Ultimate Vietnam Cambodia Laos 3 week itinerary – explore the best of SouthEast Asia

Embark on a transcendent journey through the heart of SouthEast Asia with our meticulously crafted Vietnam Cambodia Laos 3 week itinerary. This odyssey promises an exploration of the mystic allure these countries have to offer. From the bustling streets of Hanoi to the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor Wat, and the tranquil landscapes of Laos, this three-week sojourn is an unrivaled adventure. 

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry of these nations, taste the tantalizing street food, and uncover the hidden gems that make this corner of the world so special. Whether you’re captivated by the timeless elegance of Luang Prabang’s temples or the vibrant energy of Ho Chi Minh City, this trip guarantees a perfect blend of discovery, relaxation, and connection. So, join us on this epic voyage, and let’s unravel the secrets of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos in a comprehensive 3-week exploration.

Vietnam Laos Cambodia itinerary 3 weeks trip – Ultimate itinerary to fully explore the best of SouthEast Asia

Experience the vibrant tapestry of culture and nature in our Vietnam Cambodia Laos 3 week itinerary. Journey through three countries, discovering the splendor of Cambodia’s Angkor Complex, cruising Halong Bay, exploring the Mekong Delta’s charm, and savoring the tranquility of Laos. Craft memories that endure in this 3-week adventure.

Day 1: Siem Reap

The moment you step foot at Siem Reap International Airport, Cambodia’s vibrant history unfolds before you. Effortlessly clearing immigration, you’ll be chauffeured to your Siem Reap hotel where you’ll stay the night. Prepare to set out on your thrilling journey and delve into the marvels that this enchanting place has in store for you.

Day 2: Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat

Siem Reap Victory Gate
Siem Reap Victory Gate

Step into the enchanting world of Siem Reap’s Angkor Wat! Your temple exploration commences at the iconic Ta Prohm or the mesmerizing Preah Khan temple. Traverse the ancient city of Angkor Thom, where the grandeur of Bayon Temple and the exquisite carvings of the nearby Terraces await. Following a delightful lunch, behold the magnificence of Angkor Wat, a profound symbol of Khmer spirituality. As the sun sets, bask in its warm embrace, casting a golden aura over the temple and its graceful Apsara dancers. Return to your hotel for a well-deserved rest, savoring the memories of this extraordinary journey. Enjoy a leisurely dinner and unwind by the pool, relishing the wonders you’ve encountered.

Day 3: Banteay Srey – Kbal Spean – ACCB

Delve into the idyllic countryside, starting with a visit to the mesmerizing Banteay Srey temple. Its elegant pink sandstone and intricate bas-reliefs await your exploration. Continue your adventure with a rejuvenating forest hike to Kbal Spean, where the “River of 1000 Lingas” unveils ancient Hindu carvings amid the natural splendor. Refuel with a delectable lunch, then venture to the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity, dedicated to preserving wildlife and the environment. Engage with local communities, observing the craft of rice paper making and savoring regional delights. The Cambodian Land Mine Museum offers a humbling experience of resilience. Immerse yourself in Cambodia’s countryside, leaving with cherished memories of this transformative journey.

Day 4:  Siem Reap – Ho Chi Minh City

As your plane lands in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s dynamic urban center, the distant silhouette of Angkor Wat’s five majestic towers captivates the horizon. The city thrives with lively neighborhoods, radiating boundless energy that’s irresistibly vibrant. Amidst modern conveniences and a swift pace, the locals’ enduring rich culture and timeless traditions add depth to the ever-changing cityscape. The air carries the enchanting scents of garlic and freshly prepared rice noodles, enticing you to explore the hidden treasures of the city’s culinary landscape. Savor the sumptuous flavors of pho, discovering charming eateries nestled in every corner, promising a culinary adventure at every twist and turn.

Day 5: Ho Chi Minh City

Following breakfast, your dedicated guide will accompany you on an extraordinary expedition through the renowned Cu Chi Tunnels. You’ll delve into the labyrinthine network’s three tiers and encounter an enlightening exhibition featuring the ingenious traps and weaponry employed during the Vietnam War. Afterward, return to the city center for a delectable lunch before embarking on a captivating exploration of Ho Chi Minh City. Witness the harmonious fusion of historical legacy and contemporary marvels as you tour iconic landmarks like the Central Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral. Immerse yourself in the city’s rich cultural heritage, unveiling its diverse architectural tapestry.

Day 6: Mekong Delta – Danang/ Hoi An

Experience the enchanting Mekong Delta, often referred to as Vietnam’s “rice bowl,” where you’ll witness the vibrant water-based way of life. Your journey begins as you leave the city behind and head to Ben Tre, where an idyllic boat ride along the Ben Tre River awaits. Here, you can observe traditional brick making at a local Brickwork and explore the coconut processing workshops that line the canal.

Cruise through natural scissor creeks and pay a visit to a family-run workshop specializing in crafting sleep mats. Immerse yourself in rural life with a biking trip or a ride on a Xe Loi, passing by lush rice fields and verdant vegetable plains. After savoring a delicious lunch, glide along the serene waters of Water Palm Creek in a traditional rowing boat.

Finally, return to Hung Vuong Pier and catch a short flight to Da Nang before transferring to Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site celebrated for its beautifully preserved architecture and tranquil atmosphere. Here, you’ll have the chance to embrace the timeless charm of Hoi An’s rich history and culture.

Day 7: Hoi An

Hoi An Japanese Covered Bridge Pagoda

Experience the enchanting town of Hoi An with a full-day itinerary. Begin with an immersive orientation walk, where you’ll delve into the centuries-old history and cultural richness. Explore a private family house, providing a glimpse into tradition. Visit the Sa Huynh Museum, offering insights into Hoi An’s origins. Don’t forget the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge Pagoda.

In the latter half of the morning, tap into your creativity by crafting vibrant lanterns. Guided by an expert, you’ll select silk, construct a bamboo frame, and create your lantern. This unique memento can be packed in your luggage, carrying a piece of Hoi An’s charm. Enjoy a delicious lunch, then return to your hotel. Spend the afternoon at the pool or beach, embracing tranquility and the day’s enchantment.

Day 8: Hoi An

Hoi An Ancient Town in the morning

Commence your day with a morning cycling escapade in the charming town of Hoi An, immersing yourself in the serenity of the Thu Bon River. Here, you’ll observe the local way of life, with farmers diligently tending to their fields alongside their trusty water buffalo companions. Navigate through picturesque palm forests, cross quaint bridges, and pass by peaceful ponds en route to Cam Thanh Village.

Take a delightful pause with a welcoming local family before embarking on a journey through the water coconut palm forest aboard a traditional boat. Get hands-on experience sailing in a traditional basket boat, while capturing glimpses of fish and vibrant purple crabs in the tranquil canal.

Your cycling adventure continues to Tra Que, a remarkable organic vegetable village, where you can witness sustainable farming practices in action. Participate in a captivating cooking class at KumQuat restaurant, where you’ll learn to prepare and savor traditional Hoi An cuisine. Wrap up your day with a leisurely bike ride back to your hotel, where you can unwind poolside or enjoy the nearby beach.

Day 9: Hue

Prepare for a delightful journey to the enchanting riverside town of Hue, a picturesque route spanning approximately 95 km along Vietnam’s mesmerizing coastline from Da Nang. Along the way, marvel at the breathtaking scenery and make your first stop at the Non Nuoc stone carving village, nestled at the base of Marble Mountain. Don’t miss the chance to capture stunning photos from the panoramic viewpoint at Hai Van Pass, perched around 500 meters above sea level.

Following a delectable lunch, embark on a captivating tour of Hue Imperial City, where you’ll step back in time while exploring the ancient walled citadel that was once the home of the Imperial Palace. Immerse yourself in the rich history and grandeur of this imperial capital. Conclude your day with a visit to the splendid royal tomb of Khai Dinh King. Uniquely designed with a blend of traditional Vietnamese and European influences, this tomb exudes its distinct charm and elegance. As the day draws to a close, embrace the cultural heritage and beauty that Hue offers, leaving you with lasting memories of this remarkable destination.

Day 10: Hue – Hanoi

hue-thanh-toan-bridge-viland-travel-1

Begin your delightful journey at Thanh Toan, a remarkable 300-year-old bridge nestled in Hue’s serene countryside. Dive into the vibrant village market, where locals exchange fresh produce, revealing timeless farming techniques. Wander the hidden alleys to discover one of Hue’s oldest pagodas and renowned incense and conical hat villages. A short walk leads to ancient war bunkers atop a hill, offering a breathtaking view of the Perfume River. Conclude with a delectable lunch at a romantic riverside restaurant.

Next, venture to Hanoi, Vietnam’s captivating capital. Embrace the symphony of bustling motorbikes and the vibrant ambiance of traditional neighborhoods. Your private transfer awaits at the airport, guiding you to centrally located accommodation. Experience the harmonious blend of the modern world with timeless traditions in this enchanting city. Get ready for an incredible adventure.

Day 11: Hanoi

Hanoi egg coffee
Hanoi egg coffee

Embark on a captivating journey from Hanoi, delving into the rich cultural and historical tapestry. Commence your exploration at the Museum of Ethnology, a window into the intricate mosaic of Vietnamese culture. Venture to Hoa Lo Prison, a poignant site steeped in Vietnam’s history.

For lunch, relish Bún Chả, a delectable local specialty. The Vietnamese Coffee Shop offers an eco-friendly experience, where you can savor the beloved Vietnamese egg coffee. Marvel at the historical Long Bien Bridge and enjoy a leisurely walk with panoramic vistas. Conclude your day with a delightful cyclo ride through the lively French Quarter, brimming with the city’s energy. Return to your hotel with cherished memories of the day’s adventures.

Day 12: Halong Bay

Ha Long Bay landscape in the sunset
Ha Long Bay landscape in the sunset

Halong Bay, an iconic Vietnamese gem, boasts breathtaking limestone islands rising from the emerald waters. To truly immerse yourself in its splendor, an overnight boat trip is a must. Leaving bustling Hanoi behind, a scenic drive through the fertile farmlands of the Red River Delta awaits. The journey takes about 3 hours, with a brief 20-minute stop en route.

Upon reaching Halong City’s jetty, you complete check-in procedures and step aboard the cruise ship. A warm welcome greets you as you settle in and relish a delectable lunch while cruising this mythical bay. In the afternoon, diverse activities beckon to explore every corner of this enchanting place. From cave expeditions to kayaking, rowing boat rides, and swimming, a plethora of options await. As day turns to night, the cruise anchors among captivating karst formations, creating a serene atmosphere. Delight in an onboard dinner, surrounded by Halong Bay’s captivating beauty.

Day 13: Halong Bay

Experience the awe-inspiring sunrise at one of the world’s most stunning locations. Begin your day with a refreshing tai chi class on the sundeck, welcoming the new day’s energy. Relish a delightful hot breakfast and aromatic coffee in the restaurant. Enjoy a variety of gentle activities thoughtfully arranged by the attentive staff or simply relax onboard, immersing yourself in movies, books, or the picturesque views. Wrap up this unforgettable journey with a leisurely buffet brunch as you sail back to the port. Upon disembarkation, a private transfer will swiftly return you to Hanoi, leaving you with treasured memories of an extraordinary adventure.

Day 14: Hanoi – Luang Prabang

After savoring your final breakfast in Hanoi , you’ll have a leisurely morning to relax and explore on your own. Later, transport to Noi Bai International Airport for your departure flight to Phnom Penh.

Upon your arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport, transfer to your hotel for some unwind and relaxation, getting ready for the upcoming Laos adventure.

Day 15: Luang Prabang

Wat Xiengthong

Awake with the sun’s first rays, immersing yourself in Laos’ sacred traditions as you join the morning almsgiving ritual. Over 200 Buddhist monks, clad in saffron robes, gracefully tread the streets of Luang Prabang to collect alms from devout locals. Meditative and barefooted, the monks receive offerings of sticky rice, bananas, sweets, and more, bestowing blessings in return. Afterward, explore the vibrant morning market where villagers exchange fresh catches for essential ingredients, providing a glimpse into local life.

Your day unfolds with a visit to Wat Xiengthong, an architectural gem boasting an ornate two-tiered roof and intricate mosaics. The Royal Palace Museum, a colonial-era residence for King Sisavang Vong, awaits exploration. Savor authentic Laotian cuisine at Tamarind for lunch.

Your journey continues to the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre, displaying the diverse heritage of Laos’ ethnic minorities through traditional costumes, tools, and artifacts. In the late afternoon, ascend Mount Phousi for a sunset vista of the city and the Mekong River, complete with a gilded stupa. The day concludes with a cultural dinner featuring traditional dance and folk songs, offering an intimate immersion into Lao culture. Your exploration culminates at the Night Market, adorned with handcrafted textiles from local and hill tribe artisans.

Day 16: Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang Tad Sae waterfall

In the morning, venture into the serene countryside of Luang Prabang, where you’ll find a community-based rice farm surrounded by picturesque mountains and lush rice paddies. Immerse yourself in the life of a Laotian farmer, engaging in various farm activities or simply observing them from the tranquil setting of a traditional Lao rice house balcony nestled amid rice terraces and an organic vegetable farm. Nearby workshops beckon, showcasing the talents of local artisans in bamboo weaving, blacksmithing, and sugar cane processing. A tour of the organic garden will reveal the secrets of natural herbs used in traditional medicine.

Lunch awaits on the terrace with sweeping views of the rice fields. Next, your journey takes you to the enchanting Kuang Si waterfalls, a cascading marvel with three tiers that tumble into mesmerizing azure pools before continuing downstream. A brief stop at the Bear Rescue Center offers a chance to observe animals rescued from poachers and traffickers. On your return to the hotel, visit the Ock Pop Tock Living Craft Center, a hub where weavers, spinners, and batik artisans create high-quality fabrics and provide insightful tours every half hour. This locale also offers a captivating sunset vista.

Day 17: Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang elephant camp
elephant camp

Experience an action-packed single-day adventure with our top activities. Your journey begins with a pickup from your hotel at 8:30-9:00 AM, courtesy of our English-speaking guide. Upon arrival at the Elephant Village camp, you’ll be warmly greeted and given a brief introduction to the majestic elephants. 

The highlight of the day is your transformation into a Mahout, the elephant’s trusted guide. With two people per elephant, you’ll receive training on how to communicate and move with your gentle giant Laos-style. A hearty buffet lunch awaits at the Elephant Camp restaurant, complete with vegetarian options.

Post-meal, it’s time for the ultimate thrill – bathing your elephant in the Nam Khan river. A traditional Lao longboat then ferries you to the breathtaking Tad Sae Waterfall. Here, you can relax, dip your feet, or take a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters, though water levels may vary with the seasons. The tour concludes between 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM when you’re transferred back to your Luang Prabang hotel, your heart brimming with unforgettable memories.

Day 18: Luang Prabang – Vientien

Vientiane Patuxay monument
Patuxay monument

Depart Luang Prabang by train C81, departing at 12:49 PM and arriving in Vientiane at 3:19 PM. Welcome to the serene capital city of Laos, Vientiane. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel and enjoy a leisurely stroll around the city.

As evening descends, immerse yourself in Vientiane’s culinary delights. Start with a refreshing cold beer and mingle with the locals at their post-work gathering spots. Then, navigate through bustling street markets to savor a variety of local delicacies, from noodles to fried insects, barbecued meats to fruity ice cream. Prepare for an authentic gastronomic adventure as you explore the finest Vientiane cuisine.

Begin your evening with a visit to a local beer shop for a relaxing sundowner. Sip on chilled Laotian beer as you watch the sunset over the picturesque Mekong River. These beer shops are popular post-work hangouts, promising an enjoyable atmosphere. As night falls, street vendors fire up their grills and commence their culinary artistry. Take a leisurely walk through Sihom, an area known for its small stalls offering delectable yet affordable snacks. This lively street market is a local favorite, particularly on weekends. Explore the stalls and sample Laotian delights such as Lao-style donuts, steaming noodle dishes, and pork meatball wraps.

Next, make your way to the bustling Ban Anou night market, a food haven in the heart of the city. The market comes alive in the evening, attracting Vientiane’s residents who gather for a meal with friends and family. Stroll through rows of food stalls and rub shoulders with the locals. The market is an ideal place to try exotic snacks like fried insects or savor classic Laotian favorites such as grilled pork skewers. After indulging in savory treats, venture to a hidden sweets shop for dessert, specializing in a unique combination of ice cream and sticky rice that’s oddly delicious. With a satisfied palate, return to your hotel for a restful night’s sleep.

Day 19: Vientien

Vientiane Wat Si Saket

Commence your exclusive tour at the tranquil Wat Si Saket, the sole temple preserved after the 1828 Thai invasion. Admire its splendor; its airy teak hallways house thousands of miniature Buddha statues. Proceed to Wat Ho Phra Keo and the nearby Presidential Palace for an external architectural appreciation. Explore the revered Wat Si Muang before visiting Laos’ own Arc de Triomphe, the Patuxai monument, offering panoramic city views from its rooftop.

Your journey continues to That Luang, Laos’ most sacred site, with its resplendent golden spire gleaming in the sunlight. After a local restaurant lunch, head to Buddha Park, making a stop to photograph the Friendship Bridge connecting Laos and Thailand. Wander through the Buddha Park’s diverse collection of over 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues, including a massive 40-meter Reclining Buddha image.

Day 20: Vientien

Following a hearty breakfast, it’s time to head to the airport for your flight back home. Your Vietnam Cambodia Laos 3-week adventure might be concluding, but the indelible memories you’ve collected will remain with you for a lifetime.

Final thoughts

Embarking on the Vietnam Cambodia Laos 3-week itinerary unveils a world of rich history, vibrant cultures, and awe-inspiring landscapes. For those seeking this remarkable adventure, consider securing your journey with Viland Travel’s multi-countries tailor-made tour. With our expert guidance and meticulously planned itinerary, you’ll explore iconic attractions, immerse in local culture, and craft indelible memories. 

Prepare to pack your bags, embrace the thrill of adventure, and let Viland Travel accompany you on this extraordinary odyssey through Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Your ultimate journey awaits.