Last Updated on November 19, 2022 by Wandering our World

So, what’s it going to be — the ‘Island of the Gods’ or the ‘Land of Smiles’? These two Far Eastern destinations have long been attracting visitors to their shores with promises of pristine beaches, blue waters, and endless sunshine.

Bali, known as the Island of the Gods, sits a few degrees below the equator, and Thailand, the Land of Smiles, lies just to the north of the equator. With welcoming tropical climates, both Bali and Thailand have been wowing visitors for many a year, but which one will you choose for your dream vacation?

More chilled-out Bali is a solitary island in the middle of the vast Indonesian archipelago, famed for its stunning beaches, great surfing, welcoming people, captivating culture, historic temples, and its volcanoes.

With excellent cuisine and a fine selection of accommodation, it’s no wonder Bali has been such a popular destination over the years.

iStock.com/Pierrick Lemaret

Thailand is a country in South-East Asia known for its idyllic islands, spicy Thai cuisine, famous nightlife and friendly people. It’s busier than Bali, but also potentially cheaper and has a larger variety of activities, adventures, and places to enjoy and discover.

With a myriad of islands to choose from in the south and green mountains and hidden waterfalls in the north, Thailand keeps drawing visitors in to explore its culture and its beaches.

If you’re struggling to make your mind up when it comes to Bali vs Thailand, read on. We’re going to delve deep into the similarities and differences between these two iconic vacation destinations to help you choose which one will be best suited to your plans.

We look at everything, from beaches and nightlife, to honeymoons, expenses, which has the best food, which is safer, and far more.

We’re sure you won’t find a better comparison anywhere else, and we’re positive by the end you’ll know exactly where you want to go. Let’s get started!

CONTENTS:

  1. Which Is Easier To Get To
  2. Which Is Easier To Get Around
  3. Which Is Better For A Beach Holiday
  4. Which Is Better For A Jungle Holiday
  5. Which Is Best For A Honeymoon
  6. Which Is Best For Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
  7. Which Has The Best Nightlife
  8. Which Has The Best Food
  9. Which Is Best For A Family Trip
  10. Which Is Cheaper
  11. Which Is Safer
  12. What Time Of Year Is Best
  13. Bali vs Thailand: Which Is Better

Which Is Easier To Get To?

As two big hitters in the tourism world, you should have no problem finding a flight to either destination. However, your starting point will have an effect on how expensive and flexible those flights are.

As a single island, Bali is less complex to reach, in so much as there is only one airport in Bali – I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS), in Denpasar. Whereas Thailand, on the other hand, has many international airports to choose from, and it will depend on what you want to see and where you are coming from to determine which airport will best serve your needs.

Bali is the easiest of the two to reach from Australia and New Zealand, but the journey to Bali from Europe would be slightly longer than a flight to Thailand. For Thailand, it’s easy to source a flight into Bangkok (BKK), but if you are planning on an island vacation, you may be better off checking the regional airports in the south of the country. The international airports at Phuket (HKT) and Krabi (KBV) are both excellent gateways to the islands, and both airports have recently been expanded, allowing them to receive an ever-increasing number of international flights.

For both of these destinations, it may also be a good idea to check the visa requirements. Both countries have an extensive list of nationalities that can enter the country for up to thirty days without the need for a special visa. However, if you’re planning a longer stay, you will probably need to apply for a sixty-day tourist visa.

Ariel view of Maya Bay Koh Phi Phi
iStock.com/fokkebok

Which Is Easier To Get Around?

Bali is much smaller than Thailand, which makes it easier to travel around and visit many tourists sights. Thailand is much larger, and so to get a real sense of the country you’d need more than two weeks to explore.

So in that sense Bali may be the better choice for a shorter holiday. Especially if your aim is to pack in as many sights as possible. 

Bali

While seeing all of Bali in one trip is much easier than trying to see all of Thailand in one trip, both Bali and Thailand have excellent transportation options to help you get around within a specific location.

If you want to split your time between two locations within Thailand, there’s a good network of regional airports and cheap domestic flights to make your life easy. You can easily spend a week on the southern beaches and then fly to the north of Thailand for some trekking in the mountains. You can also split your time between the beach and the jungle in Bali, and it’s much easier to do so without the need for a flight.

In Bali, there are plenty of taxis to help you move around the major tourist locations, and many scooter rentals. The regular taxis are pretty safe and reliable for longer journeys, and there are bemos and ojeks for shorter journeys. A bemo is a shared minivan that usually operates within a location. They carry between ten and fifteen passengers at a time, and you can hop on and off wherever you choose. And ojek is the Bahasa Indonesia term for a motorcycle taxi—perfect for short trips across town.

A happy young couple rides a scooter among the palm trees. A beautiful young couple is traveling on a scooter in Sri Lanka. Cheerful couple riding scooter on vacation
iStock.com/Mikhail Sotnikov

Thailand

To move around your chosen destination within Thailand, there are also plenty of taxis and, of course, the three-wheeled tuk-tuk.

Tuk-tuks are modified scooters that have a covered passenger compartment at the back, and they are very common in the tourist areas of Bangkok. Outside of Bangkok, you can still see tuk-tuks in some locations, but they are becoming less common. Different vehicles are used in different places, but they are often still referred to as tuk-tuks.

In Phuket, Daihatsu HiJet microvans are used instead of the more traditional tuk-tuks seen in Bangkok, as they can cope better with the hills along Phuket’s coastline.

In both Bali and Thailand, insist on the taxi meter or agree a fixed price before you start your journey! It’s not uncommon for drivers to try and make you pay more, or take detours.

Scooter rentals are also popular in both locations, but be aware that you should have the correct documentation to be legally allowed to drive in either location!

Read more about the Thai tuk-tuk here – The Tuk Tuk In Thailand: An Insider’s Guide & Tips For This Iconic Three Wheeler

 Thai traditional taxi, the tuk tuk, on a road.
iStock.com/tawatchaiprakobkit

Which Is Better For A Beach Holiday?

Fear not, there will be plenty of pristine beaches with soft white sand in either location. Thailand is often famed as having some of the best beaches in South East Asia – arguably better than Bali.

But Bali is a renowned beach destination in itself and is great for catching a wave. However with that the case, you will find many beaches in Bali where the water isn’t as calm for swimming as beaches in Thailand.

tropical beach from above
iStock.com/ielanum

Bali

You don’t need to travel too far from the airport to find a suitably beautiful stretch of sand in Bali. The distance from the airport to the popular Kuta Beach is a little over five kilometers. Kuta is the busiest area of Bali, and the beach is very popular throughout the day and for the stunning sunset in the evening. Kuta Beach is also an excellent location for your first surf lesson.

This area is also at the center of Bali’s nightlife and shopping and is a great place to stay (more on nightlife later). Many people actually choose to stay in Kuta for a couple of nights at the beginning of their vacation, especially if arriving on a late flight. From Kuta, a short drive to the north will bring you to the slightly more chic areas of Seminyak and Canggu.

Canggu is much quieter than Kuta and has a pleasant, artsy feel. The beach here is also excellent and is also referred to as Batu Bolong. Canggu Beach is great for beach bars, bean bags, and surf schools.

surfer on waves in Bali
iStock.com/Nuture

Seiminyak is in between Kuta and Canggu, both in terms of its geographical location and in terms of its hustle and bustle. There are still plenty of bars, restaurants, and shops, but the pace is a little slower than in Kuta. There are also some excellent beach clubs here, perfect for a gin and tonic as the sun sets at the end of your day at the beach.

To the south of the airport in Bali is a peninsular which is dotted with some of the most idyllic and dramatic beaches on the planet, as well as some excellent family-friendly options. Don’t miss Bingin Beach for its beauty, Nusa Dua and Jimbaran Beaches for family swims, and Uluwatu for its ruggedness and the nearby temple.

There are also some excellent beaches on Bali’s east coast, most notably at Sanur, Padang Bai and Candidasa.  The east coast locations are much quieter than the Kuta area, and are great for swimming and snorkeling.

On Bali’s north-east coast you can find Tulamben. Many consider this as the best snorkeling beach in Bali, as the water is warmer than in the south of the island, and there’s a shipwreck!  The wreck of the USS Liberty has been lying underwater, yards from the beach, for decades and is a haven for marine life.  There’s an excellent chance of seeing turtles here, and if you get up early for a dawn snorkel, you may be rewarded with the sight of the wreck’s resident bumphead parrotfish leaving the wreck en masse to search for breakfast.

iStock/CreativaImages

Thailand

Simply put, Thailand has a huge variety of beaches – more so than Bali. You can find gorgeous laid-back white sand beaches, other perfect for snorkeling, full-on party beaches and more. However they’re all spread out considering the size of the country.

While Thailand is blessed with beautiful beaches, which ones you will be able to visit on your vacation will depend on where you are staying in Thailand. Generally speaking, the best beaches in Thailand are to be found along its west coast. But there are also some stunning beaches in the Gulf of Thailand, to the east of the country.

If you are considering the west coast of Thailand, you may be looking at Phuket. Phuket is easy to reach, and the recently-expanded airport is accepting more international flights than ever. If you are not keen on experiencing the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and would rather spend time topping up your tan on a beach, then look at the options for flying into Phuket. Phuket’s west-facing coastline is dotted with excellent beaches. The north of the island has many small, quiet beaches that are ideal for exploring on a rented scooter.

Phuket with traditional Thai boats
iStock.com/salko3p

Phuket’s most famous beach is Patong Beach. Patong is the busiest tourist area on the island, and the beach is adequately large. Patong Beach is protected from the waves by the long sides of Patong Bay, making it a good beach for a family swim.

To the south of Patong are the beaches of Kata and Kata Noi (“noi” means small in Thai). Kata Beach is a gentle arc of soft, white sand with a nice reef to the right-hand side, which is great for snorkeling. Kata Noi Beach is a short walk away and is also blessed with delightful sand and calm water for swimming.

Also on Thailand’s west coast is the island of Koh Lanta, in Krabi Province. Koh Lanta is a long, thin island with a relaxed, chilled vibe and some idyllic beaches.

Families on Koh Lanta like the shallow waters of Klong Dao Beach; while Long Beach is popular with backpackers and the party crowd; and Lanta’s southern beaches are perfect for relaxing under the shade of a palm tree.

Aerial drone view of swimming men
iStock.com/nantonov

Phi Phi Island is another west-coast option for the avid beach lover, with Long Beach and Laem Thong being the best for chilling and relaxing.

If you travel to and from Phi Phi via Krabi Town or nearby Ao Nang, you are also in prime position to visit one of Thailand’s most famous beaches at Railay. Railay is on a small headland, which is best accessed by longtail boat from Ao Nang. The headland has a sunset beach and a sunrise beach and is secluded and peaceful, and shade is provided by the limestone cliffs around the beaches.

The islands on Thailand’s east coast, in the Gulf of Thailand, also have some great beaches too. The best stretch of sand on Koh Samui is found at Chaweng Beach. Chaweng is a busy area on Samui, but the long beach has plenty of space for everyone to spread out and enjoy.

The active-minded can also hire a jet ski or try parasailing here too. Samui’s west and north coasts have plenty of other excellent beaches to explore, many of which are quiet and secluded and perfect for chilling in the sand.

iStock.com/Anna Jedynak

Koh Samui’s neighboring island, Koh Pha-Ngan, is another popular beach destination. Pha-Ngan is quieter and has a more chilled vibe than Samui, most of the time. But the famed Full Moon Party does bring an influx of people each month, so if you are looking for a quiet beach, it’s best to avoid Had Rin, as this is the party beach – although if you’re looking for beach parties then maybe Thailand will be a better choice than Bali.

For quieter beaches, check out the beaches of Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai. These beaches are more beautiful than Had Rin and are definitely more quiet around the full moon time.

Koh Chang, towards the Cambodian border, is also a great island to visit if you plan on spending some serious time at the beach. White Sand Beach, on the north-west of the island, is stunning. From Koh Chang, you can also explore the neighboring islands of Koh Kood and Koh Mak and their excellent beaches.

Thai traditional wooden longtail boat and beautiful sand beach
iStock.com/Preto_perola

Which Is Better For A Jungle Holiday?

One of the big draws of both Bali and Thailand is that in addition to having so many stunning beaches, there’s also the opportunity to explore away from the coasts. If you prefer to go hiking rather than snorkeling, there are plenty of options to keep you entertained in both destinations.

The most popular place in Thailand that is away from the beaches is Chiang Mai, in the north-west of the country. Chiang Mai is Thailand’s second largest city and is surrounded by mountains. From Chiang Mai, you can join some excellent treks, go ziplining, and enjoy the cooler evening temperatures compared to the islands. Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest mountain, lies just to the west of the city and is a nice, gentle trek to the summit—no climbing required.

To the north of Doi Inthanon is the quaint town of Pai. Pai is famed for its super-chilled vibe and excellent trekking. The evening can get a little chilly here at certain times of the year, so it’s good to pack something a little warmer to wear.

iStock.com/Wattanapong Plymat

For peaceful, chilled vibes in Bali, you can spend time enjoying Ubud. In Ubud, you can enjoy walks through the rice paddies as well as the vibrant arts and craft scene. It’s a great place for a yoga retreat and for enjoying being surrounded by verdant nature.

If you want a bit more of a challenge when in Bali, why not climb a volcano? This does tend to involve a very early morning start, but the views and the satisfaction of reaching the summit more than make up for this. The treks to reach the summit of Mount Agung are the most popular, as it’s the tallest volcano on Bali, standing at 3,142 meters above sea level. But treks to the top of Mount Batur are also well worth the effort. This walk is a little easier, and Mount Batur offers stunning sunrise views from its summit too.

hiking in jungle beside river
iStock.com/jacoblund

Which Is Best For A Honeymoon?

Those looking for a honeymoon or a romantic getaway will also be spoiled for choice in both Bali and Thailand.

One way to narrow down your choices for your honeymoon is to check out the best hotels available for honeymoons in each destination.

Honeymoons often go hand-in-hand with a more luxurious, romantic-feeling hotel, so let’s check out the top honeymoon hotels in both Thailand and Bali.

Bali

The Mandapa, near Ubud, is a popular honeymoon destination in Bali. This Ritz-Carlton property is a perfect hideaway amongst the serenity of the Balinese countryside. The setting amongst the rice paddies and temples along the Ayung River will ensure you enjoy a peaceful stay in luxury.

For a Balinese honeymoon by the sea, The Edge Resort in Uluwatu should not be ignored. The luxurious villas all come equipped with modern entertainment systems, private pools, and Jacuzzi-style bath tubs. You can also call on your 24-hour personal butler if you need anything. With the villas perched high on top of the Uluwatu cliffs, you will love the views across the Indian Ocean.

Happy couple in infinity pool
iStock.com/grinvalds

Thailand

If you are leaning towards Thailand for your honeymoon, Phuket has some stunning, secluded resorts too. The north of Phuket Island is relatively peaceful and relaxed, unlike the Patong Beach area. The Layan Residences are built on a hillside and a great choice, with views down to Bang Tao Beach. The luxury villas will provide both privacy and luxury, and you will be in a beautiful part of Phuket.

Another excellent honeymoon option on Thailand’s west coast is Pimalai Resort & Spa, on Koh Lanta. The best way to reach this resort is by flying into Krabi Airport. At Krabi Airport, you will be met by a driver and taken to your hotel by private transfer. The transfer will drive to the public car ferry pier, where the ferries shuttle vehicles to Koh Lanta Noi. They will then drive across this island and across the bridge to Koh Lanta Yai. However, Pimalai has its own private pier and a fleet of transfer boats to whisk you straight off to Kantiang Bay in the south of Koh Lanta Yai!

This resort is built into the hillside above the bay, and the facilities are second to none. But you may have to share the resort with one of the Thai princesses, who likes to visit at least once a year. So if you stay you could be dining with royalty!

For honeymooners looking at the east coast of Thailand, check out Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort. It offers luxury and privacy, and is conveniently located for its guests to enjoy the beach and nightlife of Chaweng. You can relax in their excellent spa and dine beneath the jungle canopy at the Tree Tops restaurant.

beach holidays, luxury swimming pool with palm trees
iStock.com/anyaberkut

Which Is Best For Scuba Diving & Snorkeling?

Whilst both Bali and Thailand have plenty to offer those who enjoy the underwater world. But the geographic location of Bali, inside the so-called Coral Triangle, means it can offer a more diverse underwater experience than Thailand.

Thailand has some excellent diving and snorkeling, most notably along its west coast. Dive sites such as Richelieu Rock and Koh Bon, close to the Similan Islands, and Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, close to Koh Lanta, can be exceptional. There’s a very good chance of an unforgettable whale shark encounter on these sites, and if you are lucky, you may also have a large manta ray swoop past your mask.

whale shark swimming
iStock.com/crisod

In Bali, there are fewer opportunities to dive with a whale shark, but you are almost guaranteed manta ray sightings. For a chance to see the mantas, the dive sites of Nusa Penida should not be missed. The mantas are seen more often than not, and you are also in a prime spot to see the massive, yet elusive sunfish, or mola mola. Bali is the best place in the world to dive with mola mola, and seeing these weird fish is quite an experience.

Bali is also famed for its smaller underwater creatures. Indonesia is perhaps the best place in the world to look for the weird and the wonderful, and you should keep your eyes open and fingers crossed for a rare sighting of a mimic octopus!

If you enjoy diving on shipwrecks, the best wreck dive in Thailand or Bali is undeniably the USS Liberty wreck off Tulamben in Bali. This is one of the most accessible wreck dives in the world, with the ship literally lying a stone’s throw from the beach. The wreck is in shallow water, and it is also a great snorkel experience.

If you’re looking for underwater fun, then in the battle between Bali vs Thailand, it’s Bali that wins hands down!

Manta Rays swimming across sunlight
iStock.com/JHansche

Which Has The Best Nightlife?

If you plan on letting loose and hitting the party scene on your travels, again, there’s no shortage of parties in either location. Although Thailand’s nightlife and world famous party scene probably wins in this department if your idea of nightlife is beach parties and crazy nights out.

Bali party-seekers should head toward Kuta and Seminyak. Kuta is at the heart of Bali’s nightlife, with its labyrinthine alleys lined with bars and clubs. It’s a great place for a night of barhopping and dancing.

Seminyak is a little more restrained and classier, and there are some great beach clubs here, including W Bali and Potato Head Beach Club. Both beach clubs are an excellent way to spend a lazy afternoon soaking up some sun, and after dark they attract the party crowd when the top international DJs hit the decks.

Thailand’s nightlife has long been famed for its ability to provide plenty of party places for its visitors. If you have a couple of nights in Bangkok, the best locations to party are Khao San Road, for the backpacker vibe, and Sukhumvit Road, for a more upmarket evening.

Outside of Bangkok, the obvious choice for a party in Thailand is the Full Moon Party on Koh Pha-Ngan. This monthly extravaganza on the beach is always pumping through to the next day and is top of the list for Thai parties.

The two other main choices for a party lifestyle in Thailand are Chaweng on Koh Samui and Patong on Phuket. Both of these places are jumping every night, and there’s always a party being advertised.

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/shironosov

Which Has The Best Cuisine?

Wherever you go in Asia, you are sure to find plenty of mouth-watering local dishes laced with exotic spices to set your taste buds aflame—sometimes quite literally. Neither Indonesia nor Thailand will disappoint on this front.

The array of aromas and tastes will dazzle and have you looking forward to the next mealtime. While both cuisines provide a plethora of options, the most notable distinction between the two is the level of spice.

As a general rule, Thai cuisine can be a lot spicier than Indonesian food, but both countries enjoy a bit of spice. A useful phrase to use when ordering food in Thailand is “mai pet,” which means “not spicy,” but it still will be a little bit spicy, just not the same level of spice that would be served to a Thai person!

But what should you order? With so many options when it comes to local food, many of them new to you, ordering can be a little bit overwhelming. But both destinations have a couple of dishes that simply must be tried when visiting.

For Bali, you have to try beef rendang. It’s constantly voted onto lists of the best food in the world, and for good reason. The cooking process is complex and slow, but the results are phenomenal; you will be hard pressed to find a dish with beef so tender and flavorful.

iStock/Space_Cat

In Thailand, there are a couple of must-try local food dishes: massaman curry and khao soi. Massaman is a southern Thai dish, with some influences from further down the Malay Peninsula. This curry contains potatoes and peanuts, in addition to your choice of meat. At the time of writing, the massaman is currently sitting in the number one spot on CNN’s list of The World’s 50 Best Foods!

The other must-try dish in Thailand is khao soi. Khao soi was recently and controversially voted the world’s best soup in a TasteAtlas poll. The reason for the controversy has nothing to do with the taste of khao soi and everything to do with whether it is in fact a soup or not. One thing is definite: it tastes fantastic.

Khao soi comprises a bowl of rice noodles with a hot broth on top and is seldom referred to as a soup in Thailand, but it is always referred to as being delicious. This dish is not overly spicy in terms of its heat, but there are plenty of flavorful spices in the recipe to ensure it’s a taste sensation.

There are other food experiences within these destinations that should not be missed. Asia is famed for its street food, and both Bali and Thailand provide excellent options in this respect. When you walk around in Thailand, you will see plenty of food carts and stalls in the streets selling quick and delicious food. Many of the stalls in Thailand sell tom yum, a noodle soup typically served with prawns (goong in Thai). Other street food delights include som tam (green papaya salad) and mango sticky rice.

Two ubiquitous dishes in Indonesia are nasi goreng and mee goreng (fried rice and fried noodles). Both are great served with an egg on top. These two dishes get much of their flavor from the kecap manis and sambal used in the cooking. Kecap manis is a sweet soy sauce, and sambal is made from a special blend of crushed chilis and salt. All the ingredients are flash-fried in front of you, and both nasi goreng and mee goreng are a great, quick, and easy meal packed with flavor.

Thai food display
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Which Is Best For A Family Trip?

Both Bali and Thailand are packed with fun-filled and exciting activities to keep all ages entertained.

They also both have plenty of activities such as ziplining, trekking, snorkeling, and jet skiing, so you are never too far away from a fun-filled activity to keep everyone happy.

Bali

However you should be a little cautious when choosing a family hotel in Bali. The waters around Bali can throw up some challenging conditions for swimming, albeit not at every beach. But the family-friendly beaches at Nusa Dua and Jimbaran are especially recommended for families.

Jimbaran is a great location for families, as not only is the beach calm, but you are also very close to the Kuta area. Kuta has some great shopping too, and there is a large cinema complex at the Beachwalk Shopping Mall. Between Jimbaran and Kuta beaches is Waterbom Bali; this waterpark is a sure-fire winner with the kids.

With plenty of temples to explore and opportunities for snorkeling and viewing volcanoes, Bali can be as educational as it can be fun. A trip to Thailand can be the same though…

iStock.com/tawatchaiprakobkit

Thailand

For the best range of family activities in Thailand, you should concentrate on the two biggest islands in the kingdom—Phuket and Koh Samui.

Phuket, in the west, is Thailand’s largest island, and there’s plenty to do here. The best beach to stay on with a family is Kata Beach. It’s a short hop to Patong, should you want to explore, but Kata is much quieter, especially after dark. Kata Beach and Kata Noi Beach are perfect for family swimming too. And if the weather doesn’t play nice, you are also conveniently placed to head to Central Festival Mall. Central Festival has an aquarium and a cinema complex, as well as plenty of shops and restaurants.

Chaweng, on Koh Samui, is perhaps the best bet for a family holiday on Thailand’s east coast. The soft sand and calm waters at the beach make it great for a family dip, and the activities and amenities in Chaweng Village will ensure the kids don’t get bored too.

Family on beach at sunset
iStock.com/SHansche

Which Is Cheaper?

Which option is the cheapest for you in terms of the entire vacation will depend on where you fly from and how long that flight is. With a wide range of accommodation options in both locations, you can easily find something that will suit your budget in either location.

But when it comes down to day-to-day spending, there’s not a huge deal of difference between Bali and Thailand. You can spend as much as you want on eating well in both places; local dishes are very affordable, and the western wares on offer are similarly priced in both locations.

Beer is also evenly priced, with a bottle of Chang in Thailand or Bintang in Bali both costing less than a similarly-sized bottle back home.

iStock.com/R.M.Nunes

Which Is Safer?

Bali and Thailand are both tropical paradises, but that’s not to say paradise is perfect. Although on the whole, both these destinations are very safe. If you’re sticking to the main tourist areas, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about.

But keep your wits about you and use common sense, and all should be fine. If you are worried about any potential issues in these two locations, please check out our articles about staying safe in both Bali and Thailand, they also point out the main places to be wary of, and any potential issues:

Scams In Thailand: Common Hustles, Tourist Traps & Staying Safe

Scams In Bali: Common Hustles, Tourist Traps & Staying Safe

A view of Bangkok
iStock.com/tawanlubfah

What Time Of Year Is Best?

A little bit of planning should make it easy to ensure you get some amazing weather during your vacation.

But for Bali, the best weather is from June through August. This is the drier part of the year, and you should get plenty of hot sunshine every day.

For vacations earlier in the year, it’s good to be aware of the Nyepi Festival. Nyepi is celebrated each year at the start of the Balinese New Year. It’s a public holiday, and it’s a day of silence, fasting, and meditation. People have to stay home on this day, and the streets are patrolled to ensure people follow the rules. For tourists, this means a day confined to your resort, but within the resort everything is usually running as normal; you just can’t leave the resort.

When planning a trip to Thailand, you should be aware that the west coast and the east coast have different seasons. On the west coast, the rainy season runs from May through to September, and on the east coast, the wettest months are November through to January.

The festival to keep an eye on in Thailand is Songkran, the Thai New Year celebration. Songkran takes place on 13th April each year, but in the north the celebrations can last up to a week. On the islands, there is normally one day of celebrations.

Songkran is a great time to be in Thailand, but it is a terrible time to travel around. Do not book a flight to arrive on the 13th April as you and your belongings will get wet! The way Thailand celebrates Songkran is essentially to throw water everywhere; traditionally, this was to wash bad luck and sins away.

Nowadays, it is a nation-wide water fight with super-soaker water guns and pick-up trucks with huge containers filled with ice water. It’s a great day out, but make sure your phones and cameras don’t get waterlogged!

Pattaya city in Thailand
iStock.com/StockByM

Bali vs Thailand: Which Is Better?

Either one of these two tropical paradises will be able to show you a good time. You can have the holiday of a lifetime in either place. There are beautiful beaches and lush jungles to explore in whichever destination you choose.

However Bali has a more chilled vibe, with the exception of Kuta perhaps, and Thailand has more choices of destinations and a greater variety of activities.

But with so many similarities between the two places, if you are struggling to make a decision, perhaps the best way to decide is to ask yourself one question: do you enjoy spicy food? If yes, then head to Thailand; if not, maybe Bali is best for you…

Recommended For Your Trip To Bali Or Thailand