Vietnam is more authentic while Thailand is better set up for tourism

By Carlosacao   March 1, 2023 | 06:56 pm PT
Vietnam is more authentic while Thailand is better set up for tourism
Two foreign tourists dine at a restaurant on Ta Hien Street of Hanoi, August 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
After living in Thailand for 7 years and now in Vietnam for 8 years, I would say that both countries have pros and cons and the final decision depends on personal preferences.

Both countries have friendly people, but in Vietnam friendship is more authentic, while in Thailand it's often a product of their cultural mindset that promotes a "friendly face and smiles" even if they don't mean it. Both countries have plenty of tricky people and scammers, but they are more visible in Vietnam.

Thai police is extremely corrupted and they often target foreigners, something very unusual in Vietnam.

Vietnam is generally speaking, safer for foreigners. Thailand has much better visa policies, including a retirement visa while Vietnam only has a 30-day visa for tourists.

The red light districts in Thailand is surely a sore point, but attracts lots of foreigners. Vietnam won't go down to that level.

In Thailand, particularly for women, foreigners are seen as a walking ATM. Vietnamese women are much better in general, but of course there is the good, the bad and everything in between in both countries. You need a bit of good luck.

Thailand is much better set up for tourism in all aspects.

For example, 5 hours of fireworks for the western new year in Bangkok, Vietnam......... nothing, really pathetic, they just don't care about that. Only Nha Trang and Hoi An have an ok tourist environment of the type that foreigners really enjoy.

Vietnam is cheaper than Thailand in almost everything except cars, taxies and land. Rents are also often higher depending on location.

Both countries are beautiful, but weather is hotter and more humid in Thailand except Chiang Mai.

Shopping is far better in Thailand. Shopping malls in Thailand are world's best. Vietnamese just do mainly high-end malls where people mainly do window shopping, while in Thailand they are very functional, where you can do lots of things at the malls, which is why they are full of people.

Vietnam is very noisy, people simply don't care, beep beep all the time, sellers on motorcycles with loud speakers at 1-2 a.m., the police don't do anything.

Another thing that bothers foreigners is the dirt and trash in Vietnam. Vietnamese just use the streets, lakes, rivers and water canals as a dumping ground, they think is "normal" and there is a lack of public education on that. Thailand on the other hand is quite clean and cars, etc usually avoid the beep beep unless necessary. Vietnam reminds me of China 20 years ago in many ways, it needs time for people to become more civilized, which makes sense after 30 years of war. Thailand didn't have such issues.

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