Thailand vs Bali | Where Should You Go?

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Wondering where you should go during your next holidays in Southeast Asia? I know – it’s a hard one. Bali and Thailand both have great things to offer. If it’s not possible for you to travel to both Bali and Thailand, I’ll be comparing both destinations to help you make a decision.

Wondering where you should go during your next holidays in Southeast Asia? I know – it’s a hard one. Bali and Thailand both have great things to offer. If it’s not possible for you to travel to both Bali and Thailand, I’ll be comparing both destinations to help you make a decision.

Who am I to tell you which one is the best destination for you?

I lived in Bali for over a year and I was always pretty sold on Bali… until I decided to take two months to travel around Thailand. After only one week, I realized how much Thailand had to offer and I decided to extend my stay.

Bali and Thailand are “same-same, but different”. They both have beaches, island vibes and can be done on a budget or in total luxury. Still – they are different.

Let’s take a look at the major differences and let’s see on what you could base your decision. Will you travel to Bali or Thailand?

Bali vs Thailand – Season

When are you planning your holidays? Going on a trip might sound fun – but did you know about the burning season or the rainy season? There are good times to visit Thailand and Bali, and there are also bad times too. That being said, if you want to make the most of your holidays, you should consider the season when deciding on where to go.

Best Season to Visit Bali

The best time to visit Bali is between April and September. October to April is the rainy season. It doesn’t rain constantly but if you have a limited time in Bali, you should aim for the good weather.

Best Season to Visit Thailand

Thailand is a big country, which means that depending on your destinations, you might face different types of weather. The worst time to visit Thailand would be between August and October – which refers to the rainy season (and more importantly the wettest months for Thailand in general).

To give you an idea, I’ll split Thailand into different sections and indicate the rainy season as well as the burning season.

Islands in the Gulf of Thailand (Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao): The rainy season is between September and December. The best time to visit would be from January to March.

Islands in the Andaman Sea (Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi, Phuket, etc.): The rainy season is between May and October.

Chiang Mai : Chiang Mai has a burning season which is not recommended for travel as it’s hard to breathe out there. It starts towards the end of February and lasts until April. The rainy season in the north is between November to February.

✅ Gulf of Thailand: January to March

✅ Andaman Sea: November to April

✅ Northern Thailand: May to October

❌ Rainy season in the Gulf of Thailand: September to October

❌ Rainy season in the Andaman Sea: May to October

❌ Burning season in Northern Thailand: February to April

👉 Depending on your travel dates, you should pick your destination according to the right season.

Thailand vs Bali – Cost

What is your travel budget? Where are you at the moment? When I make travel decisions, I always take a look at the flight prices first. The idea is to go somewhere without spending too much at first if you’re on a budget. If the budget isn’t a problem, then, you won’t have to worry about this section too much. If you are wondering if Bali or Thailand is cheaper, then keep reading! I’ll be comparing both with a holiday perspective as well as a cost of living perspective for the long-term nomads out there.

Is Bali or Thailand Cheaper?

If you’re traveling on a budget, I totally understand why this matters to you – been there, done the whole extreme budget traveling! Overall, I found that both countries can be done on a budget. Here are some real-life examples to help you understand the differences.