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Vietnam and Cambodia Map and Itinerary

| Words by Zoe Crane | ,

Our top recommendations for spending two weeks in Cambodia and Vietnam

Two weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia is enough to see highlights like the magnificent temples of Angkor, the sparkling waters of Halong Bay and the ancient capital of Hanoi. You'll also get to enjoy historic Hoi an, a traveller favourite, bustling Saigon and Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh.

When to go: The best time to visit Vietnam depends on your itinerary, but the most popular time is spring and autumn, when it is not too hot or cold and there is less chance of heavy rain. Cambodia is warm year-round with a wet season from May to October with afternoon showers that rarely affect travel plans. The best time to visit Cambodia and Vietnam together is November to March, however Vietnam and Cambodia tours are very busy at this time and we recommend booking your itinerary well in advance.

Vietnam and Cambodia map and itinerary

2-Week Vietnam and Cambodia Itinerary

Day 1: Phnom Penh

Start your itinerary in vibrant Phnom Penh , both a testament to its French-colonial past and a city reinventing itself. Begin at the Royal Palace, residence of the beloved King, and the Silver Pagoda, with an incredible tiled floor lined with 5,000 silver tablets and an ‘Emerald Buddha’ and Golden Buddha. The national museum houses a large collection of Khmer history and art before a visit to Wat Phnom, the city’s namesake. Reflect on the tragedy of the chilling Pol Pot era with a visit to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields. In the evening, wander along Sisowath Quay, the riverside esplanade.

Days 2-3: Siem Reap and Temples of Angkor

Fly to Siem Reap, the gateway to the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor where you can wander through the old market or shop at boutique craft shops. Angkor City was once the largest city in the world and the temple complex exemplifies the heights of Khmer civilisation from 802 – 1432.

Marvel at the eerie stone heads and evocative bas-reliefs of the Bayon temple and the Terraces of the Elephants and Leper King or find the tree-covered ruins of Ta Prohm, used as the set for the movie Tomb Raider Take a tuk-tuk before dawn to see the unforgettable sun rising over Angkor Wat before spending a couple of hours exploring the famous temple.

Angkor Wat at sunrise Angkor Wat at sunrise

Day 4: Tonle Sap Lake

From Siem Reap, travel by land to the Lake for a cruise past colourful floating villages. This is the second largest freshwater Lake in the world with over a million people making a living from fishing the lake. Take a tour by boat to see floating houses, floating schools and even a floating hospital.

Day 5: Saigon

Fly from Siem Reap to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and stroll along the former Rue Catinat, now the busy Dong Khoi Street, for a taste of local life and see the Notre Dame cathedral. The War Remnants Museum and Reunification Palace both deliver a very real insight to the Vietnamese-American War.

Day 6: Cu Chi Tunnels

A network of tunnels used by the Viet Cong during conflict stretching more than 200 kms underground; established as a means of waging guerrilla war against superior French and later American forces.

Day 7: Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta is a series of tributaries leading from the powerful Mekong River out to the sea. An abundance of water powers this region, often referred to as rice bowl of Vietnam. Enjoy the laidback pace as you visit farms growing fresh fruits, coconuts and rice and try the local rice wine if you dare. Float along the canals by boat or cycle the quiet laneways.

Floating Market in Can Tho, Mekong Delta Floating Market in Can Tho, Mekong Delta

Day 8: Hue

Hue was the Imperial capital of Vietnam from 1802 and 1945 and remains Vietnam’s principal city for higher education and learning. Fly from Saigon to Danang and travel by road to Hue. Uncover the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda and historic Citadel, and then explore the Emperors’ tombs. Cruise along the tranquil perfume river before a traditional imperial feast.

Days 9-10: Hoi An

The drive from Hue to Hoi An along the Hai Van pass is one of the most scenic in all of Vietnam. Once an active trading centre, the World Heritage-listed town of Hoi An has been largely preserved and is now a tourist favourite. A short walk through the town will uncover old merchant’s houses, the Chinese assembly hall and the Japanese covered bridge. Spend a day exploring the many shops, galleries and restaurants or relax by the river.

Days 11-12: Halong Bay

Enjoy a scenic drive (3.5 hours) past verdant rice fields from Hanoi to Halong Bay. World Heritage listed Halong Bay is one of Vietnam’s greatest natural wonders with more than 3,000 limestone karst islands rising out of the sparkling turquoise sea.

Halong Bay Halong Bay

Days 13-14: Hanoi

Return to Hanoi, the political and historical capital of Vietnam for over 1000 years. Wander wide tree-lined boulevards filled with French-colonial architecture, or explore the labyrinthine alleys of the old quarter, where peddlers still trade as they have for centuries. Ho Chi Minh is considered the “father of modern Vietnam” and is affectionately known as “Uncle Ho”. In the Ho Chi Minh Quarter visit his mausoleum, his humble stilt house and the Ho Chi Minh Museum. Nearby is the presidential palace and One Pillar Pagoda. The Temple of Literature is Hanoi’s first university dating back to 1070. Finally visit the infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ known for the imprisonment of National Liberation movement leaders and US Air Force pilots during the war.

Insider Journeys operates numerous small group tours to Cambodia and Vietnam. Popular tours include the 15-day Cambodia and Vietnam Explorer covering the above highlights.