Bali or Thailand???

Mar 31st, 2005, 05:27 PM
  #1  
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Bali or Thailand???

I am looking to go away for the month of August. I have been thinking of either Bali or Thailand. I am a 23 year old girl and I will be travelling by myself, so safety is a bit of a concern. I am also wanting to go somewhere where it will be easy to meet other travellers to hang around with. Can anyone offer suggetions or important considerations that would make my decision easier?
Silversix66 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 06:00 PM
  #2  
 
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either one would be a great destination....off the top of my head i should think thailand might be a better destination for a single....

bali seems less of a "hang-out" place, except for the kuta beach area...it is more cultural in its orbit...that may only be my take however...kuta is crazy with bars, beach , etc...

in thailand there is more diversity of experience: city, hills, beach, ---all of which bali has, but in a totally different way....

it may depend on where you are coming from too...from NA or europe thailand may be easier to get to with direct flights to bkk...bali has few direct flights except from australia so you have to fly to singapore or elsewhere to get there....it tends to be more expensive also...

the tourist industry is more highly organized in thailand as well and there is a greater diversity of experience...imo...also perhaps a greater bang for your buck if you will...you can do thailand very very cheaply and still be in the center of the action...bali, while reasonable in cost, does not have as much depth...

in short either would be great for you but i think thailand might hold more interest for you....august is the high month for bali by the way....some parts of thailand are less desirable in august, like some of the coast areas...west coast i think it is
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 12:40 AM
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First, either would be fine for a single woman, there are no real safety issues, but I would take normal precautions with your wallet and yourself that you would any place else.

I would say that Bali is easier to get around in, as it is much, much smaller and you can get anywhere you want by a public bemo bus in a few hours tops, most places are within an hour or so of one another. Thailand is a much larger country and you would have to fly between many places, there is some train and bus service. Flying will add to your costs, if budget is not an issue perhaps this does not matter.

Weather-wise Bali is excellent in August, Thailand is generally good except for the west coast places like Phuket.

I have to disagree with rhkmk, but there is a LOT of just “hanging out” in Bali, and not just in Kuta. Some people have been hanging there for years. Ubud and the northeast coast of the island are very popular with long term travellers. A took a year off and hung out in Bali for about 6 months, based outside Ubud, and met lots of people both local and foreign. I am sure the case is the same in Thailand, but wanted to point out that you would not have less of a chance of meeting others if you went to Bali.

My personal opinion is that Bali is the more magical place, it is something about a combination of the music, the Hindu/animism and the green, green rice terraces. I really enjoy Thailand and love the Thai people, but if I had a month to hang out, no question that I would do so again in Bali.

A good site for your would be the lonelyplanet.com website which is for younger travellers and for long-term travellers. They also have a chatroom where you can read comments from travellers or post questions. The area of the site you need is called "Thorn Tree ". The site is somewhat similar to this Talk section of the Fodors site. The Lonely Planet guidebooks for Asia are excellent, esp for longer-term and budget travellers.

Cicerone is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 12:56 AM
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Thailand!

I was a bit disappointed with Bali I have to admit. And I agree with rhkkmk that from a travellers szene you'll have a much easier time in Thailand. And that it has much more variety to offer. I always felt absolutely safe. Pai is a great place to go to for hanging out. Ko Phangan as a beach place that also has good weather in August (rain on most of the other islands). And if you do feel like you want to meet more people you always have the chance to join some organized thing, like cooking class or trekking in the mountains or something. Tons of that in Thailand. I always liked to have that option when travelling by myself.

If you do decide to go to Bali, go to the island between Bali and Lombok (Nusa Lembongan). In my opinion, that was the nicest place on Bali. Very relaxed and laid back and not much hassling.

For travelguides for travelling on a budget, LP (as mentioned) or Rough Guide, which I usually find better than the LP. The are more candid in their opinions which I appreciate.
Wanderratte is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 01:37 AM
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Depends I would say on what kind of holiday you want. if you want to do little, just enjoy sun and great weather then Bali. If you want to be a little more active, sightsee, move around then Thailand. In Bali nowhere you may want to move (eg Sanur/Seminyak i.e. beach to Ubud i.e. mountains) will be more than 2 hours drive. Thailand is much larger and going from Bangkok to let's say Phuket is a plane ride. There are beaches closer eg Hua Hin but very small. Weather wise I think Bali will be better in Aug than Thailand.
hobbes is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 02:04 AM
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As others have said, Bali is an island, quite unique with a particular charm, but it is an 'island', yes, you can go perhaps to Lombok but unless you want to travel around Indonesia you are still really looking at 1 island. With Thailand you are taling about a large country with lots of diversity and easy to get around. Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Koh Chang, Koh Samet and Koh Samui all offer Island options with ok weather for August but it is very easy to hop from one place to another if you want a change.
Perhaps you could look at Pai and mae Hong Son area in Northern Thailand for scenary and then head down to the islands. Budget carriers, express buses and train services are plentiful and cheap.
Although Bali offers it's own style I think you are limiting yourself, I think you will fin lots of wider options in Thailand. August is not a busy time as 'so much' as made of the fact that it is is Monsoon season in the south/south west that people don't realise there is decent weather to be found in other parts.
I always 'hesitate' saying this one but sometimes it is necessary:- Use common sense, that is a given, but do not automaticaly pressume that fellow ( dare i say it.. ) travelers are automatically without question decent and honest! When you meet fellow travellers don't throw common sense away just because they are fellow travellers. Act as you would at home, strange how often people seem to take it that fellow travellers in a foreign country suddenly without question can be trusted with your backpack or wallet!
use common sense but apply it equally to 'all'.
Both places overall are very safe.
JamesA is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 02:42 AM
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Silversix66, They are both excellent options and both appropriate for a single woman. Perhaps if you'd tell us more about what you'd like to do we could give you better direction. E.g., are you looking for a total beach experience or do you want culture, temples, arts & crafts? Adventure travel like trekking, rafting? Water sports like diving, surfing? Indulgence like spas, yoga? Shopping? Bar and club scene? All of these can be found in both Thailand and Bali, but depending your focus you may choose differently.

Do you have the whole month? In that case you could surely visit more than one place.

And lastly what's your budget?
marmot is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 07:57 AM
  #8  
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Well I guess I am looking for a bit of everything; beaches, hiking, temples, rafting, short group tours, trying new cuisines and a minor amount of shopping I guess.

I do have a whole month off from teaching. And in terms of a budget, excluding flight costs....probably $2500 USD. Is that enought money?
Silversix66 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 08:17 AM
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1. The weather will be better in Bali than in Thailand. It is Thailand's rainy season. I've never been there at that time so others can tell you how big a problem that is.

2. That said I think a month is probably too long for Bali but it is great for Thailand. And Thailand is a wonderful place to travel on your own.

Thus, unless others feel the weather is a problem,I would definitely make it a month in Thailand.
glorialf is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 08:30 AM
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And can you get along fine only speaking English?
Silversix66 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 09:02 AM
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I loved both Thailand and Bali..Did go back to Thailand for a second time, but never back to Bali..We were booked to go the second time, but it was a few days after the bombing so we cancelled...When we were in Bali, we also visited Lombok, and just loved it..However, that was about 8 years ago!!
Both places will be a great experience, so whatever you choose, I hope you have a great trip...
TracyB is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 09:11 AM
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Thailand has different weather pattersn, May to October there is only a little rain in the Mid / Southern Gulf areas and that cannot be compared to Monsoon rains off the south west coast. Very different.
$ 2,500 would be fine in either.
JamesA is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 09:13 AM
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the beauty of both places is that you can tailor any budget to your needs....probably more so in thailand but not undoable at all in bali...there are reasonable places and means of transportation in both places...the further you get away from the big tourist areas the cheaper of course, but you will need an even mix of both...
the main caution i would give to thailand is to be very careful in choosing lodging in a place like bkk...use this forum and others to assist you in choosing a place as there are very bad alternatives at the lower ends, but there are great alternatives as well and many people here are familiar with different levels, especially jamesA our thai resident expert...

you need to decide more about how your budget falls out and tell us about this and then we can help....

as a start look at this website for hotel cost references for bkk:
www.huahin.20m.com

scroll down to other thailand locations and drop down the top window to reveal the major thai locations....each will give you a hotel listing organized by address within the city/area....

the web has tons of sites for bali accomodations...

good general guide books like fodors, loneyl planet and my general favoirite frommers are very helpful for planning purposes...

we love to help here so as you progress ask us specific questions as often as you like....we love to be of assistance and return here after your trip and help others....

so do some homework and then ask away...

bob
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 12:04 PM
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English is absolutely not a problem in Thailand. Not that everyone speaks it but enough do so you won't have a problem. I can't remember if the same is true of Bali but I suspect it is,

$2,500 is fine for Thailand but as Bob said you can stay in places not fit for a single woman or places that are fabulous for just about the same amount of money so do your research and ask suggestions on this forum -- you'll save a lot of money and stay in great places.
glorialf is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 01:48 PM
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As Bob and Gloria have said even with a total budget of say $80 a day,even allowaing for food, travel and shopping you won't have to rough-ride it! Koh Samui would be good weatherwise for that lazing on a tropical beach period of stay and I would splash out a bit on accommodation, August is a Peak month but $28 will get you a superb place like the Nara Garden on Samui, right on the beach at Bophut which is not too busy nor too quiet and you can go to/from busy Chaweng easily. ( http://www.r24.org/huahin.20m.com/sa...rden/pictures/ ). You can stay in Chaweng or Lamai . At Lamai Aree bungalows a/c also about $28, Green Guesthouse a/c about $16.
That is about the most expensive place you will find during August in Thailand. For Bangkok budget $25 for decent a/c place. Chiang Mai about $30, if you traveled along the Gulf Coast ( dry season area ) you could stop a night or so at Khao Takiab beach near Hua Hin, Ocean Breeze Boutique Guesthouse about $25. Budget airlines are cheap and easy, if you plan ahead you can budget about $40 per domestic flight sector. Breakfast at most places is included. Budget $2.50 for luch snack and maybe $5-6 for dinner.
Perhaps a trip to the far north would be great for scenary to somewhere like Pai, you can see Gloria's recent long posts on that.
JamesA is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 02:09 PM
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Just to add $20-25 a night will also get you very nice accommodation on Bali. Just a thought, if you have a month why not spend say 3 weeks Thailand and a week on Bali, seems the ideal solution!
JamesA is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 05:35 PM
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I think that would be a great solution as well, I was thinking the same thing...
TracyB is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 05:59 PM
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james is such a genius...plan on discount airfare bkk to bali $350...
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 11:39 PM
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If you choose Bali then make sure that your bags have locks on them which cannot be broken or opened by anyone else but you. Make sure too that there are no areas in your bags that can have anything pushed into them.
Personally I would rate Thailand on a 10 and Bali on a 1 - I cannot see what the interest is in the place, its filthy, corrupt, your are 99 % sure of getting Bali belly or worse whereupon Thais are a gentle people are the country is so interesting.
lizF is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2005, 07:38 AM
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liz---you must have had a bad experience in bali....everyone loves it including me....if i were making a comparison between the overall safety/security/trustworthiness of bali vs thailand i would have to go with bali as the top dog....

i have never heard of anyone having problems in bali, but have heard of many having incidents in thailand...

BALI IS A FANTASTIC PLACE WITH WONDERFUL PEOPLE...i have no vested interest in bali by the way....

liz--tell us exactly what happened to you so we can judge for ourselves...please
rhkkmk is offline  

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