Bali vs Phu Quoc: The Ultimate Family Holiday Showdown in Southeast Asia”

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Bali and Phu Quoc are both popular islands in Southeast Asia for families. Both are known for their warm-weather climates and stunning beaches, drawing families from all over the world.

Phu Quoc is an island in the Gulf of Thailand, off the coast of Vietnam. It is the largest island in Vietnam and is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and tropical rainforests.

collage featuring two scenic destinations: Bali and Phu Quo
Do you want to go to Bali or Phu Quoc?

Bali is the most popular tourist destination in Indonesia and one of the most popular in all of South East Asia with around 5 million visitors a year.

Phu Quoc is a popular tourist destination in Vietnam, home to various attractions and activities. Families can enjoy swimming and sunbathing on its sandy beaches, exploring the island’s natural beauty, and trying local seafood and other Vietnamese cuisine.

crowds out the front of Phu Quoc Night Market
Crowds heading to the Phu Quoc Night Market

There are also several cultural and historical sites to visit on the island, including the Phu Quoc Prison, which the Vietnamese government used during the Vietnam War.

Bali is known for its beautiful beaches, temples, and natural landscapes, as well as its vibrant culture and arts scene. Families visiting Bali can enjoy a range of activities, including swimming and surfing at the island’s many beaches, exploring the island’s rice terraces and forests, and visiting its cultural and historical sites.

2 people in the water at Lovina with snorkelling gear on
Enjoying snorkelling in Bali

Bali also offers a wide range of accommodation options, including hotels, resorts, and villas, as well as a variety of dining and entertainment options.

Having been to Bali and Phu Quoc back-to-back with kids, we thought comparing the two islands for the best holiday with kids would be good. Should you visit Bali, or should you visit Phu Quoc?

Key Considerations when comparing Bali vs Phu Quoc

Several factors are important to consider when choosing a destination for a family holiday in Southeast Asia. Here are a few of the most important:

  • Ease of access: How easy is it to get to the destination from your home country? How long is the flight? Are there any visa requirements?
  • Cost: How much will the trip cost, including flights, accommodation, food, activities, and transportation?
  • Attractions and activities: What attractions and activities are available for families? Are there things to keep everyone entertained, from young children to adults?
  • Accommodation: What kind of accommodation options are available? Are there family-friendly hotels and resorts with amenities like kids’ clubs and babysitting services?

Is it easier to get to Phu Quoc or Bali?

Both islands have international airports with flights from around Asia and beyond, making them accessible for families.

Bali airport is notorious for its long lines at immigration, where we have personally waited more than 2 hours to get out of the airport. We recommend you use Putu from Bali Travel Times as an airport transfer in Bali.

Phu Quoc handles a smaller amount of international traffic, making it quicker and more efficient for families to get through customs. While in Phu Quoc, we booked a transfer through Klook to our hotel.

Winner: Phu Quoc

The cost of food in Bali vs Phu Quoc

Both destinations can be very cheap for families if they eat locally. In Bali and Phu Quoc, there are many locally owned restaurants where it is still possible to pick up a meal for under $5 (AUD) or $3.50 (USD).

You will pick up rice dishes, noodles, soups, and stir-fries. Don’t be fooled into thinking that they are no good because they don’t look Western. Take a walk and look at where the locals are eating in Bali and Phu Quoc.

Winner: It is a draw

Family food tips for South East Asia

Sometimes, food choices for children can be challenging in foreign countries. We always found that chicken fried rice won with kids on our Asian vacations.

Does Bali or Phu Quoc have better attractions for families?

While both islands have more than enough attractions to keep any family busy on vacation, Everything from exciting theme parks and water parks to water sports and even educational opportunities at interesting cultural sites. Let’s break it down in this section to make it easier.

  • Beaches and Water Activities:
    • Bali has a wide range of family-friendly beaches, like Nusa Dua, Sanur, and Jimbaran. They are good for swimming and water sports like snorkelling and taking surfing lessons.
    • Phu Quoc is known for its pristine beaches, such as Long Beach and Sao Beach. The beaches are great for swimming and water activities like snorkelling and boat tours to nearby islands like Hon Thom.
A somber scene at Phu Quoc Prison Camp, with rows of prison cells enclosed by high walls and barbed wire.
Visiting the Phu Quoc POW Camp.
  • Cultural and Educational Sites:
    • Bali has fun cultural attractions like Ubud Monkey Forest, Bali Safari and Marine Park, and cultural shows like the Kecak Dance. Families can also visit traditional Balinese villages to glimpse local life in Bali.
    • Phu Quoc allows families to explore its local culture at places like Phu Quoc POW Camp, Phu Quoc Night Market, Phu Quoc Pearl Farm, and Vinpearl Safari & Conservation Park, where families can learn about wildlife conservation.
  • Adventure and Nature Activities:
A big tallow waterslide half funnel at Waterbom in Bali
Waterbom in Bali
  • Theme Parks:
    • Bali has an indoor theme park called Trans Studio Bali in Kuta. In the north of Bali is Krisna Funtastic Land. Both are on the smaller side when it comes to theme parks and are suitable for younger kids. Waterbom is a very popular major water park in Bali.
    • Phu Quoc has Vin Wonders Phu Quoc and Sun World Hon Thom. Vin Wonders is a full-sized outdoor theme park with an aquarium. Sun World is a water park with a small theme park, perfect for families with kids of all ages.

In summary, Bali and Phu Quoc both offer unique family attractions. Bali excels in cultural experiences, adventurous activities, and a well-developed tourism infrastructure, while Phu Quoc boasts pristine beaches, nature adventures, and a growing range of family-friendly facilities.

Choosing between them depends on the specific preferences and interests of each family.

Winner: Phu Quoc

Family-friendly accommodation in Bali vs Phu Quoc

Bali has a large concentration of family-friendly resorts on the beachfront in places like Sanur, Kuta, Seminyak, and Legian.

a collage of a cozy family accommodation with a welcoming atmosphere and a swimming pool
Family-friendly accommodation is available in Bali and Phu Quoc.

Some of these resorts, such as Segara Village, Bali Dynasty, and Hard Rock Hotel in Kuta, have kids’ clubs.

Phu Quoc is home to more expensive upscale family hotels with kids clubs such as Vinpearl, Crown Plaza, and Wyndham Grand. Most hotels for families in Phu Quoc are located in the north of the island, near VinWonders theme park.

In summary, Bali has more hotels in all price brackets that suit families than Phu Quoc. Most Phu Quoc hotels are located around a theme park in one area of the island and are mostly expensive. Bali has a better range in more areas of the island for families.

See more of the best Asia destination: Top things to do in Ho Chi Minh City with teenagers

Winner: Bali

Phu Quoc wins more categories than Bali in our head-to-head battle. In reality, there is no winner when considering Phu Quoc vs. Bali as a family holiday.

Both destinations are

  • Family Friendly
  • Easily accessible
  • Affordable for families
  • Have Great Weather
  • Safe Beaches for swimming
An ariel view of Vinwonders theme park in Vietnam
Vinwonders theme park in Phu Quoc

We hope you pick one of these amazing places for your next family holiday in Asia with your kids. We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has you inspired to visit South East Asia.

There are so many things to do in Bali and Phu Quoc that will entertain you for your whole stay. Planning family travel with teenagers and tweens can be stressful, and finding the best travel tips is essential. 

Our Travel with Teenagers Destination Guides have you covered! With insights from around the globe, these guides will spark inspiration for your next family vacation, making it an epic adventure with your teens.

For more unique ideas on where to holiday in Indonesia and Vietnam, click on our Indonesia and Vietnam Destination Guide pages for more brilliant inspiration.

More travel inspiration for your trip to South East Asia