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Thailand - Cambodia - Vietnam: Useful Information for First-time Visitors

October 19, 2023 - 1378 views

Coming to Southeast Asia, you should never miss the trio of Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam as they possess many stunning tourist spots. Here is a useful information guide for the first-time travellers to 3 countries of Indochina.

Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam are the top tourism-developed countries that welcome thousands of tourists from all around the world every year. Due to their low-cost but high-quality services, diverse travel styles, especially tourist spots featuring stunning sceneries, interesting cultures, and fascinating activities.

On spending your time here, you will have a fantastic trip. If you are first-time visitors that don’t know where to go during your vacation, you can take up our below suggestion on places to visit within the trio. Your experience will be even more unforgettable.


An overview of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam

All lying within Indochina, through which run the Mekong river, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam share the same features in culture and scenery. Like other Mekong countries like Laos, Myanmar, were once a part of the ancient Khmer Empire, celebrates Tet holiday, practices the main religion of Buddhism, and possess many similar tourist spots such as Koh Samui, Cat Ba Island, and Koh Tonsay.

No matter how similar the trip is, they still have different features due to time, wars, and ways of development. From the middle of 19th to 20th century, Vietnam and Cambodia were France's colonies, while Thailand was the only in Southeast Asia not invaded by any western country. For several years, the Thai government has developed traditional cultures and religious features into many breathtaking constructions, among which pagodas and temples are the most popular, hence the nickname “Land of Golden Pagodas”.

Unlike Thailand, its two neighbors had to rebuild their economy, which was severely affected by wars. Therefore, Vietnam and Cambodia have been more known for their historical legacies and long-standing architecture. Particularly, coming to Vietnam now, you can see the perfect combination of antiquity and modernity through old and new structures alternating along the streets. For Cambodia, the country is an emerging destination with ancient tourist spots like Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and Banteay Srei Temple.

With all the special features, the trio is worth a visit to foreign tourists. In fact, including the three countries in one trip is not difficult but requires a little planning. To have a truly relaxing and wholesome vacation, let us give you some useful suggestions on your trip.

Thailand Cambodia Vietnam


When to visit Thailand, Vietnam & Cambodia?

Firstly, choosing which time to spend your vacation is of the most significant importance as the three lie within the sub-equatorial climatical area, which experiences unfavorable weather during some periods of the year.

Usually, the best time to go for a Thailand Cambodia Vietnam vacation ranges from October to March, as in all countries, the weather is beautiful and supportive. During this time, the sky is blue with warm sunlight; visibility is clear due to light clouds; rainfall is low with mostly drizzles expected.

Particularly, in Thailand and Cambodia, the time parallels the dry season, during which the temperature is from 20°C to 30°C, while in Vietnam, winter and spring will be taking place at around 20°C. A sharp decrease in temperature (10°C - 20°C) will be expected in the three countries from December to January. However, it is still comfortable enough for you to start your trip in any style of travel, such as cruising, trekking, or climbing.

Besides, this is festival season in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, which will allow you to have an even more enthralling experience. Tet Holiday, Songkran, Loy Krathong, Hung Kings’ Anniversary, Southern Liberation day, Choul Chnam Thmey, etc., will give you a chance to learn more about customs, cultures, and people of the trip.


Top-recommended Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam places to visit

Wondering places to visit Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, you will be offered a wide range of attractions. Let's learn the following ones that you should never miss.

1. Bangkok

As the capital of Thailand and one of the largest cities in Southeast Asia, Bangkok possesses a buzzing atmosphere, famous sights, high buildings, ancient temples, and royal palaces. In any corner of Bangkok, you can find yourself a spot to marvel at and take some stunning photos to enjoy your vacation thoroughly.

On coming to Bangkok, you can visit the Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew, see the Reclining Buddha in Wat Pho. Then take a trip on Sky Train to have a view of the city from above, vender around Chatuchak market or Khaosan road and shop some stuff, or have a boat trip along Chao Phraya river, alternatively floating market and eat dinner right among the water.

Visiting places in Thailand's vibrant and splendid capital will give you fantastic energy that can refresh your mind after days of getting involved in the hustling life, earning a living.

Bangkok Thailand



2. Chiang Mai

Located in Northern Thailand and surrounded by evergreen mountains, Chiang Mai offers tourists a peaceful atmosphere, allowing them to have a truly relaxing vacation. The city itself has been known as the land of tourists because of its diverse travel styles provided for them. On spending your time in Chiang Mai, you should never miss doing the following activities.

Firstly, as the city possesses some charming temples and unique sites, the most must-do thing, especially for first-time travelers, is walking around, sightseeing, and enjoying the tranquility. Recommended places include Doi Suthep, Old City Temples, Chiang Mai Night Safari, Wiang Kum Kam, and Doi Pui Tribal Village.

Additionally, you can take a tour along local streets, shop around, blend in with the people, and enjoy delicious street food, especially Khao Soi. Also, after dinner, the Night Bazaar is available for you to have fun, enjoy nightly entertainment, and feel the nightlife vibe in Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai City

Chiang Mai City


3. Phuket

Lying in the Andaman Sea of Thailand, Phuket Island features stunning golden beaches, turquoise seas, evergreen hills, mangroves, and rainforest. The island is also surrounded by beautiful islets and limestone outcrops of Phang Nga Bay. Therefore, on coming here, you will get a truly relaxing vacation that includes walking around, beautiful sightseeing scenery of nature, sunbathing on the golden sandy coast, or immersing yourself in the cool water.

With all of these features, along with friendly people, excellent cuisine, tropical climate, and a range of amenities, Phuket Island is worth it for a getaway vacation. Some destinations recommended include Patong Beach, Kata Beach, Karon Beach, Phuket Town, Phuket Big Buddha, Rawai Village, Wat Chalong, Siranat National Park, and Wat Phra Thong At Thalang.




4. Siem Reap & Angkor Wat

After having an unforgettable time in the sacred land of golden pagodas, you can come to Siem Reap to enjoy the classical antiquity of Angkor Wat. Siem Reap is a Northeast province of Cambodia and has been the major tourist hub in the country. As once the seat of power for the mighty Khmer Empire, the province itself is famous for a range of long-standing and elaborate temples. Among them, the most popular is Angkor Wat.

Located about 5,5 km to the north of Siem Reap, Angkor Wat is a religious structure (temple complex) with a large area of 162,6 hectares. Witnessing the reign of the Khmer Empire and then becoming a Buddhist temple, the wat features the architectural style of both Hinduism and Buddhism.

On visiting Angkor Wat, besides marveling at its majestic beauty and discover the history of the Khmer Empire, you will have a chance to find the peace of your soul. Tourist spots nearby that you can also visit included Landmine Museum, Kampong Phluk floating village, and Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary.

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat


5. Phnom Penh

As Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh is far different from the peaceful Phnom Penh and among the most vibrant city in the country. The capital itself lies at the confluence of three rivers: Mekong, Bassac, and Tonle Sap; thus features a rich culture as well as many interesting tourist spots. Those recommended include Royal Palace, Cambodia National Museum, Choeung Ek, and Tuol Sleng Museum.

Once a colony of France, Cambodia, especially Phnom Penh possesses many structures whose architecture is a perfect combination between classical French and traditional Cambodian styles. This made the city so impressive to tourists from all around the world.

In addition, during your time in Phnom Penh, you can eat street noodles for breakfast, walk around, enjoy the street scenes, savor your cocktails at the sundown social club, and have dinner at night market.

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh


6. Halong Bay

Being the final destination of your trip, Vietnam will give you an off-the-beaten-track end. Coming to Vietnam, you should never miss the majestic Halong Bay. With its neighboring islets and islands, the bay possesses an extraordinary beauty of nature, hence one of the World Heritages. Long linked to the legend of Mother Dragon, Halong Bay has also been known as the sacred place where all the natural factors gather, giving you a sense of peace and pleasure.

Coming to Halong, you will marvel at the majestic sceneries, swimming in the cool emerald water. You can also take part in many water activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, water deep soloing, rock climbing, kayaking, enjoying garden-fresh seafood, and getting close to the locals. Attractions nearby include Cat Ba island, Lan Ha Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay, and Nam Cat Island.


7. Hoi An

After enjoying yourself in the peace of Halong Bay, you can come to Hoi An to feel the antiquity and admire its long-lasting, rich culture. Located in Quang Nam province, along the coast of central Vietnam, Hoi An ancient town was famous as a crowded international commercial port, which had seen the local trade with Japan, Chinese, Western merchants for nearly 2 centuries (from 17th to 18th). Soon afterward, the town became a cultural crossroads, and now, it is the main tourist spot of Vietnam with about 1360 relics and landscapes.

There are 1068 ancient houses, 19 pagodas, 43 shrines, 5 assembly halls, 11 old wells, 44 ancient tombs, and one bridge. Things that are must-try in Hoi An ancient town include walking around the Old Town, shopping for local handicrafts, Admiring the Japanese Covered Bridge, visiting Hoi An museum, etc. Alternatively, you can take a day trip from Hoi An to Danang as they are pretty close (just about 30 km).

Hoi  An Town

Hoi An Town


8. Mekong Delta

Mekong Delta is made up of 13 provinces: Long An, Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Hau Giang, Kien Giang, An Giang, Dong Thap, Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, Vinh Long, Can Tho, Bac Lieu, and Ca Mau. Unlike other destinations that attract tourists with legacies and ancient relics, the Mekong delta is famous for its nature. On coming here, you will have a chance to immerse yourself in the cool fresh atmosphere of the land, the sky, and the water.

Especially, the locals are amiable and willing to tell you about their daily life, work. With all the features, Mekong Delta will give you an off-the-beaten-track experience after which, you will learn about how miracle nature is and how the local daily life goes on. One thing that you should never miss is trading in the floating village as it is very interesting.

Explore mekong delta

Explore Mekong delta


9. Hanoi

As the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is a must-see destination for tourists during their trip to Vietnam. The city itself is a perfect combination of antiquity and modernity, giving you a sense of interest and fascination. Along the streets, you can see old short buildings and new sky-high structures alternating each other.

Coming to Hanoi, you can visit Hoa Lo prison, walk around Hoan Kiem Lake, watch performances at Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, stroll around the Imperial Citadel, go shopping in the Old Quarter. You also can take a trip to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and enjoy delicious street food such as Banh mi, egg coffee, noodles, sticky rice,…

Alternatively, you can also go to the suburbs of Hanoi to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, fresh air, and take part in specific activities like rock climbing.

Temple of literature, Hanoi

Temple of literature, Hanoi


Suggested Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam itinerary for first-time visitors

If you are planning a trip to Indochina for the first time, you should follow the below-suggested Thailand Cambodia Vietnam itinerary to have the best experience.

Usually, it will take you from 3 to 4 weeks to thoroughly enjoy your vacation in the three countries. However, your Thai - Cam - Viet trip can still take place in 1 to 2 weeks but with fewer spots as well as activities.

First is Thailand, then Cambodia, and finally, Vietnam. Your trip will follow the flow of the Mekong River. Alternatively, you can go vice versa from Vietnam to Cambodia and Thailand. Both ways are great. In Thailand, the perfect time you can spend is one week.

After you arrive in Bangkok, you can have a day sightseeing attraction within the capital, then on the other days, tourist spots like Ayutthaya, Sukhothai, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, etc., are great to visit. One more thing to take note of during your trip to Thailand is that you can some time have a chance to join the festival with the local as the country feature many interesting ones.

After a week in Thailand, you can get to Cambodia and start your trip from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. As visiting these spots will not take you long, you can spend three days in Cambodia.

Finally, your trip will end in Vietnam. Here, there are thousands of places that are worth visiting. From Cambodia, you can quickly get to the southern provinces of Vietnam, such as the Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh City. After that, you can respectively come to the Central and the North to thoroughly enjoy the country's beauty. Hoi An, Danang, Ha Long are highly recommended.

Then, you can end your trip to the capital of Hanoi. Alternatively, you can go further to the Northwest to visit Sapa, Ha Giang before getting back to Hanoi.

Above is our suggested itinerary for your tour to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Besides, if you don’t want to make a plan, you can book one of our tours.

On our website, we offer several tours that go through Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. These tours vary in time, price, and services so that you can choose the most suitable one to get the best experience during your trip.

For more detailed information or booking tours, you can contact us through our website or call (+84) 24 3624-9007. We are always here to offer you the best experience during your vacation.

Duc Anh

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