Just a hop, skip and jump across the pond or rather, the Mekong River, you can’t make a trip all the way to Vietnam without visiting its beautiful neighbour Cambodia!
Our globetrotting goat Bobby says it’s essential to combine a trip to both to make your adventure the Greatest of All Trips (or G.O.A.T). Sprinkle in visits to breathtaking hidden gems, sample the delicious yet lesser-known delicacies and hop on a cruise or two, and in no time this bucket list adventure could be your Greatest of All Trips.
Read on to discover Bobby’s most favourite sites, tastes and tips for visiting these two incredible destinations, straight from the goat’s mouth…
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Famous for its emerald waters, you can’t go past a traditional Junk boat cruise around its towering limestone islands. Or be bold and give scuba diving a go to get a glimpse into a very busy and colourful underwater world. You won’t regret either!
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Resembling a temple from an Indiana Jones flick, this religious monument is one of the most exquisite and largest in the world. Commissioned by a Khmer King in the 12th century, you’ll more than get your fill of ancient history on a tour, and who knows what other kinds of treasures you’ll uncover! Just don’t steal any idols like Indi.
Da Nang Golden Bridge, Vietnam
If you’re after some Insta-worthy moments, a trip to the Golden Bridge is a must. Get your camera out as you walk 150m above sea level on a pedestrian bridge lifted by two ginormous fibreglass hands. You’ll be able to capture golden light and mist settling over the beautiful Ba Na Hills in the prime time of the early hours of the morning.
A legendary river flowing through six countries including Vietnam and Cambodia, you can’t go past a cruise along its idyllic waters. Jump aboard and take in breathtaking views of the lush Vietnamese countryside, stopping into floating markets, rice paddy fields and bustling ports along the way, discovering the warm locals keeping age-old traditions alive.
While Bobby sticks to a plant-based diet at home, he makes an exception for meat and seafood dishes when travelling abroad. After all, he’s there for a good time not a long time, and he doesn’t want to have any food FOMO when it comes to sampling special, local delicacies he won’t find anywhere else!
And with rich waterways including the Mekong, Tonlé Sap lake and more, you’re absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to freshwater fish and seafood plates in both Vietnam and Cambodia.
In Vietnam, lesser-known delicacies like braised catfish and jellyfish salad are often outshone by banh mi or bao, but trust us, there are more flavours to discover here than you might think. A personal favourite of Bobby’s is fried sea snail, a popular snack in street food carts in Ho Chi Minh City. Simply to die pho!
In Cambodia, the salivating Amok trey is the national dish, a spicy, coconut fish curry steamed in banana leaves with a silky consistency. For the adventurous eaters who live life on the edge, locusts, fried tarantula, cooked scorpions and grilled snakes are tasty treats for those game enough to try.
Top tips for travel
Cambodia has an unofficial dual currency system, with US dollars accepted as widely as the Cambodian riel, while Vietnam’s currency is the Vietnamese dong. Bobby recommends withdrawing cash once you’re there to get more bang for your dong, to avoid hiked-up exchange rates at the airport.
Bobby’s Tip: Make sure to let your bank know of your travel plans ahead of your arrival to avoid your cards being temporarily locked.
Be prepared to sweat! The climate is tropical – bringing along an aerosol water mist spray in your bum bag to cool down with on the go is a good idea! It’s always warm in Vietnam and Cambodia, rain, hail or shine. Speaking of rain, you might want to bring a poncho in the monsoon seasons (Jun-Oct in Cambodia and May-Nov in Vietnam).
Get a sim card:
Sim cards are cheap and easy to acquire once you’re over there, so we recommend purchasing one for each country (Vietnam and Cambodia run on different networks) so you won’t be caught out in unexpected moments.
Practice your squat:
While some areas have adopted western-style toilets, squatting toilets are more common than not. And they don’t always have paper rolls on hand, so be prepared to carry a pack of tissues with you wherever you trot.
Drink bottled water
We’ve all heard of Bali-belly, but drinking tap water in Vietnam is also a no-no. Be sure to buy bottled water to stay hydrated and brush those pearly whites with.
Bobby’s final bleat
Bobby’s last word of advice? Pack your bags! There’s nothing left to do but book your trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. It’s as easy as jumping on a call to one of our friendly travel experts or clicking onto our website or app.
TripADeal has a range of incredible cruise and tour travel experiences spanning these two amazing destinations, with even better savings. And with flexible Arrive Early, Stay Behind, stopover and flight class upgrades – there’s never been a better time to make your trip to Vietnam and Cambodia the G.O.A.T.
Trot to it!