Thailand or Vietnam: which is better?
Thailand or Vietnam, where to vacation better? Many tourists planning a winter vacation, ask themselves this question. And in fact, there is no simple answer – it all depends on your preferences.
When you have not been neither there, nor there, it is quite difficult to make a choice, my head is bloated with excess information. Let’s try to organize everything. We lived in Thailand a total of about a year and a half, and in Vietnam – 3 months, so we have enough experience! In this post we will help you decide where to vacation best: in Vietnam or in Thailand.
And we remind you that you can buy tours to the sea online without leaving home. It’s simple, safe and convenient. See travelata.ru and onlinetours.ru.
Thailand or Vietnam: which is better?
I have divided the article into several categories – beaches, attractions, prices, transportation and so on. After all, for some the main condition is a great beach vacation, and the availability of attractions plays a secondary role. For someone the price is important in the first place, and for someone spicy food is the main stop-gap.
We should not take the information literally and as the truth, this is our subjective view. Let’s go in order!
Both countries are visa-free for Russians, only in Vietnam the period is limited to 15 days, and in Thailand – 30 days. So no extra hassle with the documents before your vacation, get in and fly.
On the island of Phu Quoc (Vietnam), you can stay for 30 days without a visa, it’s a special zone.
On the other hand, the Vietnamese visa is very simple to arrange and is free for Russians (you pay only for an invitation $ 6-15), and in Thai costs 1000 baht (2000 rubles). In general, the draw here.
If you want to linger on the paradise shores longer, you can help:
Perhaps the most important thing tourists fly thousands of kilometers for is the beaches. Beautiful beaches in Thailand and Vietnam are very much! Eyes are simply diverted by the choice. But personally, we like more Thai beaches – they are cleaner, more picturesque, nicer. In Thailand, in recent years have several laws banning smoking and vape on the beach, which is another plus.
Kata Noi Beach in Phuket
White Sand Beach (Ko Chang), Thailand
In Vietnam, trash, both natural and man-made, is much more common on the coast and is not always hurriedly cleaned up. Of course, the beaches near decent hotels will always be clean, but public or wild beaches are not always clean. But there are many excellent options.
Bai Sao Beach on Phu Quoc (Vietnam)
Zoklet Beach near Nha Trang (Vietnam)
In this round we give preference to Thailand.
Not a beach vacation alone! A trip to Southeast Asia is an opportunity to touch the magnificent nature of the area and the ancient cultural traditions.
Thailand has never been conquered, Vietnam has been hit hard by wars and colonization. This affects not only the mentality of the locals, but also the sights.
Accordingly, in Vietnam, many historical sites have been destroyed (although the same Cham towers have survived or the old town of Hoi An), most iconic places associated with the Vietnam War (Cu Chi Tunnels, all kinds of military museums). In Thailand, however, are much more antiques – this is the ancient capital of Ayutthaya, Sukhothai city, palaces and temples across the country and in Bangkok.
Natural attractions in both countries have plenty. In Vietnam, the bay Halong, the world’s largest cave, many waterfalls, marine national parks, beautiful places in the north near Sapa … In Thailand there are also many national parks (Tarutao, Similan, Doi Inthanon …), beautiful waterfalls, caves (take for example Tam Lod), and what places in the north of Thailand! Tale.
Wat Arun in Bangkok
Waterfall near Paya in northern Thailand
Both there and there you will find dozens and hundreds of offers with excursions to anywhere from anywhere. What’s convenient, there are also Russian-language tours.
All in all, you can’t single anyone out in this roundup, everywhere is interesting and informative!
In Thailand or Vietnam you can vacation all year round. Whenever you have a vacation planned, you will always find a place with a warm and calm sea. But the milder climate in the whole country is in Thailand. Here on the coast it never gets chilly, only the rainy season can upset you. Roughly speaking, in the winter months it is best to go to Phuket, Krabi, Pattaya, Chang, and in the summer months – Samui, Phangan, Tao. But in the summer months for a beach holiday Phuket and the whole Andaman coast is better to avoid, and on Samui is not worth going in October and November.
In a place called Cha Am.
And for example, try to come to Nha Trang in January. It will be windy and the temperature during the day, +24-26, the water is cool. For excursions is ideal, but for swimming, especially with children – of course not. In the winter months, the best place is Phu Quoc island.
In Nha Trang in January is cool and windy.
Let’s just say that in Vietnam you need to be much more careful when and where to vacation.
Getting to Thailand and Vietnam is not a problem. The only question is the price. There are many direct scheduled and charter flights, as well as routes with connections in Asia or the Middle East.
If you decide to go on an independent trip to Thailand or Vietnam, then count on spending on a round trip ticket starting at 22 thousand rubles (depending on the city of departure). If you start evaluating and looking in advance, you can get good tickets at a great price.
In terms of price it is impossible to say that it is more expensive or cheaper to fly into any of these countries, about the same cost.
The hotel business and service is very well developed everywhere. Front line hotels, luxury bungalows with private terraces and pool, hostels with ten beds in a room, small hostels with friendly hosts and world networks hotels – all of these are available in large numbers.
One of the first-line hotels in Mui Ne, Vietnam
Hotel with a pool on the first line, Ko Chang Island (Thailand)
Hundreds and sometimes even thousands of offers await you in the popular resorts of Thailand and Vietnam.
Intercity transport links in Thailand and Vietnam are well developed. This is a cheap local low-cost airlines, and relatively inexpensive buses and comfortable trains (lying, sitting in the calculation do not take into account :)) We can only envy such connectivity and logistics.
But the local public transport is different. In Thailand, apart from Bangkok and Chiang Mai (at a stretch), there is no public transport in the cities. Yes, there is a sunteo (like in Pattaya or Phuket, for example). But they are not so cheap everywhere. On Samui, Pangangan, Lantu, even on the songteo be prepared to pay a round sum. And in Phuket songteo goes not very convenient, so that between the neighboring beaches and can not pass.
Local bus between Hua Hin and the neighboring suburbs
And in Vietnam is quite well developed public transport. For example, there are buses in Nha Trang, Mui Ne and Da Nang, not yet in Phu Quoc, but something tells me that not for long. Airport transfers are also often more convenient and cheaper in Vietnam than in Thailand.
Renting a bike is easier and cheaper in Thailand, offers are almost every step. Cabs are also well developed in both countries (you bet!). But in Vietnam drivers even at resorts turn on the counter, it turns out more profitable.
Oh, the eternal argument – where is cheaper, in Thailand or Vietnam? How many spears are broken! Our opinion is as follows: it is holidaying in Vietnam is cheaper. About the winter is a separate conversation and a little different costs.
Market in Patong (Thailand).
Judge for yourself, to travel in Vietnam is cheaper (see above), the food in cafes in tourist locations is generally cheaper (in Mui Ne generally food prices were pleasantly surprised us), tours are also cheaper.
As far as tourist infrastructure, there Thailand is very far from Vietnam. This is understandable, the tourism they have started to actively develop not so long ago, but is growing at an accelerated pace.
This leads to all the disadvantages in the infrastructure of Vietnam: some destruction, often construction, dust, a feeling of unsettled and undone. In Thailand, however, mostly all organic and cozy. If there is a promenade, it will be completely finished with flowers, smoking areas, trash, benches, normal tiles, etc.
Cham towers in Nha Trang (Vietnam)
Boardwalk in Patong (Phuket, Thailand).
In Vietnam, a lot of no man’s land, which no one looks after, and in Thailand, everyone tries to maximize the improvement of the territory around them (although there are also enough dumps, construction sites, mess – but much less and in less touristy areas).
We love Asian cuisine. And find both Thai and Vietnamese food delicious. Thai is spicier, spicier, with unusual flavors and flavor combinations. This is a plus for some, a minus for others.
Our favorite Thai soup is cao soi.
Sweet sticky rice with mango.
Vietnamese food, in my opinion, is more familiar to the Russian stomach. Take for example the most popular soup Pho, which you will find literally everywhere here – it is not spicy, noodles with broth and chicken/beef/pork. Bread again, baguettes…in Vietnam they know how to make bread more familiar to Europeans (French heritage), whereas in Thailand almost all bread is sweet and normal bread is very expensive.
Local beer in Vietnam is very cheap and delicious, in Dalat and some other regions make wine, and the coffee is excellent.
You will find delicious fruits, seafood there and there.
Cell Phone Service, Internet Speed
Asia is a developed region, and it is easy to stay connected to home. Almost all hotels and many cafes / restaurants you’ll find Wi-Fi, its speed is slower than in Russia, but between Thailand and Vietnam is not much different.
You can also buy local SIM cards to use mobile Internet. In general, in Thailand, the connection is more expensive, and the speed of 4G-internet countries also do not differ much, about the same.
Locals are both friendly, except that Thais are gentler and don’t like to yell at each other. In Vietnam, you can hear higher tones more often. There is a perception that in Thailand people do not smile out of sincere feelings, but just out of habit/want to sell something/so they were taught (underline the correct). This is not entirely true, they really enjoy life, the so-called “sabai, sanuk, suai”.
In the middle of tourist areas in the resorts, Thais are severely spoiled by easy money, sometimes offers of massages, cabs and everything else at every turn begin to stress. We have lived a lot in the less touristy north of the country, here Thais are all yummy
In Vietnam the mentality of the locals is more close to ours (they smile sincerely), but there is a tourist service now, and a smile is a constant attribute of this service. Many people like Vietnam for the sincerity that you will not always be pampered, somewhere they can scold you and look sternly
Both Thailand and Vietnam are quite safe. No vaccinations are not necessary unless you’re going on an expedition through the rainforest. Yes, there is dengue and malaria, but not in the resorts, cases are isolated.
The most dangerous is the street traffic, it’s very chaotic, especially in Vietnam with its thousands of thousands of bikes. The more is the right – that’s the law here (on the highway). In the cities, of course, there are traffic lights, markings, but not always follow the rules. In Thailand, many foreigners get into accidents, especially if little experience in driving a bike.
Theft is more common in Vietnam. This is noticeable even just by the number of bars on the windows. In Thailand, helmets are often left just on the seat of the bike, for example – no one will take it. Karma and religion play a role, I think.
What’s the bottom line:
Personally for us (as you could understand from the narrative) Thailand is the preferred option for a vacation. But in Vietnam with pleasure we will return more than once, because it is a wonderful country with many cool places.
And what do you think: where to vacation better, in Thailand or Vietnam? Share your opinion in the comments!
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Where to vacation better: Thailand or Vietnam
Many travelers going to Asia for the first time can’t decide where to go – Thailand or Vietnam. It seems that both have “sun, air and water”, a lot of resorts and prices for tours are also almost the same.
The authors of the site have lived for a long time in both of these countries and will now tell in detail the pros and cons. We will go over all points, starting with a comparison of resorts and ending with the quality of Internet connections. Then you can decide for yourself where is better – in Vietnam or Thailand, and where in the first place you would like to go.
By the way, I take this opportunity to invite you to our website on Asia and other countries, including Vietnam: byvali.ru.
Climate and weather
During the winter months, the central and northern parts of Vietnam are cooler than in Thailand. And it feels less humid. But in general both are tropical – hot and humid. The high tourist season is in December-March. If you can not stand the heat, it’s better to go to Nha Trang, or even better – in Danang and Hoi An (which, incidentally, also has a sea, what many are silent for some reason).
The Vietnamese are much closer and more understandable to us, which, however, does not make them more attractive. They are more severe and austere, don’t smile “in vain” like the Thais, you can understand what to expect from them. The bus driver can yell at the passengers and the mother can yell at her child. If they like you they will smile and treat you nicely, if you do not arouse sympathy, the Vietnamese will not hold a friendly mask and will not make jokes in front of you, but will just send you to the third floor. There is no such thing as “losing face” here, that is why in the country you say everything as it is, everything sincerely and from your heart. No ostentatious cordiality.
In this respect Thailand is different from Vietnam. If you have even a little money, they will fawn on you and make you feel welcome. Behind their world-famous smiles it is often unclear what is hiding. It is much easier to understand a Vietnamese than a Thai. Thailand has never been under the colonial patronage of the West, and the European culture and mentality has never influenced the Thais. Therefore it is a completely different world, alien and incomprehensible to us, though not without its attractiveness. To look good, “not to lose face” – is a cornerstone of Thai culture. Emotions are often hidden, no shouting in public, all in good order. It is true that sometimes some of them get a little crazy and accumulated anger under the mask-smile turns them into some inadequate lunatics.
As for the girls, the Thais are more attractive in spirit, more caring, friendly and affectionate. Vietnamese girls are more stern and cold, and girls of uncomplicated behavior are very mercenary and do not even try to hide it like the Thais. As to the appearance, the Thais are more petite, thin and flat-chested, while the Vietnamese girls look more voluminous where they need to be.
But naturally, as in any country, there are good people and bad people in Thailand and Vietnam.
If you’re just going on vacation for 2 weeks, you don’t need a visa. You can stay in Thailand without a visa for 30 days and in Vietnam for 15 days.
If you come to “winter”, then you need a visa. Recently, Vietnam is better in this regard than Thailand. In Vietnam you can get a visa for 3 months and then, without leaving the country, extend it for a total of 6 months. And on the island of Phu Quoc you can live as long as you want without a visa.
In the past you could stay in Thailand for several years, just traveling every month for Visa Run. But now this has been abolished, and visas are not issued to everyone (if you often go to the country, it is real to get a waiver), and the money they come out more expensive, because after 60 days they have to be renewed for 1900 baht, and another month will have to leave the country. Six-month multi-visa is even more expensive.
Internet and Mobile Communications
Strangely enough, but in this regard, socialist and poor Vietnam is better than Thailand. Wireless Internet is everywhere, even in the most run-down hostel. And it is fast and without brakes. In Thailand it may not be everywhere and is often slow. And if you “unfortunate” to settle in a condominium, it may not be at all.
Cellular phones are equally well developed, mobile operators offer comparable rates with included outgoing calls minutes and packets of Internet.
If you want to save money, you can buy a SIM card in advance for Klook: for Thailand, for Vietnam.
If you plan to visit several countries, it makes sense to have a travel sim-card, for example, from Euroroaming.
In Thailand the choice of beaches is several times greater. And you can find both civilized with a well-developed infrastructure, and almost wild.
Resorts: “civilized rest.
By civilized resorts are meant those where there is a developed infrastructure with hotels, restaurants and entertainment, that is not a wild holiday in a bungalow on the coast. Mostly these are urban resorts. In Thailand, this is primarily Pattaya, Phuket, Hua Hin and the main beaches on Samui. In Vietnam – Nha Trang and Phan Thiet (Mui Ne).
Here practically in every way better Vietnam than Thailand: fewer people, signs everywhere in Russian, cheaper food and hotels, fewer buildings, better environment, more greenery. Nha Trang is much more beautiful than Pattaya, the sea is cleaner, the coast is wider, there are fewer people. The only thing more developed in Thailand is nightlife with discos and affordable girls. Although in recent years there are positive changes in Pattaya: they made the embankment, expanded the central beach, cleaned the streets better.
Here it is exactly the opposite. Despite the fact that Vietnam is a less touristy country, there are fewer opportunities to catch the “bounty”, that is, to live by the sea in bungalows, without cars, in the clean air. In fact, only the island of Phu Quoc offers such opportunities, and there are only a few dozen hotels, where individual houses right on the beach. And on the island of Con Dao and Catba such privacy is very expensive.
But in Thailand the eyes are confused by the abundance of islands. There are semi-civilized with stores, markets, bars and massage (Ko Chang, Pangan, Ko Tao, Phi Phi, Ko Lanta), and there are almost wild, where there is nothing of the above, except a couple of restaurants and massage the hotel (Samet, Ko Kud, Ko Mak, Ko Wai and a dozen lesser known, like Ko Yao).
In general, Thailand is better than Vietnam in terms of “bounty”.
The Underwater World
Diving and snorkeling is much better in Thailand, more dive sites, more wildlife. Ko Tao, Phi Phi, Similan and Surin Islands are especially popular.