At the first time, I had the exact same dilemma when I have the 9 days holidays last year. Having visited both destinations later, I found both have unique experienced. Thailand has better beaches and more temples and Bali always rejuvenates me and touches my heart like nowhere.
Bali is beautiful; it has so much to offer with day trips, up into the mountains, shopping, the rice fields and all types of different sports activities. Thailand is predominately Buddhist. It’s great for shopping, good for a day trip in river kwai, a tiger with the monks, sightseeing, Elephant riding, fishing etc. You can however easily kick back in both Thailand and Bali; any holiday is what you make of it really with a little research. Although both a Bali and Thailand travel have many things in common, they also have some differences that you need to be aware of before starting your vacation.
BALI COST VS THAILAND COST
You can buy cheap clothing, bags, and souvenirs in both places. The cost may be slightly different like, Airs tickets to Bali can be are more expensive than Thailand. Food in Bali tends to cost more. Thailand would be the best choice if you’re on a tight budget. Thailand is fairly reasonable and you can find some discounts on hotels and Flights, it saves some more money. Next big things to consider with Thailand are its cheap public transportation option. Both countries have almost the same exchange rate. Affordable and Delicious Cuisine is famous in Thailand and widely available under the cost of $7, so, in Thailand, everything is cheap. But, remember, you can bargain for services and market items at both places and both places will attempt to rip you off!
BALI VS THAILAND WEATHER
The Dry Season in Bali is between April and September with an average rainfall of 2.5 cm to 9.3 cm each month. Bali receives high tourists between the month of July and August. The main rainy season in Bali is between Octobers to March with an average rainfall of 18.4 cm to 35.4cm. Bali weather experiences a tropical and humid climate almost the year. In Thailand, it has 3 different seasons of rainy, cool and hot. The hot season starts from April to May with an average rainfall of 9.4cm to 19.6 cm each month. The rainy season lasts from June to October with an average rainfall of 17.4 cm to 26.3 cm each month. And cool Season starts from November to March with average rainfalls of 2.53cm to 13.1cm per month.Thailand is a more suitable season during the months of November to May while Bali is best for April to September.
Both countries are very good destinations, but comparing them is like comparing one grape with a watermelon. You can meet elephants in both destinations. You can visit various places in each destination. Generally, Thailand has attractive beaches, but as a result, this attracts more tourists so you tend to be shoe-horned into those glorious beaches. Bali’s beaches are less attractive, but you felt to more personal space. Thailand is a big country with hundreds of islands, Bali is just one small little island. So from a traveling perspective, Bali is probably easier to travel around, and IMHO certainly cheaper to travel around than Thailand. While Thailand has Buddha statues and its colorful temples, Bali’s spiritualism is woven into everyday life, from the architecture, to the constant ceremonies, to the little offerings on the streets and the seller of beach silently offering their prayers to the gods on a morning before coming to cheerfully rip you off with that fake Gucci watch.
Thailand offers the most popular back-breaking Thai massages & delicious spicy Thai food. Bali offers a more international selection of foods along with Indonesia fare, and the Balinese massages are much gentler. Most famous resorts in Thailand are a little less rough around the edges than Bali is which is; let’s face it, a bit scruffy.The list goes more, but it really depends on what your expectations are from each destination other than elephant-based activity.
From a more practical perspective, I would use the time of year to help you decide if weather is a factor (which it usually is), and cost of flights. Personally, if I got a choice between 6 days in Bali and 1 week in Thailand, I’d probably opt for the latter, depending on cost and time of year in order to maximize your time on the ground and enjoyment of the journey. But then it depends also if you. have your heart set on one particular place over the other, and whether this is therefore a once-in-a-lifetime trip, or whether there’s a possibility in later, you could visit the other destination. There are a lot of things to do in Bali; Scuba & snorkeling are confined though to certain areas as the surf can be very rough, more suitable for surfing rather than swimming. But if you want the powder white sand and crystal clear water, Thailand has it for you. The best alternative is the Gili Islands, a 2 hour boat journey from Bali where you will get the famous snorkeling/scuba/white sand/clear water. There are beautiful nature walks in Bali, and plenty of temples to visit. You can additionally go white water rafting and volcano trekking. You could enjoy in Bali with various activities. Again for the best time to travel in Thailand in April can be less rainy than Bali in March if you visit somewhere like Koh Samui, but somewhere like Phuket would be much rainier than Bali typically.
BALI VS THAILAND BEACHES
Bali Is known as suffers heaven as the beaches of Bali are more suited to surfing than swimming. There are plenty of beautiful beaches covered with clear blue water and white sand. Many visitors enjoy the afternoon basking under the sun. Some of the beaches have been found in a natural form so you can spend your time with naturally beautiful views. In Thailand, you only found the beaches on the Southern part of the country like Koh, Phuket, and Krabi. Thailand’s beaches have been established only for tourists. Actually Thailand’s doesn’t really offer surfing beaches. But, both Thailand and Bali beaches offer water sports such as jet skis, which are easily available on the beaches in tourist areas. Thailand is often quit which makes it perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling. You can find almost any type of beach in Thailand – it can range from something very quiet with non-stop partying with non-stop partying to with simple beach huts to beaches.
I personally prefer both Thai and Bali beaches for a different reason, so, it’s depending on you what want to do when you’re on the beach. But, it’s sure to find one that suits you. Some of the Thai beaches are also unsafe for swimming during the monsoon season. The South end of Karon was all red-flagged in August when we were there. So, if you’re planning to go to the beaches- It’s advisable to do a little more homework before a move to Thai beaches.
BALI VS THAILAND NIGHTLIFE
Thailand is known as the wildest party destinations in the world. It has a numerous list of a rambunctiously wild party in the cities, events, and islands that is almost very difficult to experience the best of the Thailand nightlife is just an initial trip. Even though Bali does have some attractive nightlife, it just doesn’t have what it takes to go pound for pound with Thailand does have. Actually every tourist place you visit, there is an iconic party destination in Thailand. But, If you’re interested in the more beach clubs, relaxed vibes and upscale venues as different to the boisterous anything-goes style of Thailand, then, certainly, Bali would suit you better. When you’re in Thailand don’t just focus on the beaches party, there’s pretty well night bar like 360 bar, which is high up in the mountains and gives a great view.
THINGS TO DO IN BALI VS THAILAND
Bali– It is a famous visitor’s destination so it has a lot of things to do, here are some of them:
- Go Surfing in Kuta
- Visit the Ulun Danu Temple
Visit the Ubud Monkey Forest
- Take a Yoga Lesson
- Party hard In Kuta
- Hike up Mount Batur
- Walk to Gitgit Waterfall
- Take a Balinese Cooking Class
- Sunbath and relax.
- Explore the rice paddy fields in Ubud.
Thailand: – Being a diverse country, it offers a different popular place to visit and things to see – both artificial and natural. No matter what kind of a visitors, this country knows how to play its cards right. Start your trip with these top places and activities-
- Visit an Elephant Sanctuary
- Visit the Grand Palace
- Day trip to Phi Phi Island
- Relax at Railway Beach
- Visit the Famous Floating Markets
- Visit Phang Nga(Phuket)
- Scuba dive in the Similan islands
- Check Out Tiger Cave Temple
- Day trip to Phi Phi Island
- Wat Chalong and Phuket Temples
- Step back in history in Ayutthaya
Thailand vs. Bali: Ease of Access
Bali’s International airport is serviced by many top airlines of the world which run direct flights to the island or we can also take a little bit long flights (approximately 2 hours long) to Bali from Capital of Indonesia ‘Jakarta’. Thailand has many international airports; it has more than 11 international airports which make it easily accessible. It also helps to fly domestically between major tourist’s destination and islands. Not only flight, Thailand’s well-established and connected rail and road networks are very easy and travel-friendly.
BALI VS THAILAND SHOPPING
Personally, I think that Thailand gets a lot more markets and offers compare to Bali. If you’re looking for inexpensive shopping destination then Thailand would be a better choice. The supermarket and malls in Thailand are cheap as compared to those you’ll find in Bali. There are several wholesale markets in Thailand. For Southeast Asians, Bali is more expensive than Thailand. Many goods sold in markets in Bali come from Thailand but, there were enough inferior products to sell in the markets made in Indonesia without importing from overseas.
KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BALI VS THAILAND
Both destinations have amazing tourist’s attractions places and things and a lot of similarities like great food, numerous history, beautiful temples and incredible beaches. But there’re few key differences that would be help to choosing Bali vs. Thailand.
Bali is much smaller
One of the big difference between Bali and Thailand, this is size; Thailand is an enormous country of islands, mountains and cities and much more, where Bali is smaller. It’s just one island of the country of Indonesia.
Both have Different Rainy Seasons
Thailand has a monsoon season just start from July and end to October but, Bali monsoon season has starting from October and end to April. But, rain isn’t badly affected the visitors. But, still, it’s better to visit after or before the rainy season.
Bali is Easier to Get Around
Bali is just one islands of country, so it packs a lot into such a small area. One of the best advantages of small size is that it’s very easier to get around. It only couple of hour’s destination and many visitors opts to just set up a single base and uses it for day trips around the island.
Thailand is little bit cheaper for Backpackers
Almost the cost is the same in both Bali and Thailand and both are the budget-friendly destinations. But, according to travel index, for backpackers, Thailand’s cities are slightly cheaper than Bali. It’s not a big difference but for backpackers on a tight budget, it’s better place. But, price differences depending on peak season and low season.
Bali has more activities
In Bali , we can go surfing, rafting, visit monkeys, climb volcano, visit the amazing rice terraces and others really nice things about Bali is that is that we can do so many different things in a such a small area. Thailand also has a lot but Bali has more activities per square kilometer.
Thailand has better Beaches
Thai beaches are more diverse where we can find almost any type of beach in Thailand. It can range from top star hotels to something very quiet with simple beach huts. One of the main feature about Thai beaches is most of them are good for swimming but we can’t on Bali beaches.
Which should be choosing?
Both destinations have wonderful nightlife, top-notch beaches, and many activities to do for, all of these, making the decision even harder. It’s a tough choice to make between two destinations as diverse and as beautiful as Thailand and Bali and we can’t blame you for being confused.
However, if you only have a few days to travel, Bali probably a more convenient choice given that you have just one island to explore and find your way around, as contrast to Thailand where you’ll need to travel between multiple islands and cities to get a taste of it all.
Hi, friend! My name is Balkrishna and I’ve been trekking in mountain region, basking on exotic beaches, and dabbling in new cultures since 2015. I work abroad and remotely to support my adventure travel addiction. Follow along if you’re interested in travel and want to know more about new culture, best deals and top places from all continents.