A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Ao Nang vs. El Nido for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Ao Nang or El Nido?

Should I visit Ao Nang or El Nido? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Ao Nang

If you're looking for a relaxing beach on the coast of Thailand, it might be time to make a trip to Ao Nang. This developed and "westernized" beach was once the place to be for backpackers, but is now quite popular with package tourist crowds, too, as prices have risen in recent decades. Here you'll find nice hotels, restaurants, and plenty of fun activities at the beach and nearby, too.

El Nido

El Nido is a coastal destination on the Philippine island of Palawan. It consists of about 45 islands and islets all with beautiful beachfront scenery and plenty of opportunities for experiencing nature above and below the water. Some of the island's best features include limestone karst cliffs, coral reefs, lagoons, coves, and waterfalls.

Which city is cheaper, El Nido or Ao Nang?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Ao Nang is $96, while the average daily cost in El Nido is $36. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Ao Nang and El Nido in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $92 in Ao Nang For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $26 in El Nido For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Ao Nang $46
    El Nido $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Ao Nang $92
    El Nido $26

Food

Ao Nang food costs typically run travelers around $22 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

In El Nido travelers spend around $11 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Ao Nang $22
    El Nido $11

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Ao Nang

For Ao Nang, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Evening Couse Thai Cooking Class in Ao Nang, Krabi: $39
  • Krabi 7 Islands Sunset with Luminescent Plankton Swim & BBQ Dinner: $41
  • Half Day Thai Cooking Class in Ao Nang, Krabi: $43
  • Krabi 4 Island & Sunset Tour By Long Tail Boat + Dinner: $49
  • Krabi 4 Islands Sunset Cruise Dinner: $70
  • Romantic Sunset Cruise from Ao Nang with BBQ Seafood Dinner: $100

Local Transportation

Ao Nang's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $50 per person, per day on transportation in Ao Nang.

El Nido's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $17 per person, per day on transportation in El Nido.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Ao Nang $50
    El Nido $17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ao Nang

Also for Ao Nang, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • TAXI PHUKET AIRPORT Transfer to SURIN Beach Area: $27
  • TAXI PHUKET AIRPORT Transfer to PATONG Beach Area: $36
  • Private Transfer to Phuket with Jimmy Phuket Taxi: $68
  • Private Transfer from Railay Beach to Krabi (KBV) Airport: $41
  • Private Transfer from Ao Nang Beach to Krabi (KBV) Airport: $41
  • Private Transfer Ao Nang Beach Krabi To Phuket Airport: $90
  • Private Transfer : Krabi Hotel to Krabi Airport Departure: $21
  • Private Transfer : Krabi Hotel to Krabi Airport Departure: $21
  • Private Transfer : Krabi Hotel to Krabi Airport Departure: $36
  • Private Round Trip Transfer between Ao Nang and KBV Krabi Airport: $44
  • Private Departure Transfer from Ao Nang to KBV Krabi Airport: $22
  • Private Departure Transfer : Krabi Hotel to Krabi Airport: $21

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Nido

Also for El Nido, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Van Transfer: One way El Nido to Puerto Princesa: $103
  • Palawan Transfers between El Nido and Puerto Princesa: $30
  • One Way Sharing Van Transfer El Nido to Puerto Princesa: $10
  • El Nido to Sabang Private Transfer: $140
  • El Nido to Puerto Princesa - Private Transfer: $115

Is it cheaper to fly into Ao Nang or El Nido?

Prices for flights to both El Nido and Ao Nang change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Ao Nang can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $9.79 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in El Nido can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $4.88 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Ao Nang $9.79
    El Nido $4.88

Tours and Activities in Ao Nang

For Ao Nang, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 2 Days 1 Night Khao Sok National Park Tour from Krabi: $285
  • 2D1N Khao Sok National Park Tour from Krabi: $285
  • 2D1N Khao Sok National Park Tour from Krabi: $285
  • 2D1N Khao Sok National Park Tour from Krabi: $285
  • All day Krabi Jungle Tour (Hot Spring Water, Emerald Pool, Tiger Cave Temple): $61
  • Aonang wonder Cocktail testing tour: $41
  • Ban Bor Thor Kayaking Full-Day Tour from Krabi with Lunch: $87
  • Ban Bor Thor Kayaking Full-Day Tour from Krabi with Lunch: $87
  • Deep mangrove and canyon Kayak Tour in Krabi: $36
  • Four Island Half Day Tour From Krabi By SpeedBoat: $75
  • Full Day Rock Climbing Tour Railay Beach, Krabi: $93
  • Full day Rock Climbing Experience @ Railay, Krabi: $109

Tours and Activities in El Nido

For El Nido, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING (TOUR A)- Lagoons and Beaches with Buffet Lunch: $67
  • EL Nido Tour A: $26
  • EL Nido Tour B: $35
  • EL Nido Tour C: $40
  • EL Nido Tour D: $33
  • El Nido Island Hopping (Tour A) – Full Day: $28
  • El Nido Island Hopping Tour B: $32
  • El Nido Island Hopping Tours(A-D): $25
  • El Nido Nacpan Beach + Lio Beach + Las Cabanas Tour: $82
  • El Nido Nacpan Beach + Lio Beach Tour: $68
  • El Nido Tour A Private Tour: $95
  • El Nido Tour A With Big Or Small Lagoon: $39

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Ao Nang spend on average $13 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Typically, people visiting El Nido spend on average $7.58 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Ao Nang $13
    El Nido $7.58


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Ao Nang and El Nido, we can see that Ao Nang is more expensive. And not only is El Nido much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to El Nido would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in El Nido and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Ao Nang would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Ao Nang than you might in El Nido.

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Ao Nang vs. El Nido Travel Comparison

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