6 Best Places to Visit in Vietnam and Cambodia

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Sunny beaches, breathtaking landscapes, colorful culture, Buddhists temples, and Khmer Architecture make Vietnam and Cambodia an attractive destination in Southeast Asia. A tour to Vietnam and Cambodia will take you on a journey through the highlights of two countries, from the natural wonders to the man-made heritages.

We're pretty sure that nearly every Southeast Asia itinerary includes Saigon and Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. Other than that, you need to know about a few of the prettiest places to visit in Cambodia and Vietnam. Visit these destinations, and your travel photos are guaranteed to make your friends envious that you had such a wonderful trip.

Halong bay text says 6 places to visit in vietnam and cambodia

1. Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay is widely famous for its emerald water and majestic islands jutting right out from the bay. Sometimes listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, UNESCO has designated it a world heritage site. Halong Bay is also home to many beautiful caves – the vast chambers with dramatic and impressive limestone formations.

While visiting here, don't miss the chance to take an overnight cruise on the bay. It will give you a chance to admire the hundreds of islands from all angles and at all times of the day — perfect for capturing the perfect shot.

For something a little less touristed, you can also see Cat Ba Island in the southwest and Bai Tu Long Bay in the northeast.

halong bay vietnam

What to do in Halong Bay 

Thanks to its wonderful natural and geographical conditions, Halong Bay is a popular destination for many fascinating activities. Some of these can be enjoyed on a Halong Bay cruise.

  • Get a bird’s eye view of the bay from a seaplane 
  • Go kayaking to discover the karst cave and floating village 
  • Enjoy fresh fish 
  • Visiting the pearl farm 
  • Embark on a luxury cruise tour 
  • Go hiking to Cat Ba National Park 
  • Check out Hon Trong Mai – The Fighting Cocks Island 
  • Go night squid fishing  
  • Go hiking on Ban Sen Island 
  • Immersing yourself into the emerald water of Monkey Island 

Best time to visit Halong Bay

You should visit Halong Bay from October to December when the weather is cool (maybe a bit cold from the middle of December). Avoid traveling to Halong Bay from June to September because there might be tropical storms and heavy rains. 

Need a place to stay in Halong Bay?

2. Son Doong Cave, Vietnam

Being the largest natural cave on the planet, Son Doong Cave boasts underground rivers, limestone grottoes, rocky terrains, and the rarest formations ever seen by humans. Located near the Vietnam – Laos border (about 500 kilometers from Hanoi), Son Doong Cave is truly an adventure of a lifetime.

To reach Son Doong Cave, you have to hike about 6 kilometers through the dense forest including passing through a small village of Bru Van Kieu ethnic minority. With sections reaching up to 200 meters high, Son Doong covers an area of 9 kilometers and is large enough to store an entire New York City block.

This cave can only be visited on a guided tour, and is limited to 1000 people per year. Ifi you're one of the lucky few, you'll experience a wide range of fascinating activities. Imagine underground swimming in a beautiful cave river, trekking to explore the marvelous dry caves, and sleeping under the stars in the jungle. 

What to do in Son Doong Cave

  • Challenge yourself with jungle trekking and river crossing to reach the cave 
  • Visit an ethnic minority 
  • Camping under the stars of the jungle 
  • Enjoy swimming in the beautiful cave rivers 
  • Go hiking and walking to discover dry and wet caves
  • Explore many special animals which cannot be found anywhere else 

Best time to travel

The best time to explore Son Doong is between February and July. Located in central Vietnam, Son Doog has a tropical climate and often suffers heavy rain, tropical storms, and floods during the rainy season, which makes the caves largely inaccessible. 

3. Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne is an isolated coastal town located along the South China Sea in Southeast Vietnam. Thanks to the palm-fringed stretch of sand, pristine beaches, verdant mountains, and steady wind conditions, Mui Ne is regarded as the Mecca for adventure lovers.

This town is an ideal destination for kite surfing, windsurfing, diving, sailing, and many other water sports. In recent years, Mui Ne has become a popular weekend getaway thanks to a busy strip of mid-range beach resort, deluxe hotels, fancy restaurants, and shopping centers.

mui ne vietnam

What to do in Mui Ne 

  • Sandboarding in the white dune and red dunes 
  • Visit Po Shanu Cham Towers
  • Wish for luck and health in Hoi Tinh Pagoda and Phuoc Thien Pagoda 
  • Experience many types of watersports including sailing, surfing, kite flying, diving, and swimming 
  • Get sweet sunburn while relaxing on the beach 
  • Discover the tiny fishing villages nestled between the turquoise water 

Best time to visit Mui Ne

You should travel to Mui Ne from November to March. During these months, the temperature is cooler. Besides, the sky is clear and sunny, the wind is strong, which offers an ideal condition for adventure activities

Need a place to stay in Mui Ne?

4. Fansipan Summit, Vietnam

Being 3143 meters high, the Fansipan summit is often called the roof of Vietnam and Indochina. It is extremely suitable for those wishing to be adventurous, to explore and experience the spectacular natural landscapes.

The Fansipan peak can be found in Hoang Lien Son which is one of the most important national parks in Vietnam. This park comprises of picturesque landscapes, several temperate forests and sub-tropical forest with over 2000 plants and more than 300 species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects.

It takes at least 3 days to conquer the peak and return. It doesn’t require you technical hiking and climbing skills but you must have strength and endurance as you climb n a steep and fairly strenuous hike. You also can reach the summit by cable car which departs from Muong Hoa Village and takes you about 20 minutes. 

Fansipan waterfalls

What to do in Fansipan Summit

  • Trekking in the mountains
  • Take the cable car
  • Take a selfie with the summit monument
  • Explore Muong Hoa village

Best time to visit

The most suitable time to conquer Fansipan is from September to December when there is dry weather and the temperature is a bit cold.

Need a place to stay in Muong Hoa?

5. Ba Be National Park, Vietnam

With limestone peaks, breathtaking waterfalls, and green forests that harbor a surprising variety of wildlife, Ba Be National Park is favored as one of the best retreats from daily life.

Boating on the lake, you can feel the harmony of the water and the sky, but more interestingly feel the ease of soul. In the central part of this park is Ba Be Lake, Vietnam's largest natural lake. This vast body of water is 5 miles long (8 km), so Ba Be Lake plays an important part in the natural preservation of North Vietnam. 

ba be lake bac kan

What to do in Bac Kan & Ba Be Lake

  • Trek through the dense, scenic, and bio diversified jungle 
  • Go kayaking down the river 
  • Discover the beautiful caves including Hua Ma Cave, Puong Cave, and Lo Mo Cave 
  • Immerse yourself in the fresh, calm water of Ba Be Lake 
  • Dine with the locals
  • Visit An Ma Temple 

Best time to visit

From February to April is the best time for travelers who want to go trekking in Bac Kan. During these months, Bac Kan has comfortable weather and a dry atmosphere. 

Need a place to stay in Bac Kan & Ba Be Lake?

6. Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Located about 228 kilometers from Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville is a premium coastal city of Southwest Cambodia. Mother nature favors Sihanoukville with sunny beaches, tropical islands, and many beautiful waterfalls resting amidst the mangrove jungles.

The best way to travel here is taking a flight to Sihanoukville International Airport, which often takes you 40 – 50 minutes from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap Airport. Visiting Sihanoukville, let’s chill you down at the shores of palm-fringed, less populated beaches.

Spend a day for strolling around any of six pristine beaches here, immersing yourself in the cool waters, and enjoy water sports like diving, snorkeling, and kayaking. Then, explore the Ream National Park which is one of the most beautiful retreat places for nature lovers.

Thanks to a vast number of wild animals, about 155 species of birds, and lush-greenery mangrove forests, Ream National Park is an ideal destination for taking a safari or voyage. 

lounge chairs on the beach at Sihanoukville, Cambodia

What to do in Sihanoukville 

  • Visit Koh Rong Pier and Jewelorchid Zoo
  • Snorkeling to discover the coral reef in Koh Rong Salem 
  • Go swimming in Koh Rong Island 
  • Discover some Inhabitat islands and unspoiled beaches in Preah Sihanouk (Kampong Som) 
  • Enjoy tasty seafood 
  • Visit Ream National Park  

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Sihanoukville is the dry season which runs from November to April. 

Need a place to stay in Sihanoukville?

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Written by Dan

Professional photographer specializing in street, food and travel shots at As We Saw It travel blog. “Photography is unique in that it captures light in all forms, and since the Bible says YHVH (God) is light, photography captures Him in many forms.”

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