Choosing Between a Thailand or Vietnam Holiday

There’s no doubt the lure of South East Asia is strong for family holidays, couples trips, solo excursions or group journeys. Thailand is an old favourite for those drawn to white sandy beaches, while Vietnam is the newer competitor, attracting travellers seeking adventure. Both of these South East Asian countries are fantastic travel experiences but are poles apart in terms of what they offer.

Thailand and Vietnam are lesser developed than countries like U.S.A, England, or Australia. You’ll experience differing comforts to home and simpler infrastructure, but will find bucket loads of culture in place of the finer things in life.

If you’re planning a trip to either Thailand or Vietnam, the culture and landscape are what makes each of these destinations spectacular travel experiences. But how do you choose the right fit for your travel experience? We’ll help you decide with our quick guide to Thailand and Vietnam. 


There is plenty of Vietnam that traces the coastline and with hot humid air temperatures, warm ocean, and white sandy beaches you could be fooled into thinking this is another beach style holiday destination. But Vietnam is not about beaches. You won’t find luxury resorts lining the sand, or the sun lounger Pina-Colada scene in Vietnam. There are fewer tourists to this country than neighbouring Thailand too, which can make even the most confident bikini clad foreigner stand out with unwanted attention. Vietnam is instead a country for exploring; the vibe is rugged and independent.

In Vietnam the emphasis is placed on a few key attractions; The Sapa region for hiking through the day and spending the night among remote hill folk in simple guest houses. The South offers glimpses into the post-war history. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay demonstrates some of mother natures standout features. When you compare the landscapes of each of these attractions alone, it’s easy to understand how this is not the country to visit for an idyllic beach escape.

Travelling the entire length of the country in just a few short weeks will give you access to lush green mountain ranges, blue coastlines, the country’s trade mark rocky coves, and Vietnam’s major tourist attractions. It the accessible nature of this small country that makes exploring easy.

Vietnam’s culture draws parallels to the rugged landscape too. Because the war history was not long ago there can be a cold attitude towards foreigners that permeates throughout the country. For some travellers this adds to the appeal; a sense of going it alone in a country whose customs are so far removed from home. But for others this can be a true culture shock.

Expect to taste delicious Vietnamese cuisine, witness traditional Asian architecture, explore unruly bush land, and encounter a scarred population still coming to terms with the past. Combine the thrill of travelling through a unique blend of people with exploring the length of the country in one go, for a satisfying journey.


The main draw card to Thailand is the multitude of idyllic islands and beaches. In the South you have a plethora of beach options to choose from – Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, Koh Samui – for days spent lounging around the pool, sun bathing beach side, swimming in the warm ocean or snorkelling off shore. Synonymous with a Thailand holiday is long stretches of pure white sandy beach and turquoise oceans presenting like post card perfect portraits.

The Thai’s have mastered the art of beach holiday hospitality more so than many destinations around the World. Their warn hearts and happy nature match well with breach bliss and pure relaxation; the Thai’s certainly know how to look after visitors.


Infinity pools, luxurious beach bungalows with all the mod cons and cheap cocktails, form part of a perfect beach holiday. Add Thai restaurants perched on the beach front into the mix and you can picture weeks at a time lounging on some of the World’s best islands and beaches for cheaper than a quarter the price paid back home.

We’ve covered the large part of a Thai holiday that involves the coastline but there are areas of the inland country worthwhile exploring inland too. The fantastic hospitality and Thai culture blends effortlessly through the landlocked North too. Chiang Mai and the Golden Triangle can provide safe glimpses into the lifestyle of interesting hill tribe villages, more remote style Thai living, and authentic Thai street culture.

Bangkok – the countries capital city – is a contrast of both rich and poor, fast past and slow, cosmopolitan and third World. A wealth of nightlife entertainment for those intrigued by some of Thailand’s infamous antics. A shoppers paradise for those looking for trending garments or technology.

Back in the South, full moon parties began in the 1970’s on Thailand’s Eastern Islands and have been providing hangovers to backpackers ever since. An infusion of idyllic beach landscape with debauchery and DJs at the countries trademark cheap prices, can add a further holiday dimension for willing participants.

Because Thailand has been a tourism favourite for longer than other parts of South East Asia, the art of tourism has been mastered here. For travellers curious about a new culture mixed with insight into lesser developed areas of the globe, Thailand is an ideal entry level into intrepid travel destinations. If you are looking for idyllic beach destinations and luxury resorts, all without breaking the bank account; this is the destination for you.

Words by alexchasingdreams