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austine Apr 5th, 2005 09:44 PM

Thailand vs. Vietnam
I just got back from my second trip to Thailand and had a wonderful time. I stayed in 3 star hotels and used taxis, tuks and domestic airlines for transportation. I also ate at some wonderful restaurants that did not break the bank. I am now thinking about a trip to Vietnam. Does anyone have a preference regarding Vietnam and Thailand and if so why? How are the 2 countries different? How are they the same? Are costs, service, accommodations, restaurants and transportation etc. in Vietnam of the same standard as Thailand? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Kathie Apr 6th, 2005 06:59 AM

VN is more difficult travel than Thailand. The service, accomodations, restaurants and transportation are NOT up to the level of Thailand. Costs are comparable. VN is culturally quite different. Remember than VN has only fairly recently opened up to tourism, so expect more glitches. The touts are also more aggressive. In several places in VN, the touts are renowned for screaming obsenities at people who don't buy from them! However, don't let this deter you from visiting VN. It's a fascinating country. Just be forewarned.

rhkkmk Apr 6th, 2005 07:07 AM

i only visited the hanoi area...i found it cheaper in some ways than thailand...kathie has described it accurately...
we used a guide in VN through asian trails in bkk....this was reasonable and very good...they customized a trip for us...

i prefer thailand for almost every reason you can mention...we were glad we went to vn, but probably would not revisit...we are about to embark on our 7th trip to thailand however

BillT Apr 6th, 2005 08:25 AM

Let me throw you a curve ball- how about trying the Philippines!

BeckyBoop Apr 6th, 2005 10:55 AM

I have been to thailand i think twice and i am only 11. Thailand is brilliant and i would always choose it before vietnam. I suggest in thailand you stay in the Landmark hotel in bangkok. the staff are friendly and the restaurant is fabulous.

I hope you do go to vietnam but it is more difficult to travel there.

BillT Apr 6th, 2005 11:07 AM

Thailand is great but the world has so many wonderful countries/cultures that I should think that you would want to explore other lands/cultures. You will find the Philippines less challenging that other countries- English is spoken everywhere yet there is much culture there to experience. For this very reason we have tended not to repeat country visits until we have been to all of the other areas of the world that catch our interest.

glorialf Apr 7th, 2005 07:22 AM

I spent 6-7 weeks in Vietnam in 2 trips in the early 90s before the U.S. had any kind of diplomatic relations so there was virtually no tourist infrastructure. Things have changed a lot in the last 10 years but I am sure it is nothing like Thailand in things like hotels.

I loved Vietnam but mostly because of the people and because of what I brought to it. I had been a war protester but basically knew nothing about Vietnam except that I didn't think we belonged there. Before I went the first time I read 54 books. I went to see first hand what we had done and to try to do whatever I could to understand the culture and to help the people. I got involved in raising money back home to build a health clinic in the central highlands, let people practice English with me whenever they wanted and talked to as many Viet Cong soliders and people affected by the war as I could. I brought my heart to Vietnam and was well rewarded.

But if you are going to see the sights and to play on a beach or at a resort I would say that it doesn't compare to Thailand. The temples are not particularly spectacular and the beaches and scenery overall doesn't equal.Although the people are wonderful. Depends what you're looking for and why you travel.

naxos Apr 7th, 2005 10:12 AM

I have been to Thailand 4 times and to VietNam twice and can heartily recommend VN.. Contrary to what some others have posted, I found travel within the country to be simple- Although plane travel is fast it is more expensive than Thai Airways domestic flights- but if you have a short time- and want to travel from north to south you would need to fly. Hotels in HCMC are in every category including luxurious business class places. In Hanoi, as well. The food is terrific,especially if you like Vienamese food and it is cheap and plentiful and there are beautiful restaurants especially in Hanoi. We stayed at beach resorts in Nha Trang and China Beach and esp in China Beach there were miles and miles of wild white sand beach. We had fabulous and unexpectedly great snorkelling on offshore reefs from Nha Trang. And then there is Halong Bay and the north outside Sapa- which is mountainous and the Sunday market in Bac Ha is unlike any I saw in Thailand. And of course there is the war history and if one is an American- our history is entwined with VN and listening to the people and their stories was wonderful. My next trip will be back to VN with some students. I love Thailand- but VN is different.

Irish_Chic Apr 7th, 2005 10:30 AM

I have just returned from my first trip to Vietnam, having been to Thailand twice and I much prefer Vietnam.
The people, culture, food, sights and great adventures along the way all contributed to a fantastic trip.
I visited Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi Ann and Ho Chi Min City. I reccommend them all, but each for different reasons.

Good luck in your selection.

hobbes Apr 7th, 2005 05:24 PM

I love Thailand, have lived there and am always planning trips back. But I would say go to Vietnam. Places like Vietnam and Laos are IMO in danger of losing their charm as development proceeds at a frenetic pace. Thailand is already comp developed hence better hotels, tourist infrastructure, etc. Even if you go back to Thailand - and return you def will, we all do! - 3 years hence it will not have changed that much. While Vn go as soon as you can to live what is truly a great experience - and which may not last.

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