Bali vs. Phuket

There’s a saying that goes… “go to Bali for culture and Phuket for beaches.” While there is some truth to that, it’s not quite the whole story. Both Phuket and Bali have much to offer when it comes to beaches, attractions, excursions, and shopping. But there are major differences. Like how Phuket’s beaches are more scenic, while Bali’s are great, too, but have more variety overall. In the end, which is better? It depends on your vacation needs and travel personalities, which you’ll learn more about below. 
Bali vs. Phuket

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It’s only fair to want the best bang for your buck when it comes to spending a vacation outside your home. Luckily, Bali and Phuket are destinations you’ll hardly ever regret visiting. Not to mention affordability isn’t a concern in either destination.

But what’s truly concerning is:

What if you get to Phuket and think… “You know what, Bali might’ve been the better option.” Or vice versa.

And that’s exactly what this guide is for. Several articles online say Bali is better, while other pieces strongly rest their case with Phuket. Yet, these lack a vital piece of information. And that is… which destination offers more value for what you’re spending?

It’s all in the details, really. And fortunately, that’s what you’ll find in the next sections below.

Bali

Bali is a destination where you can enjoy many things at a time. From mountains and volcanoes to coral reefs and waterfalls. Any adventure you have in mind? You name it, Bali delivers.

Put simply, Bali is diversity within easy reach. You can go from chasing waterfalls and a hiking adventure to exploring temples and riding jungle swings. Then, end the day watching the sunset by the beach, treat yourself to a luxurious spa, or lounge in the infinity pool back in your villa.

If you still have a lot of energy left in the tank, you can even break a few waves at several of Bali’s surf spots. Or if snorkeling’s more of your hobby, exploring coral reefs and marine life is a great option too.

For the early riser, a trek to Mount Batur is one of the best ways to catch a sunrise. Alternatively, you can visit Bali’s sprawling rice fields and enjoy the golden-orange hues from there. Right after, grabbing a quick coffee fix is also one of Bali’s many highlights. Considering Indonesia produces some of the best coffee beans in the world.

Up for a spiritual journey? Bali has over 10,000 temples. You don’t have to do all of them, but the overwhelming number is also why many regard Bali as a spiritual place. Yoga enthusiasts love Bali too, and with so much nature around the island, you have boundless yoga retreat options.

Altogether, your choices are endless. Land or sea, rain or shine, Bali has something for everyone.

Plus, the locals are warm and friendly. It’s also a highly-rated destination for digital nomads. You have more than 2,000 options when it comes to accommodations. From affordable guesthouses to midrange Airbnb rentals and upper-class villas/resorts. And last but not least, Bali has great party spots.

So, the better question to ask might be… what can’t you do in Bali? With so much diversity in one place, it’s definitely one destination where you’ll never feel bored.

In need of suggestions and more reasons to visit Bali? Head to the next section.

What Makes Bali Unique?

There’s Something for Everyone in Bali

Bali offers tourists more diversity than you could ever hope for, but choosing the right place also matters. For instance, Kuta is the party central in Bali. Here is where you’ll find late teens and twenties groups of people having a great time. Whether it’s at the bar, pub, or nightclub.

If you’re thinking about a wild bachelor party, Kuta’s the place to be.

Nusa Dua or Jimbaran is the family-friendly side of Bali. It’s where most of Bali’s beautiful beaches are all found, along with several hotels and resorts. If you’re looking for a peaceful vacation or a great beach to spend with your family, you won’t have any trouble finding it in Nusa Dua.

Then there’s Seminyak. Many say it’s where you can enjoy both the casual and party animal nightlife of Bali. However, Seminyak is also where some of the most luxurious resorts and spas are found. Several picturesque beaches are also found here, like Seminyak beach, Berawa beach, and Echo beach. For surfing, Seminyak is one of the top places in Bali to visit.

Finally, you have Ubud, Northern Bali, and Uluwatu. Think of these areas as the cultural and adventurous side of Bali. The Gunung Kawi rice terraces, Mount Batur, Monkey Forest, Uluwatu Temple, and gorgeous waterfalls — all of these are part of Ubud’s landscape.

Tourists looking for a lot of nature, stunning landscapes, adventure, and a spiritual experience will find it in Ubud. Northern Bali is where you’ll find the greatest number of waterfalls. These include Fiji waterfall, Gitgit waterfall, Aling Aling waterfall, and more. Black-sand beaches, hot springs, coffee plantations, monasteries, and scuba diving are also found in Northern Bali.

Last but not least, Uluwatu is the place to go if you’re looking for water sports activities and beaches. There are several spas and temples in the area too, but Uluwatu is most popular for surfing, beach lounging, snorkeling, and more.

Overall, it’s pretty clear that Bali has just about everything for any traveler. But at the same time, choosing the right place to stay in Bali matters most.

Imagine spending your family vacation in Kuta. It would just be a terrible holiday with all the loud noise and partying going on, right? Instead, Nusa Dua or Jimbaran are more enjoyable places for families, or Ubud and Northern Bali for a mix of adventure.

Balinese People Are Friendly and Hospitable

Balinese people are so friendly and welcoming. Not to mention hospitable too. Even if there is a small language barrier, it’s still easy to communicate with locals. And many go out of their way to assist you. As a matter of fact, Balinese are one of the friendliest people in the world.

Whether it’s a simple greeting or a quick chat, you’ll find that Balinese enjoy having conversations with tourists. Despite what many might think, the Balinese are also very open-minded. And considering that a lot of foreigners relocated and live in Bali, it’s not hard to believe either.

If ever you needed to ask for help regarding directions or want to make friends, it’s easy to do with the locals. Overall, you’ll feel safe and welcome in Bali, whether you’re traveling alone, with kids, or as a family in general.

Natural Beauty All Around

Bali’s landscape is the stuff dreams are made of. Hiking trails are one way to explore all of Bali’s natural beauty, but there’s a quick, scenic route you can take as well. Bali swings. It’s exactly the same as any other regular swing, only there are two key differences:

  1. You’re strapped to a harness since you swing pretty high into the air
  2. Bali swings allow you to capture a spectacular view of everything – the jungle, waterfall, mountains

There are several Bali swings found in several tourist attraction areas. One of the most popular is the one at Ubud. You could go for the Bali swing that launches you 78 meters (256 feet) above the ground.

Bali swings aside, other fantastic spots to witness Bali’s natural beauty is the Tegallalang Rice Terraces. And by the way, there are a total of eight rice terraces all over the island. Apart from Tegallalang, Sidemen, Jatiluwih, Pupuan, and Pererenan are popular options too.

Moving on, you can also walk the hiking trail at Sidemen Valley, which is like traditional Bali. The views and atmosphere at Sidemen are so refreshing, at the very least. From Sidemen Valley, you can make your way to the Banyu Wana Amertha waterfall. It’s one of the many breathtaking waterfalls found in Bali.

If you’re up for more natural beauty by the sea, take your pick. There are black-sand beaches, the natural pool at Tegal Wangi, and the Blue Lagoon at Nusa Ceningan.

Before nightfall sets in and to catch Bali’s natural beauty paired with a sunset, visit any of the temples in the area. Tirta Empul is both beautiful and well-known for its healing bath pools. Ulun Danu Baratan is perhaps one of the best places in Bali to spend a sunset afternoon. Plus, the 11-story temple appears to be floating on water from afar.

There’s also Tanah Lot temple, which also translates to “land in the middle of the sea.” Pura Lempuyang is a highly popular Instagram spot and is more famously known as the Gateway to Heaven. And Pemuteran temple, which can only be accessed by diving underwater.

As a whole, Bali is a place full of awe-inspiring natural beauty. And you’ll find just every kind of raw beauty there is here. From lush forests and scenic temples to gorgeous lagoons and even secret canyons.

More Than 2,000 Accommodations, Villas, and Hotels

Finding a place to stay couldn’t get any easier when in Bali. And prices aren’t exorbitantly high either. Sure, there are hostels, resorts, villas, hotels, and guesthouses, but there are also unique accommodations found all over the island. All of which are easily found on Airbnb.

For something cozy yet moderately priced, you can try an eco-dome situated in the jungle. Considering its dome size, these types of accommodations are quite spacious, even. Not to mention, it’s not like in a hotel or resort where you have neighbors only meters apart. Eco-domes are a more private lodging option, romantic, even, to say the least. Most of all, to be nestled in the jungle is another experience in itself.

Eco-domes aside, you can also go for treehouses and cozy wooden huts. Some are close to the beach, others are within the jungle, and a few are just a few steps away from a rice paddy field. But overall, these types of accommodations are close to nature.

Some even have hammocks as balconies, private infinity pools, outdoor bathing tubs, and so on. For a truly local and cultural stay in Bali, you can try their small huts, too, which are just about the same size as a tent. It fits two and it’s truly for those looking for a minimalist kind of stay. Even better, you can also go for RV/Camper accommodations.

Unique accommodations aside, there’s no shortage of hostels, villas, hotels, and resorts in Bali. And with such a wide spread of lodging options, it’s not difficult to make a booking. As a matter of fact, even luxury resorts and all-inclusive stays aren’t as pricey as you think.

At an unbelievably affordable price, you could easily book a private villa. This comes with its own infinity pool and spectacular panoramic jungle/ocean views. Some even come with their own cabana.

Overall, Bali offers a wide stretch of accommodations, and it’s surely one of its most attractive qualities.

Phuket

Phuket is similar to Bali in many ways but also stands out in regard to a few features. Hailed as one of the most popular islands in Thailand, there’s a good reason why so many enjoy Phuket as a destination.

It has some of the best beaches in the world. Nightlife is highly energetic – there’s always a party if ever you’re in need of one. Shopping is one of its best highlights, be it for souvenirs, clothes, handicrafts, and even street food at night markets. And most of all, Phuket is a food haven. No wonder Thai is so popular all over the world.

You could even go as far as to say that Phuket has a little bit of everything for beach lovers, families, solo travelers, and party animals.

Overall, Phuket is a destination that caters to a wide set of travelers. And of course, who could forget, a trip to Phuket is also about experiencing its culture, right? Things like Muay Thai, visiting the Great Buddha statue, and going for a Thai massage are must-dos.

Plus, it’s what makes the whole experience in Phuket exciting too. And just in case you feel Phuket’s a little crowded or touristy, you can always visit its neighboring islands. Think of Phuket as the main port where you can easily access other beautiful, secluded islands. Some of these include Phi Phi, Koh Racha, Railay, and Koh Samui.

All in all, there’s plenty to do, see, and love about Phuket. But before you make a decision, keep reading to learn more about what makes Phuket unique and which is truly the better destination for you.

What Makes Phuket Unique?

Enriching Cultural Attractions

Sure enough, Phuket is mostly well-known for its beaches. Or at least, it’s what’s most talked about online. But you’d be missing out on a whole lot of Phuket if you don’t immerse in its culture. And boy do they have a ton.

Just take Phuket Old Town as one example. Touring the streets will make you appreciate Phuket a whole lot more. Around Phuket Old Town is where you’ll find local Thai cuisine, Instagram-worthy cafes, souvenir shops, street markets, and so on.

For a truly hands-on cultural experience, no one does it better than the folks at Bang Rong CBT. Here, you’ll learn about pineapple harvesting and rubber tree tapping. Part of the cultural experience includes a coconut dessert-making class from scratch. That means grabbing it from the tree down to taking a sip of the freshest coconut water.

A trip to Phuket isn’t complete without paying your respects to Big Buddha. It’s a gigantic marble statue you probably couldn’t even miss on your plane ride. Not only is it a historical landmark in Phuket, but it’s a must-see attraction for all first-time visitors.

For more cultural activities around Phuket, there’s Soi Romanee, Thalang Road, Wat Chalong temple, and more. Don’t miss out on the Elephant Sanctuary and Tiger Kingdom, too, as these are must-see attractions.

Beaches, Islands, and Bays

If you could stay on beaches and islands all day, where would it be? Well, Phuket is definitely at the top of that list. The emerald waters and white sand at Koh Phi Phi will surely take your breath away. Then there’s Koh Lanta, which was awarded as one of the best beaches in the world. Not to mention, it’s a popular dive site.

Those craving quiet, secluded beach time will find peace and tranquility at Similan Islands. It’s only an hour’s ferry ride from Phuket. If you’re after a whale shark experience, head to Surin Island. While swimming at Surin Island is also definitely a must-do, interacting with whale sharks is the main highlight.

For island adventure and beach relaxation, a trip to Phuket is already worth it simply by visiting Ko Samui Island. Known not only for its beaches, but Ko Samui is also home to several popular attractions. These include the Ang Thong National Marine Park, Na Muang Waterfalls, Secret Buddha Garden, and dozens more.

Couples, honeymooners, and tourists looking for a romantic stay in Phuket will find it best at Krabi Island. In fact, it’s a famous island for destination weddings. Gorgeous both day and night, Krabi Island also offers a ton of recreational activities to do for the family.

There are also national parks and hidden gems around the island if you’re in the mood for an off-the-beaten-path experience. Lastly, you can try any of the hot springs for a truly relaxing time.

It also goes without saying that Phuket is not short of giving tourists a taste of unspoiled, natural beauty. Jungles, mountains, waterfalls, and picturesque views are all part of Koh Phangan’s landscape, one of the best islands in Phuket.

Aside from exploring the island’s vast natural beauty, this is where you’ll find some of the best beach parties in all of Phuket.

Amazing Food

Sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and spicy all at the same time. That’s what authentic Thai cuisine tastes like. You’d think too many of the flavors would clash, but it’s the complete opposite. After all, why else do you hear so many say they go to Phuket solely for food? Well, now you know. Because Thai cuisine really is incredible.

From street food stalls to restaurants and night markets, meals at Phuket are some of the best you’ll have in your life. Plus, they don’t cost much either.

And should you decide to visit, here are a few local bites you shouldn’t miss out on:

  • Satay
  • Panang
  • Pad Thai
  • Moo Hong
  • Khao Man Gai
  • Tom Yam Goong
  • Mee Pad Hokkien

You probably recognize some of these dishes from your Thai restaurant back home. Pad Thai is perhaps one of the most recognized Thai dishes in the world. Satay is also fairly common, but no one serves it better than a local at a street stall or night market in Phuket.

Moo Hong is a traditional pork belly stew you’ll crave nonstop for days after one try. Khao Man Gai is steamed white chicken served on top of rice. But the Thai twist is adding a unique sauce to the overall dish made of various spices and ingredients. It’s a staple dish not just in Phuket but in all of Thailand.

Tom Yam Goong and Mee Pad Hokkien are must-try dishes too and there are several variations of each in Phuket. Be sure to try the spring rolls at Phuket too, also known as Por Pia.

Exciting and Vibrant Nightlife

Phuket’s vibrant and lively nightlife isn’t just bars and clubs, you know? There’s Muay Thai (martial arts), cultural shows, night markets, and Simon Cabaret.

If you’re up for some combat sports action, watching a Muay Thai match is one of the most exciting forms of entertainment in Phuket. There are several venues to catch one, such as Sinbi Muay Thai, Tiger Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Art Camp, and Suwit Muay Thai Camp.

For the party animals, you’ll enjoy Soi Bangla Road as it’s a party central for bars and nightclubs. Go Go bars in Patong are also the place to be if you prefer EDM music and party vibes till sunrise.

If it’s a casual night out you’re after, a cultural show at Fantasea just might be for you. Or for a more romantic setting, Wassa Homemade is perfect if you’re in the mood for a spectacular view with a couple of drinks in hand. For families, you can’t miss the Siam Niramit show. It’s one of the most highly-rated activities to do in Phuket.

Now, Phuket also has somewhat of a wilder side too. And Simon Cabaret is the place to see and experience it all. It’s a transvestite cabaret show full of color, visual effects, and dance performed by ‘ladyboys’. Suzy Wong is also another option, which is a place that showcases pole dance performances.

Overall, Phuket is famous for its thriving, lively nightlife scene. And if you’re up for a great night of amusement and entertainment during your vacation, Phuket surely doesn’t disappoint.

Bali or Phuket – Which Is Better?

You’ve learned a handful of details about each destination, along with where each stands out. And if you’re still worried about which is the better choice for you, here’s a brief summary that differentiates the two:

Bali is a better place for sightseeing whereas Phuket is better as a beach destination.

Overall, Bali offers a wealth of adventure and diverse activities to do. It’s got “adventurous soul” written all over the place. Phuket, in contrast, is an ace in the hole when it comes to swoon-worthy beaches. It’s a haven and a home for sun-worshippers.

To break that down even further, Bali has plenty to offer for every kind of traveler. It’s almost impossible to decide which is the most highlighting experience, be it the jaw-dropping sights of Kintamani Volcano, the scenic rice fields that offer grand sunsets and sunrises, chasing majestic waterfalls, or admiring the architecture of Indonesian temples.

Bali defines variety. From the lush greenery and scenic landscapes in Ubud down to party clubs and pubs in Seminyak and Kuta. Even tourists looking to do soul-searching will find it in Bali, be it in temples, yoga retreats, or witnessing Ubud’s naturistic vibes.

As for Phuket, it stands out as the better destination if you find more value in spending on a trip that has better beaches. And not just idyllic coastlines, but softer sand, fewer crowds, and more opportunities to relax be it solo, as a couple, or with family.

This isn’t to say Bali’s beaches are bad, though. It’s just that Phuket’s beaches are more well-kept, despite the countless tourists that have already flocked to the area. The sheer beauty alone is mesmerizing. Just take Kata Noi as a prime example of that. It’s an unspoiled natural beauty that deserves praise.

Aside from beaches, Phuket takes the cake when it comes to food and nightlife. Note that Phuket’s nightlife isn’t just limited to clubs, bars, and pubs. This also includes night markets, whether you’re shopping for local goods or street food. And in that category, Phuket undeniably does it better.

Now, you might also be wondering. Between Bali and Phuket, which is cheaper? Or more family-friendly? What about the weather and safety?

These are important factors to take into account, after all. And to make it easier on your part, the FAQ section below covers all your concerns and questions related to that.

FAQ

Which Is Safer – Bali or Phuket?

If you’re worried about safety, both Bali and Phuket are safe places to travel to. While petty crime does occur, this is a given in every other city around the world. According to Numbeo, the safety scale for Bali is 51.64 while Phuket scores slightly higher at 56.75.

The data suggest that Phuket is generally safer than Bali, but it’s also not to say Bali is a dangerous city. The safety scale ratings for each city qualify that both Bali and Phuket are safe for tourists, all in all.

In any case, always practice the proper precautions when touring either destination.

For example, walking in unlit areas, venturing into risky waters and strong currents, and taking care of your valuables. These are all practices you should take note of.

Both Bali and Phuket also have certain areas that may get highly crowded. In times like these, exercise caution in any place with high foot traffic. Since Phuket and Bali have lively nightlife scenes, it’s best to keep an eye on your drink as well. Don’t leave it unattended unless you have a friend you can trust to watch over it.

Last but not least, sampling local cuisine at street markets or food stalls is always a great idea. However, you still have to make sure the food is prepared in hygienic conditions. A good tip to keep in mind is if you see a lot of locals waiting in line at a certain stall, it’s a good sign that it’s safe to eat.

Overall, Bali and Phuket are safe places to visit, be it for families, couples, or even solo travelers. But as always, common travel sense matters.

Is Bali Cheaper Than Phuket?

Both are affordable destinations. Although there are a few places that are slightly more expensive in Bali and Phuket, both are still miles cheaper than most destinations.

According to Numbeo, Bali is slightly cheaper than Phuket. When it comes to meals, for example, a 3-course meal at Bali or Phuket comes out the same. On average, a 3-course meal for two people in Bali is 333,150 Indonesian Rupiah or IDR (USD 22.21 at 15,000 IDR a dollar). In Phuket, it costs 847.67 Thai Baht or THB (USD 22.91 at 37 THB a dollar).

However, you’re more likely to find cheaper food around Bali – around 41,550 IDR (USD 2.77). Whereas Phuket’s prices are slightly higher at about 164.28 THB (USD 4.44).

When it comes to accommodations, Bali offers more variety. There are also several that are priced higher than what you’d find in Phuket. If you were to compare the luxurious accommodations in Bali and Phuket, Bali is more expensive.

But overall, Bali is still cheaper. Because it offers more accommodations, you also have more options to choose from. This means booking an inexpensive stay is much easier in Bali. For instance, you can book a room in Bali that costs 150,000 IDR (USD 10) a night, according to Numbeo. Phuket’s prices, on the other hand, are about six dollars higher – 592 THB (USD 16) a night.

Not to mention, you get more bang for your buck in Bali when it comes to midrange-priced accommodations.

Alcohol prices are also similar in both destinations. A beer in Bali costs 42,750 IDR (USD 2.85) while in Phuket, it costs 91.02 THB (USD 2.46). At 39 cents of a price difference, both are inexpensive places if you’re buying alcohol.

Traveling from the US or Australia to Bali is also shorter, and cheaper overall. Phuket is also a cheap destination to fly to but costs slightly more. Based on the data in Finder, a flight from Australia to Bali costs 13,755,000 IDR (USD 917). Flying to Phuket from Australia amounts to about 37,555 THB (USD 1,015).

Whichever destination you choose, you shouldn’t have any problems traveling on a budget.

Bali vs. Phuket Weather

The weather in Bali and Phuket are similar year-round. Both offer tropical climates, plenty of sunshine, and an average temperature between 80.6°F to 84.2°F (27°C to 29°C).

Seasonal changes don’t vary much in Bali or Phuket. However, the dry season is different for both. In Bali, the dry season runs from July to August, while Phuket’s is from December to March. Similarly, if you’re after cooler, pleasant weather, both also have different cool months.

The coldest months in Bali are on January and February, whereas Phuket’s runs from November to January.

When it comes to rain, Bali sees less rainfall throughout the year compared to Phuket. During Bali’s rainy season (December to March), the city gets an average rainfall of 3.54 in. (90 mm) every month. In Phuket, the rainy season starts in June and ends in October, with an average rainfall of 15.75 in. (400 mm) every month.

While both destinations have a ton of sunshine throughout the year, Phuket sees more rainfall than Bali. This means, in terms of weather, Bali is the better option.

Bali or Phuket in December?

Between Bali and Phuket in December, it all boils down to the weather. Bali’s rainy season starts in December so there’s more rain during this time. Phuket’s rainy season ends in October, so by December, you’re looking at clear skies and cooler, sunny weather.

That said, this isn’t to say Bali in December is gloomy every day. Rain showers during Bali’s rainy season are typically short, lasting for about an hour.

If you’re worried about how crowded it gets, both are the same since December is the peak season in both places. Prices are also undoubtedly higher, from accommodations down to tours and excursions.

There isn’t much of a difference between the two if you’re considering activities to do, shows, and adventurous trips. All will still be available in December, except for the nightlife. In December, Bali and Phuket see bigger and livelier parties.

Either way, both are great destinations to visit in December and spend the holidays in. It all comes down to the weather, overall.

If you prefer a destination with a lesser chance of rain and more beach time without gloomy skies, head to Phuket. But if you don’t mind a little rain and want your vacation to be centered around family time and adventure, go to Bali.

Bali vs. Phuket in July

Like in the previous section, visiting Bali or Phuket in July depends on your tolerance to rainy weather. Phuket is July’s rainy season, whereas Bali in July is dry and sunny. Although Phuket sees more rainfall on average than Bali during the rainy season, it’s not wet days the entire month either.

According to many on travel forums like Tripadvisor, there are still a lot of days full of sunshine during Phuket’s rainy season. It does rain frequently, either in the morning or afternoons, but are short bursts that last for one hour on average.

Both Bali and Phuket in July also offer great price deals and accommodation rates. Typically, it’s cheaper to fly to both destinations during this month. Plus, you see fewer crowds in July as well.

The only downside to visiting Phuket in July is you’ll have to plan your activities ahead of time. Especially if you plan to spend the majority of your vacation on beaches. While there is still plenty of sunshine in Phuket in July, it’s not the same tropical, beach weather you get during the dry season.

Whereas Bali’s weather is dry in July, there’s more to do on the island overall, from adventure treks to hiking and exploring scenic landscapes.

Whatever the case, don’t expect your vacation to be ruined when you’re visiting Phuket in July. But if there’s one thing to note, it’s that some water excursions may be postponed or canceled. This mostly depends on the ocean conditions. If the currents are strong, it wouldn’t be safe to venture anywhere in the sea.

Altogether, if you’re planning a vacation with more sightseeing and an active trip overall, Bali is the better option. Weather-wise, your chances are better in a place with sunny, dry weather. But if you’re only looking to do a few excursions and prefer to mostly relax during your trip, Phuket is a great option in July.

Bali or Phuket for Honeymoon?

Bali is the perfect honeymoon destination if you’re looking for diversity in your trip. Phuket, on the other hand, is better for honeymooners looking for a romantic beach getaway.

Between the two, Bali offers more adventure and activities to do, so it suits active couples. Additionally, there are more romantic accommodations for couples in Bali. For instance, couples can choose to stay either in a beachfront villa, jungle eco-dome, private beach/jungle hut, and more.

Phuket offers several resorts and hotels that are also romantic but doesn’t have unique accommodations like Bali. There are several activities available for couples in Phuket too. However, Bali offers natural beauty that’s easily accessible all on one island. From volcanoes and waterfalls to rice terraces and beaches.

While Phuket has scenic landscapes of its own, you’ll have to travel via sea to get to certain islands. Trips aren’t that long – about one to two hours – but convenience-wise, Bali takes the lead.

Bali or Phuket for Family Holiday?

Both Bali and Phuket are family-friendly destinations, so neither is better than the other. Then again, Phuket leans more towards a beach family vacation. Bali, on the other hand, has beaches, nature, landscapes, and a whole ton of activities for the family to enjoy land or sea.

Overall, Phuket might be better if you’re traveling with younger kids if you’re spending more time at the beach. If you’re traveling with teens, there’s also a lot of nightlife around the city to provide more than enough entertainment for the family.

While Bali does have its advantages as being an all-around vacation, it mostly suits couples and families with older teens. Make no mistake, there are a lot of family-friendly activities in Bali. Some of these include huge water parks, kid-friendly museums, safari and marine parks, and so on.

Phuket, on the other hand, offers slightly more kid and teen-friendly activities. Whether it’s rock climbing, ice skating, a water park adventure, safari, aquariums, and any recreational activity.

Bali vs. Phuket Nightlife

If you’re asking which has a more unique and epic nightlife, Phuket wins hands down. Bangla road is Phuket’s most popular nightlife scene. This place stretches for miles lined with clubs, bars, and almost every entertainment you can find. Even unique transvestite and pole dance performances are found here.

In contrast, Bali’s nightlife scene isn’t just raging nightclubs and hitting the dance floor till the break of dawn. There are high-end clubs that feature international DJs and huge events like Dreamfields Festival and Ultra Bali. However, you also have several offbeat options, such as La Favela. Think of it as a beachside bar with beanbags all around for a casual, more laid-back nightlife.

There are also cliffside and rooftop bars perfect for a romantic night out or for those who prefer a chill bar experience.

Overall, Bali suits just about every music-hungry traveler, and there’s a wider variety of nightlife spots around the city. Phuket’s nightlife scene is better for those looking for a party. You could say it’s wilder than Bali.

Bali to Phuket Distance

The distance from Bali to Phuket is 1,617 miles (2,602 km). Assuming you’re traveling in a straight line, it takes about 8 hours and 30 minutes to reach either destination.

Is Bali Bigger Than Phuket?

Bali is 2,230 sq mi (5,780 sq km) in size whereas Phuket has a total area of 222 sq mi (576 sq km). This means Bali is 10x bigger than Phuket.

How to Get From Phuket to Bali

There are two ways to get to Bali from Phuket: by plane or boat. Traveling via plane is the fastest route, without a doubt. Traveling via ferry or boat is possible, too, since Bali happens to be a popular port for many cruise ships. However, there’s an extra step you’ll have to do first.

Before you can take the ferry to Bali, you’ll have to fly from Phuket to either Java, Sumatra, or Singapore. From there, you can take the boat to Bali.

Now, there have been a few who have wondered if you can take the bus from Phuket to Bali. If you travel via bus, you’ll have to take a complicated sequence of land and sea transportation. It’s the only way if you want a ‘land’ trip. And in total, it takes about 90 hours, which means it’s too long of a trip compared to via plane or boat.

Phuket to Bali Direct Flights

Currently, there are no airlines that offer direct flights from Phuket to Bali. AirAsia used to offer direct flights from Phuket to Bali and vice versa. These were originally the “paradise to paradise” flight deals offered regularly. However, because the demand wasn’t too high, it was removed as a service.

Phuket to Bali Flight Time

Flight times from Phuket to Bali vary depending on the airline and the number of stops in between. Best case scenario, the flight time from Phuket to Bali including one stopover is 6 hours and 20 minutes. There are a few longer flights that last between seven to nine hours.

In some cases, a single stopover can take as long as 8 to 15 hours, leading to much longer flight times. Worst-case scenario, the flight time from Phuket to Bali could take as long as 46 hours.

Phuket to Bali by Train

There are no trains that offer traveling between Phuket to Bali and vice versa.

Phuket to Bali by Ferry

You can take the ferry from Phuket to Bali but you’ll have to fly to either Singapore, Java, or Sumatra first. From there, you can take the ferry from either city to Bali.

Phuket to Bali Cruise

There aren’t a lot of cruise lines that cruise from Phuket to Bali. Major cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, for example, don’t offer this cruise itinerary. It’s more common to see Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Japan as part of the cruise itinerary.

However, Celebrity Cruises offers a Phuket to Bali cruise that lasts for 12 nights. This also includes stopping in other destinations, such as Penang, Langkawi, Singapore, Lombok, and Kelang.

Adventure Life also offers a 14-day Phuket to Bali cruise. However, Bali is the final destination and it’s where the passengers will disembark.

Lastly, Norwegian Cruise Line offers a Southeast Asian cruise for a total of 11 nights. The cruise starts at Kelang, Kuala Lumpur, and ends in Bali as its last stop.

While there aren’t many that offer a Phuket to Bali cruise, most that offer this package last longer than a week. It’s not common to find cruise lines that offer a Phuket to Bali cruise that only last for 4 to 5 days. If you don’t mind exploring cities like Singapore, Malaysia, and Jakarta, the cruise packages above should be great choices.

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