Which is the best Bangkok or Bali

Bali or Thailand

During our trip we traveled a lot in Bali and Thailand and have been asked several times since then which travel destination we liked better. Bali or Thailand? Which vacation destination is more worthwhile, cheaper and more beautiful? If you're asking yourself similar questions, you've come to the right place! Because in this post we answer all your questions about the difficult decision: Thailand or Bali?

First of all, however, we have to say that the comparison is actually not exactly identical. Because while Thailand encompasses an entire country, Bali is “only” an island. In fairness we should therefore actually Thailand with Indonesia to compare. Thailand brings it to a total size of 513,120 square kilometers and is home to 68.86 million inhabitants. In comparison, Bali is only 5,633 square kilometers and has a population of 4.22 million.

This makes Thailand more than 91 times the size of Bali and it is no wonder that Thailand in total more sights and travel options offers. Since most travel fans are actually more concerned with the question of whether Bali or Thailand should be their next holiday destination, we will nevertheless concentrate on the comparison of these two travel destinations.

Please note that our comparison is of course subjective and is based on our own experience. So we didn't do a representative survey or anything like that 😉

Table of Contents

By the way, we can also offer you our travel guide for your stay in Bali and Lombok.222 Lombok & Bali Highlights“Recommend. If you really don't want to miss anything.

Bali or Thailand - criteria for comparison

Here we will 15 different categories compare them to give you the most complete picture possible. We will deal with the following aspects:

  1. beaches
  2. Nature highlights
  3. Sights and excursions
  4. Underwater world
  5. Culture and religion
  6. Friendliness of the people
  7. Ambience and feel-good factor
  8. climate
  9. Food and restaurants
  10. Accommodations
  11. Travel opportunities on site
  12. Party opportunities
  13. security
  14. Flight time to travel destination
  15. Traveling expenses

At the end you will of course get another one Overall comparison with our conclusion to the question: Bali or Thailand - which travel destination is more worthwhile? Let's start with point no. 1: The beaches in Thailand and Bali.

No. 1: Beaches

In the Beaches category, it clearly depends on what you expect from a beautiful beach. On the one hand there is the classic picture-perfect beachesthat are lined with palm trees, offer white sandy beaches and turquoise-blue sea water. What is a dream come true for some may be too boring for others. Because there is one thing that the classic picture-perfect beaches usually don't offer: action.

Therefore, there are also many lovers of the rough sea, which is filled with waves. For surfers, for example, calm seas are a no go. Therefore, when it comes to the question of whether Bali or Thailand offers the more beautiful beaches, it comes up very clearly your expectations at.

Beaches in Thailand

If you shallow, crystal clear water in turquoise-blue colors love, Thailand is clearly one step ahead. On the many islands of Thailand, which are mainly located in the south of the country, you will find dream beaches as they are in a picture book. Here you can enjoy fine, white sandy beaches and find real Robinson Cruseo islands.

Popular islands for a beach holiday in Thailand are mainly Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Phuket, Koh Phi Phi (where the famous Hollywood movie "The Beach" was shot), Koh Lanta and Koh Chang. In addition, there are many small islands that are much quieter and less touristy. Unless you Rest and relaxation and you don't need much to be happy besides the beach and the sea, you are in the ideal place here.

You will also find beautiful beach regions on the mainland. Above all, Khao Lak, Krabi, Hua Hin and Pattaya should be mentioned here. In Hua Hin and Pattaya, however, you will no longer find the classic dream beaches, but rather long beach promenades with good infrastructure and many party opportunities.

Beaches in Bali

Most of the beaches in Bali are significantly rougher and less picturesque. Especially in the south of Bali, where the most popular holiday regions are located, you will find high waves. Hence, the south of Bali is one of the most sought-after surfing regions worldwide. In Sanur, on the east coast of Bali, you can also kitesurf.

In the north of Bali you will mainly find beaches with darker sand and sometimes stones and gravel. These beaches are hardly touristy and are especially suitable for Snorkeling and diving. Around Lovina in the north of Bali there is also the possibility of seeing dolphins in the wild.

You can find picture-perfect beaches in Bali, especially on the islands of Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan. These belong to Bali and can be reached from the mainland by speedboats within 30 minutes. In addition, most Bali holidaymakers also make a trip to the Gili Islandswhich officially belong to Lombok. In addition to the well-known islands of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, you will also find the so-called Secret Gilis (e.g. Gili Nanggu, Gili Sudak and Gili Kedis) on Lombok, which have classic dream beaches ready for you.

water sports

If you want to enjoy water sports activities on the beaches of Bali and Thailand, you will find them in both destinations. Both in Bali and in Thailand there are various water sports options such as Kayaking, banana boating, jet skiing and parasailing.


For surfers, Bali is clearly the right travel destination. Because on the beaches of Thailand the waves are rather small. In addition, you can expect good waves all year round in Bali, while in Thailand you will find slightly higher waves mainly in the summer months. They are in Bali Top surf spots especially the following:

In Thailand you can mainly from June to August surf at the following spots:

  • Phuket (especially on Kata Beach)
  • Koh Lanta (Klang Dao Beach)
  • Khao Lak (Cape Pakarang)
  • Koh Phayam (Aow Yai Beach)
  • Hua Hin (for windsurfing and kitesurfing, especially from October to May)
  • Koh Phangan and Koh Lipe (for kitesurfing)

However, Thailand is not a suitable spot for advanced surfers. Beginner but find good conditions here.

Interim conclusion: Bali or Thailand - where are better beaches?

From our point of view, the beaches in Thailand and Bali intersect as well as from. If you are looking for a typical beach holiday with classic picture-perfect beaches, you should better travel to Thailand. If you like it more action-packed, Bali offers optimal conditions, especially for surfers.

No. 2: Natural highlights

In addition to the beautiful beaches that both travel destinations offer, Bali and Thailand have numerous other natural highlights to offer. Both in Bali and in Thailand, for example, the rice terraces are worth mentioning. But both destinations also have waterfalls and beautiful viewpoints in the mountains.

Nature highlights in Thailand

When it comes to nature highlights, Thailand is divided into different regions. In the north of Thailand you will find many, especially in the region around Pai Rice fields and jungle landscape. From the vantage points of the various mountain landscapes you will always experience great views.

There are also many national parks all over the country. In Thailand there are whole 127 national parksso there is a lot to see here. We personally can especially recommend Doi Suthep National Park and Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai as well as Ang Thong Marine Park in front of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. You will also experience many beautiful and imposing waterfalls within the national parks.

You will get the most fascinating impressions of nature around the Islands in southern Thailand. The limestone cliffs and forested hills that are in the sea and along the beaches have become something of a landmark for Thailand among vacationers.

Nature highlights in Bali

Hardly any other island is like this for theirs Rice terraces known as Bali. Especially in the inland of Bali around Ubud and Gianyar you will find numerous, lush green rice fields in a terraced arrangement. Here the Jatiluwih rice terraces, the Tegalalang rice terraces and the Sideman rice terraces are particularly worthwhile.

In addition, the inland of Bali offers you many jungle landscapes. Also water falls are among the natural highlights in Bali. The Bali waterfalls around Ubud and the Sekumpul Waterfall in the north of the island are particularly worth seeing. On the Ayung River in Ubud you can take part in a white water rafting tour that shows you the natural highlights from a particularly beautiful perspective.

Bali also offers two active volcanoes: The Gunung Agung (3,031 meters high) and the Gunung Batur (1,717 meters high). You can climb both volcanoes as part of a trekking tour lasting several hours, with sunrise tours being particularly popular. However, the Gunung Agung is currently not accessible due to the risk of eruption.

Interim conclusion: Thailand or Bali - where is nature more fascinating?

In terms of natural highlights, Bali and Thailand are also on par in our opinion. Both destinations offer very beautiful nature and are due to the tropical climates always green. In Bali, however, it is sometimes very sweaty and exhausting to see the natural highlights. There are rarely navigable paths here, so you will often be on foot, e.g. to get to waterfalls and viewpoints.

In Thailand, on the other hand, tourism is more advanced and you can usually drive to waterfalls and viewpoints for a long time. Only the last part can then be partly completed on foot. We personally like them untouched nature prefer, but nature sightseeing in Thailand is more comfortable.

No. 3: Sights and excursions

Classic sights almost always have a religious meaning in both Bali and Thailand. Therefore fall under the sights mostly temples. In Thailand, the king also plays an important role, so that royal sights such as the Royal Palace Bangkok are often relevant here.

Sights and destinations in Thailand

In Thailand, most of the sights are found in Bangkok. Thailand's capital is an important metropolis in Southeast Asia and is home to many temples, shopping malls and other attractions. The famous sights in Thailand are the following:

  • The great palace with the Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) in Bangkok
  • Wat Arun in Bangkok
  • Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha) in Bangkok
  • The "white temple" Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai (Northern Thailand)
  • Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai (Northern Thailand)
  • Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya (Central Thailand)
  • Sanctuary of truth in Pattaya (south-east Thailand)

In addition, Thailand offers numerous other sights, many of which are also from National parks and islands consist. The islands and national parks are also very popular for excursions within Thailand. The excursion island No. 1 is Koh Phi Phi. This particularly idyllic island became known through the film "The Beach" with Leonardo DiCaprio.

Furthermore are also Elephant Camps very popular in Thailand. While tourists used to be primarily interested in elephant riding, many animal welfare camps have now formed in which elephant riding is prohibited. Here injured elephants are nursed back to health and you can especially feed them, bathe them and take them for a walk in the river. However, elephant riding is still very common in Thailand.

Another highlight in Thailand are those floating markets, which you can find e.g. near Bangkok and in Pattaya (Floating Market). In addition to domestic destinations, many Thailand tourists also visit the Neighboring countries. Thailand has borders with Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia.

Sights and destinations in Bali

In addition to waterfalls and rice terraces, Bali counts above all else Hindu temple to the most visited sights. The following Bali temples and places are known as tourist magnets:

Since the distances in Bali are comparatively short, you can reach many sights on day trips. In addition, Bali's neighboring islands are also very popular for excursions. Most of Bali vacationers also visit Java and Lombok. The Bromo and the Ijun volcanoes are particularly popular in Java. Also a multi-day trip to Flores, where you can see Komodo dragons in their natural habitat, is highly sought after from Bali.

Interim conclusion: Bali or Thailand - where are the better sights and excursion destinations?

In our view, Thailand scores a little better when it comes to classic sights. This is mainly due to the fact that the Thai capital Bangkok, as a metropolis of millions, is home to many sights. Here is classic sightseeing better possible compared to Bali's capital Denpasar.

Excursion destinations there are many on offer in both Thailand and Bali. Both travel destinations offer interesting activities and possible combinations both at the holiday destination itself and in neighboring countries.

No. 4: Underwater world

The underwater world is very species-rich and worthwhile for snorkeling and diving both in Thailand and in Bali. You can find fish and corals here in almost all sizes, colors and shapes. You can also see sea turtles and manta rays underwater if you know the top spots for them.

Underwater world around Thailand

In Thailand, many islands offer an underwater world that is well worth seeing. Here are above all thoseSimilan Islands which you can e.g. reach from Phuket on a day trip. You can both snorkel and dive here. In addition, the so-calledSurin Islands as Koh Phi Phi known for their underwater world.

Count as well Koh Samui and Koh Phangan to the top snorkeling spots in Thailand. The best way to go on a snorkeling trip is as part of a trip to Ang Thong National Park. The diver's paradise known as Turtle Island Koh Tao even offers you the opportunity to experience sea turtles live in the water.

Underwater world around Bali

You will find colorful fish and colorful coral reefs in Bali, especially around Amed and Nusa Penida. Amed is located in the northeast of Bali and has a very special underwater attraction: an old shipwreck. At the Japanese Ship Wreck Point, you can discover the wreck while snorkeling or diving. It is relatively close below the surface and can be seen differently depending on the walking time (ebb or flow). Since the entry into the sea is very rocky, are displayWater shoes recommended here.

You will also find a very popular but less popular snorkeling and diving area around the Taman Nasional Bali Barat (West Bali National Park), which borders Java. And moreover offers you too Nusa Penida good snorkeling spots. Crystal Bay and Gamat Bay are particularly popular spots.

Manta rays, turtles and dolphins in Bali

Our personal highlight is the Manta Point Nusa Penida, which is close to the coast of the island. Here you have one while snorkeling 98% probabilitythat you can experience manta rays up to 7 meters tall live in the sea. You can see what this can look like in our YouTube video about Manta Point:

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You can also get one from Bali Excursion to the Gili Islands do. For example, we have twice seen large sea turtles snorkeling off the coast of Gili Trawangan. Your chances of meeting a turtle here are particularly good on guided snorkeling trips. Because the guides know exactly where the turtles are usually located.

And if you haven't had enough of turtles by then, you can visit the turtle sanctuary in Serangan. There you have, among other things, the opportunity to 2 week old baby turtle to be adopted and release in the sea. An unforgettable experience!

Last but not least, Bali even offers the opportunity to Dolphin watching. Chances are you'll see dolphins in the open sea in Lovina in North Bali. There are organized boat trips that you can take part in.

Interim conclusion: Thailand or Bali - which underwater world is more exciting?

From our point of view, Bali comes out on top here. There are fantastically beautiful snorkeling spots around Thailand where you can see great and colorful fish. But she got us in Bali Biodiversity under water a little more convinced. Especially the manta rays off Nusa Penida and the turtle sanctuary in Serangan were unforgettable for us.In comparison, Thailand did not leave us with a very lasting impression. Hence Bali 🙂

No. 5: Culture and Religion

When it comes to culture and religion, we can keep it short: Regardless of whether you are in Thailand or Bali - religion feels ubiquitous. Almost every house in Bali has its own small temple shrine and you can find it in many places small offerings. These are on the streets, in doorways and on the beach. And of course especially in the many Hindu temples that you will find in Bali.

Buddhism is the leading religion in Thailand. About 94 percent of Thais profess what is known as Theravada Buddhism. You see a lot, especially in Northern Thailand Buddha temple, which are usually equipped with splendid ornaments made of gold and many figures. You will also see monks in orange robes here more often.

From our perception, Bali and Thailand also do not differ much culturally. In both cultures, you should dress appropriately, especially when visiting temples. This means that Shoulders and knees always covered