-inCheapest ratesBest reviews
1030 am Free time
0130 pm Start Grand Palace and Bangkok temples tour
0130 pm Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
0330 pm Wat Pho (Giant Reclining Buddha Temple)
0430 pm Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn)
0530 pm Sunset at Bangkok riverside
0700 pm Bangkok at night
OPTION #1
Chao Phraya River Cruise
OPTION #2
Bangkok rooftop bar
OPTION #3
Bangkok dinner buffet
OPTION #4
Watch a show
OPTION #5
Enjoy a relaxing massage
Bangkok at night (more options)
Day 2 Beyond Bangkok
OPTION #1
0830 am Ayutthaya day tour
OPTION #2
0830 am Floating Markets day tour
0930 pm Bangkok at night
Extend your trip in Thailand
LEG 2 CAMBODIA
Day 3 Thailand to Cambodia
0800 am Bangkok to Siem Reap bus
0500 pm Siem Reap arrival & hotel check-inCheapest ratesBest reviews
0600 pm Siem Reap at night
OPTION #1
Pub Street
OPTION #2
Siem Reap night markets
OPTION #3
Siem Reap shows
OPTION #4
Indulge in a relaxing spa/massage
Day 4 Siem Reap + Angkor temples
0500 am Start Angkor temples tour
0530 am Sunrise at Angkor Wat
Ancient city of Angkor
0500 pm Sunset at Phnom Bakheng
0700 pm Siem Reap at night
1030 pm Siem Reap to Phnom Penh night bus
Day 5 Phnom Penh
0600 am Phnom Penh arrival and half-day city tour
Extend your trip in Cambodia
LEG 3 VIETNAM
Cambodia to Vietnam
1230 nn Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh bus
0700 pm Ho Chi Minh arrival
Ho Chi Minh hotel check-inCheapest ratesBest reviews
Ho Chi Minh at night
Day 6 Beyond Ho Chi Minh
0730 am Mekong Delta river cruise / Chu Chi tunnels
0600 pm Ho Chi Minh at night
Day 7 Ho Chi Minh highlights
0800 am Old Saigon & Ho Chi Minh museums
Saigon Skydeck
0600 pm Ho Chi Minh Airport transfer
0700 pm Ho Chi Minh Airport arrival
Extend your trip in Vietnam

LEG 1: THAILAND

Day 1: Bangkok highlights

Flight to Bangkok

Take the earliest flight to Bangkok to maximize your first day in Thailand.

Find cheap flights

0840 am: Bangkok Airport arrival

There are two airports that serve Bangkok:

Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) — Arrival airport of most foreign carriers including Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. Flight hub of Thai Airways.

Don Muang International Airport (DMK) — Flight hub of many Thailand-based budget airlines including AirAsia, Nok Air & Lion Air.

Your arrival airport should be indicated on the flight itinerary sent when you booked your plane ticket.

Philippines-Manila to Bangkok flight + itinerary

0320 am — ETA Manila-NAIA Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL)

Flight check-in & baggage drop

Clear Philippine immigration checkpoint.

0620 am — ETD Manila. Manila to Bangkok flight.

0840 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 SIM card / pocket WIFI hotspot device and tickets pre-ordered online.

Thailand Internet SIM card / WIFI hotspot

For convenience, get a mobile data plan or WIFI hotspot that covers multiple countries. If you cannot get one from your home country, pre-order online and choose pick-up at Bangkok Airport. For this itinerary (i.e. flying in Bangkok and out from Ho Chi Minh), I recommend that you get SIM cards for each country so you don’t have to worry about returning the WIFI hotspot device.

Check price online

Cambodia Internet SIM card / WIFI hotspot

Choose pick-up at Bangkok Airport.

Check price online

Bangkok Airport to hotel

Getting to Bangkok city center from the airport is easy. Book a hassle-free private transfer online or take the train to avoid getting stuck in traffic. From the nearest train station, walk to your hotel or use the Grab app for safe and convenient rides.

Travel hack: Use the directions feature on Google Maps, which displays public transport options including train and bus routes.

Bangkok airport transfer

Enjoy easy transfers to your hotel from the airport (or vice-versa). Travel time by car should take around 40 minutes.

See discounts

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

Follow the signs to the Airport Rail Link (ARL) station found at the basement level.

To Khao San Road: Ride the ARL train to Paya Thai station. Travel time is 26 minutes. The discount train fare online is THB 40. From Paya Thai station, ride Bus #59, #503 or #2 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 Siam: Ride the ARL train to Paya Thai station. Change to BTS line / Walk to Ratchathewi BTS station. Ride the train to Siam station.

To Hua Lamphong: Ride the ARL train to Makkasan station. Change to MRT line / Walk to Phetchaburi MRT station. Ride the train to Hua Lamphong station. MRT train fare is THB 29 per person.

Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link (ARL) Ticket

The cheapest and fastest way to Bangkok city center. The one-way discount fare online is THB 40. The regular fare is THB 45. Click below to book the fare discount.

Book here

1000 am: Bangkok hotel check-in

Stay in Central Bangkok, near BTS/MRT train stations, within the areas of Siam, Silom, Sukhumvit, or Hua Lamphong, Khao San Road or Chao Phraya Riverside.

Cheapest ratesBest reviews

1030 am: Free time

Bangkok can get quite hot during midday hours. Here are some suggestions on places you can go in Bangkok. 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.

0130 pm: Start Grand Palace and Bangkok temples tour

See Bangkok’s famous Grand Palace and interesting temples nearby. Don’t miss Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) and Wat Pho (Temple of the Giant Reclining Buddha).

Old Bangkok tour packages

In case you want to enjoy a convenient way to explore Bangkok, click below to book a package tour with transport + guide

See discounts

0130 pm: Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)

Admission/entrance fee 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.

0330 pm: Wat Pho (Giant Reclining Buddha Temple)

Admission/entrance fee is THB 100 per person. This temple is within walking distance from the Grand Palace.

0430 pm: Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn)

Admission/entrance fee is THB 100 per person. To get there from Wat Pho, walk to Tha Tien pier & ride the local ferry to Wat Arun. The ferry costs THB 3 per person.

0530 pm: Sunset at Bangkok riverside

Go on the ferry back to the other side of the river. Enjoy some rest & watch the sunset at the riverside bars/restaurants with a good view of Wat Arun.

0700 pm: Bangkok at night

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.

OPTION #1

Chao Phraya River Cruise

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

See discounts

OPTION #2

Bangkok rooftop bar

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

See discounts

OPTION #3

Bangkok dinner buffet

Enjoy a buffet with a view like at Baiyoke Sky Restaurant, on a river cruise, or while watching a cultural show.

See discounts

OPTION #4

Watch a show

Enjoy a performance live on stage. Popular options include the Siam Niramit theatrical performance, Muay Thai show, cabaret song and dance show, or traditional Thai cultural show.

See discounts

OPTION #5

Enjoy a relaxing massage

See discounts

Bangkok at night (more options)

Explore the nightlife in Silom, Sukhumvit & Khao San Road.

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 Riverfront Mall. Home of the famous Calypso Cabaret show

Day 2: Beyond Bangkok

OPTION #1

0830 am: Ayutthaya day tour

The Ayutthaya Historical Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with ancient temple ruins & famous Buddha statues. It’s one of my favorite places to visit near Bangkok!

Travel time between Bangkok and Ayutthaya is around 1h30m to 2 hours. You can choose to go on a (1) DIY trip to Ayutthaya or (2) join a day tour from Bangkok. Both are excellent options. The better choice depends on whether you prefer to explore Ayutthaya on your own or going with a guided experience with hassle-free transport included.

Ayutthaya day tour packages from Bangkok

Click below and choose a join-in tour inclusive of air-conditioned transport, professional guide & temple entrance fees.

See discounts

OPTION #2

0830 am: Floating Markets day tour

This is the most popular day tour from Bangkok! Visit the floating markets if you want to see a more varied mix of scenery, aside from temples and city sights.

If you are traveling in a group, I recommend that you hire your own transport so that you can maximize your sightseeing. Or, go with a join-in tour with hassle-free transport from Bangkok included.

Floating Markets day tour packages from Bangkok

Book a full day tour if you want to visit more sites in addition to the famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. The half-day tour is an good option if you prefer a shorter day trip and want to prioritize more time in Bangkok.

See discounts

0930 pm: Bangkok at night

Extend your trip in Thailand

See more Thailand blogs & guides

LEG 2: CAMBODIA

Day 3: Thailand to Cambodia

0800 am: Bangkok to Siem Reap bus

The land journey from Bangkok to Siem Reap spans a bit over 400 kilometers. Travel time by bus is around 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.

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 buses and guarantee a seat in your preferred bus schedule.

Bangkok to Siem Reap bus tickets

The bus fare is around USD 23-31 per person per way. Click below to see current prices, bus schedules & online booking.

See discountsCompare fares

It’s important to arrive at the pickup point 30 minutes to 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.

0500 pm: Siem Reap arrival & hotel check-in

Stay in Siem Reap central area, near Pub Street, at Siem Reap riverside or Charles De Gaulle boulevard.

Cheapest ratesBest reviews

0600 pm: Siem Reap at night

Siem Reap isn’t just a gateway to Angkor, it has its own exciting attractions too. Scroll down for top things to do in Siem Reap at night.

OPTION #1

Pub Street

Experience the cosmopolitan nightlife along Siem Reap’s infamous backpacker district.

OPTION #2

Siem Reap night markets

Taste Cambodian street food & go shopping at the night markets.

OPTION #3

Siem Reap shows

Enjoy a traditional Khmer Apsara dance, usually packaged with a filling dinner buffet, or one of the many show performances in Siem Reap.

See discounts

OPTION #4

Indulge in a relaxing spa/massage

Check price online

Day 4: Siem Reap + Angkor temples

0500 am: Start Angkor temples tour

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.

On a short visit, I recommend that you follow the standard “Little Circuit” route. It’s the most popular tour that includes the most impressive temples.

Angkor Wat entrance fee

One Day admission ticket — USD 37 per person.

3-Day admission ticket — USD 62 per person.

7-Day admission ticket — USD 72 per person.

Join-in or private tour package — Join-in tours are best suited for solo travelers who are looking to share the cost of transport/guide. The itinerary typically includes the 3 major temples: Angkor Wat, Bayon & Ta Phrohm. Click below to check join-in and private tour prices, discounts & itinerary schedule.

See discounts

Private tuk-tuk / car charter — If you are traveling in a group, you can hire your own tuk-tuk, private car or motodop (motorcycle taxi). Getting a transport charter is recommended if you want to maximize your sightseeing from sunrise to sundown.

See discounts

Motorbike / bicycle rental — Cost-effective option if you want to go on your own. Take note, the temples are spread across a large area. Going by push bicycle can be quite tiring and unbearably hot, especially if you are not conditioned to traveling long distances & the heat.

See discounts

0530 am: Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is located 7 kilometers away from Siem Reap city center. Travel time is around 20 minutes by car/tuk-tuk. To see the sunrise at Angkor Wat, I suggest that you depart from your hotel at 5 am or earlier.

Travel hack: The sunrise time varies depending on the time of year. Before you go, make sure to check your weather app or search “Siem Reap sunrise time” on Google.

Ancient city of Angkor

Temples and ancient sites to visit beyond Angkor Wat

The major spots are marked with an *asterisk:

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

0500 pm: Sunset at Phnom Bakheng

Only around 300 people are permitted to go up Phnom Bakheng temple at a time. During the peak tourist season, best to arrive earlier at around 4 pm.

0700 pm: Siem Reap at night

1030 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. Although shuttles are faster, I recommend that you take the more comfortable bus.

Consider checking out of your 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 for free, even after checking out.

Siem Reap to Phnom Penh bus tickets

The bus fare is USD 10-15 per person. Click below to see current prices, bus schedules & online booking.

See discountsCompare fares

Day 5: Phnom Penh

0600 am: Phnom Penh arrival and half-day city tour

While you are in Phnom Penh, might as well go to some of the city’s famous tourist spots, which are near most bus stations. Allow 3 to 4 hours for your quick tour of Phnom Penh.

Places to visit in Phnom Penh

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

Extend your trip in Cambodia

See more Cambodia blogs & guides

LEG 3: VIETNAM

Cambodia to Vietnam

1230 nn: Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh bus

Travel time from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam is usually 6 to 7 hours. Go with a reputable bus company like Giant Ibis, Mekong Express or Capitol Tours. The trip from Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap passes through the immigration border gates in Bavet (Cambodia side) and Moc Bai (Vietnam side).

Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh bus ticket

The bus fare is USD 13-20 per person. Click below to see current prices, bus schedules & online booking.

See discountsCompare fares

0700 pm: Ho Chi Minh arrival

Drop-off at District 1, the main tourist/hotel/backpacker district of Ho Chi Minh. It’s a fairly small area that’s easy to explore on foot.

Vietnam Internet SIM card / WIFI hotspot

Choose pick-up at your hotel in Ho Chi Minh.

See discounts

Ho Chi Minh hotel check-in

Stay in District 1, near Nguyen Hue Walking Street, Pham Ngu Lao or Bui Vien street.

Cheapest ratesBest reviews

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.

Day 6: Beyond Ho Chi Minh

0730 am: Mekong Delta river cruise / Chu Chi tunnels

One of the best things to do for your full day in Ho Chi Minh is to go on an excursion outside the city. Book a tour package for hassle-free trips.

Day tour packages from Ho Chi Minh

Join a trip to Mekong Delta, Chu Chi tunnels or a full day tour covering both places.

See discounts

0600 pm: Ho Chi Minh at night

Day 7: Ho Chi Minh highlights

0800 am: Old Saigon & Ho Chi Minh museums

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.

Places to visit & things to do in Ho Chi Minh

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

Ho Chi Minh tour packages

In case you want to enjoy a convenient way to explore Ho Chi Minh, click below to book a hassle-free package tour with transport + guide

See discounts

Saigon Skydeck

Enjoy a 360-degree view of the city from Bitexco Financial Tower, Ho Chi Minh’s tallest building.

Saigon Skydeck admission ticket

The entrance fee is VND 200,000 per adult.

Book online

0600 pm: Ho Chi Minh Airport transfer

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

How to get to Ho Chi Minh Airport 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

Ho Chi Minh Airport private transfer/taxi

Taxi metered rates range from VND 150,000-170,000 from District 1 to the airport. You can also use Grab ride-hailing app or pre-book a private transfer online.

See discounts

0700 pm: Ho Chi Minh Airport arrival

Ho Chi Minh to Manila flight & itinerary

Flight check-in & baggage drop

Clear Vietnam immigration checkpoint.

0100 pm — ETD Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh to Manila flight.

0145 am — ETA Manila-NAIA Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL)

Clear Philippine immigration checkpoint.

Extend your trip in Vietnam

See more Cambodia blogs & guides

Indochina Budget

Your travel expenses will largely depend on your traveling style and how much you plan to spend on activities, accommodations & food. To help you set your own budget, here are budget estimates if you follow the 7 days and 6 nights (7D6N) itinerary posted above. Make sure to review all discounts & online booking prices.

Transport expenses breakdown
THB 40 Bangkok Airport Rail Link train— One-way discount train fare online per person.Book discount here
USD 31 Bangkok to Siem Reap bus — One-way discount bus fare online per person.Book discount here
USD 15 Siem Reap to Phnom Penh bus— One-way discount bus fare online per person.Book discount here
USD 18 Phom Penh to Ho Chi Minh bus— One-way discount bus fare online per person.Book discount here
VND 20,000 Ho Chi Minh Airport bus — One-way bus fare per person.
USD 50 Local city transport — Estimated transport fares for short city rides within Bangkok, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh & Ho Chi Minh
Activities/attraction costs breakdown
THB 500 Bangkok Grand Palace — Admission ticket/entrance fee per person.
THB 100 Wat Arun (temple) — Admission ticket/entrance fee per person.
THB 100 Wat Pho (temple) — Admission ticket/entrance fee per person.
THB 1573 Floating Markets join-in tour from Bangkok — Per person discount price online. Includes all entrance fees, transport, & professional guide.Book online
USD 37 Angkor Archeological Park — 1-day admission ticket/entrance fee per person.
USD 13 Angkor temples join-in tour — Per person discount price online. Includes transport, professional guide, hotel pick-up/drop-off & transport.Book discount here
USD 10 Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda, Phnom Penh — Admission ticket/entrance fee per person.
VND 324,892 Mekong Delta join-in tour from Ho Chi Minh — Per person discount price online. Includes entrance fees, transport, & professional guide.Book online
VND 15,000 Reunification Palace — Admission ticket/entrance fee per person.
VND 15,000 War Remnants Museum — Admission ticket/entrance fee per person.
VND 200,000 Saigon Skydeck — Admission ticket/entrance fee per person.Book here
Budget Trip – Backpacker expenses
USD 116 Transport — Including airport-city center transfers, all long distance transfers, & estimated budget for short rides within the city.
USD 50 Accommodations — USD 10 per night per person in a budget hostel dorm/bed x 5 nights. You spend one night on the night bus from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh.
USD 84 Food — USD 12 per day food budget (inexpensive meals) x 7 days.
USD 250 Sub-total — Excluding attractions/activities & flights. Including accommodations, food & transport. Approximately PHP 13,143 / SGD 340 / EUR 220. Or, a daily budget of USD 36 / PHP 1,878 / SGD 49 / EUR 31.
USD 154 Activities — Admission tickets/entrance fees on selected activities above
USD 404 Total — Including activities & 7 days (7D6N) expenses above. Approximately PHP 21,252 / SGD 550 / EUR 356. Or, a daily budget of USD 58 / PHP 3,036 / SGD 79 / EUR 51.

I’ve included backpacker budget estimates for food & accommodations to give you an idea of how cheaply you can do the trip. As you know, actual budgets/expenses may be different depending on many factors including personal traveling styles, time of visit, etc. If you have money to splurge on hotels, food, and extra activities, simply use the expenses posted to calculate your estimated budget.

Can you travel cheaper? The entrance fee + tour/transport to Angkor Wat alone takes up a huge chunk of the total budget. It’s expensive, yes. You can easily achieve a budget of less than USD 40 per day if you skip the attractions completely… DON’T! because they are really worth the price.

Other activities
THB 200 Jim Thompson House (museum) — Admission ticket/entrance fee per person.
THB 950 Chao Phraya Princess Cruise — Per person discount price online. Includes buffet dinner, 2 hour cruise & welcome drink.Book online
THB 1,450 Siem Niramit Bangkok (show)— Per person discount price online. Includes buffet dinner, admission ticket/entrance fee.
THB 1250 Ayutthaya join-in tour — Per person discount price online. Includes all entrance fees, transport, & professional guide.Book online
USD 10 Cambodia National Museum — Admission ticket/entrance fee per person.
VND 250,000 Cu Chi Tunnels half day join-in tour — Per person discount price online. Includes entrance fees, transport, & professional guide.Book online
Other expenses
THB 131 Thailand SIM card — Discount price online per SIM card.Book discount here
THB 340 Cambodia SIM card — Price online per SIM card.Book here
USD 4.5 Vietnam SIM card — Price online per SIM card.Book here
Travel Insurance — Click below to view the price for your country/trip length.Book here

Where to Stay in Bangkok

The most popular place to stay for budget travelers is Khao San Road area. It is an easy base to explore Bangkok & beyond because of many hostels, travel agencies & transport options that can be found here.

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, Silom, Sukhumvit, or Hua Lamphong BTS station. A big advantage of staying nearby is fast access to Suvarnabhumi Airport (via the airport express), and major transport hubs like Morchit (Mochit)-Northern Thailand Bus Station & Hua Lamphong Railway Station.

Check discountsSee rates

Click below to compare rates on Bangkok hotels within your budget.

Best Luxury Hotels in Bangkok — Splurge at the best 5-star and 4-star hotels in Bangkok.See rates & reviews
Under THB 3,000 Promo rates on 4-Star & 5-Star Bangkok hotels — Grab discounts on luxury rooms available for booking today.See discounts
Under THB 2,500 Recommended 3-Star Bangkok hotels & mid-range accommodations — Great-value rooms for couples or when traveling with family & friends.See rates & reviews
Under THB 1,500 Best Bangkok budget hotels— For travelers looking for decent yet affordable accommodations.See rates & reviews
Under THB 500 Best Bangkok hostels & budget hotels — affordable places to stay for backpackers/solo travelers.See rates & reviews
From THB 150 Cheapest places to stay in BangkokSee rates & reviews

Top-rated places to stay in Bangkok

Shangri-La Hotel

Splurge / Bangrak Riverside

See discounts

lebua at State Tower

Splurge / Silom

See discounts

Casa Nithra

Mid-Range / Khao San

See discounts

SSIP Boutique Dhevej

Mid-Range / Khao San

See discounts

Baan Dinso

Budget / Khao San

See discounts

Thanabhumi

Budget / Khao San

See discounts

Been Hostel Ratchathewi

Budget / Siam

See discounts

Inn Stations Hostel

Budget Backpacker / Siam

See discounts

Nacorn Hostel

Budget Backpacker / Khao San

See discounts

Where to book

Book your room through these trusted booking sites. I use them frequently to grab rock-bottom prices & enjoy convenient bookings. Click below to confirm the lowest prices:

Booking.comAirbnbAgoda

Book sooner rather than later if you already have your dates set. Cheaper-priced rooms and hotels with high reviews tend to get fully booked faster, especially during busy days like weekends, holidays & peak tourist seasons.

Where to Stay 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/central area. 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 banks of Siem Reap river.

Check discountsSee rates

Click below to compare rates on Siem Reap hotels within your budget.

Best Luxury Hotels in Siem Reap — Splurge at the best 5-star and 4-star hotels in Siem Reap.See rates & reviews
Under USD 100 Promo rates on 4-Star & 5-Star Siem Reap hotels — Grab discounts on luxury rooms available for booking today.See discounts
Under USD 50 Recommended 3-Star Siem Reap hotels & mid-range accommodations — Great-value rooms for couples or when traveling with family & friends.See rates & reviews
Under USD 25 Best Siem Reap budget hotels — For travelers looking for decent yet affordable accommodations.See rates & reviews
Under USD 10 Best Siem Reap hostels & budget hotels — affordable places to stay for backpackers/solo travelers.See rates & reviews
From USD 5 Cheapest places to stay in Siem ReapSee rates & reviews

Top-rated places to stay in Siem Reap

Park Hyatt

Splurge / Central

See discounts

Riversoul Residence

Splurge / Central

See discounts

Khmer Mansion

Mid-Range / Central

See discounts

Diamond D’Angkor

Mid-Range / Central

See discounts

Golden Butterfly Villa

Budget / Central

See discounts

Onederz Hostel

Budget Backpacker / Central

See discounts

Lub d Cambodia

Budget Backpacker / Central

See discounts

Where to Stay in Ho Chi Minh

The main tourist area in Ho Chi Minh is District 1. It’s the best place to stay if you want a convenient location near top tourist spots, restaurants, shopping & nightlife.

District 1 is packed with hotels & hostels that cater to any budget.

Most low-cost places & affordable hostels can be found in the area of Pham Ngu Lao & Bui Vien streets, the backpacker district of Ho Chi Minh.

Meanwhile, excellent mid-range and luxury hotels are located near the riverside & Nguyen Hue Walking Street.

Check discountsSee rates

Click below to compare rates on Ho Chi Minh hotels within your budget.

Best Luxury Hotels in Ho Chi Minh — Splurge at the best 5-star and 4-star hotels in Ho Chi Minh.See rates & reviews
Under VND 2.5M Promo rates on 4-Star & 5-Star Ho Chi Minh hotels — Grab discounts on luxury rooms available for booking today.See discounts
Under VND 1.5M Recommended 3-Star Ho Chi Minh hotels & mid-range accommodations — Great-value rooms for couples or when traveling with family & friends.See rates & reviews
Under VND 750K Best Ho Chi Minh budget hotels — For travelers looking for decent yet affordable accommodations.See rates & reviews
Under VND 150K Best Ho Chi Minh hostels & budget hotels — affordable places to stay for backpackers/solo travelers.See rates & reviews
From VND 65K Cheapest places to stay in Ho Chi MinhSee rates & reviews

Top-rated places to stay in Ho Chi Minh

Cinnamon Boutique Hotel

Splurge / Le Thi Rieng, District 1

See discounts

Tripwriter Hotel

Splurge / Pham Ngu Lao, District 1

See discounts

Hotel Nikko Saigon

Splurge / Nguyen Van Cu Street, District 1

See discounts

Liberty Central Saigon

Splurge / Pasteur Street, District 1

See discounts

Caravelle Saigon Hotel

Splurge / Lam Son Square, District 1

See discounts

Hotel Majestic Saigon

Splurge / Dong Khoi Street, District 1

See discounts

Rex Hotel Saigon

Splurge / Nguyen Hue, District 1

See discounts

Nguyen Shack Saigon

Mid-Range / Ben Thanh , District 1

See discounts

Phan Anh Backpackers

Budget / Pham Ngu Lao, District 1

See discounts

Son Tung Hotel

Budget / De Tham Street, District 1

See discounts

Phuc Khanh Hotel

Budget / Yersin, District 1

See discounts

La Hostel Saigon

Budget / Nguyen Thai Hoc, District 1

See discounts

Indochina Travel Tips Before You Go

Do I need a Visa?

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

What bus company to go with?

Where to book bus tickets online?

Useful travel apps & websites for Indochina

How to get mobile internet?

How to get money/cash?

How to book cheap flights to Indochina?

Should I book my Indochina hotel online?

Pre-book your Indochina tours & attraction tickets online

Do I need a Visa?

Filipinos (Philippine passport holders) do not need to apply for a tourist visabefore 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 validity date indicated is past your last day in the country.

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.

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.

Expect the same procedure when crossing between Cambodia and Vietnam.

The process above only applies to “direct” buses.

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 the Bangkok-Siem Reap route.

Go with Capitol Tours or Mekong Express for bus travel between Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh.

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

Where to book bus tickets online?

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

12go.asiaKlookBookMeBus

Useful travel apps & websites for Indochina

Google Maps — Remember to download the offline maps before you go to access the map even if you don’t have mobile data.

Use the directions feature if you plan to get around Indochina on your own. I love this feature because I often like to wander around places that I visit & see the sights on foot. The directions on Google Maps is also super useful because it displays train & bus routes in Indochina. It only works online, so you will need internet access.

Maps.me — Excellent Google Maps alternative that automatically saves offline maps.

Grab — I use this reliable ride-hailing app frequently as an alternative to taking the taxi. To see the fare estimates, click below to install the app on your phone & manually set the location to in Indochina. Take note of the prices displayed for your pre-trip budget plan.

Get Grab for iOSAndroid

XE Currency — Free & easy currency converter.

Google Translate — Very useful when communicating with locals who do not understand/speak English.

Agoda & Booking.com — My go-to for convenient hotel bookings & cheap rates. For home/apartment rentals, check listings on Airbnb.

Skyscanner & Momondo — These top flight search apps make it super easy to compare airfares from multiple airlines. Download the app & sign-up to the price alerts for updates on cheap flights.

Get Skyscanner for iOSAndroid

TripAdvisor — Great for restaurant reviews & recommendations. One of the features that I use often is the “cheap eats” filter & the map view.

Go to website

How to get mobile internet?

Stay connected online by purchasing a local prepaid SIM card, renting a pocket WiFi hotspot or getting a roaming data plan from your current telcom provider. Having mobile internet not only makes it possible to share your travel moments instantly, you can also travel better by having access to all your favorite travel apps.

Click below to view internet/mobile data package rates & discounts on:

Klook

How to get money/cash?

Bring cash in US Dollars (USD) for the whole trip. Or, major currencies like Euros or British Pounds. 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 your accommodations, tours, & tickets online.

The Philippine Peso has terrible exchange rates in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. I suggest that you bring cash in USD (or any major currency). Or simply withdraw local currency from an ATM. Before you go, make your ATM card (with Visa / Mastercard / Cirrus logo) is cleared for international withdrawal.

Here are the local currencies for your reference:

Thailand — Thai Baht (THB / ฿)

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.

Vietnam — Vietnamese Dong (VND / ₫)

How to book cheap flights to Indochina?

If you are flying to within the next 2-3 months, the general rule to spend less on flights is by booking sooner rather than later. In case you are booking well ahead of your trip, keep a lookout for airline promo fares & seat sales.

The easy way to find cheap flights that you can book right now is to use flight search engines. These sites compare prices on different airlines to show you the cheapest prices. Check multiple flight search engines listed below:

Always check promo fares before booking. Visit the airlines’ official website, mobile app, Facebook, Twitter & other social media accounts for updates.

You can also check the latest promo alerts posted here on Detourista. Click below to start:

Subscribe to the email alerts to save time from checking many websites frequently.

Get FREE promo updates by email!

Get FREE promo updates sent to your email. Don’t miss the next promo!

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

Should I book my Indochina hotel online?

Book your stay sooner rather than later if you already have your dates set. Cheaper-priced rooms tend to get fully-booked faster, especially during busy days like weekends, holidays & peak tourist seasons.

I frequently book my stay with the sites below to grab rock-bottom prices & enjoy hassle-free trips. Click below to see today’s lowest prices.

AgodaBooking.comAirbnb

Here top reasons why I prefer to book online & why you should too:

Wide selection of hotels/hostels.

Often cheaper prices than walk-in rates. Earn rewards points for every booking. The more you book, the more you earn!

Trusted by millions of travelers. Read reviews from actual staying guests.

Instant confirmation and free cancellation on most properties.

Pay in your home currency. Worry less about bringing cash/exchanging currencies. Convenient & secure payment by credit card or Paypal.

Fast customer support.

Pre-book your Indochina tours & attraction tickets online

I often book online to enjoy discounts and cashless convenience during my actual trip. Always check prices of tours and attraction tickets on these booking sites:

KlookGetYourGuide

Prices are often cheaper than booking on-site. Huge discounts on many activities.

Maximize your trip! Avoid wasting time queueing at ticket booths & shopping for tours.

Get a good idea what to expect. Knowing all the inclusions/non-inclusions & reading user reviews is very helpful to make an informed decision.

Earn rewards points for every booking.

Pay in your home currency. Worry less about bringing cash/exchanging currencies.

If you’re booking tours and you’ve already finalized your travel dates, book early, especially if you are traveling with family/friends to lock-in those open slots for everyone in your group.

Extra travel discounts!

Click below to view the latest promo codes. Enjoy extra savings on top of existing discounts:

P200 OFF all Bangkok activities – Klook PH
Get extra P200 OFF Bangkok activities on Klook! Includes admission to top Bangkok attractions, airport transfers, Thailand SIM card + pocket WIFI hotspot, package tours, travel passes & more.

5 Days Indochina Itinerary

Yes, 5 days in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam is doable. The trip will be rushed & exhausting especially if you’re not used to fast-paced travel. I’ve met many travelers who have done & enjoyed a trip regardless. The five day Indochina itinerary is quite popular among travelers who want to maximize their long weekend vacation leave. You can still use the 1 week itinerary above as a general guide. Simply, take out the full-day excursions beyond Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh. Here’s a summary of the 5 day itinerary covering Bangkok, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Vietnam:

Time Activity
Day 1 Bangkok
Morning

Flight to Bangkok

Afternoon

Grand Palace and Bangkok temples

Bangkok at night

Day 2 Thailand to Cambodia
Morning

Bangkok to Siem Reap bus

Siem Reap at night

Day 3 Siem Reap
Morning

Angkor Wat & ancient city

Evening

Siem Reap to Phnom Penh bus

Day 4 Cambodia to Vietnam
Morning

Phnom Penh half-day city tour

Afternoon

Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh bus

Ho Chi Minh at night

Day 5 Ho Chi Minh
Morning

Old Saigon & Ho Chi Minh museums

Evening

Ho Chi Minh departure

2 Weeks Indochina Itinerary

If you have two weeks, one month 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

Don’t Stop Here

Did you find this travel guide helpful? Share your Indochina experience & tag #detourista. Follow trip updates on: Instagram, Facebook & Pinterest.

Achieve your travel goals with #detourista!

Follow on Instagram

Check these out for more travel inspiration: