A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Indonesia vs. Thailand for Nightlife, Resorts, Scuba Diving & Snorkeling, and Beaches

Should you visit Indonesia or Thailand?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Indonesia or Thailand, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

We'll start with a quick overview, and below we will go into all of the details.


Indonesia Thailand
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Thailand is the most popular country to visit in Southeast Asia, and its economic dependence on tourism can be felt in even the smallest and most remote parts of the country. The beauty of Thailand is quite evident, and the diversity of landscapes, combined with the generally friendly nature of its people lead to a huge number of tourists every year. But all of these visitors can drive prices up a bit. Bartering is a must in Thailand where the tourist prices are dramatically higher than local prices.

Indonesia is a relatively inexpensive destination known for beautiful tropical beaches, exotic jungles teeming with wildlife, and large urban areas full of culture and markets. Visitors to Indonesia are often surprised at the number of activities to do and places to visit, as once they step away from the beach, they find historic temples, eco-tourism adventures, jungle and mountain hiking, and more.

Indonesia

Ubud, Bali Ubud, Bali

Indonesia is a friendly, exotic, and affordable country. You'll find world class beauty here as well. Other popular activities here include wildlife, adventure travel, national parks, and history and culture.

Traveling to Indonesia offers a diverse and rich experience, with its vast archipelago boasting over 17,000 islands. The country is renowned for its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality. Popular destinations include Bali, with its lush rice terraces, pristine beaches, and vibrant nightlife; Jakarta, the bustling capital with a blend of modernity and tradition; and Yogyakarta, known for its historic temples like Borobudur and Prambanan. Adventure seekers can explore the volcanic landscapes of Mount Bromo and Mount Rinjani, or dive into the crystal-clear waters of Raja Ampat, famous for its marine biodiversity. Indonesia's blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and diverse activities makes it a captivating destination for travelers.

Thailand

Similan Islands, Thailand Similan Islands, Thailand

Thailand is a exotic, friendly, and cultural country. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Other reasons to visit include adventure travel, national parks, history and culture, and nightlife.

As one of the most popular travel destinations in Southeast Asia, Thailand offers a diverse array of experiences that cater to every type of traveler. From bustling cities to serene beaches, ancient temples to modern attractions, and lively markets to tranquil landscapes, Thailand has offers something for everyone. The beaches are one of the main attractions, as they offer clear blue waters often surrounded by dramatic landscapes. But they aren't just for relaxing, as the waters are also a haven for scuba divers and snorkelers who come from around the world to see the tropical underwater world. In the northern regions, visitors can trek through the jungle ecosystems while visiting local villages with unique cultures along with ancient ruins. Just to add to all of this, large cities such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai offer a modern society mixed with a historical culture full of ornate temples, dynamic markets, delicious cuisine, and vibrant nightlife. The allure of Thailand lies in its unique blend of landscapes, tradition, and modernity, and travelers experience all of these amazing features during a visit.

Indonesia and Thailand: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Great culture, history, and arts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Beautiful national parks
  • Adventure!
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Great culture, history, and arts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Beautiful national parks
  • Adventure!
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty


DAmnoen Sudak Floating Market, Thailand DAmnoen Sudak Floating Market, Thailand

How is Indonesia different from Thailand?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Below we will examine the differences and similarities between Indonesia and Thailand. With this information, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Indonesia or Thailand?

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Thailand

Spend time exploring the great sights and museums in either Indonesia or Thailand.

Indonesia is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. Indonesia's museums offer insights into the country's rich history, art, and culture. One of the most popular museums is the National Museum in Jakarta, also known as the Elephant Building due to its iconic statue at the entrance. Here, visitors can explore a vast collection of artifacts, including ancient Hindu-Buddhist sculptures, traditional textiles, and ethnographic displays showcasing Indonesia's diverse cultural heritage. In Yogyakarta, the Sonobudoyo Museum offers a comprehensive overview of Javanese art and culture, featuring traditional costumes, wayang kulit (shadow puppetry), and gamelan musical instruments. For contemporary art enthusiasts, the Museum MACAN (Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara) in Jakarta showcases a diverse range of Indonesian and international artworks, providing a platform for cultural exchange and artistic innovation. Additionally, the Ullen Sentalu Museum near Yogyakarta offers a unique exploration of Javanese royal culture and heritage, housed within a beautifully landscaped garden setting. Many others are available that offer immersive experiences that delve into Indonesia's rich tapestry of history, art, and culture.

Yogyakarta: The city is known for it's cultural sights and temples. Kraton Yogyakarta is the palace where the Sultan lives. You should also visit Taman Sari Water Castle and Prambanan Temple. But for many visitors, Yogyakarta is seen as the gateway to the famed Borobudur Temple. This is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. It offers spectacular views and is best visited at sunrise.

Thailand offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Each museum offers unique insights into the country's rich cultural heritage and history. In Bangkok, the National Museum provides a comprehensive overview of Thai art and history, featuring artifacts spanning thousands of years. The Jim Thompson House offers a glimpse into the life of the American entrepreneur who revitalized the Thai silk industry, showcasing his collection of traditional Thai art and architecture. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the Bangkok Art and Culture Center, a contemporary art space showcasing both local and international works. In Chiang Mai, the Tribal Museum offers a fascinating look at the diverse cultures of Thailand's hill tribes, while the Chiang Mai National Museum delves into the region's history and archaeology. For those interested in military history, the War Museum in Kanchanaburi provides a somber but informative look at Thailand's involvement in World War II, particularly the construction of the infamous Death Railway.

Bangkok: The city is filled with golden temples and beautiful statues of Buddha. Famous landmarks include the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, and the Temple of the Golden Buddha.

Chiang Mai: The city is filled with culture and you'll find many beautiful temples in the area. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a mountain-top temple that is an iconic landmark in the city. Other famous sights include Doi Inthanon and Wat Chedi Luang.

Chiang Rai: The Old City is filled with breathtaking temples and cultural sites. Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple) is an iconic sight, but you should also visit the Black House, and Wat Rong Seua Ten (the Blue Temple). Wat Tham Pla is the Monkey Temple and has a dramatic effect with its steep staircase. It's a short drive from Chiang Rai, but worth the trip as it's overrun with monkeys.

See also Bangkok on a Budget, The Best Cheap Tours and Things To Do in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Things To Do In Phuket, Thailand, on a Budget.


Is Indonesia or Thailand Better for Culture, Arts, and History?

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Indonesia and Thailand both offer a fairly similar amount of great history and culture for visitors.

Indonesia is a terrific destination to visit for history, arts, and culture, as it has many sights worth visiting. Exploring the historical and cultural side of Indonesia offers travelers a fascinating glimpse into the country's rich heritage and diverse traditions. From the colorful rituals of Bali's Hindu festivals to the indigenous traditions of Papua's tribal communities, Indonesia's historical and cultural landmarks offer a captivating journey through centuries of art, architecture, and spirituality. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Borobudur Temple in Central Java stands as one of the world's largest Buddhist monuments, adorned with intricate carvings and commanding panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Nearby, the ancient Hindu complex of Prambanan boasts towering temples dedicated to the Trimurti gods, showcasing exquisite architecture and intricate stone reliefs. In Yogyakarta, the royal palaces of the Kraton and Taman Sari Water Castle offer insights into the region's royal legacy, while the vibrant city of Jakarta houses numerous museums like the National Museum and Jakarta History Museum, providing immersive experiences into Indonesia's colonial past and cultural diversity.

Thailand is an extremely popular destination for those that want to visit historical and cultural sights and attractions, as it offers plenty. From the grandeur of ancient temples to vibrant festivals and traditional arts, there's much to discover. Bangkok's historic sites, including the opulent Grand Palace, Wat Pho with its revered reclining Buddha, and the iconic Wat Arun, offer a glimpse into Thailand's royal and religious heritage. Northern cities like Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are home to intricate temples, hill tribe villages, and bustling night markets, while Ayutthaya and Sukhothai showcase the remnants of ancient Thai kingdoms. Immerse yourself in Thai culture by attending traditional dance performances, visiting local museums and galleries, or joining cooking classes to learn the secrets of Thai cuisine. Festivals like Songkran (Thai New Year) and Loy Krathong provide insight into Thai customs and traditions, with colorful celebrations across the country.

See also Cheap Tours and Activities for Budget Travellers in Bangkok, Thailand.

Is Indonesia or Thailand Better for Big City Activities?

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Thailand

Thailand generally has more big cities and urban activities than Indonesia.

Thailand has large cities with plenty of activites for visitors as well. Traveling to Thailand's big cities offers a dynamic blend of cultural, historical, and modern attractions. In Bangkok, the capital city, visitors can explore the opulent Grand Palace and the sacred Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), as well as Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) along the Chao Phraya River. The city's vibrant street life includes bustling markets like Chatuchak Weekend Market and a myriad of street food stalls. Bangkok's modern side is evident in its shopping malls, such as Siam Paragon, and its vibrant nightlife in areas like Khao San Road. Chiang Mai, in the north, is renowned for its historic temples, including Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang, and offers unique activities such as visiting elephant sanctuaries and exploring the nearby Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. In the south, Phuket serves as a gateway to stunning beaches and offers a lively nightlife in Patong, while also featuring cultural sites like the Big Buddha and Old Phuket Town. Local transportation in these cities ranges from the efficient BTS Skytrain and MRT subway in Bangkok to the charming songthaews and tuk-tuks in Chiang Mai and Phuket, providing easy and accessible ways to explore.

Indonesia has some large cities, so you'll find plenty of things to do when visiting. The large cities here offer a vibrant mix of activities, cultural experiences, and modern conveniences. Jakarta, the capital, is bustling with attractions like the National Museum, which showcases the country's rich history and diverse culture, and the Istiqlal Mosque, Southeast Asia's largest mosque. Bandung, known for its cool climate, offers colonial architecture, fashion outlets, and the geological wonders of Tangkuban Perahu volcano. Yogyakarta, a cultural hub, features the magnificent Borobudur and Prambanan temples, as well as the Sultan's Palace. Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city, is a gateway to Mount Bromo and home to the House of Sampoerna museum. Local transportation in these cities is varied, with options ranging from modern MRT and LRT systems in Jakarta to ubiquitous motorbike taxis (ojeks) and ride-hailing services like Gojek and Grab, making it easy to navigate the urban landscape.

Is Indonesia or Thailand Better for Small Towns and Villages?

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Thailand

Indonesia and Thailand both are comparable with their great activities in villages and small towns.

Indonesia is a very nice destination to see some small towns which are not to be missed. Small towns in Indonesia offer an intimate glimpse into the country's rich culture and traditions, often overlooked by the hustle of big cities. Ubud, a popular destination in Bali, is known for its vibrant arts scene, traditional dance performances, and serene rice terraces. In Java, Malang boasts a cool climate, colonial architecture, and access to natural attractions like the colorful Jodipan Village and Mount Bromo. Wonosobo, near Dieng Plateau, offers dramatic landscapes, ancient temples, and cultural festivals. In Flores, Labuan Bajo serves as the gateway to Komodo National Park, renowned for its stunning marine life and the famous Komodo dragons. These small towns provide opportunities for cultural immersion through local markets, traditional crafts, and culinary delights, allowing travelers to experience the warmth and hospitality of Indonesian communities.

See also The Top 5 Reasons to Have a Destination Wedding in Bali.

Thailand is a country offering many small towns with plenty of activities. Traveling to small towns in Thailand provides a charming and intimate glimpse into the country’s rich culture and traditions. For example, in Pai, a quaint town in the mountains of northern Thailand, visitors can enjoy hot springs, waterfalls like Pai Canyon and Mo Paeng, and a vibrant night market. The town is also known for its laid-back atmosphere and stunning scenery, making it ideal for nature lovers and those seeking tranquility. Sukhothai, with its historic park, offers a journey back in time with its well-preserved ruins of the ancient Sukhothai Kingdom, including impressive temples like Wat Mahathat and Wat Si Chum. The park itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site, perfect for exploring by bicycle. In the northeast, Nong Khai offers beautiful views of the Mekong River, unique sculptures at Sala Keoku park, and the peaceful Wat Pho Chai temple. Ayutthaya, a short trip from Bangkok, is rich with history, featuring the Ayutthaya Historical Park, home to numerous ancient ruins and temples such as Wat Chaiwatthanaram and Wat Mahathat.

Is the Food Better in Indonesia or Thailand? Which Country Has the Best Restaurants?

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Thailand

For a nice culinary experience, head to Thailand, which is well known for it's local dishes and restaurants.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Thailand. Generally known for its vibrant flavors, fragrant aromas, and harmonious balance of spicy, sweet, salty, and sour tastes, Thai food is a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds. Dishes like Pad Thai, a stir-fried noodle dish with shrimp or chicken, peanuts, and a tangy tamarind sauce, and Tom Yum Goong, a hot and sour shrimp soup, are staples on menus across the globe. Each region in Thailand offers its own culinary specialties: in the north, the rich and creamy Khao Soi, a coconut curry noodle soup, is a must-try. The northeastern region, Isaan, is famous for its spicy salads like Som Tum (papaya salad) and Laab (minced meat salad). Southern Thai cuisine, influenced by Malay flavors, features dishes such as Massaman curry and the fiery Gaeng Tai Pla (fish kidney curry). Street food culture thrives throughout Thailand, with bustling markets serving delights like mango sticky rice, satay skewers, and roti pancakes. The popularity of Thai cuisine lies in its complexity and the freshness of its ingredients, making it a favorite for food lovers everywhere.

Bangkok: The city has many colorful markets, street food vendors, and a range of restaurants from casual to high end. The aroma and beautiful flavors of local dishes are a big part of the experience in this city. Dishes that you must try include Pad Thai, Tom Yum Goong (shrimp soup), and Gaeng Daeng (red curry). Many foods are very spicy so make sure you order with "no spice" if that is your preference.

Chiang Mai: For many, this city offers some of the best food in all of Thailand. The cuisine is influenced by nearby Burma and China, with ginger and turmeric often used. Curries tend to be a bit milder and dishes are often served with sticky rice. Famous dishes around town include Khao Soi, Larb Kua, and Sai Oua. Cooking classes are also very popular around town and the courses often include a trip to a market.

Hat Yai: Eating is really what you do in this city. There is amazing street food, impressive floating restaurants, and authentic cuisine that locals and visitors alike enjoy. The dishes include lots of seafood and some Chinese influences.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Indonesia. Indonesian cuisine is a delicious and diverse tapestry reflecting the country’s rich cultural past. Each region boasts its own unique specialties, often characterized by the use of fresh, local ingredients and bold, aromatic spices. In Sumatra you'll find rendang, a slow-cooked beef dish rich with coconut milk and spices. Java offers nasi goreng, a flavorful fried rice dish, and gado-gado, a salad of boiled vegetables served with a spicy peanut sauce. Bali is known for its babi guling, a succulent spit-roasted pork dish. Fresh seafood is a staple across the islands, particularly in coastal regions, where dishes like ikan bakar (grilled fish) and sate lilit (fish satay) are popular. Spices such as turmeric, ginger, lemongrass, and chilies feature prominently, giving Indonesian food its distinctive and tantalizing flavors. Additionally, street food is an integral part of the culinary scene, with satay (skewered and grilled meats), bakso (meatball soup), and martabak (stuffed pancake) being widely enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. While visiting, a cooking class or food tour is something you can't miss.

Malang: This is a top foodie destination and you'll find plenty of amazing street food. It's also the credited with being the birthplace of bakso (meatballs). Many of the dishes around town are sweet, spicy, and served with peanut sauce. It's been influenced by many different cuisines such as Chinese, Javanese, Madurese, Arabic, Dutch, and Indian.

Bali: The food is rich and diverse with a lot of spices and complex flavors. Turmeric is a common spice and many dishes use coconut milk. Popular local dishes include Nasi Ayam (a chicken dish), Satay (grilled chicken), and Babi Guling (a pork dish).

Ubud: You'll find some of the best restaurants on Bali in this town. There is everything from family-owned eateries to award winning restaurants. Dishes range from vegan to meat-filled and you'll find both local favorites and western cuisine.


Is Indonesia or Thailand Better for Nightlife?

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Thailand

The nightlife vibe is much better in Thailand than Indonesia.

The nightlife in Thailand is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. Catering to a wide range of tastes and preferences, nightlife here is quite diverse. In bustling cities like Bangkok and Phuket, you'll find an array of nightclubs, rooftop bars, and live music venues pulsating with energy well into the early hours. Khao San Road in Bangkok is legendary for its backpacker-friendly bars and street vendors offering cheap drinks and snacks. Patong Beach in Phuket is renowned for its lively beachfront bars and clubs, drawing partygoers from around the world. For a more sophisticated experience, Bangkok's Sukhumvit area boasts upscale cocktail bars and trendy nightclubs, while Chiang Mai's Nimmanhaemin Road offers a hip and eclectic mix of bars and lounges. And of course, don't forget about the legendary Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan.

Bangkok: Cheap drinks, late nights, and crazy parties make this city a favorite for backpackers and young party-goers. Head to Khao San Road for the biggest crowds and crazy parties. Nana Plaza is another option with a three story building that is filled with bars and clubs.

Pattaya: Despite a promotional campaign to promote family vacations, this city still holds tight to its party hard reputation. You'll find live bands, international DJs, and rooftop parties any night of the week.

Phuket: The island has a long running reputation as a party destination and it lives up to expectations. The biggest party area is Patong, particularly around Bangla Road, but even in Kata and Karon, it's hard to escape the party atmosphere.

See also Bangkok Party Hostels, Backpacker Party Hostels in Chiang Mai, and Party Hostels for the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan, Thailand.

Indonesia is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. Nightlife in Indonesia is very popular and caters to a range of tastes and preferences. In destinations like Jakarta, Bali, and Bandung, visitors can find bustling entertainment districts with an array of bars, clubs, and live music venues. Bali's Kuta and Seminyak are renowned for their beach clubs and vibrant party scene, while Jakarta's Kemang and Senopati areas offer trendy bars and upscale nightclubs. Bandung's Dago and Braga streets are famous for their live music performances and cozy cafes. Yogyakarta, known for its cultural heritage, also boasts a lively nightlife with bustling street food markets and hip cafes. Overall, Indonesia's nightlife offers something for everyone, from beach parties to cultural performances, ensuring memorable evenings for visitors from around the world.

Bali: The island is known for its crazy raves and all night pool parties. There are multi-story dance clubs as well as upscale bars and beach clubs that host parties late into the night. The best nightlife areas are around Kuta, Seminyak, and Canggu.

Is Indonesia or Thailand Better for Resorts?

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Thailand is more known as a resort destination than Indonesia.

Thailand offers an unforgettable resort vacation. If you're looking for a luxurious escape to some of the most stunning destinations in the world, this is the place to visit. From the pristine beaches of Phuket and Koh Samui to the lush jungles of Krabi and Chiang Mai, resorts in Thailand provide idyllic settings for relaxation and adventure. Guests can indulge in world-class amenities such as infinity pools, private villas, spa treatments, and gourmet dining experiences. Many resorts also offer a variety of activities, including snorkeling, diving, yoga, Thai cooking classes, and cultural excursions to nearby temples and villages. Whether you're seeking a romantic getaway, a family-friendly retreat, or a wellness-focused holiday, Thailand's resorts cater to every traveler's needs with warm hospitality and unparalleled beauty.

Phuket: It's easy accessibility and larger size make this the premiere resort destination in Thailand. There are five star resorts, family-friendly resorts, and everything in between. Many people use the island as a base for exploring other nearby islands. Any resort or tour company can arrange excursions or activities for guests.

Koh Samui: The island is filled with countless resorts, hotels, and private villas that you can rent. You can choose from beachfront properties or resorts that are located in the hills, which offer beautiful views. The resorts often have pools and range from five star all the way down to budget-friendly.

Koh Phi Phi: Despite it's popularity with backpackers and small size, this island also has some of Thailand's most luxurious resorts. Head to Long Beach or Laem Tong to appreciate the quieter side of the island.

In Indonesia, you'll find some of the region's top resorts. Indonesia is home to luxurious resorts set amidst breathtaking landscapes, offering travelers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure in an exotically beautiful tropical setting. Popular resort destinations include Bali, with its stunning beachfront properties in areas like Nusa Dua, Seminyak, and Ubud, known for its tranquil rice terraces and lush rainforests. Lombok, with its pristine beaches and serene ambiance, also boasts world-class resorts in places like Senggigi and the Gili Islands. These resorts often offer an array of activities such as snorkeling, diving, yoga retreats, spa treatments, and cultural experiences, ensuring a rejuvenating and memorable stay for visitors seeking the ultimate tropical getaway in Indonesia.

Bali: The island has resorts as well as private villas that cater to everyone from celebrities to families or even budget travelers. Private villas offer a more secluded vacation while resorts usually have more amenities and the opportunity to socialize with other guests. There are also many family-friendly resorts around the island.

Ubud: You'll find beautiful luxury resorts with impressive pools and dramatic landscapes.

Is Indonesia or Thailand Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

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Thailand

You'll find great snorkeling or scuba diving in both Indonesia and Thailand.

People travel to Indonesia specifically to enjoy its famous scuba diving and snorkeling areas. Indonesia is a paradise for scuba diving enthusiasts, offering some of the most diverse and vibrant underwater ecosystems in the world. Destinations like Raja Ampat, located in West Papua, are renowned for their unparalleled marine biodiversity, with colorful coral reefs, majestic manta rays, and schools of tropical fish. The Komodo National Park, home to the famous Komodo dragons, also boasts world-class dive sites where divers can encounter sharks, turtles, and even rare critters like the elusive pygmy seahorse. Bali's crystal-clear waters around Nusa Penida and the Gili Islands offer thrilling drift dives and encounters with majestic mola molas and graceful manta rays. With warm waters, excellent visibility, and dive sites catering to all skill levels, Indonesia promises an unforgettable underwater adventure for scuba divers of all experience levels.

Bali: The waters are crystal clear and the marine life is abundant making scuba diving and snorkeling popular around the island. There are many snorkeling day trips that you can arrange and there are also dive shops that will take you out on the water.

Lombok: The island is surrounded by clear waters and colorful coral, making it a superb snorkeling and diving destination. For some of the best dive spots head to the Gili Islands. Around the island you'll find places where you can see turtles, colorful fish, and possibly even Hammerhead Sharks.

Thailand is a world class destination for scuba diving and snorkeling. Scuba diving in Thailand offers an incredible underwater experience with its vibrant coral reefs, diverse marine life, and crystal-clear waters. Popular diving destinations include the Similan Islands, Koh Tao, and the Andaman Sea around Phuket and Krabi. These areas boast stunning underwater landscapes, including colorful coral gardens, submerged pinnacles, and abundant marine species such as reef sharks, rays, and colorful tropical fish. Koh Tao, in particular, is renowned for its affordability and abundance of diving schools offering certification courses at competitive prices. With its warm waters and year-round diving opportunities, Thailand is an ideal destination for both beginner and experienced divers seeking unforgettable underwater adventures.

Koh Tao: The island is Thailand's most famous scuba diving destination for it's affordable certifications and prolific dive shops. There are a variety of dive sites near the island, but with fame and popularity come challenges. The coral and sealife is feeling the pressure of the high number of tourists, and the reefs show their damage. But the training you receive here is affordable and well-established.

Koh Phi Phi: The dramatic limestone cliffs and colorful coral make this a top scuba diving and snorkeling destination in Thailand. There are countless vendors who offer scuba diving or snorkeling trips from the island. You might even see sharks, sea turtles, or seahorses during your trip. Head to the reef at dusk for the best chance of seeing black tip reef sharks.

Similan Islands: These islands offer one of the world's most famous and impressive diving spots. World class divers travel great distances to experience the undersea world here. There are liveaboard boat trips that range in length from 4 to 6 nights and leave from either Khao Lak or Phuket. These trips will take you to the many great dive spots in the area. Do take note that the islands close every year from May until October.

Is Indonesia or Thailand Better for Beaches?

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Both Indonesia and Thailand have great beaches worth visiting.

The beaches in Indonesia are among the best in the world. Indonesia is blessed with stunning beaches that cater to every type of traveler. Bali, the "Island of the Gods," boasts epic beaches such as Kuta, Seminyak, and Jimbaran, where visitors can enjoy golden sands, world-class surf breaks, and vibrant beach clubs. The Gili Islands, nestled off the coast of Lombok, offer gorgeous white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters perfect for snorkeling and diving, and a laid-back island vibe. For those seeking remote and unspoiled beaches, the pristine shores of the Raja Ampat islands in West Papua or the secluded beaches of Nusa Penida in Bali provide unparalleled beauty and tranquility.

Bali: The island is large enough that it has a diversity of beach styles. There are popular beaches with water sports as well as secluded bays where you can enjoy a more peaceful setting. Some beaches are dramatic with limestone cliffs while others are lined with palm trees.

Lombok: Kuta, Senggigi, and the Gili Islands offer some of the area's best beaches. Many beaches have white sand, clear water, beautiful snorkeling, or fun surfing. Mawun Beach and Pandanan Beach are among the most beautiful beaches, while Selong Belanak Beach is very photogenic with its water buffalo. Tanjung Aan Beach has surfing and Kuta Beach Lombok is the most popular beach, but not among the best.

Thailand is considered to be a world-class beach destination. Renowned for their picturesque beauty and diverse offerings, many of the Thai beaches have become world famous. From the lively shores of Patong Beach in Phuket to the tranquil bays of Railay Beach in Krabi, each coastal destination presents a unique experience. The island of Koh Phi Phi boasts stunning limestone cliffs and vibrant coral reefs, while the powdery sands of Koh Samui's Chaweng Beach offer a perfect retreat for sun-seekers. For a quieter escape, head to the secluded beaches of Koh Lanta or the pristine shores of Koh Chang.

Phuket: The island has more than 30 beaches to choose from, ranging from party hard areas to a few quieter gems in more remote locations. The area became a world-famous destination because of its white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, and the beaches will not disappoint, even if development has taken over the island.

Koh Samui: The white sand beaches are lined with coconut trees and look out on crystal blue waters, making this a perfect tropical destination. There are lively activity-filled beaches as well as quiet retreats where you can enjoy a peaceful setting away from the crowds.

Koh Phangan: The white sand beaches with turquoise blue waters make this island a truly beautiful destination. While most people think of beach parties and Full Moon Parties, the island also has some quieter beaches where you can relax in a peaceful paradise. The parties are mostly concentrated around Sunrise Beach in Haad Rin. This beach also has cheap bungalows that are popular with the backpacker crowd. For the quieter beaches, head to the northern side of the island around Hat Khuat and Hat Thian.


Is the Shopping Better in Indonesia or Thailand?

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Thailand usually beats out Indonesia for shopping.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Thailand. Visitors will find a delightful blend of modern malls and vibrant traditional markets. In Bangkok, mega-malls like Siam Paragon, CentralWorld, and MBK Center cater to every taste, offering luxury brands, fashion boutiques, electronics, and gourmet dining options. For a taste of local culture, explore the bustling markets like Chatuchak Weekend Market, where thousands of vendors sell everything from clothing and handicrafts to street food and pets. In Chiang Mai, the famous Night Bazaar is a must-visit, where visitors can shop for handmade crafts, textiles, and souvenirs under the glow of colorful lanterns. The floating markets of Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa near Bangkok offer a unique shopping experience, with vendors selling fresh produce, snacks, and handicrafts from boats along the canals.

Bangkok: Shopping options range from modern malls to more traditional markets. The malls offer bargain prices for technology and gadgets while the markets offer fabric, food, local goods, and a unique experience. The city also has nearby floating markets as well as night markets, which let you experience a different side to the culture.

Chiang Mai: The city is famous for its night markets, which run every night of the year until around midnight. You'll find the streets packed with people and vendors, rain or shine. This is a great place to search for local handicrafts and try some of the city's famous street food. Popular items to buy include rice boxes, silk, and Thai sky lanterns.

Indonesia offers some nice shopping areas. Shopping in Indonesia caters to all types of travelers on any budget. In major cities like Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bandung, you'll find an abundance of modern shopping malls offering everything from high-end fashion brands to local artisanal crafts. Places like Grand Indonesia and Plaza Indonesia in Jakarta are renowned for their upscale boutiques and international designer labels. For a more traditional shopping experience, head to the bustling markets of Yogyakarta's Malioboro Street or Bali's Ubud Art Market, where you can haggle for unique handicrafts, batik textiles, and intricate wood carvings. Don't miss the colorful Pasar Baru in Jakarta, a historic market dating back to the colonial era, where you can browse through rows of stalls selling everything from fabrics to electronics. Whether you're hunting for souvenirs, fashion bargains, or culinary delights, Indonesia offers a treasure trove of shopping opportunities to suit every taste and preference.

Yogyakarta: The city is filled with craftsmen and a local art scene that makes it a wonderful shopping destination. There are countless markets and shops where you can pick up local handicrafts that highlight the city's culture.

Is Indonesia or Thailand Better for Hiking?

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Thailand

Indonesia and Thailand are both places where visitors can find great hiking trails.

Indonesia has hiking trails worth exploring. Indonesia has diverse landscapes for hiking ranging from lush rainforests to towering volcanic peaks. Mount Rinjani on Lombok Island is a favorite among trekkers, boasting a challenging climb rewarded with stunning views from the crater rim and a breathtaking crater lake. In Java, adventurers flock to Mount Bromo for its otherworldly sunrise vistas over the sea of volcanic sands, while Mount Semeru, Java's highest peak, presents a more strenuous but rewarding trek to its summit. The island of Sumatra offers the chance to explore the lush jungles of Gunung Leuser National Park, home to rare wildlife like orangutans and Sumatran tigers, amidst stunning mountain scenery. Whether you're an experienced hiker or a nature enthusiast seeking to explore Indonesia's natural wonders, the country's diverse array of hiking trails promises unforgettable adventures.

Plenty of visitors go hiking around Thailand. Hiking and trekking are particularly popular in the northern regions. Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are popular bases for exploring the lush jungles, rolling hills, and ethnic minority villages of the surrounding area. Treks range from easy walks through scenic landscapes to challenging multi-day adventures that lead to remote hill tribe villages. One of the most iconic treks is the journey to Doi Inthanon, Thailand's highest peak, where hikers can traverse misty forests, visit cascading waterfalls, and encounter unique flora and fauna. Other notable destinations include the trekking trails of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, the picturesque hill tribe villages of Mae Hong Son, and the challenging routes of the Mae Taeng Valley. With its diverse terrain and stunning natural beauty, Thailand offers unforgettable hiking experiences for adventurers of all levels.

Chiang Mai: Many people use this city as a base for a trekking excursion into the surrounding countryside. The land is lush and beautiful and many treks also expose you to the welcoming Hilltribe people of Northern Thailand. Treks can be organized at almost any hotel or hostel as well the many tour agencies around town.

Is Indonesia or Thailand Better for its National Parks?

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Thailand

Travelers can find good number of great national parks in both Indonesia and Thailand.

Plenty of travelers enjoy the national parks of Indonesia. Indonesia's national parks have a unique blend of biodiversity, natural beauty, and outdoor activities. Among the most popular is Komodo National Park, renowned for its Komodo dragons, the world's largest lizards, and vibrant marine life perfect for diving and snorkeling. Another popular park is Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, home to the ethereal Mount Bromo volcano and the challenging Mount Semeru trek, offering breathtaking sunrise vistas and surreal landscapes. Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra provides a sanctuary for endangered species like the Sumatran elephant and rhinoceros, offering visitors the chance to witness conservation efforts and embark on wildlife safaris. Finally, Ujung Kulon National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, shelters the last remaining population of the Javan rhinoceros and boasts pristine rainforests, stunning beaches, and historic sites like the Krakatoa volcano. These national parks showcase Indonesia's rich natural heritage and provide opportunities for adventure, wildlife encounters, and eco-tourism experiences.

Thailand offers some nice national parks that are worth visiting. Thailand's national parks are treasure troves of natural beauty and biodiversity, offering a wide range of activities for nature enthusiasts. Khao Sok National Park, one of the oldest rainforests in the world, is famed for its lush greenery, towering limestone cliffs, and the serene Cheow Lan Lake, where visitors can enjoy kayaking, wildlife spotting, and exploring hidden caves. Doi Inthanon National Park, home to Thailand's highest peak, offers stunning vistas, waterfalls such as the Wachirathan Falls, and diverse flora and fauna. Erawan National Park, known for its seven-tiered Erawan Waterfall, provides picturesque trails and swimming opportunities in its emerald green pools. Khao Yai National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is renowned for its diverse wildlife, including elephants, tigers, and gibbons, and its scenic landscapes, which feature expansive grasslands and dense forests. These parks not only protect Thailand's rich natural heritage but also provide visitors with immersive experiences in some of the country's most breathtaking environments.

Is Indonesia or Thailand Better for Wildlife Viewing?

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Thailand

Both Indonesia and Thailand offer similar amounts of great wildlife viewing activities for travelers.

Indonesia is a very popular place to visit because of its wildlife and wilderness activities. Indonesia offers incredible opportunities for wildlife viewing, with diverse habitats ranging from lush rainforests to marine ecosystems. One of the best destinations is Tanjung Puting National Park on Borneo, famous for its orangutan rehabilitation centers where visitors can witness these iconic primates up close in their natural habitat. For birdwatching enthusiasts, the tropical forests of West Papua, particularly in areas like Raja Ampat and Waigeo, offer a chance to spot a dazzling array of avian species, including birds of paradise. Sumatra's Gunung Leuser National Park is another hotspot for wildlife enthusiasts, home to critically endangered Sumatran orangutans, Sumatran tigers, and other unique fauna. In addition, marine enthusiasts can explore the waters of Komodo National Park, where encounters with manta rays, dolphins, sea turtles, and colorful coral reefs await. These destinations showcase Indonesia's rich biodiversity and provide unforgettable wildlife encounters for nature lovers.

The wildlife experiences of Thailand attract many visitors. Wildlife viewing in Thailand offers incredible opportunities to observe diverse species in their natural habitats. In Khao Sok National Park, visitors can spot majestic elephants, elusive leopards, and various bird species while trekking through ancient rainforests or taking a boat ride on Cheow Lan Lake. Khao Yai National Park, another prime destination, is home to gibbons, hornbills, and the Great Hornbill, with guided night safaris available for nocturnal wildlife spotting. Doi Inthanon National Park is a bird watcher’s paradise, hosting over 300 species, including rare ones like the green-tailed sunbird. In the coastal mangroves of Krabi and Phang Nga Bay, visitors can observe monkeys, otters, and numerous bird species while kayaking or taking a boat tour. Marine life enthusiasts can visit the Similan and Surin Islands for snorkeling or diving experiences, where encounters with sea turtles, manta rays, and whale sharks are common. These destinations and activities provide unparalleled opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts to experience Thailand’s rich biodiversity up close.

See also Affordable Day Trips from Phuket.


Is Indonesia or Thailand Better for Adventure Travel?

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Thailand

Both Indonesia and Thailand have a wide array of great adventure travel options for those interested.

With world-famous adventure travel activities and thrilling experiences, Indonesia attracts many visitors interested in a wide range of options. This country is an adventure seeker's paradise, offering a thrilling activities across its diverse landscapes. For adrenaline junkies, trekking to the summit of Mount Rinjani on Lombok or Mount Bromo on Java promises breathtaking vistas and challenging trails. Surfing aficionados flock to the legendary waves of Bali's Uluwatu and Padang Padang, while Raja Ampat in West Papua beckons divers with its world-class underwater scenery and vibrant marine life. Those seeking heart-pounding experiences can embark on white-water rafting excursions on the Ayung River in Bali or the Telaga Waja River in East Bali. Additionally, exploring the labyrinthine caves of Gunung Kidul in Yogyakarta or river tubing in the lush jungles of Sumatra provide immersive adventures amidst Indonesia's natural wonders. With its diverse terrain and endless opportunities for excitement, Indonesia offers an unforgettable adventure for thrill-seekers of all kinds.

The huge number of adventure travel experiences in Thailand is one of the main reasons travelers come to visit. Adventure travel is especially popular with the large number of younger budget travelers that visit every year. In Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, the lush northern landscapes are perfect for trekking through hill tribe villages, zip-lining through dense jungles, and navigating rapids on white-water rafting trips. The rugged terrain of Khao Sok National Park invites adventurers to explore its ancient rainforests and limestone cliffs by trekking, canoeing, or even embarking on multi-day jungle survival courses. On the southern coast, the turquoise waters and dramatic karst formations of Krabi and Phang Nga Bay are ideal for rock climbing, sea kayaking, and exploring hidden caves and lagoons. The Andaman Sea offers some of the world’s best diving and snorkeling sites around the Similan and Surin Islands, where divers can encounter vibrant coral reefs and a diverse array of marine life. For those seeking an adrenaline rush, Koh Tao is a hotspot for scuba diving certification courses, while the pristine beaches of Phuket and Koh Samui provide opportunities for surfing, kiteboarding, and parasailing. These destinations and activities make Thailand a top choice for adventurers seeking both land and water-based thrills.

Is Indonesia or Thailand Better for Watersports?

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Thailand

Both Indonesia and Thailand offer a fairly equal range of great watersports for travelers.

Indonesia is famous for its exciting and thrilling watersports activities. As it's a huge archipelago, the country offers endless opportunities for watersports enthusiasts to indulge in marine adventures. Surrounded by pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, destinations like Bali, Lombok, and the Gili Islands are renowned for their world-class surfing spots, attracting wave riders from around the globe. Snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts can explore vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life in Raja Ampat, Komodo National Park, and the Bunaken Marine Park, where encounters with majestic manta rays and graceful sea turtles are common. Kayaking through the tranquil mangrove forests of the Thousand Islands or stand-up paddleboarding in the calm waters of Nusa Dua Bay offer serene yet exhilarating experiences for water lovers. Whether it's riding the waves, exploring colorful coral gardens, or paddling through mangrove-lined waterways, Indonesia's diverse watersports scene caters to adventurers of all levels, promising unforgettable experiences amidst the stunning natural beauty of the archipelago.

With world-famous watersports and marine activities, Thailand attracts many visitors interested in seaside activities marine exploration, and adventure. Across its beautiful and numerous coastal and island destinations, there's no shortage of aquatic activities. Scuba diving and snorkeling are some of the most popular activities here, and visitors come from around the world to explore the underwater world of Thailand's coastal areas. Phuket, with its long stretches of sandy beaches, is renowned for jet skiing, parasailing, and windsurfing, while Patong Beach is a hotspot for vibrant water activities. Koh Samui’s crystal-clear waters are ideal for kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, particularly around Angthong Marine National Park, where kayakers can explore hidden lagoons and caves. The Andaman Sea surrounding the Phi Phi Islands is perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving, offering rich marine biodiversity and stunning coral reefs. Koh Tao, known as the "Diving Mecca" of Thailand, attracts divers from around the globe to its numerous dive sites, suitable for all levels from beginners to advanced. For those seeking more adventure, Krabi’s Railay Beach is famous for rock climbing over turquoise waters, with opportunities to plunge into the sea after a challenging ascent. The waters around Pattaya also offer exciting activities such as banana boat rides, wakeboarding, and even underwater sea walking, making Thailand a premier destination for all types of watersports.

Is Indonesia or Thailand Better for Outdoor Activities?

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Thailand

Both Indonesia and Thailand offer an equivilent number of great outdoor activities for travelers.

Indonesia is famous for its exciting and adventurous outdoor activities. Indonesian outdoor adventures await with a variety of possible activities. Hiking enthusiasts can trek through lush rainforests to reach the mist-shrouded summits of volcanic peaks like Mount Rinjani in Lombok, Mount Bromo in Java, and Mount Batur in Bali, where panoramic views await at sunrise. For adrenaline junkies, white-water rafting down the rapids of the Ayung River in Bali or the Elo River in Java offers heart-pounding excitement against scenic backdrops of dense jungle and towering cliffs. Cycling enthusiasts can explore picturesque countryside landscapes and traditional villages on bicycle tours in Ubud, Bali, or Yogyakarta, Java, immersing themselves in the rich cultural tapestry of rural Indonesia. Adventure-seekers can also embark on thrilling jungle treks in Sumatra's Gunung Leuser National Park, home to endangered orangutans and other exotic wildlife, or embark on multi-day expeditions to remote islands like Flores and Sulawesi for unforgettable diving and snorkeling experiences amidst vibrant coral reefs and underwater wonders. From challenging hikes to exhilarating rafting trips and scenic cycling tours, Indonesia offers endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to connect with nature and embark on unforgettable adventures across its stunning landscapes.

With world-famous outdoor activities, Thailand attracts many visitors interested in natural scenery, exploration, and adventure. Some of the most popular outdoor activities in Thailand include trekking in the rainforest, visiting national parks and animal sanctuaries, diving and snorkeling, hiking, rafting, and wildlife viewing. In the northern region, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai provide excellent opportunities for trekking through lush forests, exploring hill tribe villages, and embarking on zipline adventures in the jungle. The Mae Taeng River in Chiang Mai is perfect for white-water rafting. Down south, the stunning limestone cliffs of Krabi are a magnet for rock climbers, particularly at Railay Beach. The country's national parks, such as Khao Sok and Erawan, are ideal for hiking and wildlife spotting, with scenic trails leading to breathtaking waterfalls and serene lakes. For those who love water activities, the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand offer world-class snorkeling and diving, especially around the islands of Koh Tao and the Similan Islands. Cycling enthusiasts can explore the countryside around Ayutthaya and Sukhothai, where ancient ruins and rural landscapes provide a picturesque backdrop for leisurely rides. From the mountains in the north to the beaches in the south, Thailand's outdoor activities cater to all adventure seekers.

Is Indonesia or Thailand Better for Families?

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Thailand

Families will find a wider variety of activities in Thailand than Indonesia.

Thailand is a very family-friendly destination. Multiple beach destinations cater to families with large resorts, family-friendly restaurants, shopping, amusement parks, and more. Phuket in particular is a very popular family beach destination, and so is Ao Nang, Koh Chang, and Koh Lanta. Furthermore, many of the islands are large enough so that if one area is known for it's backpacker and nightlife scene, other areas will have a more relaxed family-friendly vibe which will be good for kids. Bangkok and Chiang Mai also offer plenty of great activities for children even though they are larger cities that feel chaotic at times. The history, museums, temples, and parks of both large cities have many appealing opportunities for children to have a great time. And don't miss the historic temple areas such as Ayutthaya and Sukhothai. They are laid-back destinations offering plenty of historic and educational sights for all-ages in a peaceful setting.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Indonesia. The country offers a variety of activities and sights that cater to all ages. Bali is a family favorite, with its safe beaches, interactive cultural performances, and attractions like Waterbom Bali, an expansive water park. Yogyakarta provides educational experiences with visits to the ancient temples of Borobudur and Prambanan, where kids can learn about history and culture. Families can explore the wildlife at the Bali Safari and Marine Park or take a boat trip to the Komodo Islands to see the famous Komodo dragons. In Bandung, families can enjoy the cool highland climate and attractions like Tangkuban Perahu volcano and the floating market of Lembang.


Is Indonesia or Thailand Better for Couples?

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Thailand

There's generally more to do as a couple in Thailand than Indonesia.

Thailand has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. Thailand is an idyllic destination for couples, offering an exotic blend of beautiful landscapes with romance, adventure, and relaxation. Whether visiting the ancient temples and charming streets of Chiang Mai, enjoying a couple's Thai massage in a serene spa, or sharing a private cooking class to master the art of Thai cuisine, a wide range of romantic and fun activites are found throughout the country. For those seeking adventure, a trek through the lush hills or a visit to an elephant sanctuary provides memorable shared experiences. The southern islands, such as Phuket, Koh Samui, and the Phi Phi Islands, are perfect for romantic getaways, as they offer luxurious beachfront resorts, sunset cruises, and intimate dinners on the sand. In Bangkok, couples can explore vibrant markets, dine at rooftop restaurants with panoramic city views, and take a scenic boat ride along the Chao Phraya River. The crystal-clear waters and stunning landscapes of islands like Koh Lipe and Koh Tao offer idyllic settings for snorkeling, diving, or soaking in the natural beauty. Whether it's a short couple's getaway or a longer honeymoon, Thailand provides an excellent backdrop for a romantic adventure.

Bangkok: This is a great city for couples who enjoy culture, food, partying, and soaking up life. Wandering the grounds of the stunning temples, sampling food at the markets, or taking a boat cruise will all make memorable experiences.

Koh Lanta: The laid back vibe offers a bit of romance for couples. The beaches are beautiful and the island isn't as built up as many islands are in Thailand. And while you'll find places to go in the evening near the backpacker areas, most of the island has a chill and relaxed atmosphere.

Khao Lak: Underwater beauty, stunning beaches, outdoor adventures, and wildlife experiences all make these islands a world class honeymoon destination.

See also Hostels for Solo Travellers, Couples, & Groups in Chiang Mai, and Hostels in Bangkok for Backpackers, Couples, & Groups.

Couples visit Indonesia frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Offering a blend of romance, adventure, and relaxation, couples will love Indonesia. Bali, with its stunning beaches, luxurious resorts, and intimate sunset dinners, is perfect for a romantic getaway. Couples can explore the serene rice terraces of Ubud, indulge in a couple’s spa treatment, or take a sunset cruise along the coast. The Gili Islands provide a tranquil escape with their crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, perfect for snorkeling or diving together. For a touch of adventure, couples can hike up Mount Bromo in East Java to witness a breathtaking sunrise. The vibrant city of Yogyakarta offers cultural experiences with its ancient temples and traditional arts, making it an enchanting destination for couples to explore hand-in-hand.

Bali: This beautiful island offers stunning beaches, adventure sports, and world class snorkeling. There are beautiful resorts with spas as well as couples yoga classes impressive natural areas.

Ubud: Honeymooners flock to this small town for its stunning scenery and beautiful temples. There are luxury hotels, spas, massages, and poolside escapes that will make for the perfect honeymoon. You'll also find world class restaurants and breathtaking hikes in the area.

Lombok: The island has grown into a world renowned honeymoon destination. It has a more laid back vibe than nearby Bali, and you'll find pristine beaches and a tropical paradise. There are luxury hotels, stunning natural settings, and plenty of romantic or adventurous activities.

Is Indonesia or Thailand Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

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Indonesia and Thailand are both great destinations for backpackers.

Many backpackers frequent Indonesia. Offering affordable yet enriching experiences across its diverse landscapes, this country has become an extremely popular destination for budget-minded and younger travelers. Bali has budget-friendly hostels, vibrant nightlife in Kuta, and the cultural richness of Ubud, all accessible on a shoestring budget. The Gili Islands, with their low-cost accommodations and vibrant backpacker scene, are perfect for island-hopping and snorkeling. Yogyakarta, known for its affordable street food and budget lodgings, offers access to the majestic Borobudur and Prambanan temples. Sumatra’s Lake Toba and Bukit Lawang provide budget-friendly trekking and wildlife viewing opportunities. Traveling between islands is affordable with budget airlines and ferries, making it easy for backpackers to explore the country's vast beauty without breaking the bank.

Bali: Backpackers flock to this beautiful island for its stunning setting and affordable accommodation. There are many nice places where backpackers can hang out and get to know other travelers. If you want to get off the beaten path, it's best to head into the countryside and away from the main tourist hubs.

Lombok: This island is often compared to Bali 30 years ago. It's a much quieter island, but there are still bars and towns that attract a crowd. If you're looking for a party, then you'll likely still be able to find one, but if you want a laid back retreat, that's available as well.

See also Best Hostels, Guesthouses, and Homestays in Ubud, Bali, Hostels in Kuta, Bali for Backpackers, Party-goers, and Solo Travellers, and Hostels in Seminyak, Bali.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Thailand. The overall low cost of travel in Thailand combined with the diverse destinations and activities has made it one of the most popular destinations in the world for budget travelers and younger backpackers. Visitors here will find plenty of hostels and cheaper hotels along with budget-friendly transportation and restaurants. Plenty of tours, sights, and other activities cater to younger travelers in their 20's, as huge numbers of younger visitors arrive every year. Bangkok is a popular starting point where budget-friendly hostels, street food, and bustling markets like Chatuchak Weekend Market and Khao San Road provide endless excitement. The northern city of Chiang Mai is known for its affordable guesthouses, rich cultural heritage, and adventurous activities like trekking, visiting hill tribes, and exploring temples. In the south, beach destinations such as Koh Phi Phi, Koh Phangan, Ao Nang, and Koh Tao are famous among young travelers for their stunning beaches, lively nightlife, and inexpensive accommodations. Koh Phangan’s Full Moon Party is a legendary event that attracts backpackers from around the world. Beyond the parties, these islands offer budget-friendly activities like snorkeling, diving, and hiking. Public transportation, like the overnight buses and trains, makes it easy and cheap to travel across the country on a tight budget while making new friends along the way.

Bangkok: This part of the world is a mecca for backpackers, and many arrive or depart from this city. It's filled with hostels and budget accommodation, as well as entertainment, bars, tours (and even scams so stay alert). The most famous backpacker area is around Khao San Road, where you'll find parties, bars, street food, and large crowds. If you're looking for a slightly more mellow vibe, you should consider a different area like Phaya Thai.

Chiang Mai: This is one of the biggest backpacker mecca's in Southeast Asia, and you'll find the city flooded with budget travelers out to experience it all. There are countless hostels and budget hotels available and most will organize treks and activities for guests. It's easy to meet other backpackers and many visitors end up staying longer than they planned. Prices in Northern Thailand are also much more affordable than many other areas.

Koh Phangan: This island is synonymous with backpacker vibes and full moon parties. Head to the southern side of the island around Haad Rin and Ban Tai for the highest concentration of backpacker crowds. Like much of Thailand, there is frequent turnover in hostel ownership, so most reviews that you read online will be out of date. It's best to talk to people on the road to get the most up-to-date perspective.

See also Bangkok Party Hostels, Backpacker Party Hostels in Chiang Mai, and Party Hostels for the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan, Thailand.

Is Indonesia or Thailand Easier for Transportation? Which is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

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Thailand generally offers better transportation than Indonesia.

Thailand has some public transit options. Here you'll find diverse options, from trains and long-distance buses to domestic flights and ride-hailing services, making travel across the country relatively affordable, but not always as easy as it could be. Major cities and tourist destinations are well-connected by budget airlines, buses, tour operators, and quality roads. In the larger cities, traditional tuk-tuks, songthaews, buses, and taxis provide convenient urban travel. Renting motorbikes is popular on islands, though safety and traffic can be concerns. Ferries and speedboats are essential for island hopping. However, not every destination is equally well connected, and bus companies can offer inconsistent service at times. Despite challenges like traffic congestion and occasional language barriers, Thailand's extensive and economical transport network ensures fairly good accessibility for travelers.

Is it easy to travel around Thailand?

  • Travel by train is possible.
  • It's quite common to travel by bus.
  • Traveling on ferry boats is very common and fairly easy.
  • It's possible to travel on cruise ships and excursions.
  • Most people travel by joining an organized tour.
  • It's possible to travel by car.
  • Traveling by airplane is extremely popular.

Public transit is generally limited in Indonesia. Transportation in Indonesia varies widely across the archipelago, offering travelers a range of options to navigate the diverse landscapes. In major cities like Jakarta and Surabaya, modern infrastructure includes buses, taxis, ride-hailing services, and commuter trains, providing relatively convenient and affordable ways to get around. Motorbikes are also a popular mode of transport, especially in congested urban areas where they can navigate through traffic with ease. Inter-city travel is facilitated by domestic flights, connecting major hubs with smaller cities and remote islands. Ferries and boats ply routes between islands, offering scenic journeys across the archipelago. However, in more remote areas, transportation options may be limited, with unpaved roads and rough terrain making travel more challenging. Overall, while transportation infrastructure is generally well-developed in urban centers, traveling to more remote destinations may require some planning and flexibility.

Is it easy to travel around Indonesia?

  • It's possible, but usually challenging, to travel by train.
  • It's fairly easy to travel by bus.
  • It's quite common to travel on ferry boats.
  • Travel on cruise ships and excursions is possible.
  • It's quite common to get around if you join an organized tour.
  • Traveling by car is possible but challenging.
  • It's very easy and convenient to travel by airplane.

Is Indonesia or Thailand more Comfortable for a Trip?

Both Indonesia and Thailand are very comfortable to travel around, and offer plenty of amenities for visitors.

Indonesia is somewhat comfortable to travel in. This huge and diverse country offers a wide range of travel styles, budget options, and price ranges. Luxury resorts are mixed in with backpacker hostels, and fine dining experiences are mixed in with street food markets.Every level of travel style is available, but sometimes it's hard to avoid the rough-around-the-edges areas of the country when moving from place to place. Many areas of the country are very touristy, such as Bali, while other areas see very few tourists and have a very local vibe. It's always fairly easy to hire a more luxurious form of transportation if desired.

Thailand is generally comfortable to travel in, although some areas don't have as much travel amenities. Thailand offers a mixture of travel styles depending on one's desired level of luxury and travel budget. While visitors can find plenty of luxury resorts, private transportation, and high-end restaurants, it's also quite easy to stumble across extremely cheap street food, chaotic markets, rickety public buses, and hole-in-the-wall guest houses for budget travelers. As Thailand is quite touristy in general, it's easy to find whichever style of travel that you and your budget might prefer. However, venturing through Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and other cities might lead to more chaotic traffic, vibrant city life, and relaxed health standards than some might find in their home countries. Likewise, on larger islands it's easy to find high-end hotels along with cheap hostels, and plenty of mid-range hotels in between.


Is Indonesia or Thailand more Touristy?

Generally, Thailand is considered to be more touristy than Indonesia.

Thailand is a destination which hosts a huge number of visitors. Most of the country relies on tourism, and a large number of places are extremely popular destinations. Bangkok, the bustling capital, is a vibrant mix of traditional and modern attractions, including the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, and the bustling streets of Khao San Road. Chiang Mai, in the north, is renowned for its ancient temples, vibrant night markets, jungle trekking trips, and the annual Yi Peng Lantern Festival. The southern islands of Phuket and Koh Samui are famous for their stunning beaches, luxury resorts, and lively nightlife. The Phi Phi Islands, made famous by the movie "The Beach," offer crystal-clear waters, dramatic cliffs, and vibrant coral reefs. Pattaya is known for its bustling beach scene and vibrant nightlife, while Ayutthaya offers a glimpse into Thailand’s rich history with its ancient ruins and temples. These destinations, while touristy, also provide a comprehensive glimpse into Thailand's diverse offerings, from cultural landmarks and historical sites to pristine beaches and modern entertainment.

Indonesia sees a large number of visitors. Indonesia is a major tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors each year with its diverse attractions and rich cultural heritage. Bali stands out as the most popular and touristy spot, famed for its vibrant nightlife in Kuta, the serene temples of Ubud, and the stunning beaches of Seminyak and Nusa Dua. Jakarta, the bustling capital, draws visitors with its modern shopping malls, historical sites, and culinary scene. The island of Lombok, particularly the Gili Islands, is known for its crystal-clear waters and lively beach parties. Yogyakarta is a cultural hub, home to the iconic Borobudur and Prambanan temples, which see a constant stream of tourists. Komodo National Park, famous for its unique Komodo dragons and pristine diving spots, also attracts significant attention. These areas are well-developed for tourism, offering a range of accommodations, dining options, and activities to cater to the influx of visitors. However it's still possible to avoid many of the tourist crowds by venturing to other destinations, too.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Indonesia, The Best Wildlife Tours to Indonesia, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Indonesia, The Best 10-Day Tours in Indonesia, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Indonesia, The Best 2-Week Tours in Indonesia, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Indonesia, The Best Adventure Tours to Indonesia, The Best Eco Tours in Indonesia, The Best Cultural Tours in Indonesia, The Best Sightseeing Tours in Indonesia, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Indonesia, The Best Budget Tours to Indonesia, The Best Tours for Seniors to Indonesia, The Best G Adventures Tours to Indonesia, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Thailand, The Best Wildlife Tours to Thailand, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Thailand, The Best 10-Day Tours in Thailand, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Thailand, The Best 2-Week Tours in Thailand, The Best Bicycle Tours in Thailand, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Thailand, The Best Coach Bus Tours in Thailand, The Best Adventure Tours to Thailand, The Best Eco Tours in Thailand, The Best Sightseeing Tours in Thailand, The Best Cultural Tours in Thailand, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Thailand, The Best Nightlife Tours in Thailand, The Best Yoga Tours and Retreats in Thailand, The Best Honeymoon Tours in Thailand, The Best Tours Under $1000 in Thailand, The Best Budget Tours to Thailand, The Best Tours for Seniors to Thailand, The Best Contiki Tours to Thailand, The Best G Adventures Tours to Thailand, The Best 3-Day Tours from Phuket, The Best 3-Day Tours from Bangkok, The Best 3-Day Tours from Chiang Mai, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Bangkok, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Phuket, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Chiang Mai, The Best 10-Day Tours from Bangkok, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Bangkok.


Phuket's Big Buddha Statue Phuket's Big Buddha Statue

Should I spend more time in Thailand or Indonesia?

How long in Indonesia or Thailand?

In either Indonesia or Thailand, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Thailand than Indonesia because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 5-14 days is a good amount of time for Indonesia, and 5-21 days is enough time in Thailand.

Families should spend more time in Thailand than Indonesia. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Thailand, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Thailand than Indonesia. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Thailand that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Thailand than Indonesia if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Thailand.


  • How many days should I spend in Indonesia or Thailand?
    Indonesia 5-14 
    Thailand 5-21

A weekend in Indonesia or Thailand?

Indonesia is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

You'll find history and culture, nightlife, and food around the friendly destination of Thailand. Adventure travel is very popular here, too. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This country offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Indonesia or Thailand?

Indonesia is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Indonesia, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

You'll find nightlife, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling around the exotic destination of Thailand. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this destination makes for a great vacation. It's also a great beach destination, too. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this destination has to offer.

A week in Indonesia or Thailand?

Indonesia is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. It's also known for its adventure travel activities. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Indonesia has to offer. This country offers something for everyone.

Thailand is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Thailand, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Two weeks in Indonesia or Thailand?

Indonesia is a great place to explore. It is common to spend two weeks here. It's also a great beach destination, too. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Indonesia, two weeks is sufficent for most. This country offers something for everyone.

Thailand is a popular choice for travelers. Two weeks here is typical. Adventure travel is very popular here, too. Two weeks should give you a good understanding of everything this country has to offer. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Ayutthaya, Thailand Ayutthaya, Thailand

Which country is cheaper, Thailand or Indonesia?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Indonesia is $59, while the average daily cost in Thailand is $82. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each country. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Indonesia and Thailand in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Indonesia $30
    Thailand $35
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Indonesia $60
    Thailand $70
Compare Hotels in Indonesia and Thailand

Looking for a hotel in Indonesia or Thailand? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Indonesia


Hotels in Thailand


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Indonesia Hotel Prices and Thailand Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Indonesia $8.74
    Thailand $12
Typical Local Transportation prices in Indonesia

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Indonesia are as follows:


  • Motorbike Rental
    $3.08
  • Taxi to Station
    $1.08

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Indonesia

Also for Indonesia, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Try find your better than us! Airport transfer service in Denpasar APT-HTL(DPS) : $5.95
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Bali Airport to Hotel: $7.40
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Bali Airport: $7.50
  • Bali : Ngurah Rai Airport Private Transfer: $7.68
  • Affordable Bali (DPS) Airport Arrival Private Transfer: $7.76
  • Bali Denpasar Airport (DPS) - Private Transfer to/from Denpasar City: $8.00
  • Airport Transfer From (DPS) Ngurah Rai Airport to Legian Area: $8.00
  • Airport Transfer From (DPS) Ngurah Rai Airport to Kuta Area: $8.00
  • Airport Transfer Bali from (DPS) Ngurah Rai Airport to Jimbaran Area: $8.00
  • Bali Airport to Hotel:Arrival Private Transfer (Daytime): $8.15
  • Bali Airport - Bali Transfer to all area in Bali - Bali driver: $9.00
  • Bali: Private Airport Pickup - Transfers to Hotel: $9.04

Typical Local Transportation prices in Thailand

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Thailand:


  • Tuk Tuk to bus station
    $2.19
  • Skytrain Ticket
    $4.39
  • Chao Phraya River Express Ticket
    $0.88
  • Ferry Ride
    $0.71
  • Tuk Tuk Ride
    $1.10
  • Motorbike Rental
    $5.21
  • Boat Taxi
    $2.74
  • Local bus to bus station
    $1.10
  • Longtail Taxi (for Two)
    $8.23
  • Taxi From Airport
    $6.86
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $2.47
  • Boat Taxi
    $1.37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Thailand

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Thailand:

  • Zipline and ATV Skyline Adventure Phuket Include Pickup Transfer: $38
  • Zipline Adventure at Chiang Mai with Return Transfer: $196
  • Wat Pho The Reclining Buddha Ticket with Transfer in Bangkok: $27
  • Van Phuket Airport Transfer to Patong Beach Area (SHA Plus): $38
  • VIP Group Transfer from Samui Airport to Phangan: $443
  • VAN PHUKET AIRPORT Transfer to PHUKET TOWN (SHA Plus): $40
  • VAN PHUKET AIRPORT TRANSFER to SURIN BEACH: $28
  • VAN PHUKET AIRPORT TRANSFER to RAWAI BEACH: $42
  • VAN PHUKET AIRPORT TRANSFER to RASSADA PIER: $34
  • VAN PHUKET AIRPORT TRANSFER to NAIYANG BEACH: $27
  • VAN PHUKET AIRPORT TRANSFER to NAIHARN BEACH: $40
  • VAN PHUKET AIRPORT TRANSFER to MAI KHAO BEACH: $28

Is it cheaper to fly into Indonesia or Indonesia?

Prices for flights to both Thailand and Indonesia change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Indonesia $16
    Thailand $17
Typical Food prices in Indonesia

For Indonesia, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Coffee
    $1.23
  • Lunch for Two
    $14
  • Bali Cafe for Two
    $27
  • Lunch for Two
    $8.00
  • Lunch for 2
    $8.86
  • Dinner for 2
    $9.72
  • Dinner
    $2.71
  • Dinner
    $0.74

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Indonesia

For Indonesia, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Canggu: Drag Show with Dinner: $14
  • Canggu: Drag Show with Dinner: $15
  • Munduk authentic cooking class & banyumala waterfall: $19
  • Ubud Cooking Class with Optional Market Visit Pickup Included: $20
  • Balinese Traditional Cooking Class with Market Tour: $22
  • Yogyakarta: Morning Food Tour with Tasting: $23
  • Ubud: Traditional Cooking Class & Market Tour with Transfer: $23
  • Ubud: Cooking Class with Transfers and Optional Market Visit: $23
  • Ubud: Balinese Cooking Class and Market Tour with Transfers: $23
  • Ubud Cooking : All Inclusive Cooking Class: $24
  • Bali: Uluwatu, Kecak Fire Dance And Dinner At Jimbaran Bay: $25
  • Yogyakarta: 3-hour Cooking Class with Market Tour: $26

Typical Food prices in Thailand

Some typical examples of dining costs in Thailand are as follows:


  • Dinner at Hard Rock Cafe (for Two)
    $25
  • Sit Down Lunch (for One)
    $5.49
  • Dinner
    $7.41
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $6.86
  • Breakfast
    $1.65
  • Dinner for Two
    $6.03
  • Casual Dinner (for Two)
    $7.93
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $4.66
  • Sit Down Dinner (for Two)
    $12
  • Casual Lunch of Prawns (for Two)
    $5.49
  • 2 Rotis (Bread)
    $1.23
  • Sit Down Dinner (for One)
    $5.35

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Thailand

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Thailand.

  • Cooking Morning Class Chiang Mai Visit Organic Garden and Market : $11
  • Bangkok Food Tour and Sightseeing with Tuktuk: $17
  • Bangkok: VELA Dinner Cruise Ticket: $19
  • Bangkok: White Orchid Chao Phraya Dinner Cruise: $19
  • Traditional Khantoke Dinner and Show from Chiang Mai: $20
  • Bangkok: Chao Phraya Princess Dinner Cruise Ticket: $21
  • Bangkok: Baiyoke Observation Deck with Lunch/Dinner Buffet: $22
  • Chiang Mai: Khantoke Dinner with Traditional Performance: $22
  • Morning Cooking Class in Organic Garden | Chiang Mai: $23
  • Half-Day Thai Cooking Class at Organic Farm in Chiang Mai: $23
  • Afternoon Cooking Class in Organic Garden in Chiang Mai: $23
  • Bangkok: River Dinner Cruise on the Chao Phraya Princess: $24

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Indonesia $9.52
    Thailand $18
Typical Entertainment prices in Indonesia

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Indonesia's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Spa for Two
    $54
  • Snorkelling Trip
    $12
  • Cooking School
    $28

Tours and Activities in Indonesia

For Indonesia, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Ubud: Waterfall, Water Temple & Rice Terrace Private Tour: $0.65
  • Bali_Ubud Costomized Private Tour: $0.65
  • Yogyakarta: Obelix Hills Entry Ticket: $1.53
  • Chicken Church at Karangrejo Village Admission Ticket: $1.91
  • Yogyakarta Batik Museum - Admission Ticket: $2.50
  • Tegalalang: Alas Harum Entry Ticket w/ Optional Attractions: $3.23
  • Ubud: ATV Single or Tandem Adventure Guided Tour: $3.78
  • Ubud: ATV Single or Tandem Guided Adventure with Lunch: $3.87
  • Nusa Penida: Island Tour or Snorkeling with Manta Rays: $3.87
  • Javanese Gamelan Experience - Admission Ticket: $4.10
  • Gili Trawangan: private or share guided snorkeling tour: $4.52
  • Bali Sightseeing Tours - Top Things to Do: $5.00

Typical Entertainment prices in Thailand

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Thailand are as follows:


  • Movie Ticket
    $4.39
  • Thai Cooking Class
    $36
  • One Day Boat Tour
    $25
  • Scuba Diving (Two Dives)
    $69
  • Thai Oil Massage
    $18
  • Surfboard Rental
    $8.23
  • Grand Palace Entrance Ticket
    $9.60
  • Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha) Ticket
    $1.37
  • Doi Suthep Entrance Ticket
    $1.65
  • Kratong Lessons
    $2.74
  • Thai-English Book
    $9.05
  • Thai Massages (for Two)
    $22

Tours and Activities in Thailand

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Thailand are as follows:

  • 3 Khai Islands Snorkeling Tour by Speed Boat: $43
  • 4WD Buggy RZR. Tour 3 hrs. for 1-2 people per Buggy: $247
  • 6 Hrs Off Road 4x4 Adventure of Hidden Gems In Koh Samui Hills 1 - 4 persons: $120
  • 6 Hrs Off Road 4x4 Adventure of Hidden Gems In Koh Samui Hills 5 - 8 Persons: $148
  • 9 Hours Nature Tour in Inthanon National Park From Chiang Mai: $71
  • Activities In & Around Phuket: Full Day Customizable Tour: $90
  • Amazing Pattaya Experience Tour to All Famous Points in One Day: $57
  • Ayutthaya Historic Park Group Tour from Bangkok: $65
  • Ayutthaya Historic Park Tour Group Tour from Bangkok: $55
  • Ayutthaya Historic Park Tour Group Tour from Bangkok: $55
  • Bangkok 5 Hour Cultural & Temples Tour Private: $93
  • Chiang Mai ATV, Hiking and Rafting Adventure: $74

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Indonesia $4.79
    Thailand $8.53

Typical Alcohol prices in Thailand

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Thailand:


  • Beer
    $1.10
  • Drinks
    $9.87
  • Cocktails (for Two)
    $5.49
  • Wine
    $2.74
  • Beer
    $1.65
  • Beer
    $1.37
  • Beers (3)
    $6.31
  • Beer
    $1.65
  • Beer
    $2.33
  • Mojito Bucket
    $14
  • Banana Daiquiri
    $5.49
  • Beer (2)
    $3.84

Sample the Local Flavors in Thailand

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Thailand:

  • Pai Pub Crawl: $9.93
  • Krabi Pub Crawl: $14
  • Railay Pub Crawl: $14
  • Ao Nang: Guided Bar Crawl with Shots and a T-Shirt: $18
  • The Bangkok Pub Crawl: $20
  • Phuket: Pub Crawl Tour: $25
  • Phuket Real City Tour with Rum Cocktail Distillery: $79
  • Private Experience of Wine Tasting Hua Hin in Monsoon Valley: $82
  • Big Buddha & The Distillery Phuket: $99
  • Phuket Rum Distillery Cocktail Workshop And Wat Chalong Temple : $172
  • Phuket Rum Distillery Cocktail Workshop & Wat Chalong Temple: $213


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Indonesia and Thailand, we can see that Thailand is more expensive. And not only is Indonesia much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Indonesia would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Indonesia and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Thailand would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Thailand than you might in Indonesia.

Surat Thani, Thailand Surat Thani, Thailand

Why is Thailand more expensive than Indonesia?

Thailand's economy is strongly dependent on tourism. Thailand has a numerous bus and other transportation companies in place that cater specifically to backpackers and mid-range travelers. These services are significantly more expensive than the public government-run transportation system that locals use. (However, they are not always more efficient.)

Touristy areas in Thailand are expensive simply due to supply and demand. On many islands, land is limited and therefore accommodation options are not as numerous as the number of tourists needing beds. Also, many of the islands need to have food, fuel, and supplies shipped in, leading to a higher cost of food at restaurants, higher taxi prices, and an increase in the price of souvenirs, clothing, etc.

The overall low cost of living of Indonesia, combined with low wages and a massive population has left the tourism industry with plenty of competition, especially compared to some of its Asian neighbors. For western travelers from the U.S., Australia, or Europe, this means that Indonesia is a dream destination for a cheap price (once you pay for a plane ticket). With some of the most beautiful tropical destinations in the world available for extremely low prices, it's easy to see why this is a popular destination.

What are the most expensive and cheapest cities and regions in Thailand and Indonesia?

As a general rule in Thailand, the more touristy a destination, the more expensive it is. Southern Thailand is more expensive than northern Thailand with some of the most expensive areas being the islands of Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Samui, and Koh Phangan. The time of year can also dramatically effect cost. During the Full Moon Party, prices in Koh Phangan can climb, but expenses are more reasonable during slower times.

Visitors to the larger cities can experience a mix of prices. With a more diverse range of options, travelers to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, and other urban areas can find both cheap and expensive accommodation and food options.

In the countryside of northern Thailand, prices tend to be cheap. Smaller towns in the north wish to attract visitors and lower their prices accordingly. However, sometimes transportation can get pricey.

Tourism has driven up prices in some areas of Indonesia, namely Bali, Lombok, and some of the surrounding islands known for their beaches and scenery. If other travelers are flocking to an area, then expect prices to be higher.

In the larger cities of Indonesia, it's possible to find a wide range of accommodation, restaurants, and activities at a variety of prices. Budget hotels and hostels are often found not far from high-end luxury hotels. If you want luxury, you can expect to pay a fair amount more for it, but it is still usually of good value and quality.

In the countryside, prices can be very cheap, especially in off-the-beaten path locations.

How can you save money while visiting Thailand and Indonesia?

Negotiate hard! This is particularly true in Thailand, but also true in Indonesia as well as most Southeast Asian countries.

Go off the beaten path. Prices in touristy areas tend to be the highest.

Eat the street food. In Indonesia, small eateries known as "warungs" are everywhere in urban areas. They offer delicious food at a cheap price. Also, buying food at local markets is significantly cheaper than at restaurants or larger stores.

Travel with the locals. Find local transportation (the government buses) whenever possible and avoid paying a premium for tourist or "VIP" buses. Often, the government bus station will be in the center of town or separated from the tourist areas.

Slow down. If you're rushing through the area you're going to spend more money. Transportation costs can be somewhat expensive, so the more places you visit, the more money you're going to spend.

Plan your trip schedule. Festivals are fun but expensive. If going to the Full Moon Party isn't your priority, avoid the island areas during these times. Also look at the holiday schedule to see when locals are on vacation.

Flying between the islands of Indonesia can get expensive. Instead, pick just a few islands and stick to them, or look for the less expensive ferry boats. Use public transportation whenever possible.


Longtails in Railay Bay Longtails in Railay Bay

When is the best time to visit Indonesia or Thailand?

Both destinations experience a warmer climate most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season. Although in the rainy season, it doesn't necessarily rain every day.

Indonesia's climate is predominantly tropical, characterized by high humidity and relatively stable temperatures year-round, typically ranging from 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F). The country experiences two main seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season, lasting from May to September, is marked by sunny, clear days and lower humidity, making it an ideal time for travel and outdoor activities. Conversely, the rainy season, from October to April, brings heavy and frequent downpours, especially in the afternoons and evenings, with the peak of rainfall usually occurring between December and March. Despite the rain, temperatures remain warm, and the landscape becomes lush and vibrant. The monsoon winds influence these seasonal changes, with the western and northern parts of Indonesia generally receiving more rainfall than the eastern and southern regions. Travelers should plan accordingly, considering both the benefits and challenges of each season.

With a tropical climate, Thailand enjoys relatively warm temperatures year-round. From May to September, rains from the Indian Ocean in the west bring wet weather to the western coast all the way up into the northern regions. During this time of the year, you can expect periodic rains with warm weather. From October to April, dry air from the north creates a dry season for the northern region of the country, while the eastern coast of southern Thailand experiences its wet season. Despite having a "wet season" for months of the year, the rains are not constant and the climate is still enjoyable year-round.

The high season for travel in Thailand is between November and February, although visitors come all year. The seasons are caused by monsoon winds more than temperature changes, though. In the north, the dry season is between November and May. The southern coasts stay relatively dry during this time as well. Due to a change in weather patterns, the east and west coasts receive rainfall at different times of the year. The wettest time on the western coast is usually between April and October, while the east coast experiences more rain between September and December.

Much of Indonesia is very close to the equator and quite tropical. Therefore, the seasons are divided between wet and dry depending on seasonal winds. The dry season is from May to September, while the wet season is from October to April. A few places have an exception to this (such as Sumatra), but you can expect warm tropical temperatures everywhere in the country.

Should I visit Indonesia or Thailand in the Summer?

Both Thailand and Indonesia during the summer are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Indonesia because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Thailand because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.

Bangkok gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Bali usually gets less rain in July than Bangkok. Bali gets 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain, while Bangkok receives 155 mm (6.1 in) of rain this time of the year.

It's quite sunny in Bali. In the summer, Bali often gets more sunshine than Bangkok. Bali gets 253 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Bangkok receives 176 hours of full sun.

In the summer, Bali is around the same temperature as Bangkok. Typically, the summer temperatures in Bali in July average around 27°C (81°F), and Bangkok averages at about 29°C (84°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Bali 27°C (81°F) 
    Bali 29°C (84°F)

Should I visit Indonesia or Thailand in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Indonesia and Thailand. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Indonesia year-round. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Thailand year-round.

Bangkok receives a lot of rain in the autumn. In October, Bali usually receives less rain than Bangkok. Bali gets 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Bangkok receives 242 mm (9.5 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Bangkok this time of the year. In Bali, it's very sunny this time of the year. Bali usually receives more sunshine than Bangkok during autumn. Bali gets 266 hours of sunny skies, while Bangkok receives 206 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Bali is generally around the same temperature as Bangkok. Daily temperatures in Bali average around 27°C (81°F), and Bangkok fluctuates around 28°C (83°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Bali 27°C (81°F) 
    Bali 28°C (83°F)

Should I visit Indonesia or Thailand in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Indonesia as well as Thailand. Indonesia attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. Thailand attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

Bali usually gets more rain in January than Bangkok. Bali gets 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain, while Bangkok receives 9 mm (0.4 in) of rain this time of the year.

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Bangkok. In the winter, Bali often gets less sunshine than Bangkok. Bali gets 170 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Bangkok receives 276 hours of full sun.

Bali is around the same temperature as Bangkok in the winter. The daily temperature in Bali averages around 26°C (79°F) in January, and Bangkok fluctuates around 27°C (80°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Bali 26°C (79°F) 
    Bali 27°C (80°F)

Should I visit Indonesia or Thailand in the Spring?

Both Thailand and Indonesia are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to Indonesia throughout the year. The warm climate attracts visitors to Thailand throughout the year.

In April, Bali usually receives around the same amount of rain as Bangkok. Bali gets 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Bangkok receives 65 mm (2.6 in) of rain each month for the spring.

It's quite sunny in Bangkok. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Bali. Bali usually receives less sunshine than Bangkok during spring. Bali gets 226 hours of sunny skies, while Bangkok receives 262 hours of full sun in the spring.

In the spring, Bali is cooler than Bangkok. Typically, the spring temperatures in Bali in April average around 27°C (81°F), and Bangkok averages at about 31°C (87°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Bali 27°C (81°F) 
    Bali 31°C (87°F)

Typical Weather for Bangkok and Bali

Bali Bangkok
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 26°C (79°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 27°C (80°F) 9 mm (0.4 in)
Feb 26°C (79°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 28°C (82°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)
Mar 27°C (81°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 29°C (85°F) 29 mm (1.1 in)
Apr 27°C (81°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 31°C (87°F) 65 mm (2.6 in)
May 28°C (82°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 30°C (86°F) 220 mm (8.7 in)
Jun 27°C (81°F) 50 mm (2 in) 29°C (85°F) 149 mm (5.9 in)
Jul 27°C (81°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 29°C (84°F) 155 mm (6.1 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 29°C (84°F) 197 mm (7.8 in)
Sep 27°C (81°F) 50 mm (2 in) 28°C (83°F) 344 mm (13.5 in)
Oct 27°C (81°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 28°C (83°F) 242 mm (9.5 in)
Nov 27°C (81°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 27°C (81°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Dec 27°C (81°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 26°C (79°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)