The Pacific Ring of Fire is known for being home to some of the world’s most lush and tranquil tropical destinations. The island-nations of Bali and Fiji are nearly identical in offering this lush tranquility, but which is better for a vacation overall?
Both Bali and Fiji are popular vacation destinations in the Pacific Rim with several similarities. In terms of overall price and accommodation options, Bali offers a better vacation experience in terms of budget, whereas Fiji is more relaxing and slower-paced.
|Cost Per Person (one week)||$690||$1,650|
|Main Attractions||Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Ulun Danu Temple, Water Bom Bali, Nusa Dua Beach, Kelingking Beach||Coral Coast, Mamanuca Islands, Taveuni, Firewalking ceremonies, Fiji Museum, Garden of the Sleeping Giant|
|Food||Balinese cuisine features rice, curries, and tropical dishes as well, as traditional Asia offerings.||Fijian cuisine utilizes many tropical and seafood traditions, with Asian dishes also being popular throughout the country.|
|Weather||Hot and humid throughout most of the year||Hot throughout November-April; mild throughout April-October; consistently humid throughout the year|
|Safety||Bali is generally safe in terms of crime; however, natural disasters can occur, and drinking water should be boiled.||Minor crime rates, particularly in Nadi and Suva, natural disasters can occur.|
|Transport||Walking and bicycling are commonly used; buses and taxis are also available.||Regional flights and taxis are plentiful; ferries and bus services are also available.|
|Customs||A passport is needed to travel to Bali; tourists are granted a free, 30-day visa upon arrival.||A passport is needed to travel to Fiji; a tourist visa for up to 4 months is issued upon arrival; proof must be presented to confirm your flight out of Fiji.|
Since both Bali and Fiji are similar in terms of experiencing a tropical vacation, this article will explore how the two-island nations are different in terms of things to do and the costs associated with a vacation to either destination. Read on to discover all there is to offer in both destinations, and which destination is the better choice based on your preferences.
Cost of Stay
When it comes to the overall costs of a one-week stay in Bali or Fiji, the price comparisons are vastly different. Bali sees many more visitors each year due to the low cost of a vacation, whereas Fiji caters to a more relaxed atmosphere compared to the higher levels of partying seen in Bali.
Like most destinations in the Pacific Rim, both Bali and Fiji are tropical paradises, which means there are numerous offerings in terms of accommodation and leisure activities. Bali strikes a nice balance between high-end, luxury resorts, as well as a wide array of more affordable accommodations depending on your lodging preference.
Fiji offers some affordable options, but the focus is mostly geared towards resorts and opulent lodging choices, which have become a trademark of the island nation over the decades.
Affordable Hotel Options
Bali is certainly more friendly to your checking account when you want high-quality accommodations at an attractive price. Bliss Ubud Spa Resort in Ubud is so lush and serene that you would never believe that one night runs roughly $50. This resort features two full-size swimming pools, a spa, and on-site restaurants for evenings you wish to stay in and enjoy the ambiance of your tropical-themed suite.
Fiji does feature affordable options; for the best value, high-quality hotels are available in abundance, with a few resorts that are somewhat affordable. The Club Fiji Resort, located in Nadi Bay, features suites as low as $70 per night as well as applicable resort fees. This resort won’t have you feeling like a high roller in paradise, but the amenities and atmosphere are superb. A full-size pool and massage parlor is on-site for ultimate relaxation.
Bali is filled with lush, green, tropical vegetation and sandy beaches for as far as the eyes can see. A must-see attraction is the Sacred Monkey Forest located in Ubud, which features unique Balinese architecture and up-close views of the elusive Balinese long-tailed money.
Fiji has a similar vibe in terms of nature and atmosphere, but the pace is a bit slower and more relaxing. Firewalking ceremonies are on display in many of Fiji’s resorts, particularly along with the Mamanuca Islands. These traditional ceremonies feature indigenous dancers walking barefoot across hot coals, which is always hard to believe until you see the action up close.
Take a look at this video to get a visual idea of what Fiji has to offer:
Both Balinese and Fijian cuisine feature seafood prominently in the regional culture of each nation. Balinese food is more curry and rice oriented, whereas Fijian food is more lush and tropical. Beach Cocomo Vakacegu Cafe in Sigatoka is a particular standout; this cafe features a wide range of tropical dishes that are cooked in an earth oven known as a lovo, which is a natural oven filled with hot coals.
Both nations are known for warm and hot weather throughout the year. This is typical of any island nation located throughout the Pacific Ring of Fire. Humidity is likely the biggest point of discomfort for travelers, and this feature is seen throughout the year as well. Be sure to dress lightly and leave the sweaters at home. Fiji has an opposite climate shift from the USA, in that the fall and winter months are warmer and hotter in Fiji.
Bali is generally safe and doesn’t have too many problems with high crime rates. Fiji is virtually the same, but crime has been reported towards tourists in the regions of Nadi and Suva after hours. Be sure to avoid walking the streets of these regions at night. Volcanic eruptions and typhoons are also possible in either country. Like any foreign destination, a certain degree of common sense and caution should be practiced at all times to avoid danger and criminality.
Getting around Bali is incredibly easy; most locals and even a majority of tourists are more than happy walking to and from and using a bicycle. Taxis and buses are available throughout the island. Fiji is more spread out with multiple islands; small chartered places and ferries are available to move across the island-nation as are taxis and buses.
You will need a passport to travel to both nations. Bali will give you a free, 30-day visa upon entry to the country with renewals available if you wish to stay up to 60 days. Fiji has a 4-month visa available, which needs to be filled out and returned before your arrival.
Fiji also has a clause which states that a proof-of-purchase is needed upon entry into Fiji to show that you have a flight scheduled out of the country once your stay is over. Both nations are very friendly and accommodating to travelers in general.
So, which is better for a vacation, Bali or Fiji? The better choice is going to depend on what kind of trip you want and how much you are willing to spend. The always best option is where you are going to enjoy your travel vacation the most. Bali is a bit more lively and features an incredible nightlife scene, whereas Fiji is perfect if you want tropical beauty and a relaxing, more peaceful atmosphere.
Bali is certainly a cheaper option and features a large array of resorts and quality hotels. Bali is the clear winner in this comparison based on overall affordability.