Two magnificent tropical escapes, two popular destinations for people from all walks of life. One decision. What will it be? Both Phuket and Bali have been tormented by natural disasters in the past, but they’ve both made a bold recovery and are once again offering memorable Instagram-worthy holidays for people all over the world.
It’s a tough life when your primary decision needs to be making a choice between travelling to Bali or Phuket, but if you’re in that position, we are here to help! Here’s our rundown of the highlights of Bali vs Phuket!
One of Southeast Asia’s most popular tourist destinations and it’s not difficult to understand why. Aside from the azure oceans, lavish beaches and friendly locals, Bali has so much to offer in experiences, culture and culinary delights.
Bali has a wide selection of different beaches to choose from, a little something for every kind of beach-loving traveller. If you’re looking for the quintessential white sandy beach, then Nusa Dua is your best bet. To the north, west and east of the island, you can also find the famous black sand beaches, which are less popular, which also makes them more appealing.
If you want a “happening” beach with lots of activity, the Kuta-Legian-Seminyak strip is your best bet, although it’s not as clean and pretty as the others. Bali experiences seasonal erosion of the beaches, which can result in quite a small strip of sand being left to relax on. Summer months tend to be less affected by this.
Seeing the Balinese culture, such as the Kecak dance and the beautiful dresses they wear. I fell in love with all the rituals, water temples, flowers and incense sticks. Bali is such a spiritual place and I really hope it will stay that way. Magic does happen there.
Always respect the culture of the place and cover yourself up with a scarf or long skirt when necessary. Do not forget to try as many vegan meals as possible, sip on a young coconut every day and take part in one of many yoga classes. Just live in the moment and observe how the local live. – Alexandra, Alexandra Kovacova
Top Natural Attraction In Bali
Ubud’s forests are one of the most picturesque, breath-taking natural attractions in Bali. Think vast and gargantuan tropical rainforests, historic temples, mountain hikes and yoga retreats and you have a great idea of what you can expect.
Bali has its share of nightclubs, bars and wild, frenzied nightlife. Kuta and Legian are the primary party spots in Bali if you’re looking for nightclubs, while Jimbaran has a beach party vibe that will keep you going all night.
Travel to: Bali
Bali’s Best Food Options
Bali food has distinct influences from India as well as China, quite a combination of tastes, but still making for a delicious outcome. Ingredients used a lot include lemongrass, curries, ginger, chilli and turmeric. Nasi goreng is a dish to try (possibly the closest to a national dish if there was one), which is stir-fried rice, vegetables and meat, combined with a number of spices, chilli and soy sauces.
Satay is also up there with some of the best Balinese food: think grilled, skewered meat served with a delicious peanut sauce. An excellent choice for desserts include servings of bubur sumsum, a sugary combination of rice, coconut milk, palm sugar and randan leaves.
- Location: Indonesia
- Capital: Denpasar
- Size: 5,780km2
- Population: 4,225 million
- Currency: Indonesian Rupiah
- Most popular draw card: Bali was developed for tourism with a lot of European investment. Culture, locals and aesthetic beauty make it an attractive investment.
Honestly, Bali has too much to offer for every kind of tourist, which makes it impossible to pick a particular highlight experience. Be it the sprawling rice fields, the architecture of the Indonesian temples or the awe-inspiring sight of Mount Kintamani – its hard to pin down a moment. But still for me the most memorable part of our Bali journey was the villa properties we stayed in which is also a major plus when it comes to a luxury holiday in Indonesia. Our private villa with an open bathroom opened up to an even bigger private pool and a romantic setting that made our honeymoon experience worth every penny we spent. The hospitality of a Bali villa is by far the best I have experienced around the world. Apart from the properties I suggest visiting the temples as a must – because it almost feels like walking into a historic movie.
Bali is a place of great variety from peaceful greens of Ubud, to the party pubs of Kuta and Seminyak. If you are a first-timer looking for quite and soul searching – go to Ubud. But if you want to drink and club like a party animal, stay in Kuta or Seminyak. For an overall experience – you can also divide your trip half and half between the two areas, and enjoy both kind of experinces to the fullest. – Shraddha, Street Trotter
Phuket has a little bit of everything for families and party people alike. Famous for idyllic beaches and friendly people, it’s also teeming with natural attractions, top entertainment and a delicious variety of food.
All Phuket beaches are soft, white sandy pieces of paradise and have been very well kept, even in light of how many tourists move through the area. There are some beaches that are more crowded than others, so it depends on what you’re looking for. Kata Noi is one of the most unspoiled, pristine beaches in Phuket, while Phi Phi Islands will give you a taste of the filming of The Beach, although it gets very crowded with tourists. Karon beach is a great family-friendly destination!
Natural Attractions In Phuket
The Beach film location on Phi Phi Islands is undoubtedly one of the most popular natural attractions in Phuket. Another famous attraction is Phang Nga Bay, the secluded, turquoise bay with magnificent limestone karsts that seem to grow out of the water.
Phuket is a little wilder than Bali when it comes to nightlife. Some might call it seedy, others call it wonderfully reckless with wild abandon. If you’re in Phuket looking for a party, Bangla Road is a must visit. Expect Go-go bars, nightclubs, bars with cheap drinks and loads of crazy party people.
Delicious Food In Phuket
Thai food is also simple in its presentation and taste, but it’s the simplicity that makes it delicious and not to mention the use of lemongrass, ginger, chilli and limes. Popular dishes include Thai curries (red and green are the most commonly found), which are delicious blends of rice or noodles, stir-fried meat or vegetables, served with coconut milk, red or green curry and sometimes cashew nuts too.
Spring rolls, tempura and pad thai (stir-fried noodle or rice dishes) are top choices too. When it comes to dessert, mango sticky rice should be considered your top choice.
- Location: Andaman Sea, Thailand
- Capital: Phuket City
- Size: 576km2
- Population: 386,605
- Currency: Thai Baht
- Most popular draw card: Phuket was an essential trading post for a number of countries. Friendly locals, beautiful beaches and tropical climate make Phuket a popular destination.