Today we’ll be covering Cambodia & Vietnam. There is truly nothing like experiencing the rush and bustle of the unique cities you will find in these two countries. We hit a number of popular sites while also many off the beaten path experiences as well. I’ll go location by location to highlight our favorite parts so you can plan your visit! Trips by Nic would love to help you see these beautiful countries, alongside other exciting Asia destinations including (but certainly not limited to) Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong! From Night Markets to Temples and everything in between, we think there is no shortage of things to do and experience in Southeast Asia! Bear in mind you will need visas to enter these countries & there are certain vaccinations recommended before traveling to this part of the world, especially if you’ll be outside of the cities. We’re here to help with all of that and more. One more quick note too: when you visit these temples, you must cover your shoulders and knees. This means long skirts or pants and short sleeves (no tank tops or straps showing). I’d suggest comfortable shoes too for lots of walking!
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Cambodia’s capital and a charming city with warm and welcoming locals. Pro tip: stay at a local boutique hotel with a rooftop pool for the added bonus of afternoon beers and dips in the water to cool off! This is not on everyone’s list, it is definitely off the beaten path and you won’t find yourself surrounded by loads of tourists or foreigners speaking English. Those people that visit Phnom Penh are equally interested in the history of Cambodia and visiting the temples as they are in eventually making it to Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is what a lot of people come to Cambodia for but we love this smaller, less frequented city as a stop along your journey.
The world is your oyster!
Angkor Wat & Siem Reap, Cambodia
Google says this is the largest single structure religious place in the form of a temple in the entire world! Wow, I didn’t even know that when I visited. It was every bit as jaw dropping as you would expect. Not to mention we planned to arrive before sunrise for optimal viewing. Our tuk tuk must have left the hotel around nearly 5AM to go and get our pass for the day (which everyone will need to do the day you want to visit they are released day of). We dedicated an entire day to touring Angkor Wat, learning all about the different structures, even climbing up it in certain locations (which I can’t imagine will be allowed for years to come) and seeing various different temples in the area. Our Tuk Tuk driver served as driver and guide and was able to show us some incredible hieroglyphic paintings and drawings throughout. It was an absolute blast learning about and seeing all of this! We spent some time lounging in the pool as well at our hotel (Le Meridien) and visiting the popular drinking street, ‘Pub Street’. Espresso Martinis at Miss Wong is a must!
Ho Chi Minh / Saigon, Vietnam
We stayed at the Meridien Saigon. Vietnamese food has risen in popularity in recent years, and we can definitely see why. We visited a lot of local restaurants while in Ho Chi Minh and can vouch for it ourselves, it is so tasty and unique.
Though we did Ho Chi Minh and not Hanoi, I have heard fantastic things about Hanoi and would highly recommend squeezing both in if you have time. Ho Chi Minh, where do I start?! My absolute favorite part of this stop was our brewery tour on a moped. We had our own driver on each, thankfully since they serve you large pours of the local beers! I also would not have been able to navigate the absolute crazy streets during rush hour. We saw at least 4 or 5 local hidden breweries all over Ho Chi Minh. It was SO much fun, I would do it over and over again. Each stop gave us some delicious local treats as well alongside the local beer.
The Ben Thanh is one of the largest markets and you can buy anything from hand woven bags to fresh fish. Everyone also heads to Bui Vien street at night for cheap beers. Get ready for some crowds and lots of backpackers, but it is all in all an incredible experience that we suggest, even if just for one drink!
Phu Quoc, Vietnam
This is a beauty of an island and a perfect place to spend a holiday, we were here for NYE! The Pepper House is a must restaurant while on the island for delicious local seafood. This remote island is just a short flight off the coast of Vietnam. It boasts stunning white sand beaches and attracts visitors from all over the world. We ended our trip here and it was the right move from the go-go-go rush of the cities and attractions that we were trying to squeeze in, this let us end our vacation in relax mode. Which is always a nice way to wrap up before heading home and back to the day to day grind. Relax by the pool or beach, go for a dip, indulge in some cocktails and enjoy the local cuisine to wrap up your Southeast Asia Trip!