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Thailand vs Bali

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Thailand vs Bali

Apologies for the double post in Bali and Thailand forums...

I just wanted to hear opinions from both sides in case some were biased =)

I'm torn between Bali and Thailand. I was wondering if people with experience on both places could give some advice.

If I go to Bali, it would be for about 7 days on the ground, not counting flight, and Thailand would be 2 weeks. Both places, visiting various cities/villages.

Both places look similar to me in the pictures, but my wife would really like to play with elephants in Thailand... I'd hate to use that as the deciding factor between the two destinations lol...

Thanks a lot

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lewes uk
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1. Re: Thailand vs Bali

Hi,

They are both really different, Bali is a small, volcanic island, Thailand is a big and diverse country. I love them both but if it's a choice between one week or two weeks I'll be picking the two weeks every time. Can't recall any elephants in Bali either so better to keep people happy and plump for Thailand imo...

Cheers

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Gold Coast
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2. Re: Thailand vs Bali

I agree, two weeks would be the deciding factor for me and the fact that the Thai beaches are better (apparently).

Candy Land
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3. Re: Thailand vs Bali

well I see your getting more hits on the Bali forum and some good advice from the first post there. after getting more info on your background I'm wondering if you can do both. Air Asia offers direct flights for a decent fare at only 4 hours. not sure if your coming from NY, but that's a long way and I would want the 2 weeks as the above posters wherever I'm coming from.

hands down I pick Thailand (food is unbelievable) but would never down play Bali for a week. you can get that intro into diving without a certificate there. my gf did her's in Tulamben and was able see quite a lot. rafting in Ubud has left fun memories for us to go back and make the trip again. dining in Jimbaran as touristy as it seems will have its romance and killer sunset. surf lessons, monkey village and some okay night life around Kuta will fill your week or a good five days. my only (would never downplay Bali) complaint would be on local cuisine. maybe we've dined at the wrong places or on the wrong nights.

Thailand has everything we look for and more. if you haven't been to either come here. I saw your reason for wanting to head to Bali and that's more personal and you got to do what you got to do. I would factor in my holiday time or days off from work and whats in my heart. either way you will have a fun experience and be more well traveled. last thought for one vacation visiting a predominately Buddhist country and mainly a Hindu island would definitely be spiritual. will it be namsate or sawasadee krup, Bintang or Singha or maybe all of them. another cheers.

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Poulton Le Fylde...
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4. Re: Thailand vs Bali

We've just returned from a very enjoyable 5 day Visa Run mini break to Ubud, Bali. Overall we still prefer Thailand but appreciate that 5 days in inland Ubud is hardly comparable with 5 months on the 25km of glorious beaches in Khao Lak.

We found the Indonesian cuisine less diverse and flavoursome to its Thai counterpart, the locals were very friendly but not as outgoing as the Thais, the rice paddy laden fields and Balinese compounds were a lovely and interesting contrast to the more tropical feel of the Thai countryside but equally enjoyable. The Balinese temples were very different to the Thai Wats but nonetheless striking in their unique styles and method of construction.

The harassment and touching by local sellers particularly in the local markets was far more pronounced than that we encountered even in Patpong with a simple smile and "No Thank You" having to be more forcefully applied than in LOS.

I had thought the scooters/motor bikes were bad enough in Thailand but nothing compared to those in Bali. They passed either side, in front and behind and are allowed to go either direction in a one way street! Despite that seeming mayhem the Balinese drivers just relied on constant horn blowing and remained very calm, which is more than be said to us passengers at times.

Having said all this I think a two centre Thailand/Bali holiday provided a wonderful comparison of two very different countries and cultures, particularly for travellers who may not visit S E Asia often or even again. But I would spend the greater amount of time in Thailand.

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Antipodes
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5. Re: Thailand vs Bali

Bali about 2000 square miles, Thailand about 200,000 square miles. It's just NOT a fair fight!

Edited: 21 February 2013, 09:34
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London, England
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6. Re: Thailand vs Bali

Difficult! Bail has changed a lot in the last few years, especially Ubud we found on our last visit. The town centre almost gridlocked daily and the market was a scrum. Outside Ubud, the villages, temples and rural scenes are enchanting, but in the main the beaches are not really as good as Thailand, although we stayed at a truly fabulous beach hotel in Tanjung Benoa. Like Arandora, we feel that Thai food has the edge but, away from the madness of Kuta, Bali still has a feel of rural serenity that is seductive.

The clincher is trip length: given the choice of 14n Thailand or 7n Bali, it would have to be Thailand, with the range of possibilities for a couple of different places in the 14n. One thing no one has mentioned is what time of year is this trip going to be? For a Jan/Feb trip, Thailand weather will be better: did Arandora get very wet, I wonder? We love both places though and the Bail forum undoubtedly will produce vociferous advocates for Bali. Maybe Thailand this year and Bali next year...

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Poulton Le Fylde...
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7. Re: Thailand vs Bali

Hi Sue,

As you say Ubud was not all what we expected. We expected a quiet, arty town that you could stroll gently around!!! A scrum is a very apt description of the "craft market"! And after half an hour walking down Monkey Forest Road with no end in sight even my wife's eyes had glazed over at the repetitive shopping opportunities. It was particularly busy because it was Chinese New Year with coach loads of visitors everywhere as well as staying locally.I suppose newbies to Thailand may get a similar impression of a first visit to Patong which in no way other than the crowds compares with Ubud.

It was Wet Season and in 4 days it only rained twice late afternoon but the humidity was incredible! I might as well have been soaked by rain judging by my T Shirt at times!

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Italy
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8. Re: Thailand vs Bali

We've been to both and if its a beach holiday you're looking for then Thailand is the better option, we were in Bali in October and although the weather was great the sea was quite murky so could only swim in the pool. I would also look at the weather patterns as you don't say when you're planning the trip, one place might be better than the other weatherwise.

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9. Re: Thailand vs Bali

Hi Arandora: Monkey Forest Road in Ubud is one of the rare places in the world where the pavements make those in Bangkok look good! The 60-seat coaches of tourists have ruined Ubud, which is an awful shame as it was so lovely 10 years ago, although some of the outlying craft villages are still tranquil-ish. We were in Luang Prabang a few weeks ago (great: like Thailand 25 years ago) where, wisely, they ban large coaches from the city centre.

Hope you have dried out now, back in Khao Lak. London is 1 degree C at 11:00 this morning without the wind chill factor, so stay right where you are! I just peeked at the Bali Forum and, rather surprisingly, their consensus was in favour of Thailand. I wonder what the OP will do, as he was being steered towards choosing Bali by his travelling companions, according to his last response... Hope he heads for Thailand.

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10. Re: Thailand vs Bali

Thanks so much for your feedback, I really appreciate it. I love this community =)