Thailand vs Vietnam: It’s hard to decide which country should be your first destination among these two gems of Asia. While Vietnam is known for its culturally vibrant cities, coastlines, and legendary rock formations, Thailand is famous for its iconic nature, beaches, food, nightlife, and world-famous adventures like scuba diving, snorkeling, etc.
Southeast Asia offers an array of experiences that make it hard for travelers not to get overwhelmed by options. It’s essential to do research into what each country has to offer. Both countries are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and can make for a desirable getaway.
For those looking for plentiful white sand and blue waters with a huge range of underwater life forms, Thailand is the place for you, while Vietnam offers stunning coastlines and unique beach landscapes, such as Red Beach or Mui Ne.
Each destination has its attractions and activities ranging from unique cultural experiences. Deciding on one destination or the other requires considering various factors to make the best use of your time and money.
In this guide, we will compare Thailand vs. Vietnam travel so that you can plan which should be first on your travel bucket list.
Keep reading to dive into each unique culture to maximize your time abroad in search of incredible new adventures in Asia!
#1. Adventures in Thailand vs Vietnam
A. Adventures in Thailand
Thailand’s beaches are renowned for their natural beauty, and it is easy to understand why they are so much more popular than beach locations in Vietnam. An abundance of secluded islands offering unique experiences and activities such as:
Scuba diving in Phuket
Phuket is Thailand’s most popular destination for scuba diving, offering an underwater paradise to certified divers and those looking to try out the sport. Dive sites include Koh Racha Islands, Phi Phi, Similan, and shallow sections are ideal for beginners. More advanced areas are offered near Shark Point and King Cruiser Wreck, home to several species of barracuda. Trying scuba diving in Phuket will make you experience one of the most memorable experiences on your trip.
Paddling through stunning rock formations and lush tropical forests, you can truly appreciate the beauty of Thailand while taking in its breathtaking views. The calm, crystal-clear waters make it ideal for beginner learning paddleboard. Paddleboarding in Thailand is a unique way to make memories that will last a lifetime!
Similan Liveaboard Diving
Similan liveaboard diving in Thailand is a unique experience that offers some of the world’s best diving. Not only do you get to explore the immense beauty of coral gardens and multi-colored marine life, but the Similans are known for their excellent visibility, making it possible even for beginner divers to explore Similan islands.
Jet skiing in Thailand can be a thrilling experience that everyone should try. The country has some of the most inviting waters, offering an unparalleled chance to explore its pristine beauty and majestic coastline. Whether solo or with friends, jet skiing around Thailand’s coastlines can be an unforgettable thrill.
Rock climbing in Thailand is an adventure sport that has attracted thrill seekers from all around the globe. It has stunning landscapes and rough terrain, a part of Southeast Asia providing a challenging yet rewarding experience for every climber. Climbing in Thailand is sure to give you a journey worth remembering.
Phuket is a paradise for its beaches, coves, lagoons, and bays. Snorkeling in Phuket’s Phi Phi Islands is an unforgettable experience encountering the colorful marine life in its crystal-clear waters. It is the best adventure to do with family and friends. The diving trips aim for experienced divers – visitors of all levels to enjoy this breathtaking activity and make lasting memories!
B. Adventures in Vietnam
Vietnam is known as a beach lovers’ paradise; however, Vietnamese beaches often take a backseat compared to neighboring Thailand beaches. Thai beaches are renowned for their lush jungles and stretches of white sand, making them more sought-after than the crowded shorelines of Vietnam.
While many people still enjoy the historic charm and dramatic landscapes of Vietnam’s beaches, there is no denying that the largely untouched beauty of Thailand has it more widely appreciated by tourists.
#2. Places to Visit in Thailand vs Vietnam
A. Places to Visit in Thailand
Thailand offer travelers a truly remarkable beach experience. It is a paradise of exotic sights, sounds, and flavors. Swimming and diving in crystal clear waters make for an unforgettable experience that will stay with you long after your vacation ends.
Thailand’s coastlines provide something for everyone looking for a memorable tropical escape. There is no place like Thailand, from its unique topography to its lively culture.
If you are planning to explore Asia for the first time as a solo traveler, Thailand is an excellent destination. The country offers unmatched safety, making it ideal for individuals traveling unaccompanied for the first time.
Places to explore in Thailand:
Long Beach – Phi Phi Islands
Long Beach, known as Phi Phi Island, is the main attraction of Thailand. Spanning 420 meters, the white sand beach and beautiful turquoise blue waters make visitors forget the stresses of everyday life. Here you can relax in the sun during the day and explore local bars and restaurants as night falls.
Racha Noi South Tip
The Racha Noi South Tip of Thailand is a popular destination for those seeking adventure. Located in the southwestern portion of the country, the remote location allows for peaceful beachside activities, such as windsurfing and snorkeling. Visitors can expect to be entranced by its beauty and charm.
The Similan Islands in Thailand have become a hugely popular destination for those seeking the perfect beach holiday. It has nine main islands filled with spectacular coral reefs and colorful marine life. Tourists from Phuket can enjoy either day trips or overnight transits of a picture-perfect atmosphere to its fullest.
Thailand’s National Marine Park
Thailand’s National Marine Park is a stunning visitor destination, boasting captivating underwater scenery and rich biodiversity. Its vibrant coral reefs are home to a wide variety of marine life, including sea turtles, nudibranchs, reef sharks, and more. Its ecosystems are an abundant source of sustainable food and economic revenue for coastal communities. It is a proud testament of nature to environmental changes, ensuring that future generations can enjoy its wonders.
King Cruiser Wreck
King Cruiser Wreck, located off the coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea, is known for its vibrant underwater life. Experienced divers come from across the world to see the wide variety of exotic species. The deep-water wreck invites snorkelers looking for clams or colorful reef fish. The King Cruiser Wreck is a must-visit destination for experienced and beginner underwater adventurers.
Dive To Shark Point
It is located off the island of Phi Phi in Thailand. Shark Point is a top dive spot among many avid divers. It also provides some spectacular diving. Ocean waves cause particles of sand and mud from the seafloor to be suspended, creating an incredible array of colors and lights in the water. Divers at this unique spot can expect to see various species of corals and starfish, as well as several tropical fish, including angel fish, triggerfish, clams, sea urchins, lobsters, and more. Whale sharks often pass through Dive Two Shark Point twice a year, increasing excitement for those lucky enough to see them.
B. Places to Visit in Vietnam
Vietnam is not as well-known as Thailand’s world-famous beaches, though it has long stretches of white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. It provides a paradise-like atmosphere for many beachgoers.
An afternoon stroll along the pristine shores or a scenic bike ride at sunrise will likely provide visitors with memories that will last a lifetime.
Places to Visit:
- Long Beach – Phu Quoc
- Mui Ne – Phan Thiet
- Ho Coc Beach, Ho Coc
# 3. Nightlife in Vietnam vs Thailand
A. Nightlife in Thailand
Thailand is one of the most vibrant party destinations in the world, offering a variety of nightlife activities for holidaymakers to enjoy.
From November to March, beach parties spark up along Thailand’s seafront, illuminating the shores with neon lights and lively music.
On top of that, popular foam parties can be experienced in Pattaya, while cultural shows make a great addition to any evening out. Furthermore, some poolside bashes and pub crawl provide more ways of partying.
Finally, the iconic Full Moon Party takes place monthly on Koh Phangan island, an unforgettable experience for those seeking a wild night out.
All in all, Thailand is the best destination for nightlife.
B. Nightlife in Vietnam
As we all know, Thailand’s parties are hard to beat! Vietnam’s nightlife has exploded in recent years. Partygoers will appreciate Vietnam’s fun-loving atmosphere and its highly accessible prices.
Some waterfront bars and clubs are located in Mui Ne and Nha Trang. Combining modern sophistication with traditional Vietnamese charm, these hot spots provide a culturally enriching experience to be savored by all.
#4. People in Thailand vs Vietnam
A. People in Thailand
Thailand is a country of warm hospitality and welcoming smiles. With over 10 different types of grins, each one conveying its special messages such as respect or admiration, the locals always try their best to communicate with visitors in a friendly manner while showcasing genuine kindness and receptiveness.
Truly living up to its nickname “Land Of Smiles”!
B. People in Vietnam
Vietnam is well-known for their friendly and welcoming locals, but some travelers need a more-than-hospitable environment when visiting tourist hotspots.
However, going off the beaten track, you can find people who are more than happy to share their local knowledge and culture with adventurous visitors!
#5. Nature in Vietnam vs Thailand
A. Nature in Thailand
Thailand’s natural landscape is breathtaking, with around 25% of the country clad in lush forests, bordered by white-sand beaches and plush green bamboo fields.
Towering coconut palms can be seen from miles away, making for an idyllic setting. For the more adventurous traveler, the nation also has plenty of opportunities for eco-tourism: its 100 national parks offer a fantastic viewing experience with stunning biodiversity.
Khao Yai National Park has mainly made a name for itself as a blissful refuge among travelers; this great reserve was also named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, further emphasizing its cultural and natural heritage richness.
Just 200 km from Bangkok, the sprawling park covers over 2,000 square kilometers of forest and grassland across four provinces. It’s the third-largest national park in Thailand and home to an incredible variety of wildlife – around 445 bird species!
In Thailand, flowers hold a deep spiritual meaning and cultural significance beyond the normal appreciation of their beauty. Offering flowers to places of worship and during ceremonies or rituals expresses silence, humility, and gratitude.
Plus, you can explore over 50 km of hiking and biking trails blended with stunning waterfalls throughout its vast beauty.
While many are familiar with well-known gems such as Koh Samui and Phi Phi island, there are also 1430 stunning islands waiting to be explored in Thailand – including lesser-known ones such as Koh Lipe, Koh Muk, and Koh Lanta.
Khao Yai National Park offers an unforgettable experience – combining nature walks with glimpses into Thailand’s rich biodiversity.
B. Nature in Vietnam
Vietnam is an awe-inspiring destination filled with captivating natural landscapes. From mountain hills covered in rice paddies dotting the northern part of the country to vast dunes and towering limestone grottoes that adorn coastal areas.
Most impressive is Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, home to the biggest cave in the world – Son Doong Cave.
This wondrous cave boasts enormous stalagmites reaching 70m in height and provides a captivating and mysterious atmosphere within its tremendous walls.
Although Vietnam has limited forests left today, it is still considered a biodiverse region with one of the highest counts of world species – roughly 16 percent, according to recent findings.
As such, Vietnam also hosts 6 different bio reserves across its vast and stunningly beautiful terrain. So, when it comes to a comparison between “Thailand vs. Vietnam”, both countries win for nature.
#6. Food in Thailand vs Vietnam
A. Thai Food
Thai cuisine is a refreshing blend of flavors that radiates worldwide. Its aromatic ingredients, such as cilantro, lemongrass, shallots, and chilies, provide a powerful punch to your taste buds.
Thailand’s vegan and vegetarian cuisine is sure to tempt your taste buds. With a long history of plant-based eating, travelers can find vegan or vegetarian dishes in almost every Thai restaurant.
A Thai dish’s complexity comes from its masterful combination of spicy, sweet, sour, and salty flavors – taking the ordinary to the extraordinary.
From Bangkok street food to Phuket Thai restaurants of Thailand, each dish has unique characteristics due to the country’s varied geography.
The North of Thailand is a paradise for food connoisseurs. Its specialty noodle soup Khao Soi, widely served in Myanmar and Laos, is an absolute must-try for anyone looking for something out of the ordinary.
It is also known as “Lanna Cuisine” in its area of origin. Another staple dish for those traveling in search of some lip-smacking flavors is Sai Oua, a spicy pork sausage seasoned with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, chilies, and galangal.
In the Northeast, you’ll find that one of the most popular dishes is Pad Thai. Central Thailand is renowned for its wide variety of curries, which can be found in many different restaurants and eateries.
Everyone can find something to tantalize their palate when exploring delectable Thai Cuisine.
B. Food in Vietnam
Vietnamese culture is renowned for its fascinating cuisine. The local specialties vary between different regions of Vietnam and indicate the culinary influences present in each area; this includes Chinese, age-old traditional recipes, and regional spices.
In the North of Vietnam, certain dishes have been renowned for hundreds of years. A prime example is the bún riêu, a tomato broth soup served with shrimp, crab paste, and rice vermicelli.
Meanwhile, South Vietnamese cuisine can be characterized by its heavy use of spices and sweet ingredients such as coconut milk.
A visit to Vietnam allows you to experience many flavors that form part of an established culinary tradition that goes back centuries – notably one worth trying out!
#7. Accommodation Options Vietnam vs Thailand
A. Accommodation Options in Thailand
Traveling to Vietnam and Thailand is becoming increasingly popular as both countries offer a remarkable variety of accommodation options suitable for any travel experience, budget, or preference.
In Thailand, travelers can choose from various guesthouses, bungalows, hostels, hotels, and even luxury resorts.
For anyone looking for an exceptionally economical option, hostels are an ideal choice due to their affordability and the potential social atmosphere with other travelers.
If you need something special, revel in the rustic yet comfortable atmosphere of an oceanfront beach bungalow on islands such as Ko Lanta and Ko Phangan.
Whichever type of accommodation you choose while traveling through Thailand or Vietnam, your stay will surely be memorable and extraordinary.
B. Accommodation Options in Vietnam
Vietnam is an excellent destination for travelers seeking affordable accommodation. Major cities such as Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and their surrounding areas offer a wide range of options that cater to all budgets.
Recently, the area has seen an influx in luxury resorts and chic bungalows along the coast, many of which offer outstanding value in terms of comfort and amenities.
Hostels are also popular for budget travelers looking to keep costs low during their stay. Those hoping to have an immersive cultural experience can opt for a homestay around the Mekong Delta, allowing them to live like a local while exploring Vietnam.
Thailand or Vietnam Travel : Which Place to Visit Next?
|Things to do
|Scuba diving Paddle boarding Similan Liveaboard Jet Skiing Rock Climbing Snorkeling
|Places to visit
|Long Beach – Phi Phi IslandsRacha Noi South TipSimilan IslandsThailand’s National Marine ParkKing Cruiser WreckDive To Shark Point
|Long Beach – Phu Quoc Mui Ne – Phan Thiet Ho Coc Beach, Ho Coc
|Beach party to spark up neon lightsCultural shows in the eveningPoolside bashes and pub crawl in PattayaThe iconic Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan island
|Waterfront bars and clubs at Mui Ne and Nha Trang Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, home to the biggest cave in the world – Son Doong Cave. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is home to the biggest cave in the world – Son Doong Cave
|Warm hospitality and welcoming smiles
|Friendly and welcoming locals
|Landscapes are breathtaking national parks that offer a fantastic viewing land of towering coconut palms. Khao Yai National Park emphasises its cultural and natural heritageSprawling park is the third largest national park in ThailandFlowers of Thailand hold a deep spiritual meaning and cultural significance
|An inspiring destination filled with captivating natural landscapes A biodiverse region with one of the highest counts of world speciesIt is famous for Chinese, age-old traditional recipes, and regional spices
|Thailand is a paradise for food connoisseursThai cuisine is a refreshing blend of flavors Known for vegan and vegetarian cuisine Bangkok street food Thailand is renowned for its wide variety of curries
|Vietnamese culture is renowned for its fascinating cuisineFamous for tomato broth soup served with shrimp, crab paste, and rice vermicelli
|A variety of accommodation options is available for all travellers Traveler’s can choose from various guesthouses, bungalows, hostels, hotels, and even luxury resorts
|Vietnam is an excellent destination for travelers seeking affordable accommodation
Thailand and Vietnam are both excellent travel destinations that provide tourists with a diverse range of experiences. Although they have several differences, they are both paradisiac travel destinations that can please the most discerning travelers.
For those who seek some fun and adventure, Thailand is the best choice, as it has vibrant parties and festivals. Similarly, beauty lovers can be mesmerized here as its picturesque landscapes take your breath away with their beauty. Moreover, Vietnam offers very affordable prices—even if you only wish to experience a few of its must-see attractions.
Truly both countries offer something for everyone. But Thailand is the perfect place to go for your next beach holiday. The white sand beaches and clear blue waters are just what you need to relax and rejuvenate yourself. And with so many different adventure activities to choose from, you can be sure there will always be a bright moment on your trip.
Thailand particularly appeals to divers, as it offers a wealth of scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities. Discover a world of color and life beneath the waves with Thailand Divers. Our experienced guides will take you to some of the most spectacular dive sites in Thailand, where you can explore vibrant coral reefs and swim with giant moray eels, lionfish, and even whale sharks!
Visit today and explore the depths of Thailand’s beautiful waters!