Hit the ultimate trifecta of beautiful Southeast Asian countries on this two-week journey to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. In Thailand, you'll browse the floating markets, visit elephant sanctuaries, take cooking classes, and go island hopping. Then you're off to Cambodia to see the legendary Angkor Wat and Royal Residence (home of the King of Cambodia). Finish the adventure in Vietnam to enjoy street food in Hanoi and an overnight cruise on Ha Long Bay.


  • Let a guide show you the best temples and floating markets in Bangkok
  • Learn how to cook northern Thai cuisine from a local chef in Chiang Mai
  • Boat between Phuket's prettiest islands with time to swim and snorkel
  • Spend a day exploring Cambodia's famous 200-acre Angkor Wat
  • See Vietnam's famous landscapes (like Ha Long Bay and the Mekong Delta)

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bangkok, Optional Activities Bangkok
Day 2 Visit the Floating Markets, Half-Day City Tour Bangkok
Day 3 Transfer to Chiang Mai, Optional Activities Chiang Mai
Day 4 Visit an Elephant Sanctuary, Afternoon Cooking Class Chiang Mai
Day 5 Transfer to Phuket, Optional Activities Phuket
Day 6 Speedboat Tour of the Phi Phi Islands Phuket
Day 7 Transfer to Siem Reap, Guided Tour Siem Reap
Day 8 Day Trip to Angkor Wat Siem Reap
Day 9 Transfer to Hanoi, City Tour Hanoi
Day 10 Transfer to Ha Long Bay, Overnight Cruise Ha Long Bay
Day 11 Morning Cruise, Transfer to Da Nang Da Nang
Day 12 Day Trip to Golden Bridge Da Nang
Day 13 Transfer to Ho Chi Minh City, Tour the Mekong Delta Ho Chi Minh City
Day 14 Depart Ho Chi Minh City  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok, Optional Activities

Hike to the top of the Golden Mount Temple in Bangkok
Welcome to Thailand! This country has a long and storied history dating back to its founding in the 13th century. You'll first arrive in the capital of Bangkok. Once a tiny village, this metropolis was declared the nation's capital by King Rama in 1782. Today Bangkok is abuzz with street life and is dotted with historic wats (temples).

Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel in the city. Then you can head out and discover Bangkok's history, culture, and world-famous cuisine on a self-guided tour. For the best views, head to the city's only hill and hike 320 steps to reach the Golden Mount Temple. Afterward, hop on a water taxi for a ride down the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok's main waterway. It's a scenic and fun way to get around and can take you right to Chinatown, one of the largest such districts in the world.

By now, you'll have worked up an appetite, and there's plenty to eat in the night markets sprinkled all over the city. Try staples like noodle dishes, curries, papaya salad, moo ping (grilled pork skewers), and jok (rice porridge). If you like, head to lively Khao San Road, a tourist and nightlife district where you can grab a beer and mingle with visitors from all over the world. 

Day 2: Visit the Floating Markets, Half-Day City Tour

Floating market visit and Bangkok exploration day
Explore Bangkok's floating markets and talk to the locals
Begin the day by meeting your guide and heading out on the water to visit one of Bangkok's famous floating markets. There are various aquatic trading centers in Bangkok's khlongs (canals), like Khlong Lat Mayom Market, which is conveniently located close to downtown Bangkok. The market isn't as full of boats as others in the city, but it offers a more authentic experience while allowing you to avoid the tourist crowds.

Afterward, you'll continue on a half-day city tour with a local expert. Your first stop will be Wat Arun. Located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, this iconic temple dates to the 17th century and is known for its towering 259-foot (79 m) central spire. Then, hop on a ferry and travel across the river to Wat Pho. This is one of the oldest temples in Thailand (it dates to the 13th century), and inside is the famous 150-foot (46 m) Reclining Buddha. Later, you can visit Chatuchak Market, the largest weekend market in Bangkok. There are around 15,000 vendor stalls, and it's a fun place to stop for a meal.

Day 3: Transfer to Chiang Mai, Optional Activities

Wat Phra Singh is a 14th-century Buddhist temple in the heart of Chiang Mai
After breakfast, you'll transfer to the airport and catch a one-hour flight to the mountainous north of the country and Chiang Mai. This city is unique because from 1296 to 1558, it was the capital of the independent Lanna Kingdom. Much of this history is well-preserved in the form of ancient walls, moats, and the Buddhist temples dotting the Old City (historic center). Also, the region around Chiang Mai is home to hundreds of Buddhist temples, diverse hill tribes, tea plantations, and elephant sanctuaries.
Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel in the city. Then you'll have the rest of the day to explore at your own pace. You can start at Wat Phra Singh, a 14th-century Buddhist temple in the heart of Old Town, and then head to Wat Chedi Luang, the largest chedi (Buddhist stupa) in Chiang Mai. Last but not least is Wat Chiang Man, a temple that dates to the late 13th century, making it the oldest in the city.  
Afterward, you can walk to Worarot, Chiang Mai's largest municipal market. It's a popular stop for locals who shop for fresh produce, preserved foods, local delicacies, clothes, flowers, and other knick-knacks—all at reasonable prices. At the end of the day, return to your hotel. Later, if you have the energy, perhaps take a stroll through the famous Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, where you can find an abundance of items like handicrafts and paintings.

Day 4: Visit an Elephant Sanctuary, Afternoon Cooking Class

Happy elephants bathing in the river
Spend a memorable day with rescued elephants near Chiang Mai
In the morning, you'll hop in a car and drive outside the city to visit an elephant rescue center. This eco-project is unique as it has been run by a local family for generations, whose primary goals are conservation and the rehabilitation of elephants. Upon arrival, a mahout (elephant carer) will introduce you to the animals, then you'll get to spend time with them, walk with them, bathe them, and learn their behavior. Afterward, you'll transfer back to Chiang Mai.

Later, a driver will pick you up at the hotel and take you to a cooking class. First, though, you'll stop at a local market to learn all about the regional produce and purchase fresh ingredients. Then, you'll arrive at an open-style kitchen decorated in Lanna Thai style, which is where the class takes place. After a brief introduction, you and the other students will receive aprons and traditional headdresses. Then, your English-speaking instructor will lead you, step by step, on a journey to cook traditional Thai cuisine. When the class is over, everyone will sit down and enjoy the delicious food you've prepared.

Day 5: Transfer to Phuket, Optional Activities

Arrive with enough time to explore and enjoy your first sunset in Phuket
After breakfast, you'll catch a two-hour flight south to Phuket for the tropical island portion of your Southeast Asia adventure. Located on the Andaman coast, Phuket is the country's largest island, famous as much for its raucous nightlife as its sublime white-sand beaches.
Upon arrival, a driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Then you can spend the remainder of the day relaxing by the pool or on the beach. If you like, see a different side of Phuket on a visit to its historic Old Town. Lining Thalang Road here are colorful 19th-century shophouses and Sino-Portuguese buildings. There are also plenty of charming cafés and restaurants in the area, and you won't want to miss a sunset from the beach before dinner.
Plan your trip to Thailand
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 6: Speedboat Tour of the Phi Phi Islands

Boat between stunning islands in the Andaman Sea

In the morning, hop on a speedboat for a full-day snorkeling/swimming excursion at the famous Phi Phi Islands. The tour starts around 7:30 am and the first stop is at Phi Phi Lee (Maya Beach). One of the most stunning destinations in Thailand, the beach is a secluded bay hemmed in by towering limestone cliffs on a romantic isle. If it looks familiar, that's because it was featured in the 2000 film "The Beach."

Once here, you'll take a dip in the water in designated swimming areas and snap photos at other nearby highlights like Pileh Lagoon and Viking Cave. On the way north to the larger island of Phi Phi Don, you'll pass Monkey Beach, named for its community of crab-eating macaques. Upon arrival, you'll have time for snorkeling, followed by a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. Later in the afternoon, visit Bamboo Island for more sunbathing before transferring back to your hotel.

Day 7: Transfer to Siem Reap, Guided Tour

Welcome to Siem Reap
Siem Reap is your home base for exploring Angkor Wat
After an early breakfast, you'll transfer to the airport in Phuket and catch a connecting flight to Siem Reap. This resort town in northwestern Cambodia is the main hub for excursions to the 12th-century ruins of Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world. Upon arrival at the airport, your driver/guide will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel.

After checking in, you'll head out with your guide for a tour of Siem Reap. One highlight is the Royal Residence, a royal villa that is the official residence of the King of Cambodia when he is in town. Also in the royal compound is the town's main shrine, Preah Ang Chek Preah Ang Chorm. Dedicated to two Angkorian princesses, locals come here to pray for good luck. Next, visit Artisans D’Angkor, where rural Cambodians train in the art of traditional Khmer craftsmanship. Finish the day at one of the city's lively open markets, where you can mingle with locals.

Day 8: Day Trip to Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat in all its splendour
Angkor Wat covers 200 acres (81 ha), so there's plenty to explore
Leave early on a full-day tour to the ruins of Angkor Wat, a kingdom in the Khmer empire that flourished from the 9th-15th centuries. This is the largest and most famous of all temples in this ancient archaeological site. This 12th-century complex covers 200 acres (81 ha) and its five towers are so iconic they're emblazoned on the Cambodian flag. On this walking tour, you'll immerse yourself in the ruins as you stroll through its galleries, libraries, pavilions, and courtyards.

Continue to the South Gate and Angkor Thom (literally "Great City"), which comprises the ruins of the most impressive royal city of Cambodia's Angkor period. During its heyday in the 12th-13th centuries, it was also a formidable defensive area, protected by 26-foot (8 m) walls and a wide moat. It boasts 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara, the Buddhist deity of compassion.
The tour ends at Ta Prohm, a 12th-century Buddhist temple whose crumbling towers have been all but absorbed by the surrounding jungle. Afterward, you'll return to Siem Reap for a tuk-tuk ride around town. Capping your day will be a blessing ceremony performed by a Buddhist monk to wish you prosperity, happiness, and a safe trip.

Day 9: Transfer to Hanoi, City Tour

A local vendor selling their product on the streets of Hanoi
In the morning, you'll say goodbye to Cambodia and board an airplane for the two-hour flight from Siem Reap to Hanoi. Vietnam's capital has a long and storied history dating back to its initial founding around 200 BCE. In that time, the nation has seen many different epochs, including the rise and fall of dynasties, colonization, a communist uprising, and devastating wars.
At the airport, a driver will meet you and transfer you to your hotel in the city. After checking in, head out on a guided tour of Hanoi. First, you'll visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum to see the final resting place of revolutionary leader "Uncle Ho." Next door is the One Pillar Pagoda, an 11th-century Buddhist temple regarded as the most unique pagoda in Asia due to its lotus-flower design perched on a stone pillar rising out of a pond. Then continue to the Tran Quoc Pagoda, which overlooks West Lake. Dating back to the 6th century, this is one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam. 
Later, proceed to other city highlights like the Ethnology Museum and the Temple of Literature. The latter was constructed in 1070 as Vietnam's first-ever university. Finish the tour in Hanoi's Old Quarter and the peaceful waters of Hoan Kiem Lake to visit the Jade Mountain Temple. This landmark was built in the 18th century to honor Tran Hung Dao, a military commander who famously repelled two Mongol invasions.

Day 10: Transfer to Ha Long Bay, Overnight Cruise

Overnight Cruise at Halong Bay!
Board a cruise ship for an overnight ride on Ha Long Bay

Around 8 am, a shuttle will pick you up at your hotel for the 3.5-hour scenic ride north to Ha Long Bay. In this most incredible of regions, 1,500 karst islets rise above jade waters that resemble the spine of a mythological creature ("ha long" means "descending dragon"). Upon arrival at the marina, you'll board a multi-level ship for an overnight cruise around this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After settling into your cabin, head to the restaurant, where a delicious lunch awaits. Then you can spend a few hours relaxing on the sun deck as the ship sails across glassy emerald waters to the most secluded corners of the bay. Lunch will be served on board, and later you can enjoy a swim and a kayak trip to explore hidden beaches and grottoes. Dinner will be served in the evening.

Day 11: Morning Cruise, Transfer to Da Nang

Spend the morning on the water in Ha Long Bay
Wake up with the sun and head to the deck to enjoy an incomparable sunrise over Ha Long Bay. Then perhaps get the blood pumping with an outdoor Tai Chi session. Afterward, sit down and enjoy an al fresco breakfast as the boat cruises around towering karst islets. Around 11 am, you'll return to the port in Ha Long Bay. From there, you'll transfer back to Hanoi and catch a 1.5-hour flight south to the coastal city of Da Nang. A driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in the city, and you'll have the evening free.

Day 12: Day Trip to Golden Bridge

Golden Hand bridge
Take a walk on the Golden Bridge and enjoy views of the Vietnamese coast
Wake up early for a day trip to the most stunning landmark in Da Nang: the Golden Bridge. Located in the misty Truong Son Mountains, this 490-foot (150 m) pedestrian bridge sits at the top of the green Ba Na Hill. This entire region was a popular leisure spot for 19th-century French colonialists due to the incredible views it offers over the countryside and coast.
After driving for one hour to the mountain's base, you'll ascend to the top via the Ba Na Cable Car. Running 19,032 feet (5,801 m), this is the longest non-stop cable car in the world. Once at the top, you'll stand 4,593 feet (1,400 m) above sea level. Enjoy the stunning 360-degree views with a stroll along the Golden Bridge, whose most incredible feature is the pair of giant stone hands gently cradling it.
The bridge crosses several lovely gardens and offers views of nearby French villas, which make for great photo opportunities. Another highlight in the area is the Linh Tu Pagoda, a temple dedicated to the Holy Mountain Mother, a kind of patron saint of Ba Na Hill. Return to your hotel in Da Nang in the late afternoon.

Day 13: Transfer to Ho Chi Minh City, Tour the Mekong Delta

Take a ride down the canals of the Mekong region
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and transfer to the airport in Da Nang, where you'll catch a short flight south to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). Vietnam's largest metropolis is fascinating in that it has survived a communist revolution and devastating war to become the nation's business and financial hub. Nevertheless, it retains much of its traditional culture, and there are many impressive architectural landmarks dating to the colonial era.
Upon arrival at the airport, your driver will meet you for the ride south to My Tho. This river city is located in Tien Giang province at the doorstep of the famous Mekong Delta region. Your full-day tour of the beautiful riverine landscapes begins with a boat ride down the Mekong River. During the scenic trip, you'll pass tranquil islands as you sip on fresh coconut juice (the Mekong is famous for its coconut groves). The boat tour ends with a visit to one of the area's massive floating markets, where hundreds of boats ply the waters selling fresh produce.

At the end of the tour, you'll visit Thoi Son Island. Stretch your legs on a leisurely stroll down the backroads here as you pass orchards, sample tropical fruits, and listen to traditional music coming from the village homes. You'll also see a shrine dedicated to the Coconut Monk, a local religious cult leader who, back in the day, preached adherence to peace, harmony, and coconuts. You'll then return to Ho Chi Minh City, stopping en route at Vinh Trang Pagoda, the largest Buddhist temple in the province.

Day 14: Depart Ho Chi Minh City

Sunrise on the Saigon River in Ho Chi Minh City

Wake up early for a sunrise walk around Ho Chi Minh City this morning, followed by a leisurely breakfast at your hotel. Depending on your flight schedule, you may have some extra time to enjoy the city and do some last-minute shopping. At the appropriate hour, you'll transfer to the airport for your flight home. See you soon!

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Map of Highlights of Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam - 14 Days
Map of Highlights of Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam - 14 Days
Written by Tina Oo, updated Oct 18, 2023