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How to Plan a 3-Week Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam Couple’s/Family Tour

How to Plan a 3-Week Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam Couple’s/Family Tour

By Chris QuanUpdated Aug. 23, 2023

Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam appear most frequently on Southeast Asia travel lists as together they contain almost all the distinctive elements of Southeast Asia — amazing temples, food, beaches, nature... Thus, they form one of the most popular combos for a couple's or family's Southeast Asian trip.

In this guide, we are going to look at how to plan your first couple's/family tour of Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Is 3 Weeks Enough for a Trip to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam?

Yes, 3 weeks is suitable for a couple's/family trip to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam with all the must-sees covered at a comfortable pace: spending 8–10 days in Vietnam, 3–5 days in Cambodia, and 8–10 days in Thailand.

Extending reading: How Long to Spend in Southeast Asia (for First Timers): from 2 Weeks to 2 Months

A Vietnam trip usually covers three important cities from north to south (Hanoi, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City) and the Mekong Delta.

For a tour of Thailand, the popular combination is Bangkok (capital city), Chiang Mai (the largest city in northern Thailand), and an island in southern Thailand (usually Phuket or Koh Samui). Phuket is the most popular island for families with kids, while some couples prefer Koh Samui's romantic vibe.

Cambodia is a country for culture. Siem Reap (the second largest city in Cambodia) is a must-visit for its incredible Angkor Wat relics. Phnom Penh (its capital city) is an option if you have time.

Our 19-day in-depth Southeast Asia tour below takes in all the highlights of the three countries from the vibrant metropolis to the idyllic countryside and green jungle. We can also customize activities for your parent-child or couple's needs according to your interests and requirements.

An In-Depth Experience of Southeast Asia at an Easy Pace

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A Classic 3-Week Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia Itinerary

Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia are the most popular and classic combination for a 3-week couple's/family trip to Southeast Asia.

These three countries gather almost all the elements of Southeast Asia — splendid temples, gorgeous beaches, compelling history, amazing food, the Mekong Delta, and Buddhist culture.

Our sample itinerary will provide a reference for you. We're very happy to adjust it based on your travel time, interests, budgets, group size, and other requirements.

Days 1–8: Vietnam

Mekong Delta Mekong Delta

During this 8-day tour, you will see Vietnam from different angles by visiting its landmarks, ancient towns, local markets, museums, and cruises.

In the capital Hanoi, besides some architecture appreciation, take a walk tour through the Old Quarter to find amazing food and see the daily life of the Hanoians.

Take a Halong Bay cruise and enjoy the panoramic tropical coastline views while having a drink. If you want to enjoy some activities with your spouse or kids, there are many fun things to do like a cooking class on board, kayaking, and biking.

Hoi An Ancient Town will give you a window into Vietnam's traditional building design, with a lot of well-preserved old architecture.

You could also have a farming experience and go on a countryside bike tour with your kids.

Discover Ho Chi Minh City's turbulent history by visiting the War Remnants Museum, Reunification Palace, and other iconic landmarks. Take a boat ride along the canals around Vinh Long, a city in Mekong Delta. Go to Can Tho to explore its floating market, and visit Can Tho Museum.

Suggested Vietnam itinerary:

  • Hanoi (2 days)
  • Halong Bay (1 day)
  • Hoi An (2 days)
  • Ho Chi Minh City (1 day)
  • Mekong Delta (2 days)

Tour recommendation: 14-Day Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Tour

Days 9–11: Cambodia

Angkor Wat Angkor Wat

Siem Reap is the main destination in Cambodia. Whether for a couple's tour or a family tour, Siem Reap is well worth visiting.

Visit Angkor Wat, a finalist for the New Seven Wonders of the World. A guided tour of this history-steeped religious site is always interesting. You'll hear about the history, legends, and some of the secrets behind the architecture.

If you are interested in it, you can explore more hidden ruins with your family or your partner.

Not far from Angkor Wat, take the kids on an ox cart ride through the country roads or enjoy a sunset cocktail with your loved one by Tonle Sap Lake.

Suggested Cambodia itinerary:

  • Siem Reap (3 days)

Days 12–19: Thailand

beach time in Thailand

Usually, a trip to Thailand includes two cities and one island.

Bangkok, the capital city, and Chiang Mai are the two most representative cities to visit in Thailand. They offer differing experiences suitable for couples and families.

In Bangkok, explore its iconic Grand Palace, try local fun experiences like taking a tuk-tuk and a long-tail boat, and visit a stand-out local market like Maeklong Railway Market.

A foodie tour of Bangkok's largest China Town is also a wonderful experience for both families and couples.

In Chiang Mai, have a close encounter with elephants, join a Thai cooking class, learn to make a Thai floating lantern...

If you want to celebrate an anniversary or celebrate your significant other's birthday, don't miss Chiang Mai's Yi Peng Lantern Festival. It would create a spectacular romantic moment for you both.

Phuket and Koh Samui are the two popular islands in Thailand. Phuket is the most chosen due to its easier accessibility and diverse options for activities for families with kids. Koh Samui is preferred by couples for its luxury resorts and romantic vibe. See more on Phuket vs Koh Samui: An Honest and Helpful Comparison.

Suggested Thailand itinerary:

  • Bangkok (2 days)
  • Chiang Mai (2 days)
  • An island (Phuket or Koh Samui) (4 days)
Embark on an adventure across fascinating China, Laos, and Thailand:

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How Much Does a Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam Trip Cost?

Southeast Asia offers great value for money. That's one of the reasons it's so popular. In Southeast Asia, a private tour is an affordable luxury.

Our private tours offer you customized options for couples and families (with our one-to-one travel consultant, you can always get in contact to make changes whenever it is convenient for you), more personal space, a more in-depth and less-touristy experience (different to group tours), and a worry-stopping contingency service (24-hour helpline and free cancellation policy).

  • A typical private tour costs around 200–250 USD per day per person (including air fares within Southeast Asia, 4-/5-star hotel, lunch, attractions, guide and transfers).
  • US$250–350 per day per person is needed for the most luxurious arrangements (all the above with 5+ star hotels).
  • 30%–50% off for each kid younger than 10 years old

Thus, for a private family trip with 2 adults and 2 kids, the average cost for a 3-week trip in Southeast Asia would be about 14,000 to 16,000 USD. International airfares are not included.

For a couple, the average cost for a 3-week trip in Southeast Asia would be about 8,500 to 10,000 USD, not including international airfares. Read more about planning a couple's trip to Southeast Asia>>>

Which Country to Enter First

Southeast Asia Tour Map

Flying to Vietnam or Thailand first is usually the most choice, because Cambodia has fewer options for international flights than the other two countries. But Cambodia offers easy access to/from Thailand and Vietnam, so it's good as the middle country.

Thus, the travel route usually goes Vietnam–Cambodia–Thailand or Thailand–Cambodia–Vietnam.

Going to Thailand or Vietnam first may depend on plane ticket prices, the flight situation from your city, your travel preferences, and so on.

Flights from major U.S. cities to Thailand and Vietnam require transfers. It takes least time to transfer via Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore, or Seoul.

We would work out the best itinerary to match the time of your international flights, leaving time for jet lag recovery and making sure you start your Southeast Asia trip on the right foot.

Contact us if you have any problems. We will give you the best options and suggestions according to your travel time.

The Best Southeast Asia Tour for First-timers

How to Travel between Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam

Flying is the fastest and most convenient way to travel between Thailand (Bangkok), Cambodia (Phnom Penh or Siem Reap), and Vietnam (Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City). There are direct flights for these cities. Each journey takes about 1–1½ hours.

We would arrange all transportation within Southeast Asia for you. Your travel consultant would search the flight schedules and book the most suitable connections for you.

Best Times to Visit


Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam enjoy similar climates because of their close proximity. November to March is the best time to visit with the most sunny and dry weather. Hotel and flight prices rise accordingly however.

One of the busiest times is around Christmas/New Year holiday, when hotels and flights are easily booked up. Due to the high demand, you're suggested to prepare your tour at least 3 months in advance. Let us know your interests and requirements, and we'll take care of everything.

If you want to enjoy nice weather without being surrounded by crowds, late October or around early April are particularly good times to visit (the times just before and after the peak season).

With us, you would enjoy our no-risk-booking, 100% refund of any payments made to China Highlights prior to 3 weeks before departure (detail⇒).

June to early October is the rainy season in most parts of Southeast Asia. It may cause some discomfort and inconvenience, but lower prices and smaller crowds are the rewards.

See more on our Best Times to visit Southeast Asia, Worst Times, Rainy Season...

What Are the Visa and Entry Requirements?

Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam all have relaxed entry policies. There is no need for COVID-19 vaccination, quarantine, or medical tests.

Vietnam requires a tourist visa if you're from the US, Canada, Australia, etc. The most convenient way is to apply for an e-visa online. This is a very simple process that just requires you to fill in some information. If you are from certain European countries like the UK, France, Italy, and Germany, you can enjoy visa-free entry.

Cambodia also requires a tourist visa, which can either be obtained online, or when you arrive at Phnom Penh or Siem Reap Airport. >>> How to Apply for a Cambodia Visa

Thailand allows visa-free entry from 64 countries, including the USA, and the UK, Canada, Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Norway, etc.

If you have any questions or difficulties in applying, you can contact one of our travel consultants here for help.

Tour Southeast Asia with Us

We have created over 10,000+ big trips for insightful travelers, mostly for families and couples. We truly understand that every single big trip planned for our clients is not just for the good memories, but each trip is also a joyful celebration, forming milestones in their lives.

All our tours can be adjusted. You are warmly welcomed to have us customize your trip based on your interests, budget, and other needs through our Create My Trip service.

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  • Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
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