· ·

Bali vs Thailand: Which Should be your Next Travel Destination?

If you’re planning to visit Southeast Asia but  are confused whether you should visit Thailand or Bali. Both are beautiful locations with some adventurous places that you can help you make some of the best memories of your life.

However, you if can only visit one place, don’t worry because we have done the hard yards for you. Below we have a complete comparison of Bali vs Thailand, to help you easily select your next travel destination.

Plan your trip?

Avoid hidden fees in the exchange rate while withdrawing from millions of ATMs abroad, paying in restaurants and shops, and buying your accommodation and flights using the Wise Card. You can hold up to 40+ currencies at once to spend in in over 150 countries, and convert them in real time with the free Wise app.

Need help planning your trip from start to finish? Check out these helpful links:

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy. You can also read our content/editorial policy here.

Bali Beaches vs Thailand Beaches

In Bali no shortage of beautiful beaches covered with white sand and clearly blue water. You’ll easily be able to spend the afternoon basking under the sun or enjoy a few water sports.

Some beaches have been preserved in their natural form so you can enjoy their naturally beautiful views. Bali Is known as a suffers paradise as some of the beaches are more suited to surfing than swimming – Thailand doesn’t really offer surfing beaches.

If  you want to visit a beach in Thailand, you’ll  have to head towards Southern Thailand, eg: Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi.

Most of the beaches in Thailand have been established mainly for tourists where you can participate in the activities such as full moon parties, releasing paper lanterns or other events depending on the time of year. The water in Thailand is often calm which makes it perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving.

Both in Bali and Thailand beaches offer water sports (such as jet skis etc) which are available on the beaches in touristy areas.

Bali beaches vs thailand beaches

Bali Cost vs Thailand Cost

When it comes to costs Thailand, might be a better option if you’re on a tight budget. Flights to Bali can be are expensive as compared to Thailand – although this is relative from where you are coming from. Food in Bali tends to cost a little higher.. If you’re planning to visit Bali it’s important that you plan your budget.

On the other hand, Thailand is fairly reasonably and you can find special discounts on flights and hotels that will allow you to save some more money.

With that said I think that both Thailand and Bali are fairly comparable – they have a fairly close exchange rate. I don’t think this can be a massive decider to be honest.

Shopping in Bali vs Shopping in Thailand

If you’re looking for cheap shopping destinations Thailand would be a better option. There are several wholesale markets where you can find the most expensive items at a wholesale rate.

Apart from that, the malls in Thailand are cost-effective as compared to those you will find at home. Personally I think that Thailand offers a lot more markets than Bali. I wouldn’t consider Bali a shopping mecca.

Bali markets vs Thailand markets

Food in Bali vs Food in Thailand

Thai people are in love with seafood and meat and they cook everything with fresh spices and herbs. If you are planning to visit Thailand it’s a must that you try Pad Thai. It’s a delicious dish made with a base of noodles, you can score a great price from one of the many street vendors.

Thai curries are also very popular in Thailand but let the chef know if you don’t like it too spicy, or ask for a glass of milk, to wash it down. A few examples of Thai cuisine are below:

  • Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)
  • Tom Kha Kai (Chicken in Coconut Soup)
  • Gaeng Daeng (Red Curry)
  • Pad Thai (Thai style Fried Noodles)
  • Yam Nua (Spicy Beef Salad)

When you visit Bali you should be aware that most of the Indonesian population are Muslim, which means you may find it hard to find a location that serves pork – outside of hotels. However, the Indonesian staple foods are still super delicious. A few examples of Indonesian cuisine are below:

  • Nasi Goreng (Fried rice with meats, vegetables and spices, seasoned with sweet soy sauce)
  • Mei Goreng  (Fried noodles with chicken, meat or prawn)
  • Fried Rice (self explanatory)
  • Lontong (compressed rice cooked in banana leaf)
  • Congee (rice porridge – sometimes a dessert)
  • Nasi campur (Rice with various side dishes)

Keep in mind that both destinations do still have plenty of Western options if you don’t want to partake in the local cuisine. However the point of travelling is to try something different!

Bali Food vs Thailand Food

Things to do in Bali

Bali is a well-known tourist destination so it has plenty of things to do!  Below are a list of my favourite:

  • Visit the Ubud Monkey Forest
  • Go Surfing in Kuta
  • Visit the Ulun Danu Temple
  • Take a Yoga lesson
  • Take a Balinese cooking class
  • Explore the rice paddy fields in Ubud
  • Hike up Mount Batur
  • Party hard in Kuta
  • Make a splash at Waterbom
  • Walk to Gitgit Waterfall
  • Sunbath and relax!

Things to do in Thailand

  • Visit the Grand Palace (Bangkok)
  • Day trip to Phi Phi Island (from Phuket or Krabi)
  • Visit the famous Floating markets (Bangkok)
  • Visit Doi Suthep (Chiang Mai)
  • Relax at Railay Beach (Krabi)
  • Visit Phang Nga (Phuket)
  • Step back in history in Ayutthaya (2 hours outside of Bangkok)
  • Scuba dive in the Similan Islands (Phuket)
  • Wat Chalong and Phuket Temples (Phuket)
  • Check out Tiger Cave Temple (Krabi)
  • Visit an elephant sanctuary (Chiang Mai)
Phuket or Krabi - Choosing the Perfect Destination for your Thailand Trip

It is important that you visit the place you are most comfortable with. Consider all your options especially your budget and how long you can stay. If you have 4 to 5 days it would be better to visit Bali because Thailand is huge and you cannot expect to explore the entire country within a week.

Where are you going to go? Bali or Thailand?

If you’d like to save it for later, please save it to Pinterest.


  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

    View all posts https://www.tiktok.com/@travellingkng

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.