Planning to take the ultimate Indochina trip? There are six countries that make up the Indochina Trail: Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Myanmar.
Visit any one of these countries, and you’ll be treated to a rich tapestry of culture, stunning landscapes and temples, and mouthwatering cuisine.
But for the seasoned traveler or for those who just want to challenge themselves, visiting all six in one trip would be an impressive feat.
So if you’re thinking of tackling the trail and going on one of the most ambitious trips of your life, check out our ultimate seven-day Indochina itinerary.
We’ve got you covered with activities and places to eat, to make the most out of your time in each country. Read on to see the detailed Indochina itinerary we’ve prepared.
Start your day off with a meal at Tg’s Nasi Kandar. This spot is a favorite with locals and is considered one of KL’s best kept secrets. They serve up a mix of Indian and Malaysian food that won’t break the bank, and with good service to boot. (Budget = PHP 120)
After your meal, head on over to the Twin Jewels of Kuala Lumpur, the Petronas Towers, which were once the tallest buildings in the world for six years from 1998 to 2004. Head up to level 86 for the observation deck and a jaw-dropping view of the city. (Budget = PHP 995 entrance fee)
For a dose of Malaysian nature, head over to Perdana Botanical Gardens, which contain the largest collection of flower gardens and animal parks in Kuala Lumpur. The gardens also house the impressive Orchid Garden, which boasts 800 species of orchids. (Budget = free entrance)
For dinner, check out Jalan Alor. It’s a strip of outdoor Chinese seafood restaurants that are so busy at night, they spill out onto the road. They offer a variety of dishes, from grilled meats to fried noodles. (Budget = PHP 300)
Total (with ‘Save’ accommodations): PHP 6,459 (All rates are estimates)
Start the day at Shan Kitchen to sample Myanmar’s famous Shan noodles and pickled tea leaf salad, both must-eats when you’re in the country. (Budget = PHP 120)
Afterwards, head over to Bogyoke Market for souvenir shopping and a dose of Burmese bargaining. You can usually buy items at half of the quoted price, so this would be an ideal time to flex some of those bargaining skills. They’re guaranteed to serve you well for the rest of your trip. (Budget = PHP 300)
At sunset, visit the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda, the 105-meter golden stupa, which is believed to contain relics from Buddha, such as strands of hair. It’s a stunning sight to behold, especially as the sun is about to set. (Budget = PHP 340)
For dinner, Rangoon Tea House is your best bet. The establishment is a modern recreation of colonial-era buildings. Must-tries include the banana croquettes and biryani. (Budget = PHP 400)
Total (with ‘Save’ accommodations): PHP 4,314 (All rates are estimates)
A visit to Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is a must when you visit Bangkok. Located on Rattanakosin Island, this 15-meter tall and 46-meter long statue of Buddha is an imposing sight and one not to be missed. (Budget = PHP 84)
Afterwards, hit two birds with one stone and get both your street food and shopping fix in one place at the famous Chatuchak Market, which is open only on weekends, so plan accordingly.
The market features over 8,000 stalls spread across 27 acres. It can be easy to get lost in its dizzying rows of stalls so grab a map before you go. Whether you’re looking for local handicrafts or want to sample the city’s Som Tam, Chatuchak’s got it all. (Budget = PHP 500)
Head on over to the Grand Palace for a dose of culture and history at what was once the King of Thailand’s residence and where the government convened and carried out its work. Marvel at the beautiful architecture and work up an appetite for your next stop. (Budget = PHP 830 entrance fee)
Cap your trip to Bangkok off with a meal at Raan Jay Fai, Bangkok’s only Michelin-starred street vendor who’s become synonymous with street food excellence, serving up her signature crab omelette. Though the queues can get long, it’s worth it. (Budget = PHP 1,662)
Total (with ‘Save’ accommodations): PHP 7,802 (All rates are estimates)
Start your day off with Khao Soi, a hearty tomato noodle soup with minced pork and rice noodles. Similar to the Northern Thai version, Laos’ Khao Soi is decidedly lighter, but packs equally as much flavor. It’s the perfect way to start your stay. (Budget = PHP 120)
Go for a dip in Kuang Si Waterfalls. For just 20,000 kip, you can swim in Kuang Si’s turquoise waters and hike up to the famed waterfall, which flows through limestone-rich jungles. (Budget = PHP 120)
After Kuang Si, head to Mount Phousi for a mid-day hike. 300 steps lead you up Mount Phousi where you’re treated to stunning views of the city and the Mekong River on one side and the Nam Khan River on the other.
It’s a difficult 100-meter climb but there are several resting places along the way, and once you reach the summit, you’ll know it was all worth it. (Budget = PHP 120)
For dinner, check out the night markets and grab some Sai Oua, Laotian sausage that’s packed with herbs like lemongrass and coriander, which come through with every delicious bite. If it’s too much meat for you, order the Kanom Krok or coconut rice pancakes. (Budget = PHP 200)
Total (with ‘Save’ accommodations): PHP 5,206 (All rates are estimates)
Start the morning off with Cambodia’s pride and the largest monument in the world, Angkor Wat. Spread across 162 hectares, the monument was initially constructed as a Hindu temple for the god Vishnu, but transformed into a Buddhist temple by the end of the 12 century.
Today, it attracts millions of tourists every year and has become a major source of revenue for the country. (Budget = PHP 1,900/1-day entrance fee)
Grab some grub at Siem Reap’s Old Market. Located on the west side of Siem Reap River, the market offers an array of fresh seafood, meat dishes, and vegetables.
You’ll find stalls selling traditional Khmer dishes such as Bai Sach Chrouk (stewed pork and rice), Nom Khrouk (coconut rice cakes), and Lort Cha (short rice noodles). (Budget = PHP 120)
Apart from good eating, the Old Market also houses many stalls that offer affordable souvenirs and handicrafts so you can eat and shop at the same time. (Budget = PHP 300)
For dinner, head to Khmer Grill for some good Khmer grub that’ll hit the spot after a long day of temple runs and shopping. (Budget = PHP 300)
Total (with ‘Save’ accommodations): PHP 9,964 (All rates are estimates)
What better way to start your day than with a Banh Mi, Vietnam’s most famous street-side sandwich? Head to Banh Mi 37 Nguyen Trai for what many locals call Saigon’s best Banh Mi. At just 20,000 dong a pop, it’s a steal. (Budget = PHP 45)
Make Ben Thanh Market your next stop for everything from branded goods, Vietnamese art, local handicrafts and souvenirs galore. The market also houses a number of street food stalls in case all that shopping gets you peckish. (Budget = PHP 500)
The beautifully preserved Central Post Office is your next destination. Situated right next to another famous Saigon landmark, Notre Dame Cathedral, the post office features intricately designed marbled floors and high arches, reminiscent of French colonial architecture.
Don’t forget to snap a photo by the charming wooden telephone boxes. (Budget = free)
Cap off your trip with dinner at 33 De Tham Restaurant, which serves up amazing seafood at surprisingly affordable prices. The restaurant’s popular with locals, so you know it must really be good. Order the crispy squid and, if you’re brave, the snails. (Budget = PHP 250)
Total (with ‘Save’ accommodations): PHP 3,368 (All rates are estimates)
It’s been a hectic but fulfilling trip. Before you head back to the Philippines, spend your last day resting and going through all the pictures and souvenirs you’ve collected. Send out some postcards to friends, whether back home or ones you’ve made along the way, and reflect on one of the best trips of your life.
Total: PHP 41,200 (All rates are estimates)
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