Bali vs Thailand

Which Destination Is Your Perfect Getaway? 

se asian bucket list | tiu kelep waterfall tall

Bali vs Thailand

Which Destination Is Your Perfect Getaway?

First off let me say that if your biggest struggle in life is deciding between Bali vs Thailand, then you are in pretty good shape.

Bali and Thailand are two of Southeast Asia’s most popular destinations offering backpackers some of the most distinctive and mind-blowing travel experiences of their life.

However, with so many extraordinary places to explore between the two and often not enough time to travel both at once, frequently backpackers will be forced to choose between one or the other.

While both a Bali and Thailand trip have many things in common, they also have some significant differences that you need to be aware of before ultimately booking your holiday.

Continue reading to discover the six key differences you need to know to successfully help you finally answer the question for which destination is better.. Bali or Thailand?”.


Bali vs Thailand Getting Around

Bali vs Thailand Cost

Bali vs Thailand Weather

Bali vs Thailand Nightlife

Bali vs Thailand Scenery

Bali vs Thailand Beaches

Final Questions


Bali vs Thailand How To Get Around

Getting Around Bali

Bali is much smaller in size when compared to Thailand, which makes sense considering Bali is not a country, but rather just a single island in all of Indonesia.

Consequently, this makes Bali relatively easy to navigate, however there is one important aspect to consider, especially if you are a solo backpacker.

Bali does not have good public transportation.

This pitfall requires backpackers to book private shuttles to travel between destinations.

Although these private shuttles typically cost no more than 400k IDR (roughly $28 USD), if you are a solo backpacker these transportation costs can quickly begin to add up.

One way to keep Bali transportation costs down is to pick hub locations like Ubud, Seminyak or Uluwatu and use a motorbike to venture out to the surrounding nearby attractions.

Motorbike rentals should typically cost you no more than 60k IDR/day, making this the best budget option for backpackers.


thailand vs bali | smoking volcano

Getting Around Thailand

Thailand is obviously much more spread out than the island of Bali, requiring more trip coordination and travel time.

On the other hand, Thailand offers very affordable public transportation methods such as buses and trains to help you get throughout the country effectively and affordably.

Thus, making it ideal for solo backpackers.

Furthermore, it is also very easy and affordable to book flights around Thailand making those longer trips from north to south Thailand much less of a drainer.

Flights from Bangkok to the most southern destinations typically cost no more than 1000 Baht (about $30 USD).

Motorbike rentals are also very affordable in Thailand, typically costing around 150 Baht (about $4 USD)

thailand vs bali how to get around


Key Differences

  • If you want to spend less time traveling and more time relaxing and exploring, then Bali is definitely the place for you.
  • A majority of the best things to do in Bali are within a close proximity to each other, compared to how spread out things are in Thailand.
  • However, if you don’t mind the extra travel time between destinations in Thailand then you find very effective and affordable public transportation options.

Bali vs Thailand Cost

Bali Cost

The local currency of Bali is Indonesian Rupiah (Click Here For USD Conversion)

Bali is a wonderful place for finding lavish yet affordable accommodation.

Places like Ubud, Uluwatu and Canggu offer exceptional private villa and hotel options at very affordable rates.

Aside from the inexpensive lavish accommodations, Bali has a very wide range of sightseeing activities that can be done for either free or just a minimal charge of typically less than $1 USD.

Budget Advantages

  • Cheaper luxury accommodation options
  • Cheaper tour prices
  • Wider assortment of free sightseeing activities
  • Cheaper shopping

things to do in seminyak shopping


Thailand Cost

 The local currency of Thailand is Thai Baht. (Click Here For USD Conversion)

The beautiful thing about Thailand is pretty much everything is cheap.

Delicious and affordable cuisine is widely available everywhere you go and will typically cost you under $6 USD a meal.

Although the quality of the budget accommodation selection is nowhere near Bali standards, affordable deals are very easy to find.

Another factor to consider with Thailand is its cheap public transportation options as well as budget airline prices.

Budget Advantages

  • Better for backpackers on tight budget
  • Cheaper Accommodation (Not Luxury)
  • Cheaper food selection
  • Cheaper range of flights
  • Exceptionally cheaper alcohol
  • Cheap shopping
  • Cheaper methods of transportation

things to do in phi phi island tonsai beach


Key Differences

Like a majority of Southeast Asian countries Bali and Thailand trips are both very budget friendly destinations.

However, Thailand does manage to take a slight edge over Bali cost wise, especially for backpackers for several reasons.

  • Although it is largely dependent on where you are flying from, you are much more likely to find a cheaper flight into Bangkok, Pattaya or Phuket (Thailand International Airports) vs Denpasar (Bali International Airport).
  • Bali’s occasional club entrance fees and inflated alcohol prices thanks to higher import taxes make Thailand the cheaper place to party.
  • You are guaranteed a wider selection of budget meals in Thailand.
  • Finally, thanks to a wider availability of public transportation methods Thailand is the much cheaper country to get around.

Bali vs Thailand Weather

Bali Weather

Located approximately 8 degrees south of the equator, Bali experiences year-round tropical and humid climate.

However, the rainfall amount does vary dependent upon two different seasons.

The high season (Dry Season) in Bali is between April and September with an average rainfall of 2.5 cm to 9.3 cm each month.

The low season (Rainy Season) in Bali is between October to March with an average rainfall of 17.9 cm to 34.3 cm.

Bali receives a majority of its visitors between the months of July and August.

tibumana waterfall bali


Thailand Weather

Unlike Bali, Thailand has three different seasons of hot, cool and rainy.

The high season (Cool Season) lasts from November to March with an average rainfall of 2.31 cm to 12.5 cm each month.

The shoulder season (Hot Season) lasts from April to May with an average rainfall of 8.5 cm to 18.3 cm each month.

The low season (Rainy Season) lasts from June to October with an average rainfall of 17.2 cm to 25.2 cm each month.

Thailand receives a majority of its visitors between the months of December to February.

However, the shoulder season brings with it affordable prices while experiencing small uptick in rainfall.

khao sok national park | best things to do in thailand


Key Differences 

  • Thailand is best experienced during the months of November through May while Bali is best experienced April through September.
  • This factor is solely dependent on what time of year you are planning your backpacking holiday.

Bali vs Thailand Nightlife

Bali Nightlife

Bali is a worthy contender against any of the world’s most notorious party destinations and for good reason.

Setting a new standard of service and entertainment with their assortment of luxurious and Instagrammable beach clubs found in Seminyak and Uluwatu, Bali offers endless options to splurge.

However, if you are interested in experiencing the wilder side of Bali then be sure to head to Gili T and Canggu which both boast a free-spirted and promiscuous backpacker atmosphere.

Although Gili T is technically part of the neighboring island of Lombok, many of those searching for some unadulterated hedonism while backpacking Bali will frequent this nearby island.

Related | The Ultimate Gili Trawangan Party Guide To Bali’s Most Sinful Island

a week in bali | finns beach club


7 days in bali canggu


Thailand Nightlife

Home to the most infamous beach party known to man along with the Sodom and Gomorrah vibes of Bangkok, there is a reason Thailand is recognized as one of the wildest party destinations on the planet.

Thailand has a nearly infinite list of rambunctiously wild party cities, islands and events that it is almost impossible to experience the best of the Thailand nightlife in just one trip.

Furthermore, you can practically spin a roulette wheel on which of the southern Thai islands to visit and you’re almost guaranteed to wind up in a full-fledged party destination.

Related | The Thailand Full Moon Party Dates 2019 {Everything You Need To Know}

thailand full moon party dates


thailand full moon party koh phangan


Key Differences

Although Bali vs Thailand nightlife is one of the more difficult categories to decide, I feel Thailand does have a slight edge.

Even though Bali does have some pretty decent nightlife, it just doesn’t have what it takes to go pound for pound with this Southeast Asian party behemoth.

Practically every destination you visit in Thailand is an iconic party destination.

However, if you are interested in the more upscale venues, beach clubs and relaxed vibes as oppose to the boisterous anything goes style of Thailand, then Bali may just suit you better.

Bali vs Thailand Best Things To Do

Bali Things To Do

Bali is truly a nature enthusiast’s playground boasting a distinctive landscape with enough breathtaking vistas and majestic waterfalls to literally make your jaw drop.

The best part of it all is that a majority of the main attractions can be conveniently found on Bali mainland, making them very easy to navigate through.

Top Things To Do in Bali

Must Read | 35 Top Things To Do In Bali Indonesia {The Ultimate Bali Bucket List}

most beautiful places in southeast asia | rumah pohon treehouse bali


best things to do in southeast asia _ tukad cepung waterfall ubud


best things to do in southeast asia | bali rice fields-2


Thailand Things To Do

From big cities to charming island getaways to tropical jungle labyrinths, Thailand is a place that literally has it all.

However, with so many things to see spread so far and wide just be sure you have enough time to explore them all.

Top Things To Do In Thailand

Must Read | 50 Best Things To Do In Thailand {The Ultimate Thailand Bucket List}

bangkok nightlife guide


dragon crest mountain thailand tall


slip n fly drone


Key Differences

Bali definitely wins the prize for most diverse attractions ranging from an untold number of majestic waterfalls, smoking volcano treks, Manta Dives and an assortment of other iconic lures.

On the other hand, while most of Thailand’s beauty is found on its tropical islands there are several big-name cities like Bangkok and Pattaya that are home to some of The Most Instagrammable Places in Thailand

However, no matter which destination you choose you’re guaranteed to be left utterly astonished.

So, even though there are some differences the winner is of this particular topic is practically a toss-up.


Bali vs Thailand Beaches

Bali Beaches

Yes of course there’s the famous Suwehan and Kelingking Beach, which are touted as some of The Most Instagrammable Places in Bali.

However, these are easily two of Bali’s most beautiful beaches that I can think of and they can literally be found on the same island.

Aside from these two beaches, it is a legitimate struggle to name another visually remarkable Bali beach when compared to myriad of beautiful Thailand beaches.

However, if you are a surfer in search of a good wave, then Bali’s beaches might be exactly what you have in mind.


Best Bali Beaches


best things to do in southeast asia _ kelingking beach


kelingking beach hike 2


7 days in bali canggu beach


Thailand Beaches

On the other hand, Thailand practically has a picture-perfect tropical oasis in every direction you turn.

Off the top of my head Maya Bay, Railay, Phra Nang and Koh Lipe’s Sunrise Beach are just some of Thailand’s most magnificent beaches, and quite frankly that’s just scratching the surface.

Thailand offers a such an endless array of beautiful coastlines that aside from the fan-favorite of Maya Bay, it is nearly impossible to create a cohesive Top 10 list of its most idyllic beaches.

Best Thailand Beaches

  • Railay Beach
  • Maya Bay
  • Phra Nang Beach
  • Koh Phi Phi Beach
  • Chaweng Beach
  • Thongtakian Beach
  • Monkey Beach
  • Bottle Beach
  • Sunrise Beach (Koh Phangan)
  • Sunrise Beach (Koh Lipe)
  • Freedom Beach

most beatutiful places in southeast asia _ maya bay krabi


top places to visit in southeast asia | koh nang yuon thailand


3 weeks in thailand itinerary koh tao drone


Key Differences

In my opinion there should not even be a competition between Bali Beaches vs Thailand Beaches.

With that being said, it’s not like Bali beaches are bad or anything, it’s simply that Thailand beaches are just that good.

This is a country that is literally brimming with turquoise blue water and white sand beaches no matter the destination you choose.

Although, it is worth reiterating that if you are big into surfing, then you may rank Bali beaches a bit higher up on your list.


Thailand vs Bali Final Questions

What Dates Are You Planning To Visit Thailand Vs Bali?

If you are traveling during the months of November through May then Thailand will offer you the best weather.

Conversely, if you are traveling during the months of April through September then Bali is where you will want to be.

Click Here To See Bali Weather

Click Here To See Thailand Weather

Are You Backpacking Thailand Vs Bali Alone Or With A Group?

If you are backpacking alone, then Thailand may be the better choice for you offering cheaper solo accommodation and transportation options.

However, if you are traveling with others, Bali’s higher-priced transportation in the form of private shuttles becomes quite affordable when split among a group.

Additionally, when traveling through Bali with friends, you will be able to take advantage of the insanely affordable luxury villas.

gili trawangan party guide _ gili trawangan nightlife

How Much Time Do You Have To Travel Bali Or Thailand?

If you only have a week or two available to travel, then you will want to heavily consider Bali as your destination.

With so many destinations and attractions located in such close proximity to each other, travelers will feel quite accomplished backpacking Bali in a short time frame.

Conversely, attempting to see the best of Thailand in such a short amount of time, quite frankly is not enough.

Depending on how many places you plan on visiting, too much of your time will be spent in traveling as opposed to actually enjoying your trip.

Therefore, if you have a longer amount of time free to travel, then I highly recommend Thailand.

Are You Looking To Party A lot In Bali or Thailand?

If partying is one of your biggest priorities, then Thailand is definitely where you’ll want to be!

With a long list of events like:

  • The Full Moon Party
  • Half Moon Party
  • Eden Garden Party
  • Anything goes mentality of Bangkok
  • Ark Bar Beach Party
  • Hedonistically addictive backpacker paradise of Phi Phi Island
  • Or virtually any destinations on the extensive list of Thailand party islands

Thailand wins the nightlife battle without breaking a sweat.

Although, Bali nightlife is still considered amazing by more relaxed standards, aside from Gili T and maybe Canggu, none of the places quite lived up to the infamous party standards set by Thailand.

full moon party thailand 2020

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bali vs thailand pinterest


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