A 3-week Asia route shows you the stunning diversity of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Natural beauty, dynamic megacities and exotic villages will provide you with the most unforgettable experiences whilst traveling in this part of the world. I created this route guide to help you plan your trip, but also give you some additional places to add to your route through these 3 countries.
Day 1 – 2: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Once in a lifetime experiences are everywhere in Vietnam, and for us it all started in Ho Chi Minh City. A city described with words as energy, discovery, culture and a chaotic whirl that breathes life to every street corner, market, food stall and all who settle here. It is also a great introduction to the culinary superpower where the Vietnamese cooking has become a fascinating draw for travelers.
There are at least a million street-food tours and cooking classes on offer, and your taste palate will have a blast exploring all the incredible flavors. I highly recommend booking a food tour through Saigon Adventure during your visit in HCMC. It is the best introduction to Vietnamese cuisine and culture, and it is so much fun to experience this on the back of a motorbike! Roaming through the craziest of streets in downtown Saigon, right in the middle of a tsunami of scooters and cars.
Read more about: A nightlife and food tour in Saigon
If you have time, we also recommend you to spend a day touring and enjoying the scenic speedboat in the tangled maze of rivers found in the Mekong Delta. During this slow tempo day tour, you will visit unique temples, a river market, buffaloes plowing fields, rice paddies and so much more. All this, whilst being surrounded by all the charming local colors and scenic views, as well as experiencing glimpses of rural Vietnam and daily life.
Read more about: Mekong Delta River Tour
Day 3: Nha Trang, Vietnam
The high-energy beach resort of Nah Trang is a tropical place in a stunning setting. With its turquoise bay, surrounding hills, and the white sanded beach line as far as the eyes can see. Central Nha Trang is a party town at heart, and you can find plenty of restaurants, shopping areas, high-end hotels and clubs at this lively, high-rise place.
Kindly note! If you are not into partying, we would recommend skipping Nha Trang and head directly to Hoi An or Hue instead. Looking back, we would have done this.
Read more: 12 Things to do in Nha Trang
Day 4 – 6: Hoi An, Vietnam
Lantern-covered streets, colorful shops, romantic restaurants and the river floating by the cobble stoned streets. Hoi An is truly magical. The Old Town of Hoi An boost with historic houses, Chinese temples, warehouses, bars and boutique hotels. There are also plenty of tailor shops to choose from, and you can spend you time at the local market. Either way, I am sure you will love your time in Hoi An just as much as we did.
About Hoi an: Things to do in Hoi An
Day 7: Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi is one of the most ancient capitals in the world. The city is located on the banks of the Red River, surrounded by colonial buildings, pagodas and museums. This is a great place to explore on foot. The city itself is known for its cuisine, vibrant nightlife, handicrafts and architecture. We only used Hanoi as a base for our Halong Bay trip, but you can easily spend 3 – 4 days here.
About Hanoi: 10 Things to do in Hanoi
Day 8 – 9: Halong Bay, Vietnam
Halong Bay is dotted with more than 1,600 limestone karst and islets. It is a stunning natural wonder in Northern Vietnam. It is also located close to the Chinese border. The tiny islets is covered by forest, and the limestone pillars are rising from the emerald waters of the bay. This is a truly awe-inspiring sight and a vision of beauty. It is not a surprise that this is northern Vietnam´s number one-tourism hub.
Read more: 2 Days in Halong Bay, Vietnam
Day 11 – 13: Luang Prabang, Laos
One of the highlights during your trip will definitely be the time in Luang Prabang! Visiting this friendly town, where it somehow feels like time has stood still is an experience you will not forget. Endless trekking opportunities, mountain-bike trails, kayaking trips and outstanding natural beauty – it truly has it all 🙂
Learn more: 7 Awesome things to do in Luang Prabang, Laos
Day 14 – 16: Vang Vieng, Laos
Vang Vieng is beautiful sunsets, awesome backdrops of cliffs and gorgeous views of green paddy fields. The town itself is no gem, but the scenery surrounding it is jaw-droppingly beautiful. Spend a couple of days here, rent a buggy, go water tubing or trekking, or just enjoy the views of Laos most picturesque spots.
Read more: 3 Days in Vang Vieng, Laos
Day 17: Vientiane, Laos
Vientiane is a very calm and somewhat sleepy capital, and everything seems to move in slow motion here. There are not many must-see attractions, but there are still a couple of activities to invest your time in. From temple-hopping, wandering cultural museums, eating crispy local food or exploring the quirkier sides of the city. Spend 1 night here to cover the main sights, before continuing to Cambodia.
Read more: 7 Things to do in Vientiane, Laos
Day 18 – 20: Siem Reap, Cambodia
We spent 3 days in Siem Reap, which hardly felt enough. Immerse yourself in beautiful culture, try local delicacies such as spiders or scorpions or imagine being Tomb Raider jumping from temple to temple. There are rivers and beaches, cities and villages, forest and land and the friendly locals are just waiting to give you a heartwarming welcome.
Read more: How to spend 3 days in Siem Reap, Cambodia