cambodia vs vietnam travel If you are looking for a Southeast Asian destination that offers rich culture, stunning scenery, delicious food, and friendly people, you might be wondering whether to visit Cambodia or Vietnam. Both countries have a lot to offer, but they also have some differences that might influence your decision. In this blog post, we will compare Cambodia and Vietnam travel in terms of:
- Visa requirements
- Cost of living
- Attractions and activities
- Safety and health
- Culture and cuisine
By the end of this post, you will have a better idea of which country suits your travel preferences and budget. Let’s get started!
Visa Requirements cambodia vs vietnam travel
One of the first things you need to consider when planning your trip is the visa requirements for each country. Depending on your nationality, you might need to apply for a visa in advance or get one on arrival. cambodia vs vietnam travel
Cambodia offers visa on arrival for most nationalities, which means you can get your visa at the airport or border crossing when you enter the country. The visa on arrival costs $30 USD and is valid for 30 days. You will need to bring a passport-sized photo and fill out an application form. Alternatively, you can apply for an e-visa online before your trip, which costs $36 USD and allows you to skip the queue at the immigration. cambodia vs vietnam travel
Vietnam has a more complicated visa system than Cambodia. Depending on your nationality, you might need to apply for a visa in advance at a Vietnamese embassy or consulate, or get an e-visa or visa on arrival online. The e-visa costs $25 USD and is valid for 30 days. The visa on arrival requires you to get an approval letter from a travel agency or online service before your trip, which costs around $10 USD. Then you will need to pay another $25 USD at the airport to get your visa stamped. The visa on arrival is also valid for 30 days. cambodia vs vietnam travel
Cost of Living
Another important factor to consider when choosing between Cambodia and Vietnam travel is the cost of living. Both countries are relatively cheap compared to Western standards, but there are some differences in the prices of accommodation, food, transportation, and other expenses. cambodia vs vietnam travel
Cambodia Cost of Living
Cambodia is one of the cheapest countries in Southeast Asia, and you can easily travel on a budget of $20 USD per day or less. A dorm bed in a hostel costs around $3 USD, while a private room in a guesthouse costs around $10 USD. A meal at a local restaurant costs around $2 USD, while a beer costs around $0.50 USD. A tuk-tuk ride within the city costs around $1 USD, while a bus ticket to another city costs around $5 USD. cambodia vs vietnam travel
Vietnam Cost of Living
Vietnam is slightly more expensive than Cambodia, but still very affordable for most travelers. You can travel on a budget of $25 USD per day or less. A dorm bed in a hostel costs around $5 USD, while a private room in a guesthouse costs around $15 USD. A meal at a local restaurant costs around $3 USD, while a beer costs around $1 USD. A taxi ride within the city costs around $2 USD, while a bus ticket to another city costs around $10 USD. cambodia vs vietnam travel
Attractions and Activities
Both Cambodia and Vietnam have plenty of attractions and activities to keep you entertained and amazed. Whether you are interested in history, nature, adventure, or culture, you will find something to suit your taste in both countries.
Cambodia Attractions and Activities
Cambodia is best known for its ancient temples, especially the Angkor Wat complex, which is one of the largest and most impressive archaeological sites in the world. You can spend days exploring the ruins of the Khmer Empire, admiring the intricate carvings and statues, and watching the sunrise or sunset over the majestic structures. Besides Angkor Wat, Cambodia also has other historical and cultural attractions, such as the Royal Palace and National Museum in Phnom Penh, the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum that tell the tragic story of the Khmer Rouge regime, and the charming colonial town of Battambang. cambodia vs vietnam travel
Cambodia also has some natural beauty to offer, such as the Tonle Sap Lake, which is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and home to many floating villages and wildlife. You can also visit the Cardamom Mountains, which are covered with lush rainforest and waterfalls, or the islands off the coast of Sihanoukville and Kampot, which have pristine beaches and coral reefs. cambodia vs vietnam travel
If you are looking for some adventure, Cambodia has some options for you as well. You can go zip-lining, quad biking, or cycling around the countryside, or try some extreme sports like bungee jumping or skydiving. You can also volunteer at an elephant sanctuary, a wildlife rescue center, or a school for underprivileged children. cambodia vs vietnam travel
Vietnam Attractions and Activities
Vietnam is a country of diverse landscapes, from the mountainous north to the coastal south. You can admire the stunning scenery of the Ha Long Bay, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the natural wonders of the world. You can cruise around the bay on a traditional junk boat, kayak through the limestone caves and islands, or climb to the top of one of the peaks for a panoramic view. Besides Ha Long Bay, Vietnam also has other natural attractions, such as the rice terraces of Sapa, the sand dunes of Mui Ne, the caves of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, and the beaches of Nha Trang and Da Nang. cambodia vs vietnam travel
Vietnam also has a rich history and culture, which you can learn more about by visiting its cities and towns. You can explore the capital city of Hanoi, which has a blend of French colonial and Vietnamese architecture, as well as museums, temples, and markets. You can also visit the former imperial city of Hue, which has a complex of palaces, tombs, and pagodas that reflect the glory of the Nguyen Dynasty. Another cultural highlight is the ancient town of Hoi An, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a charming place to wander around the lantern-lit streets, shop for souvenirs, and sample the local cuisine. cambodia vs vietnam travel
If you are looking for some adventure, Vietnam has plenty of options for you as well. You can go trekking, motorbiking, or cycling in the mountains or countryside, or try some water sports like surfing, diving, or kite surfing on the coast. You can also join a cooking class, a yoga session, or a meditation retreat to experience some of the local traditions and lifestyles.
Safety and Health
Both Cambodia and Vietnam are generally safe countries to travel in, but there are some risks and challenges that you should be aware of and prepared for.
Cambodia Safety and Health
Cambodia is a peaceful country that has recovered from its turbulent past, but there are still some issues that might affect your safety and health. One of them is landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO), which are remnants of the civil war and still pose a threat in some rural areas. You should avoid walking off the marked paths and follow the advice of the local authorities and guides. Another issue is petty crime, such as pickpocketing, bag snatching, and scams, which are common in tourist areas and cities. You should be vigilant and keep your valuables secure and out of sight. You should also be careful when crossing the roads, as the traffic can be chaotic and unpredictable. cambodia vs vietnam travel
Cambodia also has some health risks that you should be aware of and take precautions against. One of them is malaria, which is a mosquito-borne disease that can be fatal if not treated promptly. You should consult your doctor before your trip and take anti-malarial medication if necessary. You should also use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants to avoid mosquito bites. Another health risk is food poisoning, which can be caused by eating contaminated or unhygienic food or water. You should avoid street food, ice, tap water, and raw or undercooked meat and seafood. You should also wash your hands frequently and carry some medication for diarrhea and dehydration.
Vietnam Safety and Health
Vietnam is also a safe country to travel in, but there are some challenges and dangers that you should be aware of and prepared for.
One of them is traffic accidents, which are one of the leading causes of death and injury among travelers in Vietnam. The roads are often crowded, chaotic, and poorly maintained, and the drivers are often reckless and impatient. You should be very careful when crossing the roads, especially in big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. You should also avoid driving or riding a motorbike unless you have experience and a valid license. cambodia vs vietnam travel
Another challenge is communication, as not many people speak English in Vietnam, especially in rural areas. You might encounter some difficulties or misunderstandings when trying to communicate with the locals, especially when bargaining, ordering food, or asking for directions. You should learn some basic Vietnamese phrases and use gestures or pictures to help you get your point across. You should also be respectful and polite when interacting with the locals, as they might have different customs and beliefs than you.
Vietnam also has some health risks that you should be aware of and take precautions against. One of them is dengue fever, which is another mosquito-borne disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms and complications. You should follow the same advice as for malaria prevention, such as using insect repellent and wearing long sleeves and pants. Another health risk
Culture and Cuisine
Both Cambodia and Vietnam have rich and diverse cultures and cuisines that reflect their history, geography, and influences from other countries. You will find a lot of similarities and differences between the two countries in terms of their traditions, festivals, arts, and foods. cambodia vs vietnam travel
Cambodia Culture and Cuisine
Cambodia has a culture that is heavily influenced by Buddhism, Hinduism, and French colonialism. You will see many temples, pagodas, and statues that showcase the religious and artistic heritage of the country. You will also see some French-style buildings and monuments that remind you of the colonial era. Some of the cultural highlights of Cambodia are: cambodia vs vietnam travel
- The Apsara dance, which is a classical dance that depicts the celestial nymphs of Hindu mythology. The dancers wear elaborate costumes and jewelry and perform graceful movements and gestures.
- The Khmer New Year, which is celebrated in mid-April and marks the end of the dry season. The people celebrate by splashing water, throwing talcum powder, playing games, and visiting temples.
- The Angkor Beer, which is the national beer of Cambodia and a popular drink among locals and tourists. The beer is light and refreshing and goes well with the spicy and sour dishes of Cambodian cuisine. cambodia vs vietnam travel
Cambodian cuisine is influenced by Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Indian cuisines, but has its own distinctive flavors and ingredients. You will find a lot of rice, noodles, fish, vegetables, herbs, spices, and sauces in Cambodian dishes. Some of the dishes you should try are:
- Amok, which is a curry dish made with fish, coconut milk, lemongrass, turmeric, and kaffir lime leaves. The dish is steamed in banana leaves and served with rice.
- Lok lak, which is a stir-fried dish made with beef or chicken marinated in soy sauce, garlic, pepper, and lime juice. The dish is served with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and a dipping sauce made with lime juice, salt, pepper, and sugar. cambodia vs vietnam travel
- Nom banh chok, which is a noodle dish made with rice noodles topped with fish gravy, bean sprouts, cucumber, banana flower, mint, and basil. The dish is usually eaten for breakfast or lunch and is sold by street vendors. cambodia vs vietnam travel
Vietnam Culture and Cuisine
Vietnam has a culture that is influenced by Chinese, French, and American cultures, as well as its own ethnic groups and regions. You will see a lot of temples, pagodas, and museums that showcase the history and culture of the country. You will also see some colonial-style buildings and modern skyscrapers that reflect the development and diversity of the country. Some of the cultural highlights of Vietnam are:
- The water puppet show, which is a traditional art form that dates back to the 11th century. The puppets are made of wood and controlled by rods under the water. The show depicts scenes from Vietnamese folklore, history, and daily life. cambodia vs vietnam travel
- The Tet festival, which is the Vietnamese New Year and the most important festival in the country. It is celebrated in late January or early February and marks the beginning of spring. The people celebrate by cleaning their houses, decorating with flowers and fruits, visiting relatives and friends, and giving lucky money to children. cambodia vs vietnam travel
- The pho, which is the national dish of Vietnam and a popular breakfast food. It is a noodle soup made with rice noodles, beef or chicken broth, herbs, and spices. The soup is served with bean sprouts, lime wedges, chili peppers, and hoisin sauce. cambodia vs vietnam travel
Vietnamese cuisine is influenced by Chinese, French, Thai, and Indian cuisines, but has its own unique flavors and ingredients. You will find a lot of rice, noodles, fish sauce, herbs, vegetables, and fruits in Vietnamese dishes. Some of the dishes you should try are:
- Banh mi, which is a sandwich made with a baguette filled with various meats, pate, mayonnaise, pickled carrots and daikon radish, cucumber, cilantro, and chili sauce. The sandwich is a fusion of French and Vietnamese cuisines and can be found at street stalls or cafes. cambodia vs vietnam travel
- Bun cha, which is a grilled pork dish served with rice noodles, lettuce, herbs, and a dipping sauce made with fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and chili. The dish is a specialty of Hanoi and is usually eaten for lunch. cambodia vs vietnam travel
- Cha ca la vong, which is a fried fish dish served with rice noodles, herbs, peanuts, and a sauce made with fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and turmeric. The dish is a specialty of Hanoi and is cooked on a charcoal stove at the table. cambodia vs vietnam travel
As you can see, Cambodia and Vietnam travel have a lot in common, but also some differences that might appeal to different types of travelers. Both countries offer amazing culture, cuisine, nature, and adventure, but they also have different visa requirements, costs of living, attractions and activities, and safety and health issues. Ultimately, the choice between Cambodia and Vietnam travel depends on your personal preferences and budget. You can also visit both countries if you have enough time and money, as they are both worth exploring and experiencing. Whichever country you choose, you will surely have a memorable and enjoyable trip! cambodia vs vietnam travel