Thailand vs. Vietnam travel guide

Thinking of going to Thailand or Vietnam and wondering about some of the differences between the two? Here, we have a short guide on the major differences between two of Southeast Asia’s most popular destinations. From different cuisines to top attractions, both countries offer amazing experiences for even the most well-travelled visitors.

1. History and culture

Vietnam has a French colonial history, along with Chinese and Buddhist cultures. Thailand has kingdom-based culture and a more Western lifestyle. It also has a Buddhist culture.

Thailand vs. Vietnam travel guide | News by Thaiger

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2. Convenience of travel

Thailand has easier ways in which to travel and faster access within the country, while Vietnam is okay to travel to and within the country, it requires a bit more effort.

3. Travel experiences

Vietnam features a diverse landscape with many choosing to go on a boat cruise, or go cycling and hiking. Vietnam has beautiful ancient towns and old quarters to visit, along with the Mekong Delta. Thailand has more beaches that can make you feel like you are on an uninhabited island. Wildlife and rainforests abound in Thailand while big cities are more metropolitan with colourful nightlife.

Thailand vs. Vietnam travel guide | News by Thaiger

4. Typical length of stay

To see Thailand, it is recommended to stay for at least 10 days and up to two weeks or more. For visitors to Vietnam, the recommended length of stay is around eight days to three weeks.

5. Cost

Vietnam is more affordable than Thailand, while Thailand has more consumption. As travel costs are subjective, it really depends on what kind of trip in which you seek.

6. Best times to visit

Vietnam is best visited during November to April. Thailand is best to visit during November to March. Both have a rainy season and it is best to go when monsoon-like rains aren’t bogging down your travels.

7. Hotels

Vietnam has many options for accommodation but they may not be up to par with Western standards. From homestays to starred hotels, travellers can choose what level of accommodation they would like. In Thailand, hotels are much closer to Western standards with some even being considered world-class accommodations.

Thailand vs. Vietnam travel guide | News by Thaiger

8. Food

Vietnamese food is fresh and light-tasting. The famous dish is pho noodles, which are sour and spicy. But, if you want something with a full flavour and lots of spice, Thai food wins. Its most famous dish is tom yum goong which is a spicy soup with shrimp.

9. Shopping

Thailand’s malls are like mini-worlds of shopping. From world-class architecture and designs, and epic food courts, the malls can be visited over an entire day. Vietnam’s shopping scene mostly features local markets and supermarkets.

Thailand vs. Vietnam travel guide | News by Thaiger

10. Tourist satisfaction

Thailand has over a 50% return rate, while Vietnam has around a 10% return rate. Of course, this depends on individual satisfaction and personal experiences during travel.

Overall, Thailand is recommended over Vietnam if it is your first trip to Southeast Asia. As it features more Westernised elements, it may be easier to adjust than Vietnam. But, if you are an experienced traveller and really want something more rustic and peaceful, Vietnam is your best bet!

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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