This is a detailed DIY Indochina itinerary shared by Christine Flores with expenses and travel tips. She traveled with a group on November 10-19, 2019. She visited Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam with a day trip to Kuala Lumpur. Her total expenses amounted to Php35,000 (all-in)
Indochina is a popular tourist route among Filipino travelers. Actually, Indochina only includes three countries – Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. But, due to the close proximity of Thailand to these three countries, Filipinos often include Thailand when they go on an Indochina trip.
Here are some of the background of Christine’s Indochina trip:
- They booked their one-way flight to Bangkok, Thailand last March 2019 – Seat sale from CebPac which cost around 1,200/person.
- The return flight was a little bit pricey as they got it around 3,200/per person via Air Asia but still much affordable compared to the regular ticket price.
- Their return trip has a layover in Malaysia which provided them ample time to explore Kuala Lumpur for a few hours.
- There were 6 of them in the group so some of the expenses like transportation and food were shared.
LEG 1 OF INDOCHINA ITINERARY- THAILAND
Day 1 of IBANGKOK, THAILAND
7:25 am ETD Manila
10:05 am ETA Bangkok, Thailand
Pick up checked in luggages
Claimed simcards from KLOOK [Buy now]
12:00 nn Transpo from Aiport to the Hostel
• Stayed at Khaosan Station (airbnb) [Check out Airbnb in Khao San]
• Ride S1 Bus from Airport to Khao San
• Cost: 60 THB
1:30 pm Check in at Hostel; rest for a while
2:00 pm Late lunch
3:30 pm Pratunam Market
• Bought some souvenirs/pasalubong
5:00 pm Back to Hostel
Prepared for Chiang Mai Trip
7:00 pm Arrived at BKK Northern Bus station
Snacks at 7/11
8:35 pm ETD Bangkok via sleeper bus
• via Bangkok Busline booked at 12go [Book here]
Day 2 – CHIANG MAI, THAILAND
6:35 am ETA Chiang Mai Bus station [Check out our Chiang Mai Travel Guide]
7:00 am Transport to Old City
• Freshen up at Starbucks 😂
• Bought some tumbler souvenirs
8:00 am Breakfast
9:30 am Temple Tour
• Wat Chedi Luang – w/ fee of 40 THB
11:00 am Head to Chiang Mai Mall
• Tried the famous ChaTra Mue Milk Tea
• Watched Movie – Maleficent 2 😂
3:00 pm Head to Warorot Market
• Bought some souvenirs/pasalubong
5:00 pm Early Dinner
6:30 pm Head to Nawarat Bridge
• For Sky Lantern Festival
9:50 pm ETD Chiang Mai Bus station
• via Sombat Tour booked at 12go [Book now]
DAY 3 – BANGKOK, THAILAND
7:50 am ETA to Bangkok
8:30 am Back to Hostel
• Free breakfast; freshen up
12:00 pm Lunch
1:30 pm Temple Tour (any of the ff
– Grand Palace – w/ fee of 500 THB
– Wat Pho – w/ fee of 200 THB
– Wat Arun – w/ fee of 50 THB
• We only went to Wat Arun
5:00 pm Head to Siam Paragon
6:00 pm One of my friends went to Madam
Tussauds – fan of One Direction 😂
• Others – went to Pratunam Market
8:30 pm Chinatown; Dinner
9:30 pm Last minute shopping for pasalubong
• 7/11 😂
10:30 pm Back to Hostel; rest
💡THAILAND TIPS by Christine Flores
Currency: Thai Baht (THB)
1 USD = 30.20 THB
*Budget: 3K THB or 5,000 PHP – Sa SUPER RICH sa airport kami nagpapalit ng THB from USD
*Superb mamili sa Bangkok, sobrang mura. I’ve been to Bangkok twice and I think mas mura sa Pratunam Market compared to Chatuchak. Pero if you want to experience Chatuchak Market, please note na weekend lang sila open. For Pratunam naman, open sila ata everyday basta wag kayo pupunta ng pahapon na like 5-6pm since most stalls nagsasarado na.
* For temple tours, please be aware with the dress codes – your knees and shoulders must be covered. May nagpaparent naman dun sa labas ng temple but if you would like to save some, magpack na lang ng proper clothing.
* IG worthy ang temples esp Grand Palace and Wat Arun. Pricey lang si Grand Palace.
* Had a Day Trip to Chiang Mai for the Lantern Festival which only happens every NOVEMBER only. Full moon ng NOV 11. May Yi Peng Festival – mass release of Lanterns, Tangled feels where it cost around 5K THB. Pakamahal!! We stayed in Nawarat Bridge since open for public din yun for releasing of Sky Lantern.
* If hindi nyo feel magpalipad ng Lantern, that’s fine as well. You may just watch as hundreds of lanterns are being released at the same time. Ang ganda promise!
* Since wala kaming hostel in Chiang Mai, sa starbucks na lang kami nagtoothbrush and nag ayos. Hahahahahaha!
* For food pasalubongs, you can never go wrong with their 7/11’s hahahahhahaha
* Bus Transpo to Chiang Mai via Bangkok Busline; Back to Bangkok is via Sombat Tour – both booked from 12go asia
* Other Day Tours in Thailand you may consider: Pattaya or Ayutthaya
LEG 2 OF INDOCHINA ITINERARY – CAMBODIA
DAY 4 – SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA
7:45 am ETD Bangkok
• Bus Transpo booked via Giant Ibis [Book here]
4:15 pm ETA to Siem Reap
5:00 pm Hotel Check in; rest
• Stayed at GZ Plan B Hostel (Agoda) [Check rates and availability]
6:00 pm Shop at Old Market
8:00 pm Pub Street; Dinner
10:00 pm Back to Hostel
DAY 5 – SIEM REAP & PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA
4:30 am Tuktuk pick up for Angkor Wat Tour
• Booked with SHAFIE SEN [You may also book here]
5:00 am Start of Angkor Wat Tour
• Entrance fee: 37 USD / person
• Sunrise! The best!!
6:30 am Breakfast inside Angkor Wat
8:00 am Angkor Wat Tour
Ta Phrom – loc of Tomb Raider movie
11:00 am Back to Hostel; check out
12:30 pm ETD Siem Reap
• Bus booked via Giant Ibis
6:30 pm ETA Phnom Penh
• Stayed at RS III Hostel (airbnb)
7:30 pm Dinner near Riverside
9:00 pm Back to Hostel; rest
DAY 6 – PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA
8:00 am Tuktuk pick up for Day Tour
8:30 am Breakfast near Riverside
10:30 am S21 Tuol Genocide Museum
• Entrance fee: 5 USD
• With audio: 8 USD
12:30 pm Russian Market
1:00 pm Wat Phnom – w/ entrance fee of 1 USD
3:00 pm Royal Palace
4:30 pm Back to Hostel
6:00 pm Dinner; roam around riverside
8:00 pm Back to Hostel; rest
💡 CAMBODIA TIPS by Christine Flores
– Currency: USD / Riel
– Our Budget: 100-120 USD
– Widely used ang USD so no need for you to exchange your money. Sometimes, masusuklian ka in Riel for maliliit na price
– Pag susuklian ka in USD – make sure na 2001 yung print sa bill at walang white marks sa face since some stalls do not accept it. Pero may stall naman dun para papalitan ng bago, may charge lang na 1 USD.
– Madaming pwedeng mabili sa Old Market near Pubstreet so learn to haggle. Kaya maibaba yung price to 50%. Also, sa medyo likod o gitna mamili, mahal yung mga nasa harapan na stall. Yung una naming tshirt 1 pc is 4USD samantalang may iba na 2-3 pcs for 5USD na.
– Try the Loklak Food inside Angkor Wat. 5 USD lang yon, napakasarap!
– We booked our Angkor Wat tour to Shafie Sen – message nyo lang sya sa FB. 35 USD lang for 6 pax – minivan na.
– You will get an ID with your picture on it after paying for the entrance fee, wag iwawala or might as well picturan na lang since lagi tong hinahanap kada temple na ivvisit.
– Medyo pricey ang food sa Cambodia lalo na sa Phnom Penh. O kami lang yon? Since italian ang mga kinain namin hahahahaha
– Magbaon ng lakas ng loob for S21/Killing Fields Tour. Grabe ang emotions dito. You will learn a lot about the cruelty that happened in 1975. Out of all around 14,000 people, only 7 people survived. You will also get a chance to meet 2 of the survivors in the area. Inside, you will also see rooms for torture, tombs, skull storage, portraits of victims, how they were tourtured and killed.
– We didn’t go to Killing Fields anymore. That’s where mass killings were held. Mas masakit since babies and children are also being tortured and killed during that time.
– We hired Kuya Tuktuk we met on the bus station at Giant Ibis on the spot. Siya ang naghatid samin to and from the hostel. Siya din yung sa Day Tour – 25 USD for 6 pax. You can contact him on Whatsapp: 096 888 5866.
– Di na kami pumasok ng Royal Palace since pricey ang entrance – 10 USD. Sa labas na lang kami nagpicture picture.
– Bus to Siem Reap and to Phnom Penh were booked via Giant Ibis. You may use 12go asia site or sa Klook.
LEG 3 OF INDOCHINA ITINERARY – VIETNAM
DAY 7 – HO CHI MINH, VIETNAM
8:00 am ETD Phnom Penh
3:30 pm ETA Ho Chi Minh
4:30 pm Hotel check in
• 89 Nguyen Du (studio type, via airbnb) [Check out Airbnb in Ho Chi Minh]
6:00 pm Dinner at JOLLIBEE 😂
8:00 pm Back to Hotel; rest
DAY 8 – HO CHI MINH, VIETNAM
7:30 am Meeting place for Cu Chi Tunnels Tour
• Booked via KLOOK [Book now]
8:30 am ETD Ho Chi Minh
11:00 am Arrival at Cu Chi Tunnels
•Explore Cu Chi Tunnels
•Walk past bomb craters
•Tried 4 tunnels
•Had Tea and Cassava c/o Cu Chi
1:30 pm End of Tour
3:00 pm Back to HCM
3:30 pm Late Lunch near Ben Thanh Market
4:30 pm Shopping at Ben Thanh Market
5:30 pm City Tour
•Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral
•Saigon Central Post Office
7:00 pm Tried coffee at The Cafe Apartment
8:00 pm Back to Apartment
Bought foods at 7/11 😂
💡 VIETNAM TIPS by Christine Flores
*Currency: Vietnamese Dong (VND)
*1 USD = 23,000 Dong
*Our budget: 50-60 USD
*We exchanged our USD to VND beside Giant Ibis station
*Para maranasan mo maging millionaire, papalit ka 50 USD. That’s 1,150,000 😂
* May JOLLIBEE sa Vietnam!! Malalaki ang chicken and madami servings ng spaghetti. Wala nga lang silang gravy 😂
* Beware of pickpockets in Vietnam. Mabilisan lang din dun since motorcycle ang main transpo nila.
* Beware din sa motorcycles kasi even on sidewalks, dumadaan din sila don. Be attentive pag tumatawid, yung iba pasulpot-sulpot hahahahhaa
* We booked our Cu Chi Tour via Klook for 621 PHP per person only. Oks na din since 1 hour and 30 mins ang travel time from HCM.
* Exciting yung Cu Chi Tour since maeexperience mo yung mga tunnels nila na sobrang liit tipong gagapang and yuyuko ka talaga. May mahabang trail which is 50m, tinry namin yun. Ayon kinabukasan, sakit sakit ng mga hita. Walang mga exercise 😂
* Masarap coffee sa Vietnam. Sa Ben Thanh kami bumili. Highlands Coffee daw the best nila. 200g = 100,000 dong yung nabili namin.
* May ibang coffee and chocolate din kami binili na nakasachet (12 pcs) worth 50,000-60,000 dong. Depende sa tawaran! 😂
* Sobrang mura sa Vietnam. Medyo madami kaming natirang dong.
* Bus transpo to HCM booked via Giant Ibis.
LEG 4 – LAYOVER IN MALAYSIA
DAY 9 – KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
9:25 am ETD Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
11:25 am ETA Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Claim Simcard via KLOOK
1:00 pm Grab from Airport to Petronas Tower
2:00 pm Lunch at KLCC Mall
3:30 pm Explore Petronas Twin Towers
4:30 pm Grab back to KL Airport
8:40 pm ETD Kuala Lumpur
DAY 10 – BACK TO MANILA
12:35 am ETA to Manila
*1 USD = 4.16 Ringgit
*We did not exchange to Ringgit anymore. We just used the credit card of our friend for our Grab transpo and foods since hours lang naman kami sa KL.
* Grab is fine if madami kayo since 55 mins and travel time from airport to Petronas.
* You can also try the Express train. From what I read, you may ride KLIA Express(RM 55) to KL Sentral then another train from Sentral to KLCC (RM 2).
* Total Expenses for an 8 hour layover in KL: 300-800 PHP
💡CROSS BORDER TIPS
* Bangkok to Siem Reap – walang hiningi samin sa Cambodia Border. Pero sa iba meron daw at least 2 USD or 150 BAHT. In case hingian kayo, explain ng maayos na ASEAN tayo and we do not need visa.
* Siem Reap to Vietnam – our bus guide collected our passports and pagdating sa Vietnam border, may tatak na yung passport namin.
* For smooth and hassle free pag magccross border, book your transpo via GIANT IBIS.
EXPENSES (per person):
✈️RT Flight: 4,500 PHP
Travel Tax: 1,620 PHP
Checked in Baggage
• To Bangkok (2 lang kami nag avail and hati sa 20kg) = 625 each
* From Vietnam (all of us nag avail ng baggage with a total of 95kg) = will range from 780 – 2,000 PHP per head since iba iba ang kg na kinuha namin and hatian. With Air Asia naman, walang bilang ng bags basta yung total ng booking namin is 95kg.
- 🚌Bus Transpo (booked via 12go and KLOOK)
- Bangkok to Chiang Mai via BKK Busline = 991 PHP
- Chiang Mai to Bangkok via Sombat Tour = 1,646 PHP
- Bangkok to Siem Reap = 1,670 PHP
- Siem Reap to Phnom Penh = 783 PHP
- Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh = 940 PHP
- TOTAL= 6,030 – 6,300 since may additional charges after booking sa 12go
- Bangkok (3 nights) – 760 PHP
- Siem Reap (1 night) – 200 PHP
- Phnom Penh (2 nights) -565 PHP
- Ho Chi Minh (2 nights) – 525 PHP
- TOTAL = 2,050 PHP
- 🔸PRE-BOOKED SIM AND TOUR VIA KLOOK
- Thai Sim card = 220 PHP (we only avail 3 sim cards, tapos by 2’s na lang hatian, hotspot ganon)
- Cu Chi Tunnel Tour = 621 PHP
- Side Tour – Madam Tussauds = 1,085 PHP
Note: We have a friend working in BPI so sa kanya kami nagpapalit ng PHP to USD. Tig 15K kami lahat or 300 USD so parang 5K PHP/100USD per country. This already includes Grab/Tuktuk transpo, entrance fees, food and for pasalubongs.
***We hope that you find this Indochina itinerary useful. Thank you Christine Flores for sharing this detailed itinerary to guide and inspire other Filipino travelers.