Support 8:00 - 22:00 (GMT+7)

Vietnam or Thailand: Which is the Best Country for Travel?

April 18, 2024

Vietnam and Thailand are two of the most popular travel destinations in Southeast Asia, attracting millions of visitors each year with their stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant cities. Both countries offer unique experiences, making it challenging to decide which one to visit. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key differences between Vietnam and Thailand, helping you determine which destination is the best fit for your travel preferences and needs.

Vietnam or Thailand

Vietnam vs Thailand

Vietnam or Thailand: Travel Experiences

Historic and Cultural Attractions

Vietnam boasts a long and fascinating history, with ancient imperial cities, picturesque villages, and numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Imperial Citadel of Hue, the Hoi An Ancient Town, and the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. Visitors can immerse themselves in the country’s rich cultural traditions, from the unique architecture and art to the delicious cuisine and lively festivals.

Thailand, on the other hand, is renowned for its stunning Buddhist temples, including the iconic Grand Palace and Wat Arun in Bangkok, as well as the ancient cities of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai. The country’s cultural heritage is deeply rooted in its Buddhist beliefs, and travelers can witness religious ceremonies, explore vibrant markets, and learn about traditional Thai arts and crafts.

Natural Wonders

Both Vietnam and Thailand boast an abundance of natural wonders. Vietnam is home to the breathtaking Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its iconic limestone karsts and turquoise waters. Additionally, the country’s diverse landscapes include the lush and verdant Sapa region, the stunning Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, and the picturesque Mekong Delta.

Thailand, too, offers stunning natural attractions, from the pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters of the Andaman Coast to the serene, forested landscapes of the northern region. Visitors can explore the iconic Phi Phi Islands, go trekking in the Doi Inthanon National Park, or discover the stunning landscapes of the Khao Sok National Park.

Urban Experiences

Vietnam’s cities, such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, are vibrant and dynamic, with a unique blend of French colonial architecture, bustling street markets, and cutting-edge contemporary developments. Travelers can immerse themselves in the lively street life, sample delicious street food, and explore the country’s rich history and culture.

Thailand’s cities, particularly Bangkok, are also renowned for their lively urban experiences. The capital is a bustling metropolis with towering skyscrapers, grand royal palaces, and a thriving street food scene. Other cities, like Chiang Mai and Phuket, offer a more laid-back vibe, with opportunities to explore historic sites, indulge in local cuisine, and experience the country’s vibrant nightlife.

Vietnam or Thailand: Beaches

Vietnam’s Beaches

Vietnam boasts a stunning coastline, with a wide range of beautiful beaches to choose from. Some of the most popular destinations include Nha Trang, with its long stretch of white sand and crystal-clear waters, and the sleepy fishing village of Mui Ne, known for its stunning sand dunes and excellent water sports opportunities.

The central coast of Vietnam is also home to the picturesque Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a charming ancient town and nearby beaches. Further north, the beaches of Halong Bay and Cat Ba Island offer stunning natural landscapes and a more tranquil atmosphere.

Thailand’s Beaches

Thailand is renowned for its world-class beaches, attracting millions of visitors each year. The country’s southern islands, such as Phuket, Koh Samui, and Koh Phi Phi, are famous for their stunning white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and vibrant beach towns.

The Andaman Coast, on the western side of the country, is home to some of Thailand’s most beautiful and unspoiled beaches, including the iconic Railay Beach and the serene Koh Lipe. In the northern region, visitors can explore the tranquil beaches of Hua Hin and Cha-Am, which offer a more relaxed atmosphere.

Vietnam or Thailand: Budget

Vietnam’s Budget-Friendly Offerings

Vietnam is generally considered a more budget-friendly destination compared to Thailand, making it an attractive option for travelers on a tight budget. Accommodation, transportation, and food are generally less expensive in Vietnam, with budget-friendly options available across the country.

Visitors can find comfortable and clean guesthouses and hostels for as little as $10-20 per night, while mid-range and luxury hotels can be found for reasonable prices. Local street food is incredibly affordable, with delicious dishes like pho and banh mi costing just a few dollars. Additionally, domestic transportation, such as buses and trains, is relatively inexpensive, making it easy to explore the country on a budget.

Thailand’s Budget Considerations

While Thailand is not as budget-friendly as Vietnam, it still offers a range of affordable options for travelers. Accommodation prices can vary widely, with budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses available for $10-20 per night, and mid-range and luxury hotels ranging from $50 to $200 per night, depending on the location and amenities.

Food is also generally more affordable in Thailand, with street food stalls and local restaurants serving up delicious dishes for just a few dollars. However, prices for tourist-oriented restaurants and activities can be higher, so it’s important to research and plan your budget accordingly.

Vietnam or Thailand: Climate

Vietnam’s Climate

Vietnam’s climate is diverse, with significant variations in temperature and rainfall depending on the region and time of year. Generally, the country has a tropical monsoon climate, with a wet season from May to October and a dry season from November to April.

In the north, the climate is more temperate, with cooler temperatures and occasional snow in the winter months. The central regions experience a hot, dry climate, while the south enjoys a more tropical, humid environment. The best time to visit Vietnam can vary depending on your preferred activities and the regions you plan to explore.

Thailand’s Climate

Thailand also has a tropical monsoon climate, with three distinct seasons: the hot season from March to June, the rainy season from July to October, and the cool season from November to February. The northern and central regions of the country generally experience a more pronounced rainy season, while the southern regions, particularly the Andaman Coast, have a more consistent tropical climate year-round.

The best time to visit Thailand can depend on your preferences and the regions you plan to explore. The cool season, from November to February, is generally considered the best time to visit, as the weather is more comfortable and the rainfall is lower.

Vietnam or Thailand: Getting a Visa

Visa Requirements for Vietnam

Travelers visiting Vietnam will need to obtain a visa, either in advance or upon arrival. The type of visa required can depend on the purpose and length of the trip, as well as the traveler’s nationality.

For most tourists, a Vietnam e-visa or a visa on arrival is the most convenient option. The e-visa can be applied for online and is valid for a stay of up to 90 days, while the visa on arrival requires a letter of approval and can be obtained at select international airports in Vietnam.

It’s important to note that visa requirements and procedures can change, so it’s always a good idea to check the latest information from the Vietnamese government or a trusted travel agency.

Visa Requirements for Thailand

Thailand offers a range of visa options for travelers, including visa-free entry, e-visas, and traditional visa applications.

For many nationalities, including citizens of the United States, Canada, and most European countries, a visa is not required for a stay of up to 30 or 45 days, depending on the country. These travelers can enter Thailand visa-free and stay for the allotted time.

For longer stays or specific purposes, such as work or studying, travelers will need to apply for a proper visa, either online or at a Thai embassy or consulate. The process and requirements can vary, so it’s essential to research the latest visa information before planning your trip to Thailand.

Vietnam or Thailand: Food and Drink

Vietnamese Cuisine

Vietnamese cuisine is renowned for its fresh, healthy, and flavorful dishes, blending French and Asian influences. From the iconic pho (noodle soup) and banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich) to the aromatic curries and grilled meats, Vietnamese food offers a diverse range of culinary experiences.

Travelers can explore bustling street food markets, sample regional specialties, and indulge in the country’s rich coffee culture. Vietnamese cuisine also features a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan options, making it an appealing destination for those with dietary restrictions.

Thai Cuisine

Thai food is famous for its bold, complex flavors, combining sweet, sour, spicy, and salty elements. Signature dishes include pad Thai, tom yum goong (spicy shrimp soup), and massaman curry, as well as a wide range of flavorful curries, stir-fries, and salads.

Thailand is also known for its vibrant street food scene, with hawkers and vendors serving up delicious and affordable local specialties. Travelers can indulge in dishes like som tam (papaya salad), khao niaow ma muang (sticky rice with mango), and a variety of fresh seafood.

In addition to its renowned cuisine, Thailand is also renowned for its diverse range of beverages, from fragrant Thai iced tea to the popular Singha and Chang beers.

Vietnam or Thailand: Safety

Safety in Vietnam

Vietnam is generally considered a safe destination for travelers, with low rates of violent crime and a well-developed tourism infrastructure. However, as with any destination, it’s important to exercise common sense precautions, such as being aware of your surroundings, keeping valuables secure, and avoiding isolated or poorly lit areas at night.

Petty crimes, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, can occur in crowded tourist areas, so it’s advisable to be vigilant and take appropriate measures to protect your belongings. Travelers should also be cautious when crossing the busy streets, as the traffic in Vietnam can be hectic and chaotic.

Safety in Thailand

Thailand is also generally considered a safe destination for travelers, with a well-developed tourism industry and a relatively low crime rate. However, as with any destination, it’s essential to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings.

Petty crimes, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, can occur in tourist-heavy areas, so it’s important to keep your valuables secure. Travelers should also be aware of potential scams, such as overpriced taxis or tuk-tuks, and negotiate prices beforehand to avoid being overcharged.

In some parts of Thailand, particularly near the borders, there may be political or social unrest, so it’s important to stay informed about the current situation and follow the guidance of local authorities and your embassy or consulate.

Vietnam or Thailand: Accommodation

Accommodation in Vietnam

Vietnam offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit various budgets and preferences, from basic guesthouses and hostels to luxurious resorts and hotels.

In the major cities, such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, visitors can find a variety of high-end hotels, boutique properties, and serviced apartments. Many of these establishments offer amenities like swimming pools, fitness centers, and on-site restaurants.

For travelers on a budget, Vietnam has an abundance of affordable guesthouses and hostels, especially in popular tourist hubs like Hoi An, Nha Trang, and Da Lat. These accommodations often provide basic but comfortable rooms, and some may offer shared facilities or common areas.

Accommodation in Thailand

Thailand also boasts a diverse range of accommodation options, catering to all budgets and preferences. From luxurious resorts and boutique hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses and hostels, travelers can find a wide variety of options across the country.

In popular destinations like Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai, visitors can choose from an array of high-end hotels, serviced apartments, and luxury resorts, many of which offer upscale amenities and stunning views.

For those on a tighter budget, Thailand is renowned for its abundance of affordable guesthouses, hostels, and budget hotels, particularly in tourist hubs and smaller towns. These accommodations often provide clean, comfortable rooms at very reasonable prices, making them an attractive option for backpackers and budget-conscious travelers.

Vietnam or Thailand: Transport

Transportation in Vietnam

Vietnam offers a diverse range of transportation options, from the bustling streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to the remote rural areas.

The most common modes of transportation in Vietnam include:

  • Buses: A reliable and affordable way to travel between cities, with both local and long-distance services available.
  • Trains: Vietnam has an extensive rail network, with options ranging from basic sleeper trains to the high-speed Tàu Cao Tốc service.
  • Domestic flights: Domestic air travel is a convenient way to cover large distances quickly, with several airlines servicing major airports across the country.
  • Taxis and ride-hailing services: Readily available in cities, taxis and ride-hailing apps like Grab provide a convenient way to get around.
  • Motorbikes and scooters: A popular and thrilling way to explore Vietnam, especially in urban areas, but requires caution and adherence to traffic rules.

Transportation in Thailand

Thailand also offers a wide range of transportation options, catering to the needs of both local and international travelers.

The main modes of transportation in Thailand include:

  • Buses: A widespread and affordable network of buses, ranging from basic local services to air-conditioned long-distance coaches.
  • Trains: Thailand’s rail network connects many major cities, with options ranging from basic third-class carriages to air-conditioned first-class sleeper trains.
  • Domestic flights: Domestic air travel is a convenient way to cover large distances quickly, with several airlines serving major airports throughout the country.
  • Taxis and ride-hailing services: Taxis and ride-hailing apps like Grab are readily available in urban areas, providing a comfortable and efficient way to get around.
  • Tuk-tuks and motorbike taxis: Unique modes of transport, popular for short distances in cities and tourist areas.

Vietnam or Thailand: Solo Travel

Solo Travel in Vietnam

Vietnam is a fantastic destination for solo travelers, offering a rich cultural experience, stunning natural landscapes, and a well-developed tourism infrastructure.

Some of the key advantages of solo travel in Vietnam include:

  • Safety: Vietnam is generally considered a safe country for solo travelers, with low rates of violent crime and a welcoming local population.
  • Ease of transportation: The country’s well-connected transportation network, including buses, trains, and domestic flights, makes it easy for solo travelers to explore different regions.
  • Affordable accommodation and activities: Vietnam offers a wide range of budget-friendly accommodation options and activities, making it an attractive destination for solo travelers on a budget.
  • Opportunities for cultural immersion: Vietnam’s vibrant cities, historic sites, and friendly locals provide ample opportunities for solo travelers to immerse themselves in the local culture.

Solo Travel in Thailand

Thailand is also a popular and well-suited destination for solo travelers, offering a diverse range of experiences and a well-established tourism industry.

Some of the key benefits of solo travel in Thailand include:

  • Safety: Thailand is generally considered a safe country for solo travelers, with a relatively low crime rate and a well-developed tourism infrastructure.
  • Ease of transportation: Thailand’s extensive network of buses, trains, domestic flights, and ride-hailing services make it easy for solo travelers to navigate the country.
  • Opportunities for social interaction: Thailand is known for its friendly and welcoming locals, making it easier for solo travelers to meet fellow adventurers and engage in social activities.
  • Affordability: Thailand offers a wide range of budget-friendly accommodation, food, and activities, making it an appealing destination for solo travelers on a budget.
  • Diverse activities and destinations: Thailand’s varied landscapes, from bustling cities to tranquil tropical islands, provide solo travelers with a wealth of experiences to explore.

Vietnam or Thailand: Wildlife

Wildlife in Vietnam

Vietnam is home to a diverse array of wildlife, from the iconic Asian elephants and Indochinese tigers to the unique langurs and gibbons. The country’s national parks and nature reserves offer excellent opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts to observe and learn about the local fauna.

Some of the notable wildlife experiences in Vietnam include:

  • Trekking in the Sapa region to spot the endangered Tonkin snub-nosed monkey.
  • Exploring the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to see the diverse range of cave-dwelling bats and other species.
  • Visiting the Cat Tien National Park, which is home to the largest remaining population of the critically endangered Javan rhinoceros.
  • Observing the unique and endangered primates, such as the grey-shanked douc langur and the black-shanked douc langur, in their natural habitats.

Wildlife in Thailand

Thailand is also home to a rich and diverse array of wildlife, with numerous national parks and protected areas dedicated to the conservation of the country’s natural heritage.

Some of the highlights of wildlife in Thailand include:

  • Observing the iconic Asian elephants, either in their natural habitats or in responsible elephant sanctuaries.
  • Exploring the Khao Sok National Park, a lush rainforest teeming with diverse species, including the elusive Malayan tiger and the rare Sumatran serow.
  • Visiting the Kui Buri National Park to spot the critically endangered Indochinese leopard and the Asiatic wild water buffalo.
  • Watching the playful and charismatic long-tailed macaques in their natural habitats, such as on the beaches of Phi Phi Islands.
  • Observing the diverse birdlife, including the stunning hornbills and the endangered Gurney’s pitta, in the country’s many national parks


In conclusion, both Vietnam and Thailand offer unique travel experiences that cater to a wide range of preferences and interests. Whether you’re seeking adventure in the bustling streets of Hanoi or relaxation on the pristine beaches of Phuket, both countries have something special to offer.

When it comes to beaches, Thailand’s famous islands like Phuket and Koh Phi Phi provide stunning natural beauty and vibrant nightlife, while Vietnam’s hidden gems like Phu Quoc offer a more secluded and tranquil beach experience.

In terms of budget, Vietnam tends to be slightly more affordable than Thailand, making it an attractive destination for budget-conscious travelers looking to stretch their money further.

When considering climate, both countries have distinct seasons that can impact your travel plans. While Thailand generally has a hot and humid tropical climate, Vietnam experiences more regional variations with a monsoon season affecting different parts of the country at various times.

Getting a visa for both Vietnam and Thailand is relatively straightforward for most nationalities, with options for e-visas or visa on arrival depending on your travel plans.

Food and drink in both countries are a highlight of the travel experience, with diverse culinary offerings that showcase the rich flavors and ingredients of Southeast Asia.

Safety is a priority for travelers, and both Vietnam and Thailand are considered safe destinations for tourists. However, it’s essential to take common-sense precautions and stay vigilant, especially in crowded tourist areas.

Accommodation options in both countries range from budget hostels to luxury resorts, providing choices for every type of traveler. Whether you prefer a beachfront bungalow or a city center hotel, there are plenty of options to suit your needs.

Transportation in Vietnam and Thailand offers a variety of choices, from buses and trains to domestic flights and unique modes of transport like tuk-tuks and motorbike taxis. Solo travelers will find navigating both countries easy and convenient, with plenty of opportunities for exploration along the way.

Wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate the diverse ecosystems and conservation efforts in both Vietnam and Thailand, with opportunities to see exotic animals in their natural habitats through eco-friendly tours and wildlife reserves.

In conclusion, whether you choose to explore the cultural heritage of Vietnam or relax on the tropical beaches of Thailand, both countries offer unforgettable travel experiences that will leave you with lasting memories. Whichever destination you decide to visit, you’re sure to be captivated by the beauty, hospitality, and charm of Southeast Asia.