13 Days in Vietnam and Cambodia: Exploring the Gems of Indochina

Cambodia and Vietnam are unique in terms of culture, religion, history, modern development, and landscapes. In a circuit of 13 days in Vietnam and Cambodia, you can witness tangible differences without having to travel a huge distance to do so. The slogan “Same, same but different” was once a common expression in Southeast Asia, particularly in Thailand, and this time, it perfectly applies. Why should you experience Vietnam and Cambodia in 13 days? What are the suggested itineraries for a 13-day trip to Vietnam and Cambodia? Let’s find out now.

Is It Enough to Spend 13 Days in Vietnam and Cambodia?

With 13 days in Vietnam and Cambodia, you’ll need to make strategic choices to cover the must-see destinations while maintaining a pace that is neither rushed nor exhausting. In Vietnam, key destinations like Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City are worth considering. Meanwhile, in Cambodia, Siem Reap (the gateway to Angkor Wat) and the capital, Phnom Penh, are typical stops. The key is to opt for internal flights to save time and avoid spreading out too geographically.

However, you should keep in mind that this duration will only allow you to explore a few facets of both countries. More in-depth experiences such as countryside treks, stays in local communities, or explorations of several lesser-known sites may require more time. Ultimately, while 13 days in Vietnam and Cambodia are sufficient for an overview, they are just the beginning of what these extraordinary countries have to offer. Nevertheless, a well-planned itinerary in nearly 2 weeks can still make this relatively short trip unforgettable.

Best Time for a Trip to Vietnam and Cambodia in 13 Days

Southern Vietnam and Cambodia, located near the Gulf of Thailand, have a tropical climate divided into dry and rainy seasons. However, northern and central Vietnam experience four distinct seasons. Generally, both countries offer warm and pleasant weather. The dry season is less humid, while the rainy season brings showers but cools the air.

Regarding the weather in Vietnam and Cambodia, the optimal period for a 13-day stay extends from November to April, where the dry season offers temperatures between 20°C and 30°C (68°F to 86°F). However, be aware that central Vietnam may experience flooding in October and November. Even though the dry season attracts more tourists, especially to Angkor, it is also the perfect time to explore the southern Cambodian coast, especially for diving. Halong Bay is enjoyable from December to February, despite a cooler atmosphere.

In addition, it is advisable to avoid the period of the Vietnamese New Year, around late January or early February, as many services close and prices can increase. For more information, you can check out the Vietnam Travel Guide and Cambodia Travel Guide.

Suggested Itineraries for 2 Weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia

Itinerary 1: Family Adventure to Vietnam and Cambodia in 13 Days

Family Adventure to Vietnam and Cambodia in 13 Days

Day 1 – Arrival in Siem Reap: Arrive in Siem Reap, meet your guide, and check into your hotel. Enjoy some free time to relax.

Day 2 – Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat: Explore the South Gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple, Baphoun, Terrace of the Elephants, and Terrace of the Leper King. Visit the magnificent Angkor Wat.

Day 3 – Siem Reap’s Great Lake: Witness a beautiful sunrise at Angkor Wat. Visit several unique Angkorian sites and take a boat ride on the Great Lake Tonle Sap, including a visit to the Floating Village.

Day 4 – Siem Reap’s Small Circuit and Flight to Ho Chi Minh City: Explore Prasat Kravan, Banteay Kdei, Royal Bath Srah Srang, and Ta Prohm. Fly to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon.

Day 5 – Ho Chi Minh City Tour: Full-day city tour including the Presidential Palace, War Remnants Museum, French colonial architecture, and Chinatown.

Day 6 – Mekong Delta Excursion: Travel to Cai Be in the Mekong Delta. Enjoy a boat ride, visit local workplaces, and experience the delta’s waterways.

Day 7 – Flight to Da Nang, Transfer to Hoi An: Fly to Da Nang and transfer to Hoi An. Explore the ancient town and its historical sites.

Day 8 – Hoi An to Hue: Travel to Hue, visiting the Imperial Citadel and enjoying the scenic Hai Van Pass.

Day 9 – Hue to Hanoi: Cruise on the Perfume River, and visit Khai Dinh Mausoleum and Minh Mang’s tomb. Fly to Hanoi.

Day 10 – Hanoi City Tour: Explore Ho Chi Minh Complex, One Pillar Pagoda, Ethnology Museum, and Temple of Literature, and enjoy a cyclo ride and water puppet show.

Day 11 – Hanoi to Ha Long Bay: Transfer to Ha Long Bay for a cruise, exploring caves, floating villages, and enjoying a sunset dinner.

Day 12 – Ha Long Bay to Hanoi: Morning cruise in Ha Long Bay, visit Sung Sot cave, relax at Titop beach, and return to Hanoi.

Day 13 – Departure from Hanoi: Free morning in Hanoi before departing to the airport for your onward journey.

>>> Consult the detailed itinerary at our Family tour to Cambodia and Vietnam in 13 Days

Itinerary 2: Majestic Exploration of 13 Days in Vietnam and Cambodia

Majestic Exploration of 13 Days in Vietnam and Cambodia

Day 1 – Arrival in Hanoi: Arrive in Hanoi, Vietnam, and explore the Old Quarter at your leisure.

Day 2 – Halong Bay Cruise: Travel to Halong Bay for a scenic cruise with activities like visiting the Surprise Cave, kayaking, and swimming. Enjoy a seafood dinner in the evening.

Day 3 – Return to Hanoi: Continue exploring Halong Bay before returning to Hanoi for the night.

Day 4 – Hanoi to Da Nang: Explore Hanoi’s rich history and culture, including the Temple of Literature and Ngoc Son Temple on Hoan Kiem Lake. Visit the Ethnology Museum, then fly to Da Nang. Upon arrival, transfer to Hoi An for a relaxing stay.

Day 5 – My Son Sanctuary in Hoi An: Visit the UNESCO-listed My Son Sanctuary and explore Hoi An.

Day 6 – Explore Hoi An: Spend a leisurely day discovering Hoi An’s charm.

Day 7 – Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City: Fly from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City and enjoy free time.

Day 8 – Cu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City: Tour key sites in Ho Chi Minh City and the Cu Chi Tunnels.

Day 9 – Mekong Delta Trip: Journey to Ben Tre in the Mekong Delta, then stay overnight in Can Tho.

Day 10 – Mekong Delta to Ho Chi Minh City: Visit the Cai Rang floating market and return to Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 11 – Flight to Siem Reap: Fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia, and sample local cuisine.

Day 12 – Angkor Temples: Explore Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, and Angkor Wat, with a traditional dinner show.

Day 13 – Siem Reap Departure: Visit the National Museum, Tonle Sap Lake, and local sites before departing.

Itinerary 3: Memorable 2 Weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia – Start from Laos

Memorable 2 Weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia - Start from Laos

Day 1 – Arrival in Luang Prabang: Arrive in Luang Prabang, Laos, and visit Wat Xienthong and other historical sites, ending the day with a sunset view from Mount Phousi and exploring the night market.

Day 2 – Luang Prabang City Tour: Witness a traditional alms-giving ceremony, visit the Royal Palace, take a boat trip to Pak Ou Caves, and explore Kuang Si Falls.

Day 3 – Luang Prabang to Hanoi: Fly from Luang Prabang to Hanoi, Vietnam, and enjoy free time exploring the city.

Day 4 – Hanoi City Tour: Discover Hanoi’s rich history with visits to the Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Complex, One Pillar Pagoda, and the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. The day includes a visit to the Hoa Lo Prison.

Day 5 – Hanoi to Halong Bay Cruise: Travel to Halong Bay for a cruise, exploring caves and enjoying activities like kayaking.

Day 6 – Halong Bay to Hanoi, then Fly to Danang, Transfer to Hoi An: Continue exploring Halong Bay, then fly to Danang and transfer to Hoi An.

Day 7 – My Son Sanctuary in Hoi An: Visit the My Son Sanctuary. Spend the afternoon on a walking tour of Hoi An, visiting the Tan Ky House, Fujian Assembly Hall, and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge.

Day 8 – Hoi An to Danang, Visit Ba Na Hills: Travel to Ba Na Hills in Danang, visit the Golden Bridge and other attractions.

Day 9 – Danang to Ho Chi Minh City, Visit Cu Chi Tunnels: Fly to Ho Chi Minh City and explore the Cu Chi Tunnels.

Day 10 – Mekong Delta Trip from Ho Chi Minh City: Journey to the Mekong Delta, visit local sites, and experience the floating market.

Day 11 – Ho Chi Minh City Tour, Fly to Siem Reap: Tour Ho Chi Minh City, then fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Day 12 – Angkor Temples Tour: Explore the Angkor temple complex, including Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm.

Day 13 – Half-Day Floating Village Tour, Departure from Siem Reap: Visit a local market and floating village, then transfer to the airport for departure.

Essential Things to Keep in Mind

Things to Know About Vietnam

  • Visa: Most visitors need a visa to enter Vietnam. Many countries can obtain an e-visa or visa on arrival. Check requirements based on your nationality. For more information on Vietnamese visa requirements, please consult Vietnamese Visa Requirements.
  • Currency: The local currency is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). While some tourist areas accept US dollars, having dongs is recommended for small expenses.
  • Language: Vietnamese is the official language. English is spoken in tourist areas, but knowing a few basic words is appreciated.
  • Climate: Vietnam has several climatic zones from north to south. Research the weather for your travel period.
  • Traffic: Traffic in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City can be chaotic. Be cautious, especially when crossing the road.
  • Negotiation: Bargaining is common in markets and informal shops.

Things to Know About Cambodia

  • Visa: A visa is required for most visitors. It’s often possible to obtain a visa on arrival at the airport or certain border posts, or online via the e-visa system.
  • Currency: The Cambodian Riel (KHR) is the official currency, but the US dollar is widely accepted and often preferred for significant transactions.
  • Language: Khmer is the official language. English is commonly spoken in tourist areas.
  • Climate: Cambodia has a tropical climate with a rainy season (May to October) and a dry season (November to April).
  • Safety: Keep an eye on your belongings in crowded areas and avoid displaying valuables.

Estimated Budget for 13 Days in Vietnam and Cambodia

Estimating a budget for a 13-day Vietnam-Cambodia tour depends on factors like travel style (luxury, mid-range, budget), chosen activities, and types of accommodation and dining, among others.

Budget Consideration

Budget Consideration

International Flights: Round trip from Europe or the US: between $600 and $1,200 per person.

Domestic Flights and Transfers:

  • Vietnam (Hanoi – Da Nang, Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh City): between $50 and $100 per flight.
  • Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap or Phnom Penh: between $75 and $150.

Accommodation (Mid-range Hotels):

  • Vietnam: between $20 and $50 per night.
  • Cambodia: between $20 and $50 per night.

Food: On average, $10-$20 per day per person for three meals.

Excursions and Activities:

  • Angkor Temples visit 3-day pass at $62.
  • Overnight cruise in Halong Bay: between $100 and $200.
  • Other excursions and activities: budget between $150 and $300 for the entire trip.

Visas:

  • Vietnam: e-visa costs around $25.
  • Cambodia: visa on arrival or e-visa for about $30.

>>> Check out Vietnam Visa Policy for more information

Miscellaneous (gifts, souvenirs, tips, etc.): Budget $100 to $200 for the entire trip.

Adding up all these estimates, for an average traveler, the total budget for a 13-day Vietnam-Cambodia tour could be between $1,500 and $2,500, excluding international flights. With international flights, it could range from $2,100 to $3,700.

With all the abovementioned information, we hope that you will find it easier to prepare for your trip. Feel free to contact us for more information regarding a trip to Indochina. Our advisors are available to assist you in creating the perfect 13-day Vietnam-Cambodia tour, tailored to your preferences and budget.

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Yes, both Vietnam and Cambodia are generally safe for travelers. Common sense safety precautions are advised, like safeguarding your belongings and avoiding isolated areas at night. Traffic can be chaotic, so be cautious when crossing streets.


It’s recommended to consult with a travel health specialist before your trip for vaccinations and health advice. Avoid drinking tap water; bottled water is readily available. Be cautious with street food, though it’s a significant part of the local experience – opt for busy stalls with high turnover.


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Phuong Khanh

Hello, my name is Khanh, I'm a travel blogger at IDC Travel. After my adventures and what I've learned on my trips and from my research, I will help you with planning your trip to Vietnam & Southeast Asia and make your journey remarkable.

Comments(2)

    1. Hi Hilary,
      Traveling in Cambodia and Vietnam is generally affordable. For a 13-day trip across both countries, budget travelers might spend around $520-780 USD, mid-range travelers around $1,300-1,820 USD, and those seeking luxury could expect costs starting from $2,600 USD and upwards. These estimates cover accommodations, meals, local transport, and some activities but exclude international flights and visas.
      Thank you so much!
      Best regards,
      IDC Travel Team.

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