How can I plan a trip to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand?

Are you dreaming of an exotic Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand adventure? Look no further/ We’re here to help you plan the trip of a lifetime. As experts in Southeast Asian travel, we know how to craft an itinerary covering these three amazing countries. 

This blog post will share useful tips and insights to help you embark on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. 

We’ve got you covered, from pristine beaches to bustling cities, ancient temples to traditional markets. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about planning a journey to some of the most beautiful countries in the world.

And if we leave you feeling inspired, check out our Vespa Tours in Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia.  

A Brief Introduction to Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is as enchanting as it is diverse. With its wondrous blend of cultures, tantalizing cuisines, and landscapes ranging from secluded beaches to dense jungles, it’s no surprise that this region is a magnet for travelers. It boasts an amalgamation of ancient traditions and modern cities, offering an adventure for every type of traveler.

The appeal of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand

Among the gems of Southeast Asia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand stand out as three must-visit countries. With its captivating history, lush landscapes, and delectable food, Vietnam has increasingly become a tourist favorite. 

Cambodia, home to the magnificent Angkor Wat, offers a glimpse into the glorious Khmer civilization and a rich cultural experience. 

Meanwhile, Thailand is renowned for its stunning beaches, grand temples, and vibrant street life.

Overview of essential destinations: Hanoi, Saigon, Hoi An, Hue, Siem Reap, Angkor, and Chiang Mai

In this blog, we’ll take you on a journey through some of the most iconic places in these countries: Hanoi, Saigon, Hoi An, and Hue in Vietnam; Siem Reap and the Angkor ruins in Cambodia; and the historical city of Chiang Mai in Thailand. 

Before You Go: Preparation and Documentation

Travel documents: Passports, visas, and insurance

Before embarking on your adventure, ensuring your travel documents are in order is essential. Check the validity of your passport – it should be valid for at least six months beyond your entry date. Research visa requirements for your nationality, as these may vary. It’s also advisable to have travel insurance to cover unexpected events like medical emergencies or trip cancellations.

Vaccinations and health precautions

Consult a healthcare provider about vaccinations and medicines recommended for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand travelers. Common recommendations include vaccines for hepatitis A, typhoid, and influenza. Also, consider bringing a basic first-aid kit, insect repellent, and any prescription medications you may need.

Budget planning

Determine a daily budget for your trip that considers accommodation, transportation, food, attractions, and souvenirs. Southeast Asia is known for being budget-friendly, but it’s wise to plan and have a mix of cash and cards.

Packing essentials and tips

When packing, consider the climate and activities you’ll be engaging in. Lightweight, breathable clothes are recommended due to the tropical climate. Also, pack a sturdy pair of walking shoes, as you’ll likely be exploring many sites on foot. Don’t forget essentials like travel adapters, toiletries, and any special items you may need for the trip.

Booking flights and accommodation

Book your flights well in advance to get the best deals. When booking accommodations, take into account your itinerary and preferences. Options range from luxury hotels to budget hostels and homestays. It’s also advisable to book some accommodations in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Stay tuned as we delve into the beauty and wonders of each destination in the following sections.



Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a city where history comes to life. With over a thousand years of history, Hanoi is known for its centuries-old architecture, vibrant street markets, and rich culture.

Must-see attractions and experiences:

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: A tribute to the founder of modern Vietnam.

The Old Quarter: Wander the narrow streets, sample street food, and shop for souvenirs.

Temple of Literature: A remarkable temple dedicated to Confucius, dating back to 1070.

Water Puppet Theater: Experience the traditional Vietnamese art form.

Food and culture: Hanoi is a haven for food lovers. Try Pho, the national dish, or Bun Cha, a local specialty. Don’t miss the local coffee; immerse yourself in the vibrant street culture.

Want to experience Hanoi through the eyes of a local? Join us on one of our Hanoi Vespa Tours.

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City, is the economic hub of Vietnam. It’s a city of contrasts, with skyscrapers alongside historic buildings.

Must-see attractions and experiences:

War Remnants Museum: Gain insights into the Vietnam War.

Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon: A beautiful Catholic cathedral.

Ben Thanh Market: A lively market for souvenirs and street food.

Cu Chi Tunnels: Explore the tunnels used during the Vietnam War.

Food and culture

Saigon is known for its street food culture, with dishes like Banh Mi and Goi Cuon. The nightlife is vibrant, with a range of bars and clubs.

Saigon is one of our most popular locations. If you’re in town, take the Insider’s Saigon Tour to explore hidden treasures that many tourist itineraries miss. 

Hoi An

Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a beautifully preserved ancient town, known for its mix of cultures and well-preserved architecture.

Must-see attractions and experiences:

Ancient Town: Walk through the historic town.

Japanese Covered Bridge: An iconic symbol of Hoi An.

Tailor Shops: Get custom-made clothes from skilled tailors.

An Bang Beach: Relax on the beach.

Food and culture

Try local dishes like Cao Lau and White Rose Dumplings. Explore the night market and enjoy the lantern-lit evenings.


Hue, once the imperial capital of Vietnam, is known for its historical monuments and architecture.

Must-see attractions and experiences:

Imperial City: Explore the former imperial seat of the Nguyen Dynasty.

Thien Mu Pagoda: Visit the iconic seven-story pagoda.

Khai Dinh Tomb: A blend of Eastern and Western architecture.

Food and culture:

Try traditional dishes like Bun Bo Hue. Discover the imperial cuisine once served to royals.


Siem Reap

Siem Reap is the gateway to the ancient temples of Angkor and is a hub for travelers worldwide.

Must-see attractions and experiences:

Angkor Wat: Discover the iconic temple complex.

Night Markets: Shop for souvenirs and try local street food.

Floating Villages: Take a boat trip to the nearby floating villages on Tonle Sap Lake.

Food and culture:

Try traditional Khmer dishes like Amok and Bai Sach Chrouk. Experience traditional Apsara dance performances.

Want to experience the nightlife of Siem Reap? Join us for our Siem Reap After Dark Tour!


The Angkor Archaeological Park encompasses the magnificent remains of the Khmer civilization. It was the center of the Khmer Empire from the 9th to 15th centuries.

Must-see temples and structures:

Angkor Wat: The most iconic temple.

Bayon: Known for its enormous stone faces.

Ta Prohm: A temple engulfed by the jungle, famous for the movie Tomb Raider.

Tips for visiting Angkor:

Arrive early to catch the sunrise.

Stay hydrated and wear comfortable shoes.

Hire a guide for insights into the history.


Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, often called the ‘Rose of the North’, is a historical city surrounded by mountains in northern Thailand. Founded in 1296, it was once the capital of the independent Lanna Kingdom and is now a cultural and natural paradise for visitors.

Must-see attractions and experiences

Doi Suthep: A sacred mountain with a stunning temple at its peak.

Night Bazaar: A haven for shoppers and food lovers.

Old City: Wander through ancient temples and streets within the walled city.

Elephant Nature Park: Visit and support this ethical elephant sanctuary.

Food and culture

Northern Thai cuisine is distinct and flavorful. Don’t miss Khao Soi, a creamy noodle soup. Experience cultural activities such as traditional Lanna dances, and participate in local festivals like Yi Peng Lantern Festival if you visit in November.

With this guide to Hanoi, Saigon, Hoi An, Hue, Siem Reap, Angkor, and Chiang Mai, you are well-prepared for a Southeast Asian adventure that offers a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.

Explore Southeast Asia with Vespa Adventures

The destinations above are all covered under our Unforgettable Southeast Asia Vespa Adventures!

Whether you are at the planning stage of your adventure or currently traveling throughout Southeast Asia, booking a place on one of our Vespa Tours in Thailand, Cambodia, or Vietnam means getting to explore in the company of passionate, expert locals. 

Get an authentic taste of Southeast Asia with a tour company that takes adventure-hungry travelers to extraordinary locations often overlooked by popular tourist itineraries.

If you have any questions, please get in touch