Cambodia or Vietnam? Which destination is right for you?

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Aina Martin


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Cambodia and Vietnam are two neighboring Southeast Asian countries which each have remarkable tourist, cultural and natural assets. So the choice between these two destinations is far from obvious. We invite you to discover criteria that will facilitate your choice!

Cambodia VS Vietnam: the comparison criteria

To be sure you can admire the architectural complex of Angkor, near SiemReap in Cambodia, without regretting the majestic karst formations for which Halong Bay in Vietnam is famous, or vice versa, better to choose according to your passions and desires. But you also have to take into account a few criteria such as climate, cost of living or budget, health and safety and the types of activities available.

Cambodia fascinates travelers passionate about cultural discoveries, with its grandiose temples, its lively markets, and the kindness of its inhabitants. This country also captivates nature lovers, thanks to the natural wonders and the green countryside. What makes this magnificent country, a destination to absolutely discover.

Vietnam, nicknamed the Pearl of Southeast Asia, amazes travelers with its cultural attractions and the diversity of its landscapes, as fascinating as each other. Indeed, it is in Vietnam that one can admire the magical landscapes of Halong Bay, the Tam Coc site or even Phang Nha, classified by Unesco.

Which destination to choose according to the climate and the weather?

To designate the most climate-friendly destination, all you have to do is take into account the favorable climatic conditions for trips into the countryside and for sightseeing.

Best weather: Cambodia and Vietnam

As these two destinations are all in Southeast Asia, there is some similarity between them. The tropical climate is characterized by the alternation of two seasons: the dry season, from November to April, and the wet season, from May to the end of October.

The different geographical configurations of regions in Vietnam justify the diversification of its climatic conditions : tropical in the south and subtropical in the north, with two seasons slightly shifted between north and south. Anyway, the best time to discover Vietnam and Cambodia is the dry season.

Which destination to choose according to the price of plane tickets?

In order to find the preferred destination according to the price of plane tickets, our analysis is based on the cheapest price during the low and high tourist season.

The cheapest average round trip price: Vietnam

The prize for the cheapest plane ticket goes to Vietnam. The comparison of a number of return flights between France and Vietnam and return flights between Cambodia and France, shows that return tickets to Vietnam cost from 25 to 82 € cheaper.

Vietnam, Tam Coc

The destination to choose according to your budget

By taking into account the costs of living during the stay, it is possible to determine the most accessible destination with a reasonable travel budget.

The cheapest destination: Vietnam

The cost of living in Vietnam is much cheaper compared to that in Cambodia. As a result, a two-week stay for two people in Vietnam saves several hundred euros on expenses for accommodation, meals, transport and activities… compared to a stay in Cambodia. So, if you have to choose according to your budget, choose Vietnam which is less budget-intensive but which can offer exhilarating experiences.

Quality of life: health, safety, air purity

To find the destination where life is good, all you need to do is take an interest in health and safety issues. Which destination is best for well-being: Cambodia or Vietnam?

It's good to live in Vietnam

Vietnam attracts many visitors for its tourist attractions and also for the relatively comfortable quality of life, compared to that found in Cambodia. Indeed, the health system is satisfactory there. As for safety, both destinations are relatively safe, although it is still necessary to be vigilant in high-traffic areas where pickpockets continue to be rife.

Which destination to choose according to travelers' opinions: Cambodia or Vietnam?

If you're still having trouble deciding between Vietnam and Cambodia, you can rely on the reviews of travelers who have had a successful experience in one of these destinations.

Travelers prefer: Cambodia and Vietnam

Opinions are divided when it comes to choosing between Cambodia and Vietnam. Indeed, those who liked to visit the temples of Angkor, stroll through the alleys and admire the colonial houses of Siem Reap, Battabamg or Phnom Penh or enjoy an excursion on the Tonlé Sap lake, prefer Cambodia. But those who wish to discover historical monuments and ancient imperial cities, museums or take excursions in Halong Bay or in the Mekong Delta ... as well as lounging at the beach, opt without hesitation for Vietnam.

Cambodia, Angkor

Choose your destination according to the entry methods

It is also possible to choose your destination depending on the entry formality, especially if you don't like difficult procedures. Find out which destination is best: Cambodia or Vietnam.

The simplest entry procedures: Vietnam

For a stay of more than 15 days in Vietnam, the visa is compulsory to be able to enter and circulate freely in the country. In addition, for 40 countries, including France, it is possible to apply for a visa online.

It is also necessary to have an entry visa for Cambodia, only, it must be done at the Cambodian Embassy of the country of residence, because Cambodia no longer issues e-visas.

Which country to choose, depending on the places of interest to visit?

The interest of a destination lies in the diversity of the activities to do, of the cultural and natural sites to discover and in the possibility of diversifying the pleasures.

The destination with the most UNESCO-listed sites: Vietnam

Vietnam is undoubtedly the destination with the most Unesco classified sites. The country has to its credit 5 cultural sites listed as World Heritage by Unesco, which are the Citadel of the Ho Dynasty, the Ensemble of Monuments of Huê, the Sanctuary of Mi-sön, the Central Sector of the Imperial City of Thang Long-Hanoi and the Old City of Hoi An. There are also 2 natural sites which are Ha-Long Bay and Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park and a mixed site which is Trang An Landscape Complex.

Three cultural sites of Cambodia are registered with the heritage of Unesco, namely Angkor, the temple of Preah Vihear and the zone of the temples of Sambor Prei Kuk, archaeological site of ancient Ishanapura. Other intangible heritages, such as the Cambodian royal ballet, the lakhonsbek shadow theater, figure among the intangible heritage of Unesco.

The most cultural destination: Vietnam

In view of the many sites of a cultural nature registered in the heritage of Unesco, Vietnam is undoubtedly the most cultural destination. But the sites of Angkor, Preah Vihear and the temples of Sambor Prei Kuk are also worth Cambodia the title of cultural destination. So for those who can only visit two or three sites during their stay, these two destinations are tied. Furthermore, Cambodia stands out with the Bon Om Touk, the water festival held at the end of the rainy season during which Cambodians celebrate the reversal of the flow direction of the Tonle Sap river.

Vietnam, Hue

READ ALSO : 10 essential visits to see in Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon)

So which is your choice: Cambodia or Vietnam?

Cambodia and Vietnam have a certain similarity, but each country also has its own tourist attractions. It's up to you to find the destination that suits you the most, according to your expectations and your passions. Taking into account your own selection criteria, tell us in the comments the destination that charmed you the most.

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