Southeast Asia has gone from being largely underdeveloped in tourism to being one of the most visited regions on the planet in a matter of decades. The ruins of the legendary Angkor Wat and the natural beauty of Halong Bay have never been easier to visit, and given the number of other tourists you may encounter, this may be obvious to visitors. While this does not affect the places themselves, it is particularly valuable to have some insider knowledge of when and where to go to Angkor Wat and Halong Bay for an authentic experience.
There are many excellent, fully escorted tours around Cambodia and Vietnam, some of which even offer combined itineraries with attractions in both countries. The best tours in the area will also choose places that aren’t on the main backpacker routes, allowing you to get away from the crowds and into the interior of the country. Here are some of the best tours in Cambodia and Vietnam, based on price, itinerary and value for money, while also considering reviews from past travelers.
Small-scale tours in Cambodia and Vietnam
Starting from Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, this 20-day trip to Cambodia and Vietnam Highlights is a great value and is primarily aimed at younger travelers who want to not have to worry about the logistics of making reservations and bookings while also meeting more people on the road. The tour starts with a trip to Siem Reap and the Angkor Wat temple complex, then to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, for a trip to the beach. From Ho Chi Minh City, you will travel north through Vietnam for about 12 days, visiting places like Da Nang, Halong Bay and Hanoi.
4-Day Journey to the Essence of Cambodia
For travelers with limited time in Cambodia, or who want to get a feel for the highlights before they leave, this four-day tour that starts in Phnom Penh and ends in Siem Reap is a great option. In the Cambodian capital, visit the royal palace and silver pagoda, then end the day on a sunset cruise on the Mekong River. There is time to explore the famous temple complex at Angkor Wat, then head to Lake Tonle Sap outside Siem Reap for a taste of country life. The price includes hotel accommodation, transportation, guided tours and meals.
4-Day Private Tour of Central Vietnam
Another popular travel option is for those who have been in Vietnam for a while and want to explore the heart of the country more deeply. With relatively little space between the starting city of Da Nang and the final destination of Hue, the tour group first headed south to Hoi An. Here, the UNESCO-inscribed Old Town is a highlight. The next stop was the ruins of the Imperial City of Mishan, shrouded in forest. The last stop was the Imperial City of Hue, ending at Dongba Market. What is unusual about this itinerary is that no accommodation is provided, visitors can choose their own hotel, but the guide, transportation and three meals are included.
Private 16-Day Vietnam In-Depth Tour
From US$ 1,296/person
For a more comprehensive and personal Vietnam experience, this excellent 16-day private tour takes you deep into remote areas of Vietnam from the north to the south. Start in Hanoi with a visit to the Pat Ma Temple and then explore Vietnam on a culinary tour. The tour quickly moved into remote areas, visiting northern areas with predominantly indigenous groups, such as the Old Street Province. The itinerary doesn’t shy away from classic spots like Ha Long Bay and Da Nang. Learn about the history of the Vietnam War at the Gu Chi Tunnels around Saigon, then end with a few days on the beautiful island of Phu Quoc.
A fascinating tour of Vietnam, Cambodia and the Mekong River
From 4,516 RMB/person
Although slightly more expensive than the other tours on the list, this South Vietnam and Cambodia combo tour is immersive and oriented to provide a unique experience. Take the itinerary of this tour, which is planned around the Mekong River. Accommodations from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City are on suite boats, cruising between destinations each night, and the days are spent exploring a new area. Highlights include sampan tours of Angkor Wat, Wat Hanchey hilltop temple and Ben Tre. If booked at specific times of the year, there are occasional big discounts. The cost of the meal is also included in the price.