"Should I visit Thailand or Vietnam?" is some of the most frequently asked questions that we have from our travelers

Well, Vietnam and Thailand are the most popular holiday destinations in Southeast Asia. They are similar in climate and food, though obviously different in culture, lifestyle and travel experience.

Below we list 13 major differences between the two countries, to give you a quick overview and help you decide which to visit first. These are based on our own travel experiences, investigations, and partnerships with local operators.

Vietnam or Thailand Travel: a quick comparison

Here is the quick comparison of the two countries based on some maijor differences for your quick reference of what to expect.

Categories Vietnam Thailand Winner
1. Culture and history … is influenced by three main religions — Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism — with a lifestyle inherited from the French colonial period. … practices Theravada Buddhism (90%+ of the population) along with a western lifestyle. Vietnam
2. Convenience of travel …is okay to travel to and within the country, but a bit more effort required. …offers easier and faster access to and within the country. Thailand
3. Cost and currency … accepts USD or dong; street vendors prefer dong, while most hotels and restaurants accept USD. … accepts only Thai baht (although some prices are quoted in USD), and uses various types of card. Equal
4. Travel experience … boasts diverse landscapes and authentic local experiences, with charming old quarters and ancient towns. … is proud of quality beaches and comfort of travel, featuring Buddhist temples and festivals. Vietnam
5. Beaches ...beaches are less crowded and less expensive, nice beach condition depends on the time of year. ...luxury beach resorts, pristine beaches and variety off-island activities such as diving... Equal
6. Weather ...hot season, then hot and wet season, then cooler season, which still easily reaches 20°C and higher. Vietnam has a more diverse climate. Vietnam
7. Tourist satisfaction ...around 10%. ...over 50% tourist return rate. Thailand
8.Tourist Traps … sometimes has issues with cheating and is not so convenient at New Year. … has more issues with cheating, theft and porn deals, and is quite touristy. Vietnam


Now, we will run through all the differences between the two country in details

1. Culture and History: Vietnam has a bigger culture contrast than Thailand for Western Travelers

Chinese occupation has left a profound legacy in Vietnam, especially in the form of Confucianism and Taoist deities, which impact customs, traditions, and beliefs. The legacy of French colonialism is most visible in distinctive French architecture.

Thailand's culture, on the other hand, has developed in the direction of Theravada Buddhism, and many exuberant festivals are connected to both Buddhism and the changing seasons (such as Loy Krathong, Thailand's Festival of Lights).

Culture In Vietnam

In Vietnam, scenic natural features coexist side by side with ancient monuments, which immortalize centuries of history. Therefore, its attractions are endless. Home to diverse traditions, complex ethnolinguistic patterns, and a myriad of ethnic groups, Vietnam is heaven for those who are eager to experience a brand-new culture. The country is said to be inhabited since the Paleolithic age, and Homo erectus fossils dating back to 500,000 BC have been found in caves in Lạng Sơn and Nghệ An.

Vietnam is filled with places of cultural and historical importance, and if you’re seeking a truly immersive experience, we highly recommend that you uncover some of those sights. During your errands in Vietnam, prepare yourself to come across ancient pagodas dating back to the Emperor Ly Nam De Dynasty (544 – 548), Hindu-themed ruins featuring several stone sculptures, 19th-century citadels, and temples housing hundreds of intricately carved statues of Buddha.

History buffs will certainly fall in love with Vietnam and feel compelled to learn everything they can about the most prominent moments of the country’s past: the Chinese occupation, the local dynasties, the French colonization, the Japanese invasion, and the Vietnam War, among others.

Aside from gorgeous temples and pagodas, Vietnam harbors eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which are landmarks or areas with legal protection. One of the most fascinating of them is the Hoi An Ancient Town, a former trading port between the 15th and 19th centuries filled with intact French colonial-style buildings. Another must-go cultural attraction in Vietnam is the Complex of Hue Monuments, which was the capital of the country in 1802, and home to the Imperial Residence, the Imperial City, and the Forbidden Purple City.

Vietnam keeps more authentic local culture

There are major cultural differences between Vietnam and non-Asian countries, and such differences attract westerners, many of whom prefer to escape to a destination with big differences than to one which is too similar to where they live.

The main religious belief in Vietnam is a combination of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, similar to other East Asian countries such as China, Japan and Korea. These countries are all greatly influenced by Confucianism and Mahayana Buddhism.

People over 50 years of age in the northern part of Vietnam may still feel some hostility towards westerners, because of the Vietnam War, but most locals are nice to visitors.

Many overseas Vietnamese are returning to Vietnam and bringing with them Western cultural influence. Everyone is learning English and designer-clothing is common in the streets.

Culture In Thailand

Thailand is not behind Vietnam in terms of culture. Aside from the paradisiac beaches, the historical sites are the most sought-after tourist attractions in the country.

In Thailand, spirituality meets history, and the locals have been practicing Theravada Buddhism since at least 100 AD. Buddhism, by the way, is the most common religion in the country, and approximately 95% of the people follow this religion. One of the most exciting ways of learning about Thai beliefs, culture, and history, is by visiting the local temples, which are spread all across the country. There are 40,000 temples in Thailand, which date back to thousands of years ago. One of the oldest is the Wat Phra Phutthabat, built-in 1624 by King Songtham of Ayutthaya. A highly revered temple, Wat Phra is also known as the “temple of the Buddha’s footprint”, as it’s believed that Buddha Gautama once left his footprint on this site.

Other stunning Buddhist temples in Thailand include Wat Pho, the ‘Temple of the reclining Buddha’, which houses a giant reclining Buddha that is 46 meters long, covered in gold leaf; the bizarre-looking White Temple, Chiang Rai, filled with a profusion of symbols; and Wat Phra Kaew that features a 6-inch high Buddh made of jasper or jade.

Another amazing way of experience Thailand’s culture is by going to one — or more — of the country’s festivals. This destination boasts a showcase of lively celebrations and festivities, you just have to pick your favorite and plan your trip accordingly. For some family-friendly fun, go to the Chiang Mai Flower Festival, which happens annually in the first week of February, when Chiang Mai and its surrounding areas are brimming with indigenous flowers. Another magical festivity in Chiang Mai is the Yi Peng Festival, in November, which is when floating lanterns, also known as Khom loy, are released across the city as a way to pay respect to Buddha.

Thailand has more western influence

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and the former king, Rama IX, who reigned from 9th June 1946 to 13th October 2016, was greatly loved and respected by the people. His cremation was held on 26th October 2017.

The main religion in Thailand is Theravada Buddhism. Monks have very high status and they conduct numerous Buddhist rites, from festivals to daily blessings. Most teenage boys become novice monks for a while, about a year, to earn merit for their families.

The whole country is much influenced by western thought and lifestyle. Thai people are easily satisfied and they believe that life should be fun. Thai people have a great passion for Thai food.

2. Convenience of Travel: Thailand is More Convenient than Vietnam

Generally speaking, Thailand wins with regard to convenience and comfort. Vietnam offers an easier taste of authentic local life.

Vietnam's internal transport system is becoming more convenient, with air transport already good, though the country's road and rail transport infrastructure need more upgrading. Organized trips, from day-tours to long-haul itineraries, are common. Many travel companies operate in Hanoi, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City.

Thailand is highly developed in tourism with numerous airlines serving both international and domestic routes. Local transportation is convenient and tuk-tuks driving through the streets bring even more fun to the Thai experience. Thousands of tour agencies in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and renowned beach destinations like Phuket, make it easy for visitors to find appropriate travel service.

Thailand has more direct international flights connections than Vietnam

There are not that many international flights from western countries to Vietnam, only a few from big cities such as San Francisco, Paris, Sydney, and Beijing. Most international flights from western cities need at least one connecting flight through Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Bangkok. Learn more about the best domestic airlines in Thailand.

Vietnam Airlines, the country's official international carrier, provides direct flights. Other international airlines like Cathay Pacific, Air France, Qantas, and Thai Airways also serve Vietnam. A trans-pacific journey from the USA or Europe takes over 20 hours.

Thailand is served by far more airlines, from all over the world. Direct flights are available from North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. For example, Thai Airways operates direct flights from Los Angeles to Bangkok, British Airways and United Airlines offer connecting service from New York. Qantas provides direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne.

Thailand has better domestic travel facilities and services than Vietnam

Domestic flights in Vietnam are very convenient, and there are many flights between the main cities. However, domestic buses are not as good as those in Thailand. Trains are also available in Vietnam, but their facilities are quite basic.

For quick travel and comfortable experiences connecting between major cities, airline transportation is recommended. Two domestic airlines — Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific Airlines — serve most of the routes.

Travel around Thailand is easy and convenient. There are many domestic flights, and two airports in Bangkok. Suvarnabhumi (BKK) is one of the busiest airports in Asia, used for both international and domestic flights. The older Don Muang Airport (DMK) now mainly serves as a hub for Thai Air Asia, Nok Air, and other budget airlines, providing domestic flights.

Buses in Thailand are generally in good condition and some long-distance buses even include a meal or snack, with water. Trains are also a good way to travel in Thailand, but they are a little bit slow and maybe in poor condition; possibly okay for those who are staying a long time in Thailand or for those who simply love taking trains.

Visas – Thailand provides easier and faster access

There are three ways of obtaining a visa for Vietnam — via a Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate, an E-Visa, or a Visa on Arrival. The E-visa is a pilot electronic visa system launched on 1st February 2017: visitors can apply for a 1-month single-entry visa by paying USD 25 via the official immigration platform.

Thailand is much more convenient with respect to visas. Passport holders from 57 countries, including the citizens of most European countries, Australia, and the US, can enter Thailand for up to 30 days without acquiring a visa beforehand. Click here to see the ourist visa exemption scheme and how to apply for a Thailand visa.

Language – English is used more commonly in Thailand

Vietnamese people engaged in tourism can speak English, but it is not as popular on the streets as in Thailand. In Thailand, English is more common, and many people in the cities can speak English. English is obligatory for children from kindergarten onwards.

Thailand has better medical and health care system than Vietnam

Thailand's medical system is very good compared with Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries, and relative to American or European medical costs, it is cheap.

3. Cost and Currency: Vietnam and Thailand are Both Affordable

Both Thailand and Vietnam are developing countries with a relatively low cost of living and labor, so a holiday in either country is generally affordable and good value. They offer high-quality resorts, restaurants, and tours, at prices matching a wide range of budgets.

Accommodation Cost – both countries offer good-value hotels

Compared with other Asian countries, the cost of hotels in Vietnam is low. The cost of a local 4-star hotel is around USD 60, while an international 4-star hotel is about USD 100 per night, much cheaper than in China, Japan, or Korea. All major cities offer accommodation ranging from budget guesthouses to 5-star hotels.

Thailand can not only meet the backpackers' on-a-budget requirements, but can also satisfy those who looking for a luxury experience. No matter where you are, you can choose from between budget hostels right up to the most luxurious resorts. Accommodation in Thailand is generally good value. Continue to read How Much Money for Visiting Thailand.

Food Cost: Both are great although Vietnam is slightly cheaper

Thai cuisine is slightly more famous than Vietnamese cuisine overseas. It's known for its pad Thai, tom ying goong, and fantastic Thai curries, although there are many other regional dishes, such as khao soi, a classic noodle dish you have to try in Northern Thailand. Find out the best 30 dishes in Thailand you have to try.

Vietnamese cuisine also has its own features and, like many Southeast Asian cuisines, it is very generous in spicy and fresh herbs. But one aspect that can't be avoided is the cost — you can dine like royalty, and traveling in Vietnam still won't cost as much as Thailand.

Another factor of Vietnamese cuisine is the French influence. The coffee culture in Vietnam sets itself apart in some ways among most Southeast Asian countries.

Currency – exchanging money is easy

You can use dong or USD in Vietnam. It's always best to carry some VND to be used for small change when purchasing street food or dining at a local restaurant. Some local shop owners or taxi drivers may add their own exchange fees or won't give change if you pay in USD.

Exchanging currency in Vietnam's major cities is easy and reliable, and the airport is the most comfortable place to do it. Alternatively, you can withdraw money from ATMs, though you might be charged two commissions (one by the local bank and the other by your issuing bank). The exchange rate from USD to VND currently hovers around 1:22,500 and a bottle of water costs around 5,000 VND.

Thai baht is the only currency accepted in Thailand, although some shop owners still quote prices in USD. It's easy to exchange Thai baht in most cities, as exchange booths are conveniently located in central places or near popular tourist attractions. The current exchange rate from US Dollar to Thai Baht is about 1:31.37.

Most airport exchange counters operate 24 hours a day. ATMs can be found in all cities and most banks charge 200 baht (about 6.5 USD) for withdrawing with a foreign bank card.

4. Travel Experience: Which is A Better Destination?

Most visitors begin their Vietnam trip in Hanoi, before taking in several UNESCO World sites like Halong Bay, Hue and Hoi An, as well as the Mekong Delta, and ending in Ho Chi Minh City. Authentic experiences in combined tours are designed for you to be inspired by street food discovery in the narrow alleys, a cooking class outside the ancient town, or a boat trip through a lively market.

Thailand is renowned for excellent beaches and profound Buddhist culture. The country's many pleasures can be experienced from an classical itinerary starting in Bangkok, moving to neighboring historical parks like Ayutthaya and Sukhothai, then heading to the north to visit Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, and ending at the beaches. It is truly rewarding if you plan your trip to Thailand neatly.

Vietnam's diverse landscape vs Thailand's quality beaches

The culture is one of the most important attractions in Vietnam. Narrow alleys in the Old Quarter, the oldest and most lively commercial district in Hanoi, attract many visitors, with their historic charm and noisy street sights.

The Ancient Town of Hoi An has earned the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with an impressive cultural legacy including its Chinese Assembly Hall, Japanese Covered Bridge, museum in a French-colonial house, and roadside cafes. These create a leisurely ambience for visitors to enjoy.

Hiking trails in the mountainous northern area leading to ethnic minorities are highlights of Vietnam. Natural scenery is better than in Thailand and the cruises in Ha Long Bay and boats on the Mekong River are unique.

Vietnam's authentic experience vs Thailand's comfort travel

A short boat trip is the other way to have a nice trip in Vietnam, making for a fun experience. They are especially popular in Ha Long Bay, the Mekong Delta, and the waterway connecting Vietnam and Cambodia.
How Long for and Where to Visit?

Vietnam is one of the best countries for having an authentic travel experience. Whether you are taking a cooking class, a cycling tour to the countryside, or a boat trip to the floating market in the Mekong Delta, you'll be able to come closer to the country and understand it better.

In Thailand, your travel experience might depend on the comfort of your hotels, good service attitudes or the kindness of locals. If you want to know more about local life, head to its local markets and try the street food.

Here is our advise on the number of days that you need in Vietnam and Thailand


Vietnam wins in diverse landscapes and authentic local experience and is less expensive at the moment depending on your tastes and budget.

Thailand is more geared up to tourists and has a little more variety to offer to beach lovers, giving it a definite advantage.

5. Vietnam vs Thailand in Beaches: Thailand Wins!

Vietnam does have some good beaches, but they are generally not as attractive as those in Thailand.

The tourist resources in Thailand are rich, both in cultural attractions like the ruins of the ancient Lanna kingdom and in high quality beaches of the upper Andaman Coast. The land-based scenery is dominated by temples, however, which may lead to aesthetic fatigue.

Beach destinations like Ko Phuket, Ko Samui ; and Krabi offer beautiful beaches and resorts with stunning views. Most high-end resorts are elegant, and well equipped with spas, swimming pools, fitness clubs, and other facilities. The traditionally-dressed staff will give you warm service with Thai smiles.

A wide variety of water activities from sailing, waterskiing, windsurfing, fishing, and diving to snorkeling, makes the coastline an ideal paradise for aquatic fun.

Thailand is renowned for its beaches. The country has numerous soft, sandy beaches stretching for miles as well as warm, clear, and calm waters. There are many beaches and islands accessible from Phuket, although we would advise avoiding Kho Phi Phi as it has become overwhelmed with tourists since the famous movie The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was screened. In that particular location, the island experience no longer exists and the island itself has been badly affected.

To the north of Phuket, Nai Yang and Nai Harn are fine beaches and are quite close to the international airport. They are often overlooked except as an overnight transit stay.

Frequently heard of beaches also means massive tourism: With regard to Phuket, Pattaya, and beaches such as Railay in Krabi, you're not exactly exploring new territory but there's still a good selection of beach destinations that are hard to beat. It's not easy to escape the crowds but it's still possible. Bang Tao Beach on the northwest coast of Phuket is big enough for you to be able to find your own space.

Crowd alert: Phuket's Karon Beach has perfect long stretches of white sand with crystal clear waters most of the year although, naturally, it can get crowded because of this.

Off the beaten path Koh Yao Noi: If you're prepared to take a 40-minute long-tail boat trip over to Koh Yao Noi, you'll find a beautiful little island that's still relatively unspoiled. This hasn't been overdeveloped yet so is a side of Thailand that gives plenty of scope for really getting away from it all on a very tranquil and peaceful island. Bear in mind that Koh Yao Noi has a majority Muslim population so this is where to go to enjoy peace and quiet — this is not for your Patong–Bangla–Khaosan crowd!

Learn more about the Top Beaches in Thailand. Find out which is better to go to between Khao Lak, Bangtao, and Surin in Phuket, Bophut, Choeng Mon, and Maenam in Koh Samui, and Klong Muang or Koh Lanta in Krabi.

Vietnam hasn't been widely known as a beach destination but places like the island of Phu Quoc and the south coast destination of Nha Trang have recently become known as popular beach destinations. Da Nang and Hoi An, in particular, have very long stretches of beach and can be great for families with children although Da Nang is a little plain and, during winter months, can be quite bleak. However, the sheer scale and variety of seafood is second to none.

Hoi An has, in recent years, suffered from the same popularity issue that has ruined Koh Phi Phi. It's worth a day trip but not necessarily a long stay. There are hordes of a-little-too-late-for-the-party backpackers and large tourist groups forming what seems like an endless queue traipsing around. However, it's still very scenic and idyllic, making it ideal for families.

Both Da Nang and Hoi An have plenty of amenities and are easy to get to.

They are possibly less scenic than some places in Thailand but are no less enjoyable because they have fewer crowds. Be aware, Vietnam is an up-and-coming beach destination. Check it out before the waterfronts become overbuilt with luxury resorts.

Phu Quoc has a beach with starfish: We recommend you try this beautiful, peaceful island while it's still relatively unvisited. Bai Sao is as popular as Long Beach is in the main town of Duong Dong. For perfect tranquility, you can't beat Starfish Beach, which is located at the north of the island. It is in a peaceful, calm bay with an abundance of stilted seafood restaurants and, of course, starfish. At the south of the island, you'll find the charming little fishing town of An Thoi where you can enjoy an inexpensive yet high-quality meal on the lovely rooftop restaurant at Phung Hung Boutique Hotel. Recommended accommodation on Phu Quoc would be Lana Hotel, which is perfectly placed to visit all of Phu Quoc, and Hai Anh Guesthouse, which is further north on the eastern coast — this is best for a lower budget but it is very hospitable.

Must-read tip: The time of year is a big factor with beaches. As with anywhere, some beaches can have crystal clear waters at some times and be murky at others. It's difficult to know for sure what they'll be like at any point so it's always best to check with a trusted agent, such as Sonasia Travel Group. We can contact our local expert guides who can give an up-to-date account of the local beach and sea conditions.
Crowd alert at Ha Long Bay: The karst limestone peaks of Ha Long and Lan Ha bays are very popular with boat trips and tourists so be warned that they can be somewhat spoiled by over-popularity.

Crowd alert at Ha Long Bay: The karst limestone peaks of Ha Long and Lan Ha bays are very popular with boat trips and tourists so be warned that they can be somewhat spoiled by over-popularity.

6. Weather: Thailand Is Hotter Than Vietnam

Thailand has a hot season, the high season, which usually lasts from March/April to June/July. That turns into the rainy season that continues until October as the southwest monsoon impacts the country. The so-called cool season is drier and more comfortable, but temperatures still easily reach 20°C and higher.

Vietnam has a more diverse climate. The south is divided between wet and dry seasons, which is similar to Thailand. In Central Vietnam, the mountain ranges have an impact. Da Lat and the Central Highlands have their dry season from December to March until the southwest monsoon season. The central lowlands, such as Nha Trang, are protected by the mountains and enjoy a long dry season from January to October.

North Vietnam has an actual winter and summer, completely different to much of Southeast Asia. The winter, from November to March, is wet and cool. The summer, from May to October, is hot with the occasional typhoon. Many travelers visit Southeast Asia in January/February for the dry season, and arriving in Hanoi to be met with cold, wet days can be a surprise.

7. Tourist Satisfaction: Thailand Has a Better Tourist Return Rate Than Vietnam

Apparently, over 50% of Thailand's tourists return whereas the return rate for Vietnam is around 10%. This is probably due to the convenience in traveling in Thailand. The scare stories relating to scams are possibly one reason for this difference in figures, although the truth is that similar scams can happen to unwary and unprepared tourists in both countries, and though Vietnam scams are pushier, Thailand scams can be very tricky sometimes.

8. Tourist Traps & Scams: Thailand Traps are More Tricky

Though most local people are exceptionally friendly and helpful, tourist traps and scams come in various forms. Some are straightforward fraudulent charges, while others may relate to porn deals. The following will highlight some common traps for you to avoid when traveling.

Vietnam – some cheating and inconvenient at New Year

Cheating in the shops can be one of the most annoying problems for travelers to Vietnam. Shops may attract customers by advertising lower prices, but the price may increase at any time, and you may end up pulling out more money than what was originally asked for. Continue to read Vietnam Tourist Traps and Scams.

In addition, cheating may even happen as you change money. Since the denominations of dong are very large, sometimes travelers may be confused by the trail of "0"s; so please pay attention when changing money, paying, or receiving change.

Another problem is the inconvenience when traveling in Vietnam during Vietnamese New Year (late January to mid-February). Since New Year is a time for family reunion, local people will migrate back to their hometowns before the New Year. Most shops, offices or businesses will close for a week and the traffic will be extraordinarily busy.

Thailand – cheating and porn deals

Cheating of some kind may also happen in Thailand. Some restaurants have two menus, one for locals and the other with higher prices for foreigners. Some tuk-tuk drivers may tell you they can take you to visit many temples and you need only pay 20 baht.

After visiting a few ordinary temples, they’ll convince you to go to massage shops and tailors they recommend. The prices in those shops will certainly shock you, for they will be two or three times higher than the normal prices. Continue to read How to Avoid Tourist Traps in Thailand.

Porn deals are hard to avoid in Thailand. The sex industry generates upwards of 100 billion baht each year. When you travel in Thailand, you will be vulnerable to being caught up in this. Please note that some people may try and earn money from you via sexual transactions.

Theft of credit cards and passports is common in Thailand. Therefore, it's best to buy insurance for personal property to protect against loss. Here is how to buy a good travel insurance for Thailand.

9. Local Cuisine Vietnam Vs Thailand

Both Vietnam and Thailand are famous for its delicious dishes

Food In Thailand

Praised in the five corners of the world, Thai cuisine can capture your senses thanks to its delectable profusion of flavors, textures, and aromas. One of the most prominent features of Thai food is the presence of aromatic fresh spices, such as cilantro, lemongrass, shallots, and chilies. Many dishes present spicy, sweet, sour, and salty flavors, which create more depth.

Just like many other world cuisines, Thai is influenced by geography, and it changes according to the region of the country. Up in the North, you’ll find a variety of noodle dishes, including the famous Khao Soi. Widely served in Myanmar, and Laos, which are both Thailand’s neighboring countries, this noodle soup is made with deep-fried egg noodles and, shredded chicken, and a coconut-milk-curry-based broth.

Also known as “Lanna Cuisine”, Northern Thai food also has other mouthwatering staple dishes, including Sai Oua, a spicy pork sausage seasoned with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, chilies, and galangal.

In the Northeast portion of Thailand, you’ll taste a slew of boiled dishes and, if you head to the center you’ll come across a variety of street markets that sell signature dishes from all over the country. In this area, there are also condiment-heavy dishes, which can be prepared with dry spices. One of the most famous dishes in this area is the iconic Pad Thai, and central Thailand also has the widest variety of curries in the country.

Now, if you move to the South of Thailand, you’ll be surprised at the number of dishes that are made with seafood and coconut cream. Curries here tend to be thicker, and fish sauce is used in a number of dishes.

Food In Vietnam

When talking about Vietnamese culture, we can’t forget to mention the fascinating — and delicious — local cuisine, which displays a variety of specific flavors depending on the region. Up in the north, have taken some Chinese influences, so you’ll find a lot of stir-frys and noodle dishes. Heavy in seafood and fishes, northern dishes are also influenced by age-old traditions and practices, and recipes in there date back hundreds of years. Some of the best-known dishes in the North of Vietnam is the bún riêu, a tomato broth soup with shrimp or crab paste and rice vermicelli. If you move more to the south, you’ll dishes which are more heave in spices, and sweet ingredients, such as coconut milk.

Another significant trait about Vietnamese cuisine is the French influence. This is mainly due to the fact that the country was conquered by France in 1857, and until the Geneva Accord of 1954, Vietnam was part of French Indochina. Still, to the present day, you can find French influences throughout the country.

Many of the Vietnamese staple dishes present elements from French cuisine. One of the most popular foods that have been introduced by France in Vietnam is the baguette, which you’ll find in dishes such as the banh mi, a special sandwich made with chicken and pickled vegetables.

10. People Vietnam vs Thailand

Vietnamese and Thai people are among the friendliest in the world

People in Thailand

Also known as the “Land Of Smiles”, Thailand lives up to its nickname. In fact, there are over 10 types of smiles that a Thai person may use, and each one has a specific meaning, such as “I admire you” or “I’m proud of you”. Thailand is home to friendly people, who make an effort to communicate and tend to be very helpful and receptive towards tourists.

People in Vietnam

Vietnam is also home to friendly and warm people, but many travelers complain that they felt taken advantage of by locals when visiting this destination, and didn’t feel welcomed. Other travelers said that they had a wonderful experience with locals, especially outside of the tourist areas.

While experiences may vary from traveler to traveler, it’s always polite to take your common sense with you and try to adapt to the local culture. Also, try to be as open-minded as you can when interacting with locals during your trips not only to Vietnam but anywhere. You might be positively surprised!

11. Nature Vietnam vs Thailand

The two countries are also famous for its diverse landscape and nature

Nature In Vietnam

Now, one of the most frequent questions of all: “Which place is more beautiful, Thailand or Vietnam?” The answer is both. And equally. In fact, it’s impossible to choose, as both Thailand and Vietnam are adorned with lush verdant hills, white-sandy beaches with transparent water, sweeping views of ancient temples, and more. So, when it comes to the “Thailand vs Vietnam Nature Battle”, both countries win.

Filled with awe-inspiring natural landscapes, Vietnam is different from everything you’ve seen before. Ha Long Bay, for instance, is one of the finest samples of how gorgeous Vietnamese nature is. Located in the northeast region of Vietnam, in the Gulf of Tonkin, this UNESCO World Heritage Site encompasses around 1,600 islands and islets, forming a seascape of limestone pillars. Once fully covered in lush forests, Vietnam is also home to six bio reserves, and it ranks 16th in the world according to biological diversity, as it’s home to approximately 16% of the world’s species.

But Vietnam has more than just crystalline water beaches. From North to South, the country is adorned with different landscapes, such as mountain hills covered with rice paddies, picturesque sand dunes, gigantic natural caves with limestone grottoes, and densely forested highlands. Vietnam, by the way, is home to the world’s largest cave, the Son Doong, located at Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, and featuring huge stalagmites that reach over 70m.

Nature In Thailand

Equally breathtaking is the natural landscape of Thailand. Approximately 25% of the country’s land area is covered in a blanket of natural forests, and Thailand is also stripped in bamboo fields and tall coconut palms.

This paradisiac SE Asia destination is also home to 100 national parks, which play host to a vast ecosystem of plants and animals. One of the best-known national parks in Thailand is Khao Yai National Park, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located just 200km from Bangkok, the park covers more than 2,000 square kilometers of forest and grassland and spreads across 4 provinces: Saraburi (west), Nakhon Nayok (east), Nakhon Ratchasima (north), and Prachinburi (east). Third-largest national park in Thailand, Khao Yai harbors around 445 bird species, more than 50 km of hiking and biking trails, and several waterfalls.

And while Koh Samui and Koh Phi Phi might be on top of your bucket list, Thailand has 1430 stunning islands, including ones that are lesser-known, such as Koh Lipe, Koh Muk, and Koh Lanta.

12. Nightlife Vietnam vs Thailand

Thailand seems to be better place to nightlife & part.

Nightlife In Thailand

When it comes to nightlife, few destinations can top Thailand. Festive, cultured, vibrant, and dynamic, this destination hosts a plethora of parties, which take place all across the country, from Bangkok to Phuket. One of the best party seasons in Thailand is from November to March, which is when the sand turns into a dance floor, and beaches get glistering with neon lights, fire spectacles, and music. Thailand also has a variety of popular foam parties, especially in Pattaya, cultural shows, pool parties, pub crawls, and amazing rooftops. Not to mention the iconic Full Moon Party which happens every month at the Haad Rin beach on Koh Phangan island.

Nightlife In Vietnam

Even though Thailand’s parties are hard to beat, Vietnam’s nightlife has been changing over the years and becoming more abundant. Big cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are now full of lively pubs, clubs, and bars, which are relatively affordable. In Vietnam, there’s also a variety of waterfront bars and clubs in beach destinations such as Mui Ne, and Nha Trang.

13. Accommodation Options Vietnam vs Thailand

Both Vietnam and Thailand have a wide range of accommodation options that are suitable for different travel experiences.

Accommodation in Thailand

In Thailand, there’s a variety of guesthouses, bungalows, hostels, hotels, and luxury resorts for you to choose from. In case you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, hostels are the best bet, and aside from being affordable, they’re great to meet other like-minded travelers. Now, for a more rustic, yet comfy experience, you can opt for an oceanfront beach bungalow in islands such as Ko Lanta and Ko Phangan.

Accommodation in Vietnam

When it comes to affordable accommodation, there’s no place like Vietnam. In major cities, such as Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, the options are endless and suitable for all budgets. Due to the recent hospitality and tourism boom in Vietnam, this destination has been going through an increase of luxury resorts and chich bungalows by the beach, especially along the coast, and the newer the hotel is, the better value it’s likely to have in terms of comfort, amenities, cleaning, etc. But, if you’re looking for budget accommodation, hostels are the best match. For travelers who are seeking an immersive cultural experience in Vietnam, a good choice is to opt for a homestay around the Mekong Delta, which is a great opportunity to live like a local during your trip.

Vietnam or Thailand: The Verdict

Which One Should I Go to First: Thailand or Vietnam?

We’ve broken down the main aspects of Thailand vs Vietnam, and in short, the two countries are amazing travel options. Some say that Thailand has better beaches and a livelier nightlife. Others find Vietnam the most beautiful place on earth and are drawn to its fairly affordable prices. But, apart from the differences, both Vietnam and Thailand are paradisiac places, capable of pleasing the most inquisitive travelers.

But the answer really depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re seeking a destination filled with lively parties and festivals, Thailand should be your first bet. The country is also a top destination for those who seek some spiritual and meaningful trip, as it has a handful of amazing Buddhist Temples. Some also say that, if it’s your first time in Asia, Thailand is the best choice.

Less touristic and explored than Thailand, Vietnam is a great match for travelers who are seeking an offbeat and more authentic experience. It’s also more affordable than Thailand, aside from boasting a rich history that will keep you hooked during your entire trip.

So, overall, the answer is: it depends. And maybe you don’t even have to choose between both countries. A great idea is to plan a long trip to Southeast Asia, and include both Thailand and Vietnam, aside from other destinations, in your itinerary.

Here is our short summary

Head to Thailand if you:

  • Want to party hard
  • Appreciate the developed tourist infrastructure (hence also better for traveling with young kids)
  • Want to get acquainted with oriental sights.
  • Would love to see exotic shows
  • Prefer the most comfortable hotels.
  • Want to relax on cleaner beaches and more turquoise sea.
  • Planning a trip in the winter.

You will love Vietnam if you:

  • Want to save money on the tour.
  • Interested in France - the French have had an enormous impact on local architecture and culture.
  • Want to go off the beaten path.
  • Would love to relax in peace, in nature.
  • Are not looking for maximum comfort.
  • Love coffee - it is outstanding there.

Vietnam and Thailand tour

Cannot choose where to start first? Why not choosing both?! Here are some of our tour packages that include the two countries so that you do not have to choose.

Tip: you can always modify these above tour packages or make a fresh itinerary by filling in the free request form and send us.

How to get to Thailand from Vietnam or vice versa?

Though there is no border between the two countries, it is still very easy to combine Vietnam and Thailand in one trip via international flights.

You can take the flight from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, Can Tho, Da Nang, or Phu Quoc to Bangkok in Thailand.

Best time to visit Vietnam and Thailand

So now you are wondering about when the best time of year is to visit both 2 countries. Check below about what you should consider.

Best Time to Visit Vietnam and Thailand for a Lifetime Trip

Vietnam really does not have a best time to visit, as the best time is a little different for each region. Typically, the weather across most of the country is warm and humid, and there are few months when you will not see at least some rain. Overall, the best time to tour the country as a whole would be from February to April, as this is the time when all three regions have the lowest rainfall of the year. While it can still be a little cold in the north, it is not too cold to travel comfortably, and the Vietnamese idea of cold is still warm to most western tourists. March and April are also the cooler months in the central and southern regions, which makes it ideal to travel the whole country in one go.

Thailand is normally best visited from November to March, when the weather is at its optimum for the year. While it is the peak season for tourism across most of Thailand (though the beach areas around Koh Samui and the other islands are in the peak season from June to September), it is still the best time to visit, and it is easy to leave the crowded cities behind and head for the open countryside and stunning local villages where the typical Siamese culture still exists.

If you are planning to visit both countries together, the ideal time would be in February or March, when the ideal weather exists in both destinations.

Best Time to Tour Vietnam and Thailand for a Budget Trip

If your tour centers around your budget, then the best time to travel is in the low seasons for both countries. In Vietnam, the relatively lower season of the year, since it does not have much of an off season for tourism, is from November to March, though you should avoid the period at Christmas when the airlines all increase their flight prices. From April to October, the tourism in Vietnam is at its highest, so it is best to avoid the summer months of June to September as well.

In Thailand, November to March is actually the high season for tourism, and is the most expensive time to visit. The low season, which coincides with the main monsoon season, runs from July to October. The hot season, from March to June, can be too hot to travel, unless you are used to the intense heat. If you are planning a low season trip, then the best times would be from April to June, if you can withstand the intense heat, or from September to October, which are not as wet as July and August.

Ideally, if you are budgeting for both countries, October is one of the best times to visit, as it is the tail end of the high season in Vietnam, when prices are coming down already, and the shoulder season in Thailand, just before the start of the high season.

Best Time to Tour Vietnam and Thailand for a Cultural Trip and Enjoy the Local Festivals

If culture is your thing, then you are definitely heading for the right places. Thailand and Vietnam are devoutly Buddhist cultures, and have a wealth of festivals, most of which happen in the winter months in the west, from November to March.

While this is the peak period for Thailand, it is the low season in Vietnam, do you can balance the high cost of one against the low cost of the other to make the trip a little less costly. When it comes to festivals, however, there is no better time to travel to Thailand and Vietnam.

Thailand loves its festivals, and from November to March there are more national and local festivals than at any other time of year. The earliest festival is the Lantern Festival, mostly held in Chiang Mai in November, but also found in other areas at around the same time. Held on the banks of the Peng River, it is one of the most remarkable sights in Thailand, and the best photos are always when the lanterns, with their glowing candles, rise up into the air all over the landscape.

November also sees the Lopburi Monkey Festival, at the Lopburi Temple around 150 kilometers north of Bangkok. Famous for its immense pack of monkeys, the usual bags of sunflower seeds that are sold to feed the monkey with are replaced with immense feasts of fruits and vegetables. With more than 3,000 resident monkeys, the feast uses around four tonnes of fruits and vegetables, as well as other delightful treats for the monkeys.

December sees the start of the Music and Arts festivals, styled around the globally famous Glastonbury Festival in the United Kingdom. Located on the outskirts of Pattaya in southeast Thailand, the Wonderfruit Festival hosts a huge number of local and national performers, with traditional Thai music and opera combining seamlessly with more modern performing arts, and including a few internationally famous bands from around the world.

Festivals in Vietnam offer travelers the best opportunity to get up-close and personal with the many customs, myths, and spirit of Vietnam. While it may be a more modern country now, it still retains many of its Buddhist traditions, with thousands of temples and pagodas strewn around the country.

The most popular festival of the year is the New Year festival, known in Vietnam as Tet Nguyen Dan. Abbreviated to just “Tet”, this festival celebrates the end of one lunar year and the start of a new beginning in Buddhist doctrines. It is not the wild party that you might see in Thailand at this time of year, but it is a much more fascinating and revealing experience.

The Perfume festival, held in mid-February, is one of the most amazing sights in the world, and a great time to visit Hanoi, the center of the occasion. The festival draws pilgrims from across the country to the iconic Perfume Pagoda in the city, where they will bend and pray for a prosperous year, as well as paying their respect to the Buddha. Held on the last day of the New Year celebrations, on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar, pilgrimage journey starts at the Den Trinh Pagoda and travels along the river to the stone steps of the Huong Tich Cave, where offerings of food and statues of the deities are placed.

So when is the best time of year to go to Vietnam and Thailand?

Thailand and Vietnam may have different times of the year for the best trip, depending on your needs and wants, but they can both be a great place to visit at any time of the year. If you are planning a trip to the two countries, then the Buddhist New Year, usually in mid-February in the Gregorian calendar, is the best time of year, when you can really see the differences between these two unique nations.

Vietnam visa

For nationals of many countries there is a tourist visa requirement to enter Vietnam.

Getting visa from local Vietnam embassies (in person, by mail, online)

If you have a lot of free time or simply like to have everything done and ready for your Vietnam travels, you can apply for visa ahead of time from a local embassy in your country. I had done this in Hong Kong (where I physically went to the embassy) to get my Vietnam Visa. You can also apply to Vietnam visa by mail or online. If you live in the US, this is a good resource to use when applying for Vietnam visa.

Here is more detail about applying Vietnam visa from an embassies

Vietnam e-visa

You can apply for an electronic visa (e-Visa) to obtain a 30 day single entry Vietnam visa for your trip. Not every country is allowed for E-visa issuing and there are specific airports and land ports that accept Vietnam E-visa. For more information check the official E-visa website.

Here is more detail about Vietnam e-visa

Vietnam visa on arrival (VOA)

For holders of German, Spanish, Italian, British, French, and Belarus passports, they will not need a visa to stay in Vietnam for less than 15 days. In other words, citizens of these countries can arrive at a Vietnam airport (HCM, Hanoi, Da Nang, Nha Trang) and get visa on arrival for 16 days. This is valid until end of June 2021. However you need to employ an agenda before you arrive to get an official letter of approval that you show when you land in Vietnam. 

Here is more detail about Vietnam visa on arrival.

We also have the specific guideline for the travelers from some countries such as: USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland, or Belgium

Thailand visa

Visitors to Thailand must obtain a visa from one of the Thai diplomatic missions unless they come from a visa-exempt country or a country whose citizens are eligible to obtain visas on arrival. 

However, Thailand is offering one of the easiest visa policies in the world. The country currently offers visa-free travel to nationals of 64 countries and territories. The Thai government maintains bilateral agreements on visa waivers with some of these countries. Nationals of 18 countries can obtain a visa on arrival.

Here is more about Thailand visa


How many days do you need in Thailand?

Well, there is no perfect answer for everyone as this will depends on many factors such as the places you plan to visit, the activities you wish to join, or the budget that you have. We have sorted out all these things in this article so that you can make your own decision.

How many days do you need in Vietnam?

The same answer as above. Follow this article so that you can find the answer by yourselves

Is Thailand still worth visiting?

Apart from its culture and beaches, Thailand is one of the most affordable travel destinations in the world. Thailand is, therefore, unquestionably worth a visit. It is one of the few places on Earth that possesses all of the characteristics of an ideal vacation destination.

Is it worth to visit Vietnam?

A country unlike any other, Vietnam is definitely worth visiting. A trip to Vietnam is an opportunity to experience the vibrant culture, sublime natural beauty, unique sights, strange flavors, and more adventures than you could possibly have in one trip.

When should I avoid Vietnam?

Halong Bay: Avoid visiting during rainy season (May – October) in the north, and in January due to low visibility and cloud cover.

Hoi An: Avoid visiting in October due to heavy rainfall and possible flooding.

Da Nang – Hoi An: Avoid swimming at the beaches in this central region during November as the rip tides can be particularly dangerous this month.

Hanoi: Avoid visiting in July as heavy rainfall causes washed out roads and potential flooding.

If planning to do some hiking or trekking: avoid visiting Vietnam during August as it will be the peak of rainy season in all the highlands.

Summer: Unless sunning yourself on the central coast beaches is the only thing on your Vietnam itinerary, we’d suggest avoiding visiting the country during the summer months of June – August as you’ll have a much harder time with the weather.

What month should you avoid Thailand?

The months from April to May are the hottest in the country, and if you cannot handle extreme heat, a holiday here is best avoided. July onwards starts the monsoon, and the next three months are the wettest and the least appealing ones to head to Thailand.

Is Vietnam more beautiful than Thailand?

Some say that Thailand has better beaches and a livelier nightlife. Others find Vietnam the most beautiful place on earth and are drawn to its fairly affordable prices. But, apart from the differences, both Vietnam and Thailand are paradisiac places, capable of pleasing the most inquisitive travelers.

Is Vietnam safer than Thailand?

The safety risk is somewhat higher on Thai than Vietnamese roads. Crime rates against travelers are low in either country of Southeast Asia. Still, they are a bit higher in Thailand since more travelers visit the kingdom.

Is Thailand cheaper than Vietnam?

Overall, the cost of living in Vietnam is lower than Thailand, even in a major city such as Ho Chi Minh City. As an expat, you can expect to pay about 20 to 30% less than you would in Thailand, although not everything will be more affordable.

24-hour response

Hello, my name’s Jordan and I’m obsessed with travelling overland. Seeing how cultures change while travelling slowly captivates me; and doing so in an eco-friendly way, preserving the cultures and landscapes that so many travellers yearn to explore, has given me my travelling purpose.


How long to spend in Thailand may seem like a ridiculous question to address, but if you have plenty of time and aren’t sure how much to dedicate, this blog will definitely help you out. 

How long can you stay in Thailand? 

Well, as long as you like! From 10 days to a month, there are various ways you can travel across Thailand and uncover its secrets. Advising an ideal trip length for Thailand is a bit of a complex challenge, as it depends on several factors such as the places you wish to visit, the activities you plan to join, or if you want to combine Thailand with its neighbor countries. 

Stay tuned! We are going to sort all these things out including the step-by-step guide to create the best itinerary in Thailand.


How long to spend in Vietnam may seem like a ridiculous question to address, but if you have plenty of time and aren’t sure how much to dedicate, this blog will definitely help you out.

You can find here and there that you should spend 10 days, 2 weeks, 20 days, or 1 month to best explore Vietnam. So what is the best Vietnam tour duration for you?

Well, as long as you like! From 10 days to a month, there are various ways you can travel across Vietnam and uncover its secrets. Advising an ideal trip length for Vietnam is a bit of a complex challenge, as it depends on several factors such as the places you wish to visit, the activities you plan to join, or if you want to combine Vietnam with its neighbor countries. 

Stay tuned! We are going to sort all these things out including the step-by-step guide to create the best itinerary in Vietnam.


Vietnam currently approves 9 COVID-19 vaccines, and everyone 12 years of age and older should get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before travelling to the country, while rules differ for those under 12 years. Here’s an update to our guide to COVID-19 vaccines for international travelers to Vietnam.


Thailand currently approves 8 COVID-19 vaccines, and everyone 18 years of age and older should get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before travelling to the Kingdom, while rules differ for those under 18 years. Here’s an update to our guide to COVID-19 vaccines for international travelers to Thailand.


Since the start of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Vietnam has closely monitored the situation and installed a series of proactive, comprehensive measures to combat the spread of the virus within the country and prepare its public health facilities. Past experience with other epidemics places Vietnam in a strong position to protect its population as well as visitors passing through. 

Travelers in Vietnam may have questions about the spread of the virus in Vietnam, as well as which policies are in place in Vietnam. Below is a full overview of the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam as it relates to travelers. 


We believe you have the right to arm yourselves with as much information as possible before making any decision.

Check below the detailed information for our different destinations, our plans by travel theme or time frame to learn more before moving forward..

Already got a plan? REQUEST A FREE QUOTE

Either are you wondering about best time to visit, visa policy, or how to get the cheapest flight, we have your back!
WHAT MORE? Choose the country you plan to visit, then search for your nationality below to see our special travel tips & advice for your country. CONTACT US if you cannot find yours.


Best Time to Visit
bee-white Best Time to Visit
Tourist Visa Policy
bee-white Tourist Visa Policy
Getting Flight There
bee-white Getting Flight There
Getting Around
Internet & Phone
bee-white Internet & Phone
Packing List
Budget & Currency
bee-white Budget & Currency
Buying & Bargaining
bee-white Buying & Bargaining
Safety & Precautions
bee-white Safety & Precautions
Tipping Customs
Local Etiquette
Travel Insurance
bee-white Travel Insurance
Useful addresses
bee-white Useful addresses
back top