With the right planning, the dream of traveling to Asia is feasible, even on a fixed income. Southeast Asia is a popular destination for budget tourists. There are many things to suit a foreigner: a high level of service, good climate, amazing local food and hospitable people.
Among the countries in the region, Vietnam or Thailand are excellent destinations to evaluate better. In addition to cost considerations, there are factors to analyze when choosing between these countries. Below are some of the factors that will help you compare and contrast which is better to choose: Thailand and Vietnam.
Take the two southern resort islands of Phuket in Thailand and Nha Trang in Vietnam. In winter, the second city seems much nicer in terms of climate. It's not as hot during the day, and it's refreshing in the evening. Depending on the season, the weather of any country can vary considerably. In the north of Vietnam in early spring you can get pretty chilly, but in Bangkok you can get sweltering from the heat.
During the winter in Vietnam, the sea is quite "turbulent", but in the south, the sea water is still warm to + 25 ° C, sometimes even a couple of degrees warmer. And the air temperature is usually above 32°C. In the southern part of Thailand at this time the sea is clean, you can safely swim and the water warms up to 27 ° C. The sun is not as hot as in spring, but the thermometer reads more than 30°C.
You can compare these two countries only by the two seaside resorts. Phuket in Thailand is washed by the turquoise Andaman Sea. The island has a lot of beaches with infrastructure and all sorts of entertainment at the level of the European tourist. During the season in Phuket is just perfect sea. Which beach to choose, and what you should pay attention to, read the article: popular beaches in Phuket.
The beaches in Nha Trang (Vietnam) are inferior to Thai beaches in terms of azure water. In the evening all the beaches are crowded with Vietnamese, who like to come to the sea with the whole family. Entertainment on the beaches is not much, and the infrastructure is worse. Although if you go to Vietnam by bike, you can see a lot of beautiful beaches with blue sea and white sand, but they will be wild and non-tourist places.
Thailand is a place where you will never go hungry. Such a large quantity and variety of street food hardly exists in any other country in the world. Street food is available, you can find it at any time of the day or night. The cuisine of Thailand is one of the main attractions of the country.
But in Vietnam, at certain times, food simply disappears from the streets. It's hard to find anything at lunchtime, because the Vietnamese "go on siesta.
There are a huge number of restaurants serving very tasty seafood. Frankly speaking, the food in Vietnam is closer to ours.
For $ 1 you get a huge portion of soup or rice with meat or fish. Many tourists complain of stomach aches due to daily overeating due to such generous portions and affordable prices.
Food and food prices
In Vietnam, fresh fruits and vegetables are more affordable. But when it comes to imported products, which the average Asian does not eat too much (milk, cheese), it is difficult to compare. Imported products are definitely more expensive than local products.
How much does it cost to eat in tourist spots
|Lunch at a cheap restaurant||$2,24||$2,83|
|Three-course lunch (for two)||$13,46||$14,15|
|Lunch combo at McDonald's||$3,93||$5,52|
|A can of Pepsi/Cola||$0,40||$0,58|
In Vietnam, as well as in Thailand, there are many good supermarkets where you can buy quality and inexpensive products. In Nha Trang these are CoopMart, Big C, MaxiMark. There are several popular chain stores in Thailand: 7/11, Family Mart are mini-markets; and Tesco Lotus and Big C are large supermarkets.
Food prices in stores and supermarkets in 2016
|Milk, 1 liter||$1,30||$1,41|
|Bread, 0.5 kg||$0,61||$1,18|
|Rice (1 kg)||$0,81||$0,99|
|Eggs (12 pieces)||$1,38||$1,67|
|Chicken fillet, 1 kg||$6,73||$2,77|
|Cucumbers, 1 kg||$2,24||$0,85|
|Bottle of water 1.5 liters||$0,54||$0,45|
Warning! Please note that prices may vary due to fluctuations in exchange rates.
Clothing, appliances, electronics
The market in Vietnam is very scarce. Technology is not the "end" of the country. Everything is more expensive than in Thailand. Popular online clothing brands in Vietnam are many times less than in Thailand. And it costs more here.
In Thailand, the price level is very low, even for American and European brands of clothing. At the same time, the quality is quite good.
Approximate prices for clothing
|Women's T-shirt / T-shirt||from 5$||from 2$|
|Women's shorts||from 8$||From 3$|
|Men's shirt||from 9$||from 4$|
Dress in stores of popular brands
|from 25$||from 12$|
Thailand is better developed in terms of accommodation. Hostels and hotels for everyone in every city is a huge number. Any resort and "teeming" with villas easier and richer, which are located near the sea, and the price is much better and lower in relation to the CIS countries. On average, prices range from 15-20$.
Accommodation in Vietnam is cheap, especially hotels and hostels. But it is very difficult to find something for a European. You have to choose more respectable options. The rest of the rooms are simply furnished with wooden furniture in Vietnamese style, which for a European is not very familiar and comfortable.
Prices start at 8$, but average around 12-23$ for a double room in an inexpensive 2 or 3 star hotel.
There are many high-class hotels near the sea, with room rates starting from 65 $/night. At the Intercontinental Nha Trang (one of the best hotels in Vietnam) prices per night start from 120$.
In any case, everyone will have to choose the best one for themselves... And to read detailed descriptions of hotels in Phuket, reviews of tourists about hotels, book and more, use the hotel search engine Hotellook - search and compare the best prices on hotels and hotels with discounts up to 60%.
Internet availability and speed
In Vietnam, mobile Internet is big and cheap. It works almost everywhere. If we talk about the domestic Internet, the connection is very unstable. Failures are usually due to network transmission failures.
Those who are planning to go to Thailand soon, probably would not hurt to read our article on the nuances of using the Internet in Thailand.
Infrastructure and Entertainment
Thailand is ideal for tourists. The country's roads are better than those in Vietnam. On every street you can see stores, street food, malls and entertainment centers.
Vietnam is much more sparse in this respect. Getting and having fun somewhere after 11:00 p.m. is very problematic.
- The Vietnamese go to bed early, so you won't see anyone before midnight.
- There are small stores with food. But they work here on a schedule, which is convenient for the owner.
- Shopping malls are no better.
Nha Trang, for example, has many attractions and travel agencies that arrange tours around the city and trips to neighboring regions. Here you can ride all day at the amusement park or take treatments at the mud baths for 27$. And two-day excursions to a neighboring town cost from 10-100$. From Thai Phuket, in turn, to the neighboring regions on excursions can be taken for 50-150$.
As for Vietnam, it is quite difficult to compare the capital and the provinces. There is no subway in the large cities of Vietnam. Bangkok, on the other hand, has an underground subway, road and water transport. And cabs are also very expensive.
You will pay 35 baht (1$) for boarding and 5 baht (0.14$) per kilometer thereafter. Given the fact that traffic jams are very common in Bangkok, the taxi meter may surprise you unpleasantly at the end of the trip.
In Vietnam, cabs are better and more affordable. Buses are inexpensive (only $0.3 within the city limits), lots of bicycles and bikes.
You'll be surprised by the abundance of tuk-tuks in Thailand, but they charge strangers a triple price. In Bangkok, there are free shuttles, but they are usually wooden buses without air conditioning. The price depends on the type of bus. Article on Transportation in Thailand, and everything related to it: buses, trains, transfers, planes, and more.
Procedure for obtaining a visa
A visa for Vietnam can be issued for one to three months upon arrival at the airport. It does not cost much (from 30$), there are no consular fees. Until recently it was easy and cheap to renew this visa, but now everything is more complicated. The visa-free period for Russian citizens is 15 days, but in Thailand it is 30.
As for Thailand, the site has an actual step-by-step instructions on how to obtain a Thai visa in 2016 for citizens of the CIS:
- Visa to Thailand for Ukrainians
- Visa to Thailand for Russians
- Visa to Thailand for Belarusians
- One-year visa to Thailand
There are many clinics both in Thailand and Vietnam. In Thailand, in private and public clinics, the service is very good, the staff is friendly, the prices are not so high. All necessary medications you get after your doctor's appointment. Prices:
- In Thailand, a doctor's appointment is from 20$, for an injury it is from 40$.
- You can pay only 10-15$ for one appointment at a Vietnamese public hospital, including all tests and prescribed treatment. In private clinics you will have to pay 50$ for each visit to the doctor. Also, dental services are inexpensive here.
In Vietnam, you can call and order a "doctor at home," especially if you have insurance. Of course, the doctors do not know much English, but they will give you the necessary instructions and medicines. The level of medicine in Vietnam has increased significantly in recent years.
How to survive acclimatization
This is a very personal aspect. Every tourist in a new country always adapts differently. In Thailand it can be difficult to get used to the food. The food is really very spicy. Completely new flavors that you haven't tried before can affect your gastrointestinal function.
In Vietnam, the food is simpler. It is always fresh and without frills. Rice with meat or fish, light soup with rice noodles can be found in every village.
It is much harder to adapt in Vietnam in terms of language. Very few Vietnamese speak English. All the labels in supermarkets are in the local language. If you plan to travel around the country, bother to learn at least a few phrases and numbers to find out the cost of food and services in cafes. Probably. You can't do without an interpreter.
In Thailand, the level of local people is more advanced. In tourist areas any local can answer you in English. Even in the market, where there are few tourists, you will never get lost.