SOUTHEAST ASIA: Sample Itineraries (5-7 Days)

We always encourage people to stay longer at destinations, but we all know that’s not possible for everyone. When we were just starting out, when we were still juggling our corporate and travel careers, we were only able to travel on weekends. And the truth is, most of our readers are like that: full-time employees who can only afford to take a leave of absence for a week (or shorter) at a time.

Those who can only spare 7 days to travel tend to try to see as much as they can. It’s no surprise that the topic of this post is one of the most requested by our followers. Southeast Asia is a favorite region for vacationers because it’s cheap, exotic, tourist-friendly, and if you’re an ASEAN resident, close to home. Every day, we get messages asking for sample Vietnam-Cambodia or Cambodia-Thailand or Singapore-Malaysia itinerary. So here it is: a compilation of sample multi-country routes!

In this post, we’ll be focusing on countries in continental Southeast Asia that are best explored by land: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, and even Singapore (it’s an island, we know, haha). Although it is possible to travel to Myanmar by land, the most convenient way of reaching it is still by plane. For Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, and Malaysian Borneo, we’ll be creating separate posts for them.

Related Read: Southeast Asia Backpacking Guide

Important notes:

  • The sample itineraries here are all multi-country, which means you will be crossing a border at one point during the trip. If you’re an ASEAN resident, no need for visa. If not, make sure you do the necessary paperwork.
  • There is an Estimated Budget per itinerary. These estimates assume that you are a group of two traveling in off-peak season, that you will be staying at a double room of a budget hotel or hostel, and that you will be splitting costs.
  • Every budget estimate has a good allowance to give you a bit more flexibility.
  • Hotel Stop means the city where you will be spending the night. Even if most of your day is spent in Malacca but you will be spending the night in Kuala Lumpur, it will be tagged Kuala Lumpur.
  • Tours are done DIY-style. But if you want to join a group tour for comfort, we’ve provided links below so you can book in advance.
  • If your hostel or hotel does not serve free breakfast, visit the supermarket on your first day to buy food (biscuits, drinks, bread).
  • We’re using major airport hubs as entry and exit points — Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, and Bangkok — because tickets to these airports are usually the cheapest.
  • Useful links are provided for each sample itinerary. This will allow you to book bus transfers or tours. Hotel recommendations are also provided towards the end of this post.
  • Airfare is not included in the estimate.

To book bus or train seats in advance, Reserve Here!

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Itinerary #1: Thailand-Cambodia for 6 Days

Stops: Bangkok + Ayutthaya Day Tour, Siem Reap
Entry point: Bangkok
Exit point: Siem Reap
Estimated Budget: USD 245 (P12,000)

I’ve done this itinerary twice (as part of a longer trip), and I am willing to do it again given the chance. This itinerary is easy, and it showcases two of the region’s most amazing destinations: Bangkok and Siem Reap.

This itinerary will take you to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap and the Great Palace, Wat Arun, and Khao San in Bangkok, among others.

Bangkok-Siem Reap Bus: Reserve Here

Bangkok Tours:

Siem Reap Tours:

Top Budget Hotels in Bangkok: Search Here

Nap@Pan Bangkok
50/25 Pan Road, Silom

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Folk Poshtel Bangkok
2/2 Soi 19 Silom Bangrak Bangkok, Silom, Bangkok

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Top Budget Hotels in Siem Reap: Search Here

The Golden Gecko Villa
Street 20, Siem Reap Central Area

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Visoth Boutique Hotel
Sok San Road, Siem Reap Central Area

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Itinerary #2: Thailand-Laos for 6 Days

Stops: Bangkok + Ayutthaya Day Tour, Vientiane
Entry point: Bangkok
Exit point: Bangkok
Estimated Budget: USD 245 (P12,000)

Notice that this itinerary uses Bangkok as BOTH entry and exit points.

Bangkok-Vientiane Bus:
Reserve Here

Bangkok Tours:

Top Budget Hotels in Vientiane: Search Here

S Park Design Hotel
40 Dongnasok Road, Ban Nakham, Sikhottabong District, Vientiane,

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PVO Hostel
Rue Pangkham, Vientiane City Center

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Itinerary #3: Vietnam-Cambodia for 6 Days

Stops: Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap
Entry point: Ho Chi Minh City
Exit point: Siem Reap
Estimated Budget: USD 260 (P12,900)

This itinerary will take you from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Book a Bus!

Ho Chi Minh City Tours

Siem Reap Tours:

Top Budget Hotels in Saigon: Search Here

CCentral Hotel De Tham
216 De Tham Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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Ava Saigon 3 Hotel
137 De Tham, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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Itinerary #4: Singapore-Malacca (5 Days)

Stops: Singapore, Malacca
Entry point: Singapore
Exit point: Singapore
Estimated Budget: USD 260 (P12,900)

This itinerary uses Singapore as both entry and exit points. On Day 4, you may choose between Universal Studios Singapore and Sentosa Island.

Singapore to Melaka Bus: Reserve a Seat Here

Stay Connected in Singapore

Singapore Attractions:

Top Budget Hotels in Singapore: Search Here

Cube – Boutique Capsule Hotel
76, 78 Smith Street (2nd & 3rd Level), Chinatown, Singapore

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Dream Lodge
172 Tyrwhitt road, Kallang, Singapore

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Itinerary #5: Singapore-Kuala Lumpur (6 Days)

Stops: Singapore, Kuala Lumpur
Entry point: Singapore
Exit point: Kuala Lumpur
Estimated Budget: USD 280 (P13,800)

This itinerary takes you from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, with stops at Batu Caves, Petronas Towers,
Universal Studios, Marina Bay Sands, Merlion Park, Chinatown, etc.

Singapore to Kuala Lumpur BUS: Reserve a Seat Here

Kuala Lumpur Attractions:

Singapore Attractions:


 
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Itinerary #6: Singapore-Malaysia (7 Days)

Stops: Singapore, Malacca, Kuala Lumpur
Entry point: Singapore
Exit point: Kuala Lumpur
Estimated Budget: USD 300 (P15,000)

This week-long itinerary will take you from Singapore to Malacca to Kuala Lumpur.

Book a Bus!

Kuala Lumpur Attractions:

Singapore Attractions:

Top Budget Hotels in Kuala Lumpur: Search Here

Q Hotel Kuala Lumpur
No 51 Jalan Tiong Nam, Off Jalan Raja Laut,, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Pacific Express Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Hang Kasturi, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 50050

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Comments

  1. Ryan Biddulph says:

    Hi Yoshke,

    All the plans sound great. Loved the first one as I dig BKK and SR of course, and have yet to visit that Thai town although I have heard good things about it. The $ sounds about right too. Isn’t it fun to travel on the cheap in SE Asia?

    Loving my time with fam and friends back in NJ now but goodness I never quite get used to seeing a $70 bill at a decent Italian restaurant in town and thinking me and my wife eat for that amount for a whole freaking month at the local Buddhist veggie haunt in Chiang Mai, for 2. Amazing. And that’d be 3 curries, big heaping serving of rice and cold water. For 30 plus days.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Ryan

  2. Jake Alfred Nuñez says:

    Hello!

    Me and my girlfriend will have a 7 days vacation in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)-Thailand (Bangkok). What is a good itinerary that will fit within that short period of time?

    Thank you so much!

    • Will you be flying from KL to Bangkok? Because 7 days might be too short if you want to transfer overland. It’s possible but physically demanding.

  3. Raji says:

    Hi, my friends and i (there are 6 of us) are planning to have a 6 days DIY trip to Cambodia and Thailand, any tips on where to stay, and itinerary tips perhaps? we already purchased a ticket and will be arriving at Siem Reap and departing from Bangkok. Your help will be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  4. Lizette Balangue says:

    Hi, your blog is really helpful. May I ask if there are terminal fees if opt to travel by plane instead of land within southeast Asia. In the Philippines, we do have terminal fees if we leave the airport. Is it the same for other southeast Asian countries? Thanks in advance!

  5. Rochelle says:

    Hi! Should I bring USD or would it be better to withdraw from the ATM? I’ll be in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia for 12 days.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Kami, mas preferred namin magwithdraw sa ATM. Make sure your ATM card/account ay pwede Visa/Mastercard.

      BUT we always have cash din in USD for emergency purposes.

  6. Y says:

    Hi! what’s the best place to visit in Vietnam? I might do Vietnam-Cambodia but under 7days. Is that too short of a visit?

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      If you only have 7 days and you’re also visiting Cambodia, I recommend Mui Ne + HCMC.

  7. Snoofey E. Cabag-iran says:

    Hello po!

    I am interested po sa Singapore Malaysia Tour, can you help me how can I avail?

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