Travel SOS: Bali, Thailand or Vietnam? Which spot is best?

Lisa-Marie is after some advice on how she should best spend three weeks in south-east Asia.

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Q. Lisa-Marie
My husband and I are planning on taking a three-week holiday in July next year. We have decided we would like to spend our annual trip in south-east Asia this year but are having trouble deciding between Bali, Thailand and Vietnam. I have heard such great things about each of the three locations but would really like some advice on how to best allocate our time. Ideally, we would like to visit all three, but given that we are after a laidback holiday where we won’t be swamped by tourists, we are not sure if this will be possible.

We are also keen to wander around and explore on our own and meet some real locals who are friendly and not looking to take advantage of us at every turn.

A. These are certainly some tough decisions to make! If you are choosing to allocate time, you will certainly need to leave the most time for Vietnam, which is a much larger country with plenty of different sites to take in.

While you could easily spend a week in each location, we think you would be better off spending two weeks in Vietnam to get a strong feel for the country and to meet locals, who are extremely friendly and helpful. You could take a two to three-day junk boat trip in Halong Bay and a few days in Hanoi to mix things up.

We would then recommend deciding between Bali and Thailand for your remaining week in south-east Asia.

If pesky street vendors are something you are looking to avoid, that situation is probably a little worse in Bali than it is in Thailand, depending on exactly where you decide to set up base.

Phuket has some beautiful beaches and depending on your budget, some of the resorts have their own private beach. You are also able to hire a car at the hotel and explore the island.

On the other hand, if you decide you have enough beaches in Vietnam you can always spend some of your Thailand time in Bangkok. While there will be a lot of tourists in the country’s capital, the weekend markets and shopping areas are fantastic, and the food is sublime.

We hope you enjoy your trip whatever you decide on doing!

What is your favourite destination in south-east Asia? What would you recommend for Lisa-Marie’s three-week holiday?

Written by Ben

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