How to Travel to Vietnam & Cambodia

FullSizeRender (78) 

(on the cheap!)

 Though still very much jetlagged, we are back from our bucket list trip to Vietnam and Cambodia 🙂 It was nothing short of amazing. We packed our days exploring everything and anything we could. We were immersed in history, food and culture so unique to our own.  It was two weeks of trying the new.

Try it we did. Love it we did.

The verdict: Cambodia was our favorite, so much so we stayed an extra day and booked a brand new flight directly out of Cambodia. ( New flight… not on the cheap plan.) However traveling to these two countries can be done on a travel budget: heres how!

1) Flight:  We researched for months. In the end we used cheapoair.com, which saved us $500-700 over any other tickets we found. Just be warned, this service may change your flights on you! If you are willing to take the risk, it does provide a much cheaper option.

vscocam-photo-1 (2)

2) Hotels: Hostelworld.com. Use it. Read the reviews.  And I’m not talking about hostels.  Check the hotels and bed and breakfast options.  We stayed for around $15-$29 a night. (These were not even backpacker hotels. Quite the mix of people) Breakfast included. Best breakfast Pho for days 🙂

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

3) Food: Street food. Eat at the vendors pushing their carts, sit on the teeny tiny plastic stools and sip your dollar beers. The best and cheapest food we found was on the side of the road. It is the most authentic and will cost you around $5 for beer and multiple entrees.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

4) Tours: If there are day or overnight tours calling to you, book them through your hotel.  This will ensure they are legitimate and they may discount them for you as well (See saving more money).  Entry fees at most museums are not more than $2.  Google and find self guided tours around the cities.  There are also free tour guides available wanting to practice their English or other languages.  Check the day prior, as some start as early as 7am.  We had the most fun following a self guided tour through Hanoi, at our own pace, taking everything in.  We saw the things that “were once there” but no longer existed….. which of course only leads to numerous inside jokes. We got our bearings with the city and post tour got around walking just fine.

FullSizeRender (76)

FullSizeRender (77)

When in Cambodia and off to discover the world heritage sites of Angkor Wat and the multiple temples; get the three day pass.  You will need more than one day to explore, and the sunset and sunrise tours are unbelievable 🙂

vscocam-photo-1 (1)

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

5) Transportation: Cabs should only cost you a few dollars. It may be best to negotiate your price prior. Also, a word of advice, never sit in the front seat….. we had the most brazen robbery attempt by a cab driver I’ve ever seen/heard of. Tuktuks should also only cost you a few dollars. Negotiate with them. But really, see the cities by foot if possible! Grab a free city map. Your hotel will have one, with all the sights nearby pointed out.

6) Visas. If you have a US passport, you will need a Visa for both countries.  Apply early to the Vietnamese embassy just to ensure there are no issues.  For Cambodia, you can  buy a Visa upon arrival.

 Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw some of the 1200 pictures I took 🙂 If you’re not following, lets be friends! Follow me at olivedoesthecity.

I’m sure another post or two on our travels are yet to come! If you are headed to either country anytime soon, I’d love to offer more tips, feel free to email me, found on my contact page 🙂

Vietnam Bound

The anticipation has been building like a thousand knots in my chest.  Like a swarm of pverbial butterflies bursting out.

The excitement can no longer be contained! The duffel is packed, my comfy clothes are on, and we are off. Our Vietnam adventure begins.

I do not think words can convey my excitement.  My wanderlusting soul is like a kid on Christmas morning..

Hopefully by the time you read this, we are sipping morning cocktails at MSP, or rushing to our connection Chicago flight, or enjoying a plethora of wine on the 14 hour plus flight to Asia.

Or hopping on a small plane to eventually land in Hanoi. ( I may need more wine to survive all these flights!)

Its almost unreal. We are about to cross off a major bucket list item. A country I’ve wanted to explore for years. Well, two countries 🙂 See you seen too, Cambodia.

It started with a thought… then an action. More doing, less thinking. 2014 was the year of stepping up my exploring; or at least planning such stepping up. The year of making decisions and going for it.

An out of the blue text to my now roommate, and here we are, Vietnam bound!

photo (270)

Cheers to you my fellow wanderlusting friends, happy Friday 🙂

And because I cannot think of a better Friday Fav,

Linking up with Katie, Heather and Claire for Friday Favs!!