In this Vietnam Vs Thailand comparison I wanted to give insights on two of the most heavily visited places in Southeast Asia. There are many similarities between Thailand and Vietnam.
And although both countries have cultures that resemble one another, there are still some differences that should be taken into consideration for travelers. I really like both places, but there are certain things that I prefer from both countries, which I will get to below.
I will go over all the important things such as prices, culture, nightlife and partying, transportation, food, and more. So hopefully after reading this you will have a solid idea of what to expect.
By the way, an interesting read would be an article I did comparing the Philippines to Thailand.
Prices – Which is Cheaper?
Both countries are well priced for travel — especially if you are coming from relatively markets. Vietnam and Thailand have great prices for:
- Food & Drinks
- Nightlife & Partying
For most people, all these things above will be cheaper than the country you are coming from.
And this is why expats look to retire in these places and not just for the lovely Vietnam women. You can live a comfortable life without needing to spend the same way you would back home.
So both countries are popular with the expat crowd, and this should tell you that value can be found in both countries. Travelers can have an amazing (cheap) holiday at both places, especially if you stay out of the touristy areas.
Keep in mind that Thailand is more developed than Vietnam — especially Bangkok the capital city…
So prices in Bangkok are a bit higher than in Vietnam, and can get even more expensive depending on how you spend your money.
But hotels are still very well priced in Bangkok and all other cities in Thailand. Another point is that prices in Thailand can be cheaper once you go into the less touristy areas.
On the other hand, Vietnam is very affordable all across the board, and things like food, hotels and partying can be cheap.
So prices are a bit higher in Thailand’s popular touristy cities. Vietnam as a whole is cheaper to travel to than Thailand.
Winner in this category: Vietnam
Both Vietnam and Thailand have a wonderful historic culture. And the vibes are very interesting to experience as a foreigner. Even though they are so similar, they can be world’s apart. And this is the amazing thing about both places.
In Vietnam there was a historic Chinese influence and a French influence from more recent times. The Chinese influence has left its imprint in the philosophic and religious mindset.
And the French have left their influence in the architecture of the buildings.
It is really an interesting mix and you can feel the contrast if it all. In simple terms Vietnam feels more dynamic, and a bit more authentic — especially for travelers who are looking for that type of experience.
Thailand also has a deep historic culture, heavily influenced by Buddhism. All over you will find beautiful monuments, temples, parks, and other great things to experience.
Thai culture is also heavily infused by Western culture as of late. You will see English written as a second language in many places, especially in the tourist areas.
Both places are welcoming to foreigners, but I still feel that Thailand is a bit more easier for first time tourists. For the guys that already have some experience in Southeast Asia, and want to experience a new thing Vietnam is perfect. Vietnam has a certain authentic charm about it that deserves recognition.
Winner in this category: Both Countries
Nightlife & Partying
In Vietnam most of the nightlife fun is in Ho Chi Min city and Hanoi. There you will find many bars, nightclubs to keep you busy. Partying in Vietnam can be very fun and cheap. And the locals are also very fun and inviting.
Thailand has one of the best nightlife scenes in all the world — especially in the cities like Bangkok, Pattaya, and Patong (Phuket). From nightclubs, rooftop bars, beer bars, and gogo bars. A good read would be the American Farang blog, which gives insight these topics as an expat.
Thailand has it all.
Thailand is also very popular for single guys who want to experience the amazing red light districts.
Both countries have great nightlife, but I give the edge to Thailand here. It just has more nightlife options than Vietnam.
Winner in this category: Thailand
Ease of Getting Around (Travel)
Over-all I think Thailand has better transportation options. It is slightly more developed than Vietnam. Bangkok’s Skytrain and Subway systems are really easy to use. And they are very clean and cheap.
Throughout most cities in Bangkok you can find taxis, motor-taxis, and tuk-tuks, and similar options to get you to and from places for very cheap.
Of course there is also Uber and Grab taxi service in most cities.
Another great point about Thailand is the domestic flights. They are very cheap and have service all over the country. Traveling within Thailand is not only fun, but very convenient.
Vietnam is also getting better in this regard — since it is developing a rapid pace. In the major cities you can easily find transport options like taxis and cyclos (bike taxis) to get you around.
The public transport systems of Vietnam are not on par with Thailand though.
Over-all I think Thailand is better in this regard.
Winner in this category: Thailand
You will be please to know that both Thailand and Vietnam have absolutely amazing food. And the great thing is that it can be had for very cheap at most places.
Another great thing is that you can find tasty food almost everywhere you go. In Thailand you will find tasty authentic Thai food in the markets and street stalls.
There is also fine high end international food available in the tourist cities and in the capital of Bangkok.
Vietnam also has amazing authentic food for very good prices. One of favorite things to do in Vietnam is to eat all the tasty food in the markets and street stalls.
You haven’t tried beef noodle soup (Pho) until you have it in Vietnam.
This is one of the best things about traveling to these two countries. Vietnamese Cuisine has such an amazing fusion of flavors and tastes. And so does Thailand.
Both countries win here.
Winner in this category: Both countries
Site Seeing & Beaches
You will find beautiful beaches world renowned beaches in both places. In Thailand most of the beautiful beaches are in and around the Phuket island.
In Vietnam you can find nice beaches in places like Hon Khoi, Nha Trang, Da Nang, and many others.
So if you are looking for beautiful beaches you will love both countries. And I really recommend for all travelers to try and check out as many beaches as they can. It can really be an amazing experience.
It is also good to know that both places have nice sight seeing. Thailand has the nice Buddhist temples, the grand palace and many national parks that are worth seeing. Vietnam also has some great historic sites, temples, natural scenery and French architecture.
Winner in this category: Both countries
Final Thoughts on Vietnam Vs Thailand
I really think that both these countries are evenly matched. Although the economy in Thailand is stronger, Vietnam is not too far behind. It actually seems that Vietnam is starting to match the development rate of Thailand now.
You’ll have a great time in both countries. As you saw in this guide it is a close match up, with Thailand having a slight edge (but very little).