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Old 10-10-2012, 03:13 AM
 
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Who has been to both and which do you prefer and why?
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:04 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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What kind of beach experience are you looking for? Lots of crowds/tourists/activity, or more sedate and natural?
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Macao
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I"ve been to both, they are both good.

There is actually a lot of variation just between the beaches in Thailand. For that matter, Bali as well. But I'll assume you'll probably be in the most touristic places of either place.

Actually, it would be easier to compare specific beaches, rather than really large sweeping generalizations for each.

In short, they are both good for different reasons. But since Thailand is about 40 times larger than the small island of Bali, and you probably have a choice of perhaps 500x more beaches...by default, I'll go with Thailand.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:07 PM
 
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Hi Tiger Beer....I'm not looking for Waikiki or Miami Beach, but not looking for a total solitary wilderness beach experience either. I would like to find a cool, laid back beach vibe with some cafe's, activity but not super, super touristy or heavily commercialized. I'm 42 single American guy. So I'm not into the 20-something hard partying scene any more, but I'm also not ready for Bingo nights just yet It would also be nice to have some culture and inland hiking or activity close by.

I want to take multiple trips to Asia, but this will be my first one so trying to choose where to go first. I've been all over Europe and a lot of Latin America, but not yet Asia. I'm thinking Thailand could be a good first trip. Flying into Bangkok than hitting some beaches in the south (I think the east coast gulf side of Thailand is rainy season now so I would have to hit the west coast), and then heading up to the Chiang Mai area. Also was thinking of Bali (but it's rainy season now) and Malaysia (would have to be west coast as east coast is rainy season...I read all Teaks posts about east side Malaysia). Also if I have time was thinking of popping into Laos as I've heard Luang Prabang is a interesting place.

btw, I love reading all your back posts Tiger Beer & Trimac20...I have gone back and read a ton of the older posts on this Asia site b/c I'm really interested in traveling a lot more to discover Asia.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,144,182 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctr88 View Post
Hi Tiger Beer....I'm not looking for Waikiki or Miami Beach, but not looking for a total solitary wilderness beach experience either. I would like to find a cool, laid back beach vibe with some cafe's, activity but not super, super touristy or heavily commercialized. I'm 42 single American guy. So I'm not into the 20-something hard partying scene any more, but I'm also not ready for Bingo nights just yet It would also be nice to have some culture and inland hiking or activity close by.

I want to take multiple trips to Asia, but this will be my first one so trying to choose where to go first. I've been all over Europe and a lot of Latin America, but not yet Asia. I'm thinking Thailand could be a good first trip. Flying into Bangkok than hitting some beaches in the south (I think the east coast gulf side of Thailand is rainy season now so I would have to hit the west coast), and then heading up to the Chiang Mai area. Also was thinking of Bali (but it's rainy season now) and Malaysia (would have to be west coast as east coast is rainy season...I read all Teaks posts about east side Malaysia). Also if I have time was thinking of popping into Laos as I've heard Luang Prabang is a interesting place.

btw, I love reading all your back posts Tiger Beer & Trimac20...I have gone back and read a ton of the older posts on this Asia site b/c I'm really interested in traveling a lot more to discover Asia.
Thailand is definitely the better place. Mainly because it's so much bigger, and so much more variation.

Bali has a ton of culture, and very interesting as well. You couldn't necessarily go wrong in either place. But most people going to Bali and going to beaches, usually end up in Kuta. Kuta is kind of a crazy party place with 1000s of Aussies partying at night. Mostly skewing to the younger ages, but a number of middle aged older guys as well. But it's easy to get on a bus and stay somewhere else, and see none of that just the same.

However, avoiding 'monsoon' rains is probably the best way to choose between Thailand and Bali, especially when it comes to beaches.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:54 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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If you want a really crowded, touristy place with a ton of resorts, shops, market stalls, entertainment options than Patong, Pattaya, Hua Hin and Koh Samui...I think Krabi near Phuket might be a little quieter but still more crowded. Phuket itself as quieter areas, not everything is in Patong, like Karon or the beaches on the west side of the island.

I agree Kuta isn't my thing...Bali and Lombok are big enough that you can get away from the crowds, though. Not far from Phuket there's Langkawi in Malaysia which is also very nice.
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:37 PM
 
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Would love to find the perfect beach area that has some restaurants and nightlife just for a few days, but isn't overly tacky/touristy. Sounds like there may be some parts of Phuket that are OK. How does Phuket compare to the islands on the east gulf side of Thailand like Ko Pha-ngan & Ko Samui? I think the gulf side is in the rainy season now and Nov though.

How would you compare and contrast Bali or Thai beach areas to Boracay? How does Nha Trang or other Viet Nam beach areas compare to all?
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:43 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,352,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctr88 View Post
Would love to find the perfect beach area that has some restaurants and nightlife just for a few days, but isn't overly tacky/touristy. Sounds like there may be some parts of Phuket that are OK. How does Phuket compare to the islands on the east gulf side of Thailand like Ko Pha-ngan & Ko Samui? I think the gulf side is in the rainy season now and Nov though.

How would you compare and contrast Bali or Thai beach areas to Boracay? How does Nha Trang or other Viet Nam beach areas compare to all?
I can only speak for Nha Trang. I didn't find it all that great, but on the plus side it's not as crowded and touristy. Less shops/tourist stuff around the place, there are bars and stuff but it's not as lively as the Thai beach resorts. Mui Ne is probably better for beach, you can try kite-surfing. I think it's rainy season in Central Vietnam right now.
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