Comparación Vietnam vs Camboya: ¿Cuál deberías visitar primero?

Vietnam o Camboya

Deciding between Vietnam and Cambodia for your next travel destination can be a daunting task. Both countries offer unique experiences, rich cultures, and stunning landscapes that will leave you in awe. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time explorer, this comprehensive guide will help you make an informed decision on which destination to visit first.

Vietnam vs Cambodia: General Travel


Both Vietnam and Cambodia are generally safe for travelers, but it’s always wise to exercise caution. Vietnam has a relatively low crime rate, while Cambodia has seen an increase in petty crimes like bag-snatching and pickpocketing in tourist areas. However, by taking basic precautions and being aware of your surroundings, you can minimize the risks in both countries.


Vietnam is generally more budget-friendly than Cambodia. Accommodation, food, and transportation costs are lower in Vietnam, making it an attractive option for budget travelers. However, Cambodia offers excellent value for money, especially in areas like Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.


Vietnam has a more developed infrastructure than Cambodia, with better roads, public transportation systems, and tourism facilities. This can make travel within Vietnam more convenient and accessible, especially for those who prefer a more comfortable journey.

Vietnam vs Cambodia: Culture and history

Vietnam’s Cultural Heritage

Vietnam is steeped in a rich cultural heritage that spans thousands of years. From the ancient imperial capital of Hue to the bustling streets of Hanoi, you’ll find a blend of Chinese, French, and indigenous influences. Highlights include the UNESCO World Heritage sites like Hoi An Ancient Town, Ha Long Bay, and the My Son Sanctuary.

Cambodia’s Khmer Legacy

Cambodia’s history is deeply intertwined with the Khmer Empire, which left behind a breathtaking legacy in the form of the Angkor Wat temple complex. This iconic archaeological site is a must-visit for anyone interested in ancient civilizations. Beyond Angkor, you can explore other Khmer ruins, such as Banteay Srei and Preah Vihear.

Cultural Experiences

In Vietnam, you can immerse yourself in traditional water puppet shows, attend lively festivals, and explore vibrant local markets. Cambodia offers unique cultural experiences like witnessing the beautiful Apsara dance performances and learning about the country’s turbulent past at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.

Vietnam vs Cambodia: Getting a Visa

Visa Requirements for Vietnam

Most nationalities require a visa to enter Vietnam, which can be obtained through Vietnamese embassies or consulates abroad, or through an online e-visa system. The process is generally straightforward, but it’s essential to research the specific requirements for your nationality.

Visa Requirements for Cambodia

Many nationalities can obtain a tourist visa on arrival in Cambodia, making the process relatively simple. However, it’s always a good idea to check the visa requirements for your specific nationality before traveling.

Visa Fees and Processing Times

Visa fees and processing times vary depending on your nationality and the type of visa you require. Generally, Vietnam’s visa fees are higher than Cambodia’s, but the processing times are comparable.

Vietnam vs Cambodia: How Long to Stay

Recommended Duration for Vietnam

To fully experience Vietnam’s diverse landscapes and cultural attractions, a minimum of two weeks is recommended. This will allow you to explore key destinations like Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City at a leisurely pace.

Recommended Duration for Cambodia

For a comprehensive exploration of Cambodia’s highlights, including Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, and the coastal areas, a minimum of one week is advisable. However, two weeks or more will give you ample time to delve deeper into the country’s rich heritage.

Combining Both Destinations

If you have the time and resources, combining Vietnam and Cambodia in one trip can be an incredible experience. A three to four-week itinerary would allow you to explore the highlights of both countries without feeling rushed.

Vietnam vs Cambodia: Weather and When to go

Vietnam’s Weather Patterns

Vietnam has a diverse climate, with varying weather patterns across different regions. The north experiences a distinct tropical monsoon climate, with hot, humid summers and cooler, drier winters. The south has a more consistent, tropical climate with high temperatures and humidity throughout the year.

Cambodia’s Weather Patterns

Cambodia has a tropical monsoon climate, with two distinct seasons: the dry season (November to April) and the wet season (May to October). The dry season is generally the most popular time to visit, as temperatures are cooler and rainfall is minimal.

Best Times to Visit

The best time to visit Vietnam is during the dry season, which runs from November to April in the north and from December to April in the south. For Cambodia, the ideal time to visit is during the dry season, from November to April, when temperatures are milder and the skies are clear.

Vietnam vs Cambodia: Transportation and Accessibility

Getting Around Vietnam

Vietnam has a well-developed transportation system, including domestic flights, an extensive rail network, and affordable long-distance buses. Within cities, you can rely on taxis, ride-sharing services, and the iconic cyclos (pedicabs) for shorter distances.

Getting Around Cambodia

While Cambodia’s transportation infrastructure has improved in recent years, it can still be challenging to navigate. Domestic flights and long-distance buses are available, but the roads can be rough in some areas. Within cities, tuk-tuks (auto-rickshaws) and taxis are common modes of transportation.

Accessibility for Travelers with Disabilities

Both countries have made efforts to improve accessibility for travelers with disabilities, but progress has been slower than in many Western countries. Major cities and tourist attractions in Vietnam tend to be more accessible, while Cambodia still has room for improvement in this area.

Vietnam vs Cambodia: Comparison of Landscapes

Vietnam’s Diverse Landscapes

Vietnam is blessed with a diverse range of landscapes, from the verdant rice paddies and limestone karsts of the north to the sprawling beaches and bustling cities of the south. Highlights include the iconic Halong Bay, the picturesque Mekong Delta, and the rugged mountain ranges of Sapa.

Cambodia’s Natural Wonders

Cambodia’s landscapes are equally stunning, featuring ancient temples surrounded by lush jungles, pristine beaches along the Gulf of Thailand, and the mighty Mekong River. The Tonle Sap Lake, a UNESCO-listed biosphere reserve, is a unique natural wonder that attracts visitors from around the world.

Outdoor Activities

Both countries offer a wealth of outdoor activities for adventure seekers. Vietnam is renowned for its hiking trails, kayaking opportunities in Halong Bay, and trekking in Sapa. Cambodia boasts excellent opportunities for jungle trekking, bird watching, and exploring the remote temples of the Angkor Archaeological Park.

Vietnam vs Cambodia: Accommodation

Accommodation Options in Vietnam

Vietnam offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. From luxurious resorts and boutique hotels to budget-friendly hostels and homestays, you’ll find something to fit your needs. Popular destinations like Hanoi, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City have a particularly diverse selection.

Accommodation Options in Cambodia

Cambodia’s accommodation scene has grown significantly in recent years, catering to the increasing number of visitors. Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor Wat, has a plethora of options ranging from boutique hotels to budget guesthouses. Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville also offer a variety of accommodation choices.

Unique Accommodation Experiences

Both countries offer unique accommodation experiences that allow you to immerse yourself in the local culture. In Vietnam, you can stay in traditional stilt houses or homestays in rural areas, while Cambodia offers the opportunity to stay in converted colonial villas or even tented camps near ancient temples.

Vietnam vs Cambodia: Comparison of the Food

Cocina vietnamita

Vietnamese cuisine is renowned for its fresh ingredients, bold flavors, and harmonious balance of sweet, salty, sour, and spicy tastes. Popular dishes include pho (noodle soup), banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches), and spring rolls. Regional specialties like bun cha (grilled pork with noodles) from Hanoi and cao lau (noodles with pork and greens) from Hoi An are also not to be missed.

Cambodian Cuisine

Cambodian cuisine shares some similarities with its Southeast Asian neighbors but also has its own unique flavors. Dishes like amok (curry steamed in banana leaves), lok lak (stir-fried beef with vegetables), and fish amok (curry fish) arepopular choices. Fresh herbs, lemongrass, and coconut milk are commonly used ingredients in Cambodian cooking.

Cultura gastronómica callejera

Both Vietnam and Cambodia have vibrant street food cultures that offer a wide array of delicious and affordable dishes. In Vietnam, you can sample delicacies like banh xeo (sizzling pancakes), com tam (broken rice with grilled pork), and banh cuon (steamed rice rolls). Cambodia’s street food scene features favorites like num pang (baguette sandwiches), nom banh chok (Khmer noodles), and fried insects for the more adventurous eater.

Dining Experiences

Vietnam and Cambodia also boast a diverse dining scene beyond street food. In Vietnam, upscale restaurants serve modern interpretations of traditional dishes alongside international cuisines. Cambodia offers fine dining options that showcase Khmer flavors using local, seasonal ingredients. Both countries have vibrant markets where you can sample local delicacies and interact with vendors.

Vietnam vs Cambodia: Shopping

Shopping in Vietnam

Vietnam is a shopper’s paradise, with bustling markets, boutique stores, and artisan villages offering a treasure trove of goods. Popular items to buy include silk products, lacquerware, handicrafts, ceramics, and conical hats. Hanoi’s Old Quarter and Ho Chi Minh City’s Ben Thanh Market are renowned shopping destinations.

Shopping in Cambodia

Cambodia is also known for its unique shopping opportunities, particularly for art and handicrafts. Traditional items like silver jewelry, stone carvings, textiles, and wooden sculptures make for meaningful souvenirs. Siem Reap is a great place to shop for Cambodian silk products, while Phnom Penh’s Russian Market is a bustling hub for handicrafts.

Fair Trade and Ethical Shopping

In recent years, both Vietnam and Cambodia have seen a rise in fair trade and ethical shopping initiatives aimed at supporting local artisans and preserving traditional crafts. Visitors can find responsibly sourced products at fair trade shops, craft markets, and community-owned cooperatives that ensure artisans receive fair wages for their work.


In conclusion, both Vietnam and Cambodia offer unique travel experiences that cater to a diverse range of interests. Vietnam delights visitors with its rich history, stunning landscapes, bustling cities, and delectable cuisine. Cambodia enchants with its ancient temples, vibrant culture, friendly locals, and emerging eco-tourism scene. Whether you choose to explore one country or embark on a combined adventure, you’re sure to create lasting memories in these Southeast Asian gems. From navigating transportation options and savoring local flavors to immersing yourself in ancient traditions and supporting ethical shopping practices, there’s something for every traveler to enjoy in Vietnam and Cambodia. So pack your bags, set out on a new adventure, and discover the wonders that await in these captivating destinations.Vietnam vs Cambodia: General Travel


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