balivsthailand-0cfeed

Bali vs Thailand: Which should be your next holiday destination?

Find out which tropical paradise is going to be your dream holiday destination: Bali or Thailand.

Bali and Thailand are both exotic destinations that offer budget-friendly and luxurious options.

Stuck between the two? We break down costs, accommodation and types of holidays to help you choose the paradise for your next big break.

TL;DR: Our verdict

The winner: Thailand works out to be cheaper overall, has a wider range of cuisines and activities for families and has cleaner beaches. If nightlife is where you're at though, Bali is the winner. Scroll here for our quick side-by-side comparison of each destination.

Bali vs Thailand

Which is better for cost?

Generally, Thailand comes out cheaper in all aspects of travel (accommodation, food, drinks) except tours and flights. You can score flights for as little as $99 each way on budget airlines, whereas to Bangkok cheap seats tend to cost closer to $199 each way.

Price also varies depending on where you are going. For example, ground costs on Thai islands such as Phuket or Koh Phangan during the full moon party cost more than Bali.

Bali cost Thailand cost
Flights $917 return (average paid by Australians in 2018) $1,015 return (average paid by Australians in 2018)
Hotels (3-star hotel) From $41 per night (based on a stay on 1 November 2019 via Hotels Finder) From $28 per night (based on a stay in Bangkok on 1 November 2019 via Hotels Finder)
Beer $2.30 $1.50
Meals $3-28.50 $2-$16.50
Tour 10-hour Bali tour from $51.71 8-hour Bangkok city tour from $169.48

Prices obtained on 25 March 2019. Food and meal prices obtained from Numbeo.

  • Winner: Thailand is cheaper for on-ground costs such as hotels and food, though comes up much pricier for tours. If you can travel on your own, it'll save you a bundle. The average flight price paid by Aussies is only marginally cheaper than Bali.
Bali art market stall. Image: Getty Images

Bali art market stall.

Chatuchak market in Bangkok. Image: Shutterstock

Chatuchak market in Bangkok.

Flights

Which is better for flights?

Outside of price, you'll find a variety of budget and full-service airlines service both Bali and Thailand. Bali only has one airport however while Thailand, being a country and not a city, has multiple popular tourist cities, each with their own airport. This includes Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai.

Budget airlines that fly to Bali are: Jetstar and AirAsia. Popular full-service airlines that fly to Bali are: Garuda Indonesia, Qantas and Virgin Australia. Flights can start from $99 out of Perth however the average airfare Australians pay to Indonesia, according to Skyscanner, is $917 return.

Budget airlines that fly to Thailand include: Jetstar, AirAsia and Scoot Airways. Popular full-service airlines that fly to Thailand include: Qantas, Virgin Australia, Thai Airways and Singapore Airlines. The average airfare Australians pay to Thailand, according to Skyscanner, is $1,015 return.

  • Winner: Thailand has more options for budget and full-service airlines. Price-wise, Bali does come up cheaper though. Find your flight with Skyscanner.

Hotels

Which is better for hotels?

Bali offers a wider variety of choice than Thailand with everything from budget hostels to homestays (guesthouses), hotels, luxury beach resorts and villas available.

Prices vary significantly depending on which area you're staying in. Hostels start at $10 a night, homestays at $15, hotels at $30 and entire villas for $100. Depending on the level of luxury you're going for, accommodation can be upwards of $500 per night. Seminyak, Canggu, Uluwatu and Nusa Dua are the most expensive areas on Bali.

In Thailand your choices for accommodation include hostels, bungalows, hotels and resorts. Hostels start at $5 a night, bungalows at $15, hotels at $40 and resorts at $50. Again, prices vary significantly depending on where you're staying in Thailand. Expect accommodation in places such as Phuket, Bangkok and Chiang Mai to be pricer. Top luxury resorts can cost as much as $1,000 per night.

Compare your hotel options now on Booking.com.

  • Winner: Outside of heavily touristic areas Thailand offers better priced accommodation for a similar variety of styles and hotel classes.
Melia Bali hotel. Image: Supplied

5-star hotel Melia Bali, Bali.

Baan Laimai Beach resort in Phuket. Image: Supplied

5-star hotel Baan Laimai Beach resort in Phuket.

Which is better for a honeymoon?

Both Bali and Thailand are filled with romantic resorts, restaurants overlooking the water and spas.

The best way to decide which is ideal for your honeymoon is when you're planning on going. Thailand and Bali have opposite rainy seasons, so Bali should be visited between April and September while Thailand is best between November and April.

If you have limited time and want to see everything, Bali may be best as it is much smaller than Thailand.

  • Verdict: Bali wins for honeymoons between April and September and Thailand for honeymoons between November and April. What can we say? We'd prefer good weather over anything else when celebrating.

Lovers enjoying the view in Bali

Which is better for families?

Bali and Thailand both offer a wide-variety of family-style accommodation and family-friendly activities. If there must be a winner, Thailand is our choice as it's bigger and and has more activities on offer than Bali.

Another point of consideration is food. If there are some picky eaters in your crew then Thailand is the winner as there is an abundance of choices, with Thai cuisine that is loved by travellers and Western food also easy to come by. Bali also has many Western food choices, which is great for anyone who loves the creature comforts of home, but the local food has less variety than Thai cuisine.

  • Verdict: Thailand offers more family-friendly activities and has food that can please just about anyone.
Chicken satay skewers in Bali Image: Getty Images

Chicken satay skewers in Bali Image: Getty Images

A sample of Thai cuisine Image: Getty

A sample of Thai cuisine.

Things to do

Which is better for nightlife?

The top areas to party in Bali include Kuta and Legian, but you'll find plenty of beach clubs in Seminyak and Canggu too. The nightlife scene is Bali is more sophisticated than Thailand as Bali brings in big-name DJs and international artists for concerts at high-end beach clubs and rooftop bars. See it all in a short amount of time with a skip-the-line Bali party crawl walking tour from $50.27 per person.

Thailand's nightlife is best for those on a budget, where buckets (large alcoholic drinks are served in buckets typically used for sand) are common and go-go bars are everywhere. Thailand's nightlife is more seedy than Bali's but it is still abundant with something for all ages. You can hit up the streets of Patong, Phuket from $28.73 on a dedicated Phuket pub crawl.

  • Verdict: Bali takes this round with its sophisticated range of nightclubs, which aren't too pricey as well if we do say so ourselves.

Drinks on Lovina Beach, Bali

Bangkok's Khao San Road. Image: Getty Images

Bangkok's Khao San Road, known for its nightlife. Image: Getty Images

Which is better for beaches?

Bali is surrounded by beaches and is the spot to go if you're interested in surfing. Beginners can try surfing in Canggu and the pros can hop on their boards in Uluwatu. Bali has both white sand beaches and volcanic black sand beaches. While Bali does offer some stunning beaches, not all are spectacular as it is common to find garbage floating in the water and on the beaches.

Thailand's islands have all types of beaches, most of which are idyllic. You won't have issues running into garbage like you do on some Bali beaches. The waters are calmer in Thailand making it an ideal destination for snorkelling and diving.

While most Bali beaches are busier, you will find some with few people. But in Thailand it is easier to find a paradise mostly to yourself.

  • Verdict: Thailand's beaches are cleaner and more geared toward the visitor with snorkelling and diving opportunities. If you're a keen surfer though, we say Bali all the way.
Bali beaches. Image: Getty Images

Bali beaches. Image: Getty Images

Boats on the Phuket coast.


Bali vs Thailand: Features compared

Feature Bali Thailand Winner
Popular activities
  • Visiting temples
  • Surfing
  • Sunrise volcano trek
  • Beaches
  • Rice terraces
  • Visiting temples
  • Night markets
  • Hanging out with elephants
  • Island-hopping
  • Beaches
Both
Transport options Bali has no public transport system so transport is limited to private drivers and some shuttles. Flights, ferries, trains, buses and shuttles. Thailand
Best months to visit April–September November–April Both
Type of scenery/landscape Lush jungles, mountains and volcanoes, scenic beaches, rice terraces. Jungle, mountains, scenic beaches, islands, cities. Both
Popular airlines that fly there from Australia
  • Jetstar
  • AirAsia
  • Virgin Australia
  • Qantas
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Jetstar
  • AirAsia
  • Scoot Airways
  • Thai Airways
  • Qantas
  • Virgin Australia
Thailand
Average flight cost from Australia (according to Skyscanner)
  • $277 (Darwin, cheapest city to fly from)
  • $753 (Sydney)
  • $749 (Melbourne)
  • $643 (Brisbane)
  • $662 (Sydney to Phuket)
  • $680 (Melbourne to Phuket)
  • $899 (Brisbane to Phuket)
  • $865 (Sydney to Bangkok)
  • $777 (Melbourne to Bangkok)
  • $882 (Brisbane to Phuket)
Bali
Cuisine Indonesian cuisine mostly consists of rice, noodle or soup dishes. Dishes are typically fried and are packed with flavour. Typical dishes include rice, noodle and soup dishes. Thai food is typically light and flavoursome. Thailand
Travel style best suited for
  • Adventure travellers
  • Beach lovers
  • Culture
  • Foodies
  • Beach lovers
  • Culture
Both

Bali vs Thailand: Who won?

Thailand wins our vote here with its wider range of activities and cuisines, cheaper on-ground costs and greater family-friendly appeal. It's best for foodies, beach lovers and culture.
If you're after a better party scene or surf however, then Bali is the place to go.

Bali

  • Cheaper flights from Australia
  • Cheaper tours
  • Wider variety of hotels, including villas and homestays
  • Better weather from April-September
  • More Western food options
  • More sophisticated nightlife
  • Beaches are better for surfing

Thailand

  • Cheaper food and drink
  • Cheaper hotels
  • Better weather from November-April
  • More family-friendly activities
  • Wider variety of food
  • Cleaner beaches with snorkelling and diving opportunities
  • Wider variety of public transport options
  • Wider variety of airlines fly to it

Top Bali and Thailand deals

Virgin Australia - Deals Virgin Australia - Deals

Up to 33% off worldwide flights

Valid for travel from April - December 2019. Destinations include Bali, Hong Kong, Osaka, Tokyo, Taipei, Fiji, Vanuatu, Los Angeles and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Contiki Contiki

Up to 25% off last-minute tours worldwide

Book a range of last-minute Contiki tours, from week-long jaunts to month-long journeys, to destinations including Italy, France, Germany, Greece, Vietnam, Thailand, USA, Canada and more.

Last verified

Agoda Agoda
Exclusive

Extra 5% off hotels worldwide

Valid for stays from 22 October 2018 - 31 December 2020, including over Christmas. Destinations include Bali, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris, Amsterdam, Sydney, Gold Coast and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Columbus Direct Columbus Direct
Exclusive

Get 5% off your next travel insurance policy

Use our exclusive code to get 5% off any Columbus Direct travel insurance policy, domestic or worldwide. Destinations would include Thailand, Bali, Fiji, USA, UK, Italy, France, Japan and more.

Last verified

Cudo Cudo

Bali: Nusa Dua 5-night escape from $399

Valid for travel on select dates. Includes accommodation at Swiss-Belhotel Segara Nusa Dua. Inclusive of daily buffet braekfast, one-way airport transfer, daily cocktail and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Virgin Australia - Deals Virgin Australia - Deals

South Pacific flights from $299 return

Valid for travel from April -December 2019. Destinations include Vanuatu, Fiji, Bali and more. Sample fare is Darwin-Bali.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Jet Radar Jet Radar

Thailand flights from $339 return

Valid for travel from 30 March - 11 April 2019 across Thailand. Destinations include Phuket, Koh Samui, Utapao, Krabi and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Bangkok. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

I Want That Flight I Want That Flight

Bali flights from $255 return

Valid for sample return flights on Virgin Australia from Darwin. Flights also available from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Flight Centre - Holidays Flight Centre - Holidays

AirAsia sale: 7-night stay + flights from $509

Valid for travel between May - August 2019. Sample price is for Saigon Prince Hotel. Includes return economy flights from Perth and more. Destinations include Bangkok, Phuket, Kuala Lumpur and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Cudo Cudo

Bali: 3-night stay + 40% off spa from $499

Valid for travel until 31 March 2020 in Bali. Includes accommodation at award-winning Jungle Retreat by Kupu Kupu Barong. Inclusive of daily breakfast, 90-minute massage and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Hilton Hotels Hilton Hotels

Up to 35% off Asia Pacific hotel stays

Valid for stays on select dates across all participating Hilton hotels in Asia Pacific. Destinations include Hilton Bali Resort, Hilton Goa Resort and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Cudo Cudo

Up to 71% off 5-night stay in Mandarava paradise

Valid for travel until 31 March 2020 across Phuket, Thailand. Includes accommodation at Karon Beach, two daily American buffet breakfast, spa treatments and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

MyBali MyBali

Bali: 5-night stay + flights from $1,490

Valid for travel on select dates between June - December 2019. Includes accommodation at Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach, $2,750 bonus value, return economy flights, free daily buffet breakfast and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Phuket: 8-day getaway + flights from $949

Valid for travel from April - October 2019. Includes accommodation at Cape Sienna Hotel & Villas, return economy flights, daily breakfast, private transfers and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Flight Centre - International Flight Centre - International

Thailand flights from $353 return

Valid for travel from 1 May - 15 June 2019. Sample fare is Darwin-Phuket.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Trip.com Trip.com

Up to 57% off hotels worldwide

Valid for travel from 1-31 March 2019. Destinations include Bali, Bangkok, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Compass Hospitality Compass Hospitality

Up to 25% off Thailand and Malaysia hotels

Valid for stays until 31 March 2019 depending on the property. Destinations include Bangkok, Langkawi, Johor Bahru, Chiang Mai and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

MyBali MyBali

Bali: 7-night stay with flights from $1,490

Valid for travel from 1 - 31 March and 20 April - 31 May 2019. Includes accommodation at Sandara Boutique Beach Resort, $2,000 bonus value, return economy flights, free daily buffet breakfast and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Virgin Australia Virgin Australia

Extra 10% off domestic and international flights

Valid for travel until August 2019. Destinations include Pacific Islands, Bali, Port Moresby, Los Angeles, Asia, North America, Middle East and across Australia including Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

MyBali MyBali

Bali: 5-night stay with flights from $1,190

Valid for travel from 1 - 31 March and 20 April - 31 May 2019. Includes accommodation at Sandara Boutique Beach Resort, $1,250 bonus value, return economy flights, free daily buffet breakfast and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

MyBali MyBali

Bali: 10-night stay with flights from $2,290

Valid for travel on select dates between June - December 2019. Includes accommodation at Mulia Resort Nusa Dua, $3,250 bonus value, return economy flights, free daily buffet breakfast and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

MyBali MyBali

Bali: 10-night Deluxe stay with flights from $2,590

Valid for travel on select dates between June - December 2019. Includes accommodation at Mulia Grandeur Deluxe Room, $3,250 bonus value, return economy flights, free daily buffet breakfast and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

MyBali MyBali

Bali: 7-night stay with flights from $2,490

Valid for travel on select dates between June - October 2019. Includes accommodation in a Deluxe Villa, $3,250 bonus value, return economy flights, free daily buffet breakfast and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Flight Centre - International Flight Centre - International

International flights from $355 return

Valid for travel on select dates. Destinations include Rome, Paris, New York, London, Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Hawaii, Manila, Bali and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Christchurch. F&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

EasyRentCars.com EasyRentCars.com

Up to 30% off Thailand car hire

Valid until 31 March 2019. Minimum of 3 days rental. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Contiki Contiki

10% off Asia tours

Valid on select 2019 dates. Destinations include Koh Samui, Phuket, Bangkok, Chiang Mai and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Swiss BelHotel Swiss BelHotel

Up to 30% off Belitung Indonesia hotels

Valid for travel until 30 December 2019. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Agoda Agoda

Bali 3-star+ stays from $12 per night

Bali villas, homestays, hotels and hostels from just $12 per night. Sample destinations in Bali include Jimbaran, Seminyak, Kuta, Denpasar, Legian and more. $12 sample price is for Vilarisi Hotel in Legian.

Last verified

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Millennium & Copthorne Hotels

20% off stays + free breakfast

Valid for stays on select dates across all participating Millennium Hotels and Resorts in Asia. Check-in must be on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Destinations include Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

HomeAway HomeAway

Bali villas from $29 per night

Book a private villa stay in Seminyak, Kerobokan, Sanur, Ubud and more.

Last verified

eDreams eDreams

Up to 66% off holiday savings

Enjoy your holiday more when you book with eDreams. Valid for travel on select dates. Destinations include Phuket, Melbourne, Denpasar, Singapore and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Groupon Groupon

Up to 70% off hotel stays and vacation packages

Destinations include Gold Coast, Port Douglas, Bali, Phuket, Fiji, Vietnam and Hawaii. Sample packages include a 5-night stay in Surfers Paradise for $299 (Regularly $579) and a 5-night package to Fiji for $999 (Regularly $2101),

Last verified

TripAdvisor Rentals TripAdvisor Rentals

Bali private pool villas from just $214 per week

Price is based on a seven-night stay in February 2018.

Last verified

Tick Travel Insurance Tick Travel Insurance
Exclusive

10% off your Bali travel insurance policy

Want to save more on your Tick Travel Insurance policy? Simply enter this code to receive a 10% discount on your cover.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Design Hotels Design Hotels

Up to 30% off if you book in advance

Valid for bookings made at least 30 days in advance at hotels around the world. Destinations include France, USA, Bali, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, UK, Singapore, Japan and more.

Last verified

Scoopon Scoopon

Up to 83% off 8-night luxury Thailand stay

Valid for travel on select dates until 31 October 2019. Includes accommodation in The Sands, daily buffet breakfast and dinner, late check-out perks, airport transfers and more. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Scoopon Scoopon

Up to 75% off luxury Indonesia stay

Valid for travel on select dates. Sample savings is for Imaj Private Villas, Lombok, Indonesia. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Scoopon Scoopon

Up to 63% off Bali escape

Valid for stays on select dates until 20 December 2018 at Sintesa Jimbaran. Includes daily buffet breakfast and dinner, a 90-minute massage for two and more. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Popular Travel coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
26 Mar 2019 Extra 20% off site-wide BON****
26 Mar 2019 Up to 50% off experiences + extra 10% off with code FIN****
18 Mar 2019 Up to 25% off global hotels + extra 10% off with code GLO****
13 Mar 2019 Get your third day free + nab a free upgrade TPN****
19 Feb 2019 Extra 15% off with code FIN****
26 Mar 2019 Up to 33% off worldwide flights ********
Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Latest Travel Offers

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site