I’m excited about this Thailand vs Philippines comparison. So many times I have been asked which country is better. And to be honest, both countries are great, but everyone has different preferences and expectations when they travel to a foreign country.
Most people are more familiar with Thailand, because it gets so many tourists every year, and it has a better economy. Most travelers have probably heard more things about Thailand then the Philippines. From my experience, it looks like most people feel more comfortable visiting Thailand.
By the way, I did a similar article a while back comparing Vietnam and Thailand.
The Philippines and Thailand are two beautiful countries in South East Asia, both of them can give travelers a wonderful experience. In recent times the Philippines has gained in popularity and tourism from all over the world. Things are improving there, the government has done a good job of improving the infrastructure and making the place safer, especially in the well-known capital of Manila. Now there are many people who retire in both places.
Traveling to the Philippines alone is much better than it used to be.
This is why this comparison will be very close and I am looking forward to see result. Which country will in the different categories and come out the winner in the end.
I have traveled to Thailand and Philippines many times and will try to give you a closer look at what to expect in terms :
- Prices – which is cheaper to travel to?
- Nightlife, bars, entertainment for single men
- The women
- Culture and general attitudes towards foreigners
- Natural beauty
- Language – How easy is it to communicate in English?
Prices & Cost of Living
To put it simply, your money will go farther in the Philippines compared to Thailand. The costs for hotels, food, partying, drinking, taxis, are all cheaper in the Philippines.
But here is the important part, in the capital city of Manila, it can get more expensive. In the financial and trendy areas of Makati and BGC it can be almost as expensive as Bangkok, maybe even more at times. But even then it will still be cheaper than Thailand in most situations. Usually in the capital cities of any country will be the most expensive.
As an example, most foreigners could live comfortably in the Philippines with a budget of around $1000 USD per month. In Manila you would need around $1500 USD.
In Bangkok you would need at least $2000 USD per month to live comfortably. You could do it for less than that, but I am referring to foreigner standards. The locals can live for less than that since they might not be used to the same standards as some of the foreigners who come from better developed countries.
If you like to go out often to bars, nightclubs, restaurants then it will cost more than that. But with that budget I mentioned above you will be able to rent a nice 1 bedroom condo, eat well, and go out once in a while to party or drink.
The prices for everything can get very cheap once you go to other provincial or less touristy cities.
If you go to these countries as a tourist it will be a bit more expensive as well, since you will be spending money on hotels, and going out often to restaurants and sight-seeing.
The bottom line is that Philippines is cheaper than Thailand.
Nightlife & Partying
Both countries have great nightlife, but Thailand has more options over-all. Cities like Bangkok, Pattaya, and Patong are world-famous for their nightlife and partying. You will find plenty of bars, go-go bars, red light areas, nightclubs, and many other entertainment options.
This is one category that Thailand is really strong in. Even the less well-known cities and islands have good nightlife.
The Philippines is also very fun. The nightlife is great, but it doesn’t have as many options as Thailand. Most of the nightlife is in Manila, Cebu, and Angeles city. There you will find plenty of nightlife options, especially for single guys that want to spend some fun times with cute Filipinas. The less-known cities do have small nightlife and partying scenes, but not as much as Thailand.
I must give the edge to Thailand here.
Thai Girls Vs Filipinas – Who Looks More Beautiful?
This one is an interesting one, since it can be debated forever. All over the internet forums and among men this question remains: who looks more beautiful, Filipinas or Thai girls?
Of course this generally comes down to personal preference and tastes. But we will try to give a fair judgement here.
Thai women tend to have more slim bodies. They tend to be more toned than Filipinas. We are talking about the most of the people here, not all of them. Thai girls also seem to have lighter skin, especially from the northern regions and areas close to the Vietnamese and Laos borders. Their faces can have very beautiful and delicate features.
The girls in the Philippines have much more variety to their looks and appearance. Some of them look very Asian, with lighter skin, and others look darker, with distinct native Filipina features (jet black hair, silky smooth darker skin).
Another thing is that Filipinas tend to have more shape to their body. You will find many of them with more “curves” as compared to the girls in Thailand. Some of women in the Philippines are absolutely beautiful from head to toe.
It is very hard to pick a winner here. I listed both countries as top travel destinations for single guys. That should tell you my opinion about the women. This one is a tie.
Winner: Both countries
Culture & Attitude Towards Foreigners
Buddhism is the main religion in Thailand, and the belief systems of that religion show in the culture. Generally Thai people are friendly and kind towards foreigners. They are open-minded and have an accepting nature to their personalities.
Thailand was and is still known as the “Land of Smiles”. The people of Thailand are peaceful and will rarely act in an aggressive way towards foreigners. They don’t start problems unless you start with them.
But Thailand is not as friendly as it once was. This is not really a surprise anymore. It could be because Thailand gets visited by so many tourists, and some of them are not polite and respectful towards Thai people and the culture. So some Thai people generalize that all foreigners are the same, and that they are annoying and disrespectful.
It is no secret that Thailand has a thriving sex industry which is supported by many single men that go there in order to have naughty times with the local Thai women. So this has not helped the situation.
Sometimes you may feel a bit of resentment towards foreigners. In the Philippines this happens much less (but you do feel it sometimes too). Just know that although Thailand and Philippines is welcoming of foreigners, these types of vibes still exist in certain situations and with a small majority of locals.
The primary religion in the Philippines is Catholicism. The culture is very family oriented. They are warm and welcoming of foreigners. They are very nice people, sometimes even too friendly.
Both countries have a nice culture, and both of them can be welcoming of foreigners. They are equal in this regard.
Winner: both countries
Thailand feels safer than the Philippines, especially when you compare the capital cities of Bangkok and Manila.
I feel safe in Bangkok almost anywhere I go, even at night-time. I can’t say the same thing in Manila. Some parts of Manila are not safe for foreigners at night.
Violence is more common in Manila than Bangkok. Thailand is not perfect either, but it sure feels like crime in the Philippines is more common.
Philippines is considered “poorer” than Thailand. Their economy is not as strong. Many people feel that the Philippines looks more “3rd worldly”.
In this category I give credit to Thailand, it simple feels safer, even in Bangkok.
Natural Beauty & Sight Seeing
I think we can all agree that both countries are beautiful. They both have beautiful natural scenery, beaches, islands, and jungles.
Philippines is excellent for its beautiful islands, mountains, and amazing waterfalls. I went to Kawasan Waterfalls in Cebu, it was an experience I will never forget.
Thailand also has many Buddhist temples that are amazing to visit. The Philippines also has some historic sites from the original native culture, and also sites from the Spanish era.
This one is a tie.
Winner: Both countries
Language – Is English Widely Spoken?
This is one category where the Philippines wins hands easily. English is widely spoken all over, even in the provinces. So no matter where you go, if you speak some English you will be able to communicate easily with the locals.
As a man it is so good to be able to talk to the Filipinas and converse with them. You can’t always do this with Thai girls. Many of them can’t speak English good enough to hold a conversation.
English is not spoken by the majority of locals in Thailand. In the provinces you will very rarely be able to communicate with the locals at all.
In Bangkok and the other well-known cities it can be easier, but still not as easy as the Philippines.
There is a clear winner here.
Thailand Vs Philippines Conclusion
So as you can see, it looks like a close comparison. Thailand is more developed.
But the Philippines is catching up. The economy is getting better. More international investment pours into the country. Tourism is increasing there. The place is very affordable to travel to. One of the best things about the Philippines is that English is widely spoken.
Thailand is still one of the top tourists destinations in the world. There is a good reason for this. It has pretty good infrastructure, is safe, and is affordable for most travelers. That combined with an amazing nightlife would make it hard for any country to compete.
The interesting thing is that this turned out to be a tie, which I didn’t expect.
The finale score: Thailand 5, Philippines 5