Vietnam vs Thailand

A Vietnam vs Thailand comparison is hard to make- both places are unique and equally beautiful. They may be in close proximity to each other, but by no means are they similar or the same, and both make for attractive tourist destinations. While Thailand has been a top tourist destination for a while now, the recent surge in tourism in Vietnam has made them both worthy competitors. Deciding on one destination could be a challenge for you, but referring to our Vietnam vs Thailand guide ought to help.

vietnam vs thailand Vietnam and Thailand are two equally gorgeous countries offering exciting experiences making them worth a visit.

What speaks for Vietnam

1. A land brimming with diversity –

Making the most out of two weeks of travel may seem rushed to you, but two weeks in ‘Nam will leave you wanting more. From buzzing metropoles to serene, undisturbed countryside and fishing villages, from ancient sites to modern architecture, shopping in colourful bazaars to kayaking on hidden lagoons, Vietnam is bursting with diversity, and a diverse range of experiences for all kinds of travellers with all kinds of interests. Additionally, the country is crawling with a great transportation system, so travelling in Vietnam from one place to another is never taxing or exhausting. Save up on time with a flight, or sleep through the journey on an overnight bus or train ride. Sure Thailand’s beaches are pretty, but the adventure of a lifetime that is Vietnam overshadows the scenic shores.

adventure travel in vietnam Whether you are a beach bum or adventure seeker, Vietnam has something to offer to all kinds of travellers.


2. A cultural treasure- 

Vietnam is a proud bearer of 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites out of which a whopping 5 are Cultural sites, and the sixth is a combination of both, culture and nature. Instead of one religion, the Vietnamese follow an amalgamation of three religions. This is due to the extensive external influences over the years. Vietnamese culture leaves it’s marks in the form of monuments, temples and several festivals celebrated dutifully each year. Additionally, the family is the most important institution for the Vietnamese, and it continues to be so. This is reflected in their traditional eating habits that you can experience in the many homestays the country offers. Speaking of food, Vietnamese cuisine is not only mind-bogglingly delicious, but is yet another aspect of Vietnamese life imbibed with cultural and philosophical relevance. What more is to be said about the cultural abundance in Vietnam? Nothing beats witnessing it firsthand!

culture in vietnam While travelling across Vietnam, you will get an insight into the rich culture and history that this country holds.


3. Awe-inspiring landscapes –

Want to see rice fields looking like liquid gold? What about towering limestone formations, or numerous delta lagoons? Not only can you witness these amazing natural formations in Vietnam, you can actually be amongst them. Trek through the fields in Sapa, kayak at Halong Bay to better admire the rock formations, go marketing on a boat on the Mekong Delta in the south- the possibilities are endless. Vietnam is blessed with some of the most stunning landscapes in the world, and they are all accessible and affordable to be admired by people from around the world. Oh, did we forget to mention the biggest cave in the world, surrounded by several scenic caves at Phong Nha national park? In the Vietnam vs Thailand battle for the best scenic landscapes, Vietnam wins hands-down.

vietnam vs thailand Vietnam is blessed with spectacular landscapes attracting travelers from all over the world.

4. A rich history that shapes the present- 

Vietnam was occupied by Chinese Imperial powers for 1000 years until 10th century CE, and yet again for 20 years in the 15th century. Previous centuries have seen the likes of the Khmers, Mongols and Chams, all invaders of Vietnam at one point. The Vietnamese never stopped fighting against the invasions that rocked their history, not only against the Chinese, but also the Champa empire in the south, the Cambodians in the west and in more recent history, the invading French and American powers. Each struggle left the Vietnamese with a strong sense of Vietnamese identity and the will to rebel in the face of injustice. Apart from invaders, Vietnam itself was a divided country. The Vietnam war ended a mere 40 years ago. 

This makes it a place where past lives alongside present, not only in the museums and pagodas, but in the stories that the veterans tell, and in the warning signs in the central highlands where several unexploded ordnance lie hidden. And it’s not just a factual, “boring” history that appeals only to the history buffs- take part in the Hue Festival that breathes life into its Imperial past, or walk down the halls of the Reunification Palace, and get transported to the past.

history of vietnam You can learn about this fascinating history that Vietnam has because of its war-ridden past.

Vietnam’s disadvantages- what plays against it

Vietnam boasts of a 3,444 km long coastline, but sadly, it’s beaches are sub-standard. There’s no shortage of beach destinations, but strong currents and a complicated monsoonal chart mean there’s only certain brackets of time that you can actually enjoy them. Kicking back on the sand is always a possibility, but travellers in search of the beach holiday of their dreams will find better luck in Thailand. The same can be said about the nightlife in Vietnam; nightlife is one of the last few things that Vietnam is known for- landscapes, history and food take precedence. The surge in tourism has led to a marked improvement in the nightlife scene, but, Vietnam vs Thailand? Similar to the beaches, Thailand is the better destination when it comes to partying into the wee hours of the morning.

vietnam vs thailand When it comes to that perfect beach holiday then Thailand is a clear winner since the beaches of Vietnam can only be enjoyed at certain times.

What speaks for Thailand

1. Beaches, beaches, and beaches! 

A world-renowned beach destination, there’s almost an overwhelming choice of beaches in Thailand to choose from. Want to feel like a castaway? Head to Koh Samui, where you can also sip on a few cocktails. Want a beach with some diving activity? Koh Tao is the place for you. Simply looking to relax minus the guilt of lazing around and not exploring? Head to Koh Samet or Koh Kood, two of the several smaller islands, robed in luxury. Thailand has beaches on its west and eastern coasts, which makes it a year-round beach destination; when one part of the country is wet, the other is dry.

Due to it being a world-famous beach destination for years now, the influx of tourists is always at a high and the crowds can be annoying. But, its secluded spots and small islands will ensure you still manage to find some private beach-time. Additionally, island-hopping is also an easy and fun way to get around. Diving lessons are cheap and easily found.

beaches in thailand Having a number of gorgeous beaches, Thailand is just the place to be if a beach holiday is what you are looking for.

2. Bangkok- ever brimming with adventure! 

Bangkok is one of the liveliest cities in Asia – liberal, cheap, fancy and simple, all at the same time. Royal temples against modern architecture, quiet peaceful spots contrasting parties and nightlife, delicious street food alongside fancy fine-diners: Bangkok is a city full of contrasting odds and ends, yet manages to not come across as being too overwhelming. Additionally, major tourist sights in the Ratanakosin area are located within the city: the dazzling Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and the National Museum’s hoard of exquisite works of art. Just like with so many other Asian cities, Bangkok has its own distinct charm, and the people are friendly and sociable. All in all, an extremely unique city altogether. It tips the Vietnam vs Thailand scales in Thailand’s favor.

vietnam vs thailand Exploring the city of Bangkok that has so much to offer, will surely give you an experience of a lifetime. This unique city is reason enough to travel to Thailand.

3. Top-notch infrastructure

Thailand’s infrastructure is commendable if nothing else, and helps greatly when it comes to tourism. A wide network of trains, buses and ferries, and affordable private transport make travelling in Thailand a breeze. However, getting to secluded islands could prove to be a bit of a task as it often takes a while. But we definitely know it’s worth it! Traffic is prevalent but is never unbearable, making renting a motorbike or a scooter a very doable option to get around. 

vietnam vs thailand Having a great infrastructure and transport facilities, travelling in Thailand is quite easy and affordable.

4. Throbbing nightlife

Thailand has by far the best nightlife in entire Asia. Full moon parties, cheap booze, international DJs & party hostels. If a throbbing nightlife is what you need for a good holiday, head to Thailand and Thailand only! From swanky rooftop cocktail bars, to fierce dance bars hosting top-notch DJs, Thailand has it all. There’s never a reason needed to have a good time, and the easy availability of cheap booze only makes it better. Pick one spot to party away or go bar-hopping with your friends. An abundance of events usually kickstart as the sun goes down, and there are a range of party hostels that offer the normal facilities alongside a fun party environment.

nightlife in thailand Thailand is a destination known for its nightlife, a paradise for all the party animals. Partying in Thailand is something you might want to add to your travel bucketlist.

Thailand’s disadvantages- what plays against it

The main problem with Thailand? Overtourism. The unbeatable combination of excellent beaches and thrilling nightlife has resulted in an overflow of tourists to Thailand. To a large extent, Thailand has lost its authenticity in the noise of tourism. Vietnam on the other hand, still remains true to itself. Thailand has the northern mountains, temple architecture in Bangkok and Ayuthaya, and its beaches. Apart from these, there’s not much else to see in Thailand; any exceptions aren’t evident enough to garner attention.

vietnam vs thailand Thailand witnesses hordes of tourists every year compared to Vietnam, that is still relatively less crowded.

From ‘Vietnam vs Thailand’ to ‘Vietnam + Thailand’

Clearly, Vietnam and Thailand are extremely different, with different experiences. If you can’t pick one, you can just go to both places on the same trip! 

The destinations of Phuket, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang are very well connected. They have several airlines like AirAsia and VietJet plying between the cities and an abundance of flights. Want to travel green by avoiding flights?You can visit Siem Reap in Cambodia, and then cross over the border to Vietnam by land (bus or car). And, if you’re willing to skip out on beaches, throw Laos into the mix. This way you can cover the highlands of Thailand, Laos and North Vietnam.

Whatever your choice, we recommend at least 14-21 days to cover both countries. Start with taking in the sights in Vietnam and then head to the beaches of Thailand. Alternatively, travel north from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, cross the border to Laos by boat and head to Luang Prabang in Laos. Then fly over to Vietnam and see the best cities there. You can cover this rough plan in two to three weeks, depending on your pace and how many places you want to see in Vietnam. 

vietnam and thailand You can cover both Vietnam and Thailand in a single trip which would let you experience the best of both the countries.


Both destinations have one striking similarity: the food and the experiences are amazing in both Vietnam and Thailand, and worth a visit! Have a rough plan in mind? We can do the polishing up for you.

helping you travel your way

We provide a helping hand to independent travellers who need assistance with planning and booking their trip. The primary goal is to turn your dream holiday into reality.

find out how