Bangkok or Phuket

{Is It Better Fly Into Bangkok vs Phuket}


bangkok or phuket thailand


Bangkok or Phuket

{Is It Better Fly Into Bangkok vs Phuket}

It goes without saying that Bangkok and Phuket are two of Thailand’s most popular destinations.

However, despite their popularity amongst Thailand backpackers, Bangkok and Phuket are as different as chalk and cheese.

Many travelers often find themselves stressed with the decision of whether to fly into Bangkok or Phuket as well as exactly how long to stay in each destination.

Therefore, in order to help any backpacker riddled with this challenging decision, we decided to compare and contrast the most important differences and similarities between Bangkok and Phuket.


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Is It Better To Fly Into Bangkok Or Phuket?

Flying Into Bangkok

Bangkok is the most popular city to fly into for anyone entering Thailand. On average flights here are typically lower for those flying from either North America or Europe.

In addition to cheaper flights, Bangkok is located in the north of Thailand which gives you easy access to places like Chiang Mai, Chaing Rai and Pattaya.

Therefore, depending on where you are planning to visit in Thailand, Bangkok may or may not be your best option.


Flying Into Phuket

On the other hand, Phuket is an excellent gateway city to the south of Thailand and all of the tropical Thai islands. 

Travelers looking for easy access to the best beaches of Thailand would benefit the most from flying into Phuket.

Though it is usually more expensive, it is a much easier option than taking a 15-hour bus and ferry.  Or even trying to organize a separate flight from Bangkok to Phuket. 

Especially for anyone who only has a week or so to spend in Thailand to begin with. 

Winner Between Bangkok Or Phuket: Tie



Should I Spend More Time In Bangkok Or Phuket?

 How Long Should I Spend In Bankok?

Bangkok is a very intriguing city with tons of different things to do.  Any first-time travelers to Thailand will most likely experience culture shock as they attempt to adjust to this diverse metropolitan city.

Some of the major attractions in Bangkok include places like Wat Arun Temple, Grand Palace Khao San Road, and Ghost Tower. I recommend first-time visitors to Bangkok spend at least 3 days here in order to give themselves enough time to see everything. 

Especially if it is your first time visiting Thailand, a city like Bangkok is going to completely blow your mind. 


How Long Should I Spend In Phuket?

Phuket itself is riddled with different beaches and viewpoints perfect for anyone looking for an immediate tropical escape.

However, aside from what is located directly on the island, Phuket offers the perfect opportunity to explore the surrounding islands of Krabi.  Experience some of the most beautiful places in Thailand like Maya Bay, The Phi Phi Islands, Railay Beach, and James Bond Island just to name a few. 

If you are using Phuket as a base of operations as you set out to explore all of the surrounding sights in the area then I recommend at least five days on the island.

However, if you plan to actually stay on islands like Phi Phi or Railay Beach then I recommend you only spend 2-3 days on Phuket, which will give you more than enough time to visit Phuket’s top attractions.

Winner Between Bangkok Or Phuket: Phuket


best instagram spots in thailand | james bond beach


Who Has Better Nightlife Bangkok Or Phuket?

Bangkok Nightlife

Love it or hate it Bangkok knows how to party.  There are very few cities in the world with a hedonistic reputation as infamous as Bangkok.

Highly flaunted as the wildest party street in all of Southeast Asia, Bangkok nightlife is something you have actually see to believe.

From the rowdy backpacker bars of Khao San Road to the upscale bars Sukhumvit, all the way too stereotypical scandalous adult entertainment found at Soi Cowboy. One thing is certain – in Bangkok, there is always something for everyone.

Must Read | The Best Clubs In Bangkok Thailand {Bangkok Nightlife Guide}


Phuket Nightlife

Although not nearly as diverse a nightlife scene as the one found in Bangkok, don’t sleep on the parties in Phuket.

Bangla road is where everything wild goes down here and the best place to go for anyone looking for a good party in Phuket.

Bangla road is always a hive of activity filled with both locals and tourists at all hours of the day.  However, be advised the nightlife here is very different from what you will find along the famous Khao San road of Bangkok.

The vibe here is much less organic and focuses on money and woman of the night… if you know what I mean. Although there are some massive clubs located along Bangla road, no matter where you choose to go there is no escaping the soliciting undertones.

However, if that is what you specifically came to Thailand for, than you are in the right place.

Winner Between Bangkok Or Phuket: Bangkok


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Are Bangkok and Phuket Safe?

Is Bangkok Safe For Tourists?

 Similar to any major metropolitan city there is always going to be an increased rate of crime, petty theft and scams.

Bangkok is of course no different and if you are not street smart and paying attention, then chances are you will be ripped off at one point or another. There are scams that lurk all of over the city but, knowledge is power, so be sure to read up on some of the most popular scams in Thailand.

However, with that being said, despite a few scams here and there I do consider Bangkok to be a safe city. There are tourists out an about at all hours of the day exploring, partying or just going for a casual stroll. 

Therefore, as long as you follow the typical safety travel rules then you should be just fine.


Is Phuket Safe For Tourists?

Though Phuket is technically an island, the way it functions in the downtown area resembles more of the city. Expect more of the same potential scams and petty theft crimes that are common to Bangkok.

Though much like Bangkok if you’re street smart and follow basic safety procedures like not wandering off alone at night or playing in dark alleyways then you should be fine.

Places like Bangla road and Patong beach are the biggest tourist hubs on the island and as long as you stick to these areas you have no reason to expect any trouble. 

Winner Between Bangkok Or Phuket: Tie


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Is Bangkok Cheaper Than Phuket? 

Yes, in fact, Bangkok is much cheaper than Phuket. On Phuket expect everything from accommodation, transportation costs, food and tours to be more expensive than the prices you may have seen in Thailand.

In regards to shopping in Bangkok vs Phuket, expect to pay higher prices with fewer options while you are in Phuket.

Bangkok has a much wider array of shops and venues to choose from, whereas Phuket mostly just has a few areas. 

 Winner Between Bangkok Or Phuket: Tie


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Bangkok Or Phuket For Family Or Honeymoon

Honeymoon/Family Vacation In Bangkok

When I think of a typical holiday in Thailand, I picture turquoise blue waters embraced with white sand beaches lined with palm trees and 5-star resorts.

Which is the exact opposite of what you will find in Bangkok?  

In fact, despite the large number of tourists that visit Bangkok every day, Bangkok would never be my first choice for a one week holiday with the family or even a honeymoon with a loved one. Although I envision Bangkok as an exciting city with plenty of cool things to do, it is not the place you will want to spend a family vacation or honeymoon.

Though there are plenty of awesome things to find in Bangkok, nothing about this grungy little Metropolitan city resembles a typical Thailand holiday destination.


Honeymoon/Family Vacation In Phuket

On the contrary, Phuket is practically the postcard destination for a Thailand holiday with the family or for a romantic honeymoon getaway. In fact, I’m almost certain this is where 90% of those beautiful postcard pictures of Thailand are taken. 

This island totally indulges the holiday travel vibes and is filled to the brim with luxurious resorts, which are great to bring the family for a one-week Thailand getaway.

In addition to that, there are tons of little quick excursions that can take you to some of the surrounding Thai islands where you will find some of the most beautiful places in Krabi like Maya Bay, Railay Beach or Hong Island.

Winner Between Bangkok Or Phuket: Phuket


wat arun temple bangkok


Conclusion To Which Is Better Between Bangkok Or Phuket?

If I could only choose one place to visit between Bangkok or Phuket, I would choose Bangkok every time. As a pure-blooded backpacker, I prefer the vibes and atmosphere of the backpacker areas of Bangkok as oppose to the more touristic areas of Phuket.

In Bangkok, you really get to experience the culture shock of being in Thailand for the first time. Bangkok is raw and uncut allowing first-time backpackers an authentic look into who Thailand really is.

However, in Phuket, I feel like they deliver you a watered-down version of Thailand with all the fancy private resorts and luxury beachfront hotels located around the island. 

Though as backpackers, you most likely won’t be staying in these types of places, however, the atmosphere of the island indulges more of the one-week holiday travelers who desire nothing but rest and relaxation. Which is part of the reason why everything in Phuket cost more. Simply because they have prepared themselves to cater to a different crowd.

Even in the downtown areas of Patong Beach and Bangla road, it’s hard to put into words but the vibes are just different.


Reasons To Visit Bangkok vs Phuket

  • Flying into Bangkok offers significantly cheaper flights than Phuket.
  • Bangkok is located in Northern Thailand which makes it the best place to access Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.
  • There is a much more diverse nightlife scene that caters to all crowds as opposed to the nightlife scene of Phuket that does not.
  • Bangkok offers a much more authentic look into Thai culture as opposed to the diluted touristy version found in Phuket.
  • Finally, Bangkok is significantly cheaper than Phuket helping backpackers to stay in their budget.


Reasons To Visit Phuket vs Bangkok

  • Flying into Phuket is the perfect gateway into the Thai islands placing you just a ferry ride away from some of the most beautiful places in Thailand.
  • Phuket is excellent for honeymooners and holiday tourists who are looking for nothing other than rest and relaxation.


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The Best Clubs in Bangkok Thailand {Bangkok Nightlife Guide}

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7 Days In Thailand Itinerary {The Best Place To Spend A Week In Thailand}

9 Best Thailand Party Places {Top Thailand Nightlife Spots}


Bangkok or Phuket {Is It Better Fly Into Bangkok vs Phuket}


bangkok vs phuket thailand


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