Vietnam vs. Philippines

Choosing between the mystical allure of Vietnam and the paradisiacal charm of the Philippines can be quite the conundrum. Both destinations boast an array of stunning landscapes, rich culture, and incredible experiences. Dive into the mystique of Vietnam's ancient cities, or bask in the sun on the Philippines' pristine beaches. Curious to discover which destination best suits your travel cravings? Read on to find out!
Vietnam vs. Philippines

Table of Contents

Hey there, fellow travelers! You’re probably wondering if Vietnam or the Philippines should be your next vacation destination. Well, you’re in luck! We’ve got a detailed comparison of these two stunning countries to help you decide. So, buckle up and let’s explore together!

History & Culture

Let’s kick things off by delving into the history and culture of Vietnam and the Philippines. Trust us; both countries are a treasure trove of fascinating stories and unique customs.

Vietnam boasts a long and intricate history, influenced by numerous countries like China, France, and the United States. As a result, it’s a melting pot of various cultural elements, creating a truly one-of-a-kind experience for any history buff.

On the other hand, the Philippines has its fair share of historical adventures. With Spanish, American, and Japanese influences, the country offers a diverse cultural blend that’s evident in its architecture, traditions, and arts.

When it comes to religion, Vietnam is predominantly Buddhist, while the Philippines is predominantly Catholic. This difference is not only reflected in the countries’ religious practices but also in their festivals and celebrations.

Language-wise, Vietnam and the Philippines both have their unique linguistic landscapes. Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam, whereas Filipino and English are the official languages in the Philippines.

In terms of cultural expressions, both countries are known for their traditional dances and music. Vietnam is famous for its water puppetry, and the Philippines is renowned for its vibrant folk dances like Tinikling.

All in all, if you’re a history and culture enthusiast, you’ll find plenty of reasons to fall in love with both Vietnam and the Philippines. So, which destination piques your interest more?

Attractions & Activities

So, you’re all about those attractions and activities, huh? Let’s dive into what Vietnam and the Philippines have in store for you. From natural wonders to man-made marvels, each country has its unique appeal.

In Vietnam, the breathtaking Ha Long Bay is a must-see, with its dramatic limestone islands and emerald waters. For the history buffs, the ancient town of Hoi An will transport you back in time with its well-preserved architecture and charming streets. Adventure seekers can explore the vast network of the Cu Chi Tunnels, a testament to Vietnam’s wartime resilience.

But the Philippines isn’t slacking in the attractions department either —

The famous Chocolate Hills in Bohol will leave you in awe with their unique geological formation. For a taste of Filipino culture, head to Vigan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, showcasing the fusion of Asian and European influences. And if you’re up for some spelunking, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is a natural wonder you don’t want to miss.

Vietnam offers some adrenaline-pumping activities too. Canyoning in Da Lat is an exhilarating experience that combines abseiling, rappelling, and cliff jumping. Trekking in Sapa provides you with picturesque rice terraces and the opportunity to meet local hill tribes.

The Philippines answers back with its own thrilling experiences. Discover the beauty of the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park through scuba diving, and marvel at the stunning marine life. For a more laid-back activity, go island-hopping around El Nido, where you’ll find pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and enchanting lagoons.

So, when it comes to attractions and activities, both Vietnam and the Philippines bring their A-game. It’s a tough call, but we’ll let you decide which one has the edge. Stay tuned for more comparisons that’ll help you make your final decision!


Alright, beach bums, this one’s for you! When it comes to beaches, both Vietnam and the Philippines have some serious bragging rights. Let’s dig our toes into the sand and see which destination has the most irresistible shores.

Vietnam’s coastline stretches over 2,000 miles (3,200 km), giving you plenty of sandy spots to choose from. Nha Trang is a popular choice, with its 4-mile (6.4 km) stretch of golden sand and turquoise waters. For a more secluded experience, head to Phu Quoc Island, where you’ll find pristine beaches surrounded by lush greenery.

On the other hand, the Philippines boasts over 7,000 islands, and a good chunk of them have stunning beaches. Boracay’s White Beach is world-renowned for its powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters. If you’re looking for a more off-the-beaten-path experience, Palawan’s beaches, like Nacpan Beach, offer unspoiled beauty and tranquility.

When it comes to water sports, both countries deliver. In Vietnam, Mui Ne is a hotspot for kite and windsurfing, while the Philippines’ Siargao Island is a surfer’s paradise with its epic waves and laid-back vibe.

So, what’s the verdict? It’s a close call, and it really depends on your beach preferences. If you’re into bustling beach towns and long stretches of coastline, Vietnam might be your winner. But if you’re all about island-hopping and discovering hidden gems, the Philippines could be your dream destination.

Whichever way you lean, one thing’s for sure: you’ll be beachin’ it in style in either country!

Eating, Drinking & Nightlife

Now, let’s talk about the good stuff – food, drinks, and nightlife! Vietnam and the Philippines each have their own unique culinary scenes and after-hours vibes. So, which one will tickle your taste buds and keep you dancing ’til dawn? Let’s find out!

Vietnamese cuisine is known for its fresh ingredients and complex flavors, with dishes like pho, banh mi, and bun cha taking center stage. The Philippines, on the other hand, brings a fusion of Spanish, Chinese, and Malay influences to the table, with dishes like adobo, sinigang, and lechon making waves.

In terms of drinks, both countries have their specialties. Vietnam is famous for its strong, aromatic coffee and locally brewed beers like Bia Hoi. Meanwhile, the Philippines serves up a refreshing coconut wine called tuba and the popular local rum, Tanduay.

When the sun goes down, both Vietnam and the Philippines come alive with vibrant nightlife scenes. In Vietnam, you can find everything from laid-back bars in Hanoi’s Old Quarter to glitzy rooftop lounges in Ho Chi Minh City. The streets are buzzing with locals and tourists alike, sipping on cold beers and enjoying the lively atmosphere.

In the Philippines, the nightlife is equally diverse, with a range of options to suit your mood. Manila offers swanky clubs, live music venues, and trendy speakeasies, while Boracay and Cebu showcase lively beach bars where you can dance the night away under the stars.

So, which destination takes the crown for eating, drinking, and nightlife? It’s a tough choice, as both countries offer unique flavors and experiences. If you’re a fan of fresh, aromatic dishes and bustling street scenes, Vietnam might be your top pick. But if you’re looking for a fusion of flavors and an island party vibe, the Philippines could be the one for you!


Ah, shopping – who doesn’t love a little retail therapy? Vietnam and the Philippines have their unique shopping scenes, and we’re here to spill the tea.

In Vietnam, you’ll find a beautiful blend of traditional markets, art galleries, and modern shopping malls. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are your go-to spots for a shopping extravaganza, with vibrant markets like Ben Thanh and Dong Xuan. You can snag local crafts, silk, and handmade items at affordable prices. Plus, the bargaining game is strong, so flex those negotiation muscles!

But the Philippines isn’t lagging behind in the shopping game. Manila and Cebu are brimming with sprawling malls, like SM Megamall and Ayala Center, where you can shop ’til you drop. You’ll also find markets like Greenhills Shopping Center, where you can hunt for bargains on clothes, accessories, and electronics.

For a more cultural shopping experience, the Philippines offers local handicrafts, wood carvings, and woven products in places like Baguio City and Palawan. You’ll get to support local artisans while scoring some unique souvenirs.

On the other hand, Vietnam’s local designers and tailors are making waves in the fashion scene. Cities like Hoi An are famous for their made-to-measure clothing, so don’t miss the chance to get a tailored outfit for a fraction of the price back home.

In a nutshell, both Vietnam and the Philippines have something for every shopaholic. If you’re into traditional markets and local crafts, Vietnam might win you over. But if you’re more into mall-hopping and grabbing global brands, the Philippines could be your shopping paradise. So, which one will satisfy your shopping cravings?


Let’s talk about catching some Z’s, because you’ll need a comfy place to rest after exploring Vietnam and the Philippines.

Vietnam’s got your back when it comes to accommodation options. Budget travelers can find a cozy spot in hostels and guesthouses, while luxury seekers can indulge in high-end hotels and resorts. Cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang offer a variety of choices, from charming boutique hotels to swanky international chains.

The Philippines doesn’t disappoint either. You’ll find everything from budget-friendly hostels to lavish resorts, especially in tourist hotspots like Boracay, Palawan, and Cebu. In Manila, you can choose from a wide range of hotels, from budget to luxury, ensuring you get the perfect home away from home.

Both countries boast stunning beach resorts, with Vietnam’s Phu Quoc Island and the Philippines’ El Nido being prime examples. If you’re after a more authentic experience, consider a homestay with a local family to immerse yourself in the culture.

So, whether you’re pinching pennies or splurging on a luxe getaway, Vietnam and the Philippines have accommodation options for every traveler. The choice is yours!

Family-Friendliness & Children’s Activities

Hey there, families! If you’re looking for a vacay that’ll keep both the kiddos and the grown-ups entertained, you’re in the right place. Let’s dig into the family-friendliness and children’s activities in Vietnam and the Philippines.

Vietnam is an adventure playground for families. From Hanoi’s bustling Old Quarter to the ancient town of Hoi An, kids will love exploring the vibrant streets and historic sites. And don’t forget the awe-inspiring Halong Bay, where you can cruise around limestone islands and kayak through hidden caves. Water puppet shows and cyclo rides are also big hits with the little ones.

But the Philippines isn’t lagging behind. With over 7,000 islands, there are plenty of family-friendly beach destinations to choose from, like Boracay, Palawan, and Cebu. The country’s abundant marine life makes it ideal for snorkeling and diving adventures. Plus, cultural and historical experiences, like exploring the walled city of Intramuros in Manila, are both educational and entertaining for kids.

Theme parks? Both countries have got you covered. Vietnam offers Vinpearl Land and Sun World amusement parks, while the Philippines boasts Enchanted Kingdom and Ocean Adventure. There’s no shortage of thrilling rides and attractions to keep the kids busy.

When it comes to accommodation, Vietnam and the Philippines have a wide range of family-friendly options, from budget to luxury. Many hotels and resorts provide amenities like kids’ clubs, swimming pools, and babysitting services to make your stay hassle-free.

So, which one takes the crown for family-friendliness? It’s a close call. Vietnam offers a rich cultural experience and diverse landscapes, while the Philippines is a tropical paradise with endless beach activities. Ultimately, it depends on your family’s preferences and interests. Either way, you’re in for a treat!

Getting There & Getting Around

Alright, let’s chat about the nitty-gritty: getting to and around Vietnam and the Philippines. Whether you’re a globe-trotter or a first-time traveler, we’ve got the lowdown on the best ways to navigate these two amazing destinations.

When it comes to getting to Vietnam, you’ll most likely fly into one of the three main international airports: Noi Bai (Hanoi), Tan Son Nhat (Ho Chi Minh City), or Da Nang. The average flight duration from the US is around 20 hours (12,000 km/7,500 miles).

On the other hand, the Philippines has several international airports, with Ninoy Aquino (Manila) being the busiest. Flights from the US take about 16-20 hours (12,800 km/8,000 miles) depending on your departure city.

Once you’ve touched down, getting around Vietnam is a breeze. There’s a well-connected network of buses, trains, and domestic flights to choose from. Renting a motorbike is a popular (and adventurous) way to explore the country, just be prepared for the chaotic traffic. If you prefer a more leisurely pace, taking a slow boat along the Mekong Delta is a unique experience.

In the Philippines, island-hopping is the name of the game. Domestic flights and ferries are your best bet for getting between islands. Jeepneys, tricycles, and taxis are the go-to options for local transportation. Just remember that traffic in Manila can be… well, let’s call it “challenging.”

So, which destination is more convenient for travel? It’s a toss-up. Vietnam’s well-connected transportation system makes it easy to explore the entire country, while the Philippines offers the thrill of discovering hidden gems among its thousands of islands. One thing’s for sure: no matter which country you choose, you’re in for an unforgettable adventure.


Now, let’s chat about the weather in Vietnam and the Philippines, shall we? Because let’s be honest, the weather can make or break your vacation plans.

Vietnam, being a long and narrow country, experiences a diverse climate.

In the north, you’ll find a cooler climate with temperatures ranging from 60°F (15°C) in the winter to 90°F (32°C) in the summer. Central Vietnam enjoys a tropical monsoon climate, with hot and dry conditions from January to August, followed by a rainy season. Southern Vietnam, on the other hand, is warm and humid all year round, with temperatures averaging around 82°F (28°C).

The Philippines, an archipelago, also experiences a tropical climate, but with only two seasons: dry (November to April) and wet (May to October). During the dry season, expect temperatures to hover around 85°F (29°C), while the wet season brings cooler temperatures of about 79°F (26°C) and, of course, more rainfall.

In a nutshell, if you’re seeking a cooler climate, head to northern Vietnam. For beach lovers, the dry season in the Philippines is your best bet. But no matter when you choose to visit these destinations, be prepared to experience their unique weather patterns and enjoy the adventure that comes with them.


We all want to feel safe when we’re exploring new places, right? So, let’s dive into the safety aspect of Vietnam and the Philippines, and touch on a few other related concerns.

In general, both Vietnam and the Philippines are considered safe for travelers. Petty crimes like pickpocketing and bag snatching can occur, especially in crowded areas, but by taking basic precautions like not flashing valuables and staying alert, you can reduce the risk. Violent crimes against tourists are rare in both destinations.

When it comes to health, it’s essential to be aware of the local risks. In Vietnam, air pollution in major cities can be a concern, so people with respiratory issues should take this into account. In the Philippines, there’s a risk of mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever, so don’t forget to pack and use insect repellent.

Road safety can be an issue in both countries, with chaotic traffic and lax driving standards. If you’re not an experienced driver, it’s better to rely on public transportation or hire a local driver.

Natural disasters can happen in any country, and these destinations are no exception. Vietnam is susceptible to typhoons, especially in the central and northern regions, while the Philippines faces typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. Stay informed about weather conditions and follow the advice of local authorities.

So, when it comes to safety, both Vietnam and the Philippines have their challenges, but by staying informed and taking necessary precautions, you can enjoy a fantastic trip to either destination.


We all love a great deal, and when it comes to vacations, knowing how far your money will stretch is pretty important. So, let’s check out how Vietnam and the Philippines stack up in terms of cost.

Vietnam is known for being a budget-friendly destination. You can find delicious street food for around 20,000 VND (about $1) and a decent meal in a restaurant for 100,000 VND (about $5). Accommodation options are plentiful, with budget hostels starting at 150,000 VND (about $7) per night and mid-range hotels from 300,000 VND (about $15).

The Philippines is a bit more expensive than Vietnam but still affordable. Street food prices hover around 50 PHP (around $1), while a meal at a local restaurant might set you back 200 PHP (about $4). For accommodation, expect to pay at least 500 PHP (about $10) per night in a budget hostel and around 1,500 PHP (about $30) for a mid-range hotel.

When it comes to activities and attractions, both destinations offer a variety of options for different budgets. In general, you’ll find that entrance fees, tours, and transportation costs are lower in Vietnam than in the Philippines.

Overall, Vietnam tends to be the more budget-friendly option, but the Philippines can still offer a great value-for-money experience.

Which Is Better – Vietnam or the Philippines?

So, we’ve had a look at Vietnam and the Philippines across a range of factors. Now, it’s time to figure out which destination is the better fit for your travel needs and preferences.

For history and culture buffs, Vietnam takes the cake with its rich past and diverse influences. But, if you’re more into outdoor activities and exploring breathtaking natural attractions, then the Philippines might be more up your alley.

In terms of beaches, both countries have something special to offer. Vietnam boasts some stunning coastlines, while the Philippines’ idyllic islands provide an incredible beach experience that’s hard to beat.

Craving scrumptious food and vibrant nightlife? Both destinations have got you covered. Vietnam’s delicious street food and Philippines’ diverse culinary scene will satisfy your taste buds. As for nightlife, both countries offer a range of experiences, from laid-back beach bars to lively clubs.

For shopping enthusiasts, the Philippines has the edge with its modern malls and bustling markets. However, Vietnam’s local markets and handicrafts still provide a unique shopping experience.

When it comes to accommodation, Vietnam offers more budget-friendly options, while the Philippines caters to a broader range of budgets. For families, the Philippines might be a better choice, thanks to its family-friendly resorts and children’s activities.

If getting around with ease is a priority, Vietnam’s well-developed transportation infrastructure wins the day. But for those who don’t mind a bit of adventure, the Philippines’ less-developed transportation system can add an exciting element to the trip.

In terms of weather, the Philippines has a more consistent tropical climate, while Vietnam’s diverse geography leads to varied weather patterns. So, it depends on your weather preferences and the time of year you’re traveling.

Safety-wise, both countries are relatively safe for travelers, with some precautions needed in certain areas. The key is to stay informed and be vigilant, no matter where you travel.

Finally, for the cost-conscious traveler, Vietnam is the more budget-friendly option. But the Philippines still offers great value for money, especially if you’re willing to shop around for deals.

Ultimately, the choice between Vietnam and the Philippines depends on what you’re seeking in a vacation. Are you after a culturally rich experience with affordable prices? Then Vietnam is your go-to. Or are you looking for a paradise with stunning beaches and family-friendly activities? In that case, the Philippines might be the perfect fit.