A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Bali vs. Koh Pha Ngan for Food, Nightlife, Resorts, and Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

Should you visit Bali or Koh Pha Ngan?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Bali and Koh Pha Ngan can help you decide which place is right for you.

Bali

Bali is a spiritual, cultural, and stunning island. It's also known for nightlife, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Koh Pha Ngan

Koh Pha Ngan is a funky, beautiful, and tropical party island. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the beaches, hiking, and nightlife.

Bali and Koh Pha Ngan: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Great resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Not as many resort options
  • Not as popular for scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with couples


How is Bali different from Koh Pha Ngan?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Koh Pha Ngan and Bali. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Bali or Koh Pha Ngan better for Food?

Most foodies will appreciate the restaurant options in Bali a bit more than Koh Pha Ngan.

Bali has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. The food is rich and diverse with a lot of spices and complex flavors. Turmeric is a common spice and many dishes use coconut milk. Popular local dishes include Nasi Ayam (a chicken dish), Satay (grilled chicken), and Babi Guling (a pork dish).

Koh Pha Ngan is becoming an appealing option for foodies. There is frequent turnover in the restaurant scene around town, but there are a few mainstay restaurants that offer consistent and reliable Thai or international cuisine. In general, the food is fresh and the typical Thai favorites are available most places. Also make sure you check out the Thong Sala Night Market, which offers unique snacks and local dishes.

Bali
Koh Pha Ngan


Is Bali or Koh Pha Ngan better for Nightlife?

Both Bali and Koh Pha Ngan are comparable when it comes to partying.

Bali is a world class party destination. The island is known for its crazy raves and all night pool parties. There are multi-story dance clubs as well as upscale bars and beach clubs that host parties late into the night. The best nightlife areas are around Kuta, Seminyak, and Canggu.

Koh Pha Ngan is a must-see party destination. The island's famous Full Moon Parties have landed it on many lists for top party destinations around the world. These parties are held every month on the night of the full moon, with the biggest crowds between November and March. The parties are traditionally held at the beach in Haad Rin. If you miss the Full Moon Party, you can check out the Half Moon Festival on Baan Ti. During other times, you'll find a variety of different parties that capitalize on the party reputation of the island, so whenever you visit, you can enjoy some level of festivities.

Bali
Koh Pha Ngan

Is Bali or Koh Pha Ngan better for Resorts?

Bali generally brings in more resort visitors than Koh Pha Ngan.

If you're looking for a fantastic resort destination, Bali is a perfect choice. The island has resorts as well as private villas that cater to everyone from celebrities to families or even budget travelers. Private villas offer a more secluded vacation while resorts usually have more amenities and the opportunity to socialize with other guests. There are also many family-friendly resorts around the island.

Koh Pha Ngan has a few great resort options. Much of the island caters to the backpacker crowd, but there are some luxury resorts to choose from as well. Many resorts take advantage of the beautiful nature on the island or intentionally prioritize a serene environment where you can relax by the pool.

Bali
Koh Pha Ngan

Is Bali or Koh Pha Ngan better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

While Koh Pha Ngan and Bali both provide spots for scuba diving or snorkeling, overall Bali is considered to be a more popular choice.

The scuba diving and snorkeling in Bali is not to be missed. The waters are crystal clear and the marine life is abundant making scuba diving and snorkeling popular around the island. There are many snorkeling day trips that you can arrange and there are also dive shops that will take you out on the water.

Koh Pha Ngan has a few areas where visitors often go scuba diving or snorkeling. The island has its share of dive shops and a nice underwater setting where you can see coral and a variety of marine life. The island doesn't draw the huge diving crowds like some of the other islands, but that isn't always a bad thing.

Bali
Koh Pha Ngan

Is Bali or Koh Pha Ngan better for Beaches?

Bali and Koh Pha Ngan are good choices for a beach vacation.

With world-famous beaches, Bali is a very popular vacation destination. The island is large enough that it has a diversity of beach styles. There are popular beaches with water sports as well as secluded bays where you can enjoy a more peaceful setting. Some beaches are dramatic with limestone cliffs while others are lined with palm trees.

The beaches in Koh Pha Ngan are among the best in the world. The white sand beaches with turquoise blue waters make this island a truly beautiful destination. While most people think of beach parties and Full Moon Parties, the island also has some quieter beaches where you can relax in a peaceful paradise.

Bali
Koh Pha Ngan


Is Bali or Koh Pha Ngan better for Hiking?

You'll find hiking in both Bali and Koh Pha Ngan.

Bali is a popular spot for hiking. Walking on the island is beautiful and with its varied landscapes you can explore scenic rice paddies or pristine rainforests. You'll find the most challenging hikes in West Bali National Park, where a guide is recommended, but there are many other shorter hikes on the island that can be explored independently.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Koh Pha Ngan. On its interior, the island has beautiful jungle and impressive hikes. Some of the best hikes are found in Than Sadet National Park, but be prepared because they can often be challenging. They usually end with a breathtaking viewpoint, secluded beach, or stunning waterfall though.

Bali
Koh Pha Ngan

Is Bali or Koh Pha Ngan better for Shopping?

Most people pick Bali for the shopping over Koh Pha Ngan.

Bali is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. A big appeal of shopping on the island is the affordability. There are many local items that are fun to bring home including jewelry, handicrafts, furniture, and clothing.

Koh Pha Ngan has some good spots for those that want to go shopping. Although shopping isn't particularly popular on the island, it does offer a unique opportunity to support individual shop owners as there are more independently owned vendors on this island than in many other areas. Head to the markets and you'll find the most independent shops to support.

Bali
Koh Pha Ngan

Is Bali or Koh Pha Ngan better for Families?

You'll find kid-friendly activities in either Bali or Koh Pha Ngan.

Bali is a very kid-friendly island. The island has countless activities that kids can enjoy. There are watersports, snorkeling, surfing lessons and beautiful beaches. You can also expose your kids to the spiritual side of the island with kid-friendly yoga classes. Animals lovers will enjoy getting to see the monkeys up close and for a unique culinary experience, you can take a family cooking class.

Koh Pha Ngan is a family-friendly island. While most people think of full moon parties and backpacker crowds when they think of this island, there are actually some quieter areas on the eastern and northern sides of the island that are good for families. The activities are best suited for older kids and include hiking, windsurfing, yoga, and shopping.

Bali
Koh Pha Ngan

Is Bali or Koh Pha Ngan better for Couples?

While Koh Pha Ngan and Bali are both popular destinations, overall Bali is considered to be a more popular choice.

For those traveling as a couple, Bali has plenty to offer. This beautiful island offers stunning beaches, adventure sports, and world class snorkeling. There are beautiful resorts with spas as well as couples yoga classes impressive natural areas.

Koh Pha Ngan is a good island for couples to visit. Couples who enjoy partying, yoga retreats, and outdoor exploration will find something for them on this island. There are beautiful hikes to waterfalls as well as nice beaches and, of course, the wild parties.

Bali
Koh Pha Ngan


Is Bali or Koh Pha Ngan better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Both Bali and Koh Pha Ngan are popular destinations for backpackers.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Bali. Backpackers flock to this beautiful island for its stunning setting and affordable accommodation. There are many nice places where backpackers can hang out and get to know other travelers. If you want to get off the beaten path, it's best to head into the countryside and away from the main tourist hubs.

A large number of backpackers visit Koh Pha Ngan, as it is a very popular island for budget travelers. This island is synonymous with backpacker vibes and full moon parties. Head to the southern side of the island around Haad Rin and Ban Tai for the highest concentration of backpacker crowds. Like much of Thailand, there is frequent turnover in hostel ownership, so most reviews that you read online will be out of date. It's best to talk to people on the road to get the most up-to-date perspective.

Bali
Koh Pha Ngan

Is Bali or Koh Pha Ngan better for Public Transit?

Both Bali and Koh Pha Ngan offer public transit options.

Bali has a few public transit options. There are minibuses and tourist shuttle buses around the island. You can also hire a taxi or rent a car, scooter, or bicycle.

Public transit is mostly limited in Koh Pha Ngan. Your best bet for getting around the island without a private vehicle is Songthaew taxi, longtail boats, and rental mopeds.

Bali
Koh Pha Ngan

Is Bali or Koh Pha Ngan a more walkable city?

Bali and Koh Pha Ngan both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Bali is generally not very walkable. There are some walkable towns and cities on the island, but many areas can be challenging to navigate on foot.

Koh Pha Ngan is a somewhat walkable island. It's possible, and even enjoyable, to walk from place to place around the island but allow yourself a lot of time and bring water because temperatures can be very warm.

Bali
Koh Pha Ngan

Should I spend more time in Koh Pha Ngan or Bali?

How long in Bali or Koh Pha Ngan?

In either Bali or Koh Pha Ngan, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Bali than Koh Pha Ngan because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Bali is 5-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Koh Pha Ngan is 3-5 days.


  • How many days in Bali or Koh Pha Ngan? Ideal Length of Stay
    Bali 5-7 
    Koh Pha Ngan 3-5

One day in Bali or Koh Pha Ngan?

In Bali, many people enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling that this lush island offers. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife when visiting the destination of Koh Pha Ngan. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.


A weekend in Bali or Koh Pha Ngan?

Bali is a fun place to experience. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring.

Koh Pha Ngan is a fun place to experience. It's also a great beach destination, too. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. The entire area has lots to do.

Five days in Bali or Koh Pha Ngan?

In Bali, many people enjoy the shopping and nightlife that this lush destination offers. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. Plenty of people spend five days here when traveling. So, five days is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Visitors enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the beautiful destination of Koh Pha Ngan. This party island offers something for everyone. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Plenty of people spend five days here when traveling. Five days is often enough time to spend here.

A week in Bali or Koh Pha Ngan?

Bali is a popular place to visit. Many people spend one week here. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The entire area has lots to do.

The beautiful party island of Koh Pha Ngan offers scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

Which city is cheaper, Koh Pha Ngan or Bali?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Bali is $61, while the average daily cost in Koh Pha Ngan is $35. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Bali and Koh Pha Ngan in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bali $35
    Koh Pha Ngan $18
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bali $70
    Koh Pha Ngan $36
Compare Hotels in Bali and Koh Pha Ngan

Looking for a hotel in Bali or Koh Pha Ngan? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Bali


Hotels in Koh Pha Ngan


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bali $7.71
    Koh Pha Ngan $10
Typical Local Transportation prices in Bali

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Bali:


  • Motorbike Rental
    $3.31

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bali

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bali:

  • Airport Transfer Service from Area Ubud / Tanah Lot / Pecatu: $23
  • Airport Transfer Service from Area Ubud / Tanah Lot / Pecatu (13 Seater): $52
  • Airport Transfer Service from Area Ubud / Tanah Lot / Pecatu (8 seater): $41
  • Airport Transfers: $16
  • Airport transfer and tour service: $56
  • Bali Airport: Luxury Private Transfer by Alphard Vellfire: $65
  • Bali Departure Private Transfers from Bali Central to Bali Airport DPS: $83
  • Private One-Way Transfer Between Legian & DPS Airport: $17
  • Private Transfer between Airport (DPS) and Seminyak: $12
  • Return Private Transfer for Night Safari: $41
  • Crete Private Transfer from Bali city to Heraklion (HER) Airport: $108
  • Denpasar : Private Transfer to/from Ngurah Rai Intl. Airport: $14

Typical Local Transportation prices in Koh Pha Ngan

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Koh Pha Ngan are as follows:


  • Scooter Rental
    $8.00
  • Ferry Ride
    $13
  • Gas for Scooter
    $2.93

Is it cheaper to fly into Bali or Koh Pha Ngan?

Prices for flights to both Koh Pha Ngan and Bali 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Bali $17
    Koh Pha Ngan $8.02
Typical Food prices in Bali

Some typical examples of dining costs in Bali are as follows:


  • Coffee
    $1.32
  • Lunch for Two
    $15
  • Bali Cafe for Two
    $29
  • Lunch for Two
    $8.60
  • Lunch for 2
    $9.53
  • Dinner for 2
    $10

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bali

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Bali.

  • Eat while chef is cooking in front of you: $24
  • Sidemen: Firewood Cooking Class & Organic Farm Tour: $28
  • From Ubud: Balinese Cooking Class at an Organic Farm: $30
  • Withlocals your Way: 100% Personalised Bali Private Food Tour: $39
  • Bali Cooking Class: $39
  • Ubud: Romantic Barbecue Dinner by the Pool: $57
  • Private Full or Half-Day Authentic Food Tour: $58
  • Romantic Dinner by Oceana Restaurant & Bar: $74
  • Ubud: Romantic Dinner among the Rice Fields: $110
  • Ubud: Romantic Dinner on a Forest Tree Deck: $214

Typical Food prices in Koh Pha Ngan

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Koh Pha Ngan:


  • Noodle Lunch (for One)
    $1.07
  • Sit Down Dinner (for Two)
    $10
  • Smoothies (for Two)
    $1.07
  • Ice Cream
    $0.53
  • Juice
    $1.60
  • 3 Spring Rolls
    $0.80
  • 2 Pancakes
    $1.60

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Bali $9.24
    Koh Pha Ngan $13
Typical Entertainment prices in Bali

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Bali are as follows:


  • Spa for Two
    $58
  • Snorkelling Trip
    $13
  • Cooking School
    $30

Tours and Activities in Bali

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Bali are as follows:

  • Uluwatu Temple and Kecak Dance Sunset Small-Group Tour: $16
  • Ubud Traditional Tour Private Guided by Local - Free WiFi: $18
  • Bali Private Tour by Budhi: $19
  • Bali Private Guided Tour : Best point of Ubud & Uluwatu Sunset - Free WiFi: $20
  • Jatiluwih Rice Terraces 1-Hour Electric Bike Tour: $20
  • Tour and Transport Services: $21
  • From Nusa Dua : Private Guided Tour to Ubud - Free WiFi: $21
  • Ubud: 3-Hour Walking Tour with Lunch: $22
  • Discover Hidden Hills & Twin Waterfall Private Guided Tour - Free WiFi: $25
  • Tukad Cepung Waterfall - Tirta Gangga - Lempuyang Private Guided Tour Free WiFi: $25
  • Bali Bird Park 1-Day Admission Ticket: $25
  • Ayung River: All Inclusive Rafting Adventure: $26

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bali $2.73
    Koh Pha Ngan $7.73

Typical Alcohol prices in Koh Pha Ngan

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Koh Pha Ngan are as follows:


  • Drinks at Irish Pub (for Two)
    $6.93


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Bali and Koh Pha Ngan, we can see that Bali is more expensive. And not only is Koh Pha Ngan much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Koh Pha Ngan would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Koh Pha Ngan 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 Bali would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bali than you might in Koh Pha Ngan.


When is the best time to visit Bali or Koh Pha Ngan?

Both destinations experience a tropical climate with warm weather most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season.

Should I visit Bali or Koh Pha Ngan in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Bali and Koh Pha Ngan. Bali attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Koh Pha Ngan attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

April to September in Bali is the dry season. Koh Pha Ngan receives a lot of rain in the summer. In July, Bali usually receives less rain than Koh Pha Ngan. At this time of the year, Bali gets 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain, while Koh Pha Ngan receives 143 mm (5.6 in) of rain.

In July, Bali is generally a little warmer than Koh Pha Ngan. Temperatures in Bali average around 27°C (81°F), and Koh Pha Ngan stays around 24°C (76°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Bali 27°C (81°F) 
    Koh Pha Ngan 24°C (76°F)

Should I visit Bali or Koh Pha Ngan in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Bali as well as Koh Pha Ngan. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Bali throughout the year. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Koh Pha Ngan throughout the year.

October to March in Bali is the rainy season. Also, December to March in Koh Pha Ngan is the dry season. October and November in Koh Pha Ngan is the rainy season. It's quite rainy in Koh Pha Ngan. Bali usually gets less rain in October than Koh Pha Ngan. Bali gets 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Koh Pha Ngan receives 240 mm (9.5 in) of rain this time of the year.

Bali is a little warmer than Koh Pha Ngan in the autumn. The temperature in Bali is usually 27°C (81°F) in October, and Koh Pha Ngan stays around 24°C (75°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Bali 27°C (81°F) 
    Koh Pha Ngan 24°C (75°F)

Should I visit Bali or Koh Pha Ngan in the Winter?

Both Koh Pha Ngan and Bali are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Plenty of visitors come to Bali because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Koh Pha Ngan because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

The rainy season in Bali is October to March. The dry season in Koh Pha Ngan is December to March. In January, Bali usually receives more rain than Koh Pha Ngan. At this time of the year, Bali gets 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain, while Koh Pha Ngan receives 51 mm (2 in) of rain.

In the winter, Bali is a little warmer than Koh Pha Ngan. Typically, the winter temperatures in Bali in January are around 26°C (79°F), and Koh Pha Ngan is about 22°C (72°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Bali 26°C (79°F) 
    Koh Pha Ngan 22°C (72°F)

Should I visit Bali or Koh Pha Ngan in the Spring?

Both Koh Pha Ngan and Bali during the spring are popular places to visit. Bali attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Koh Pha Ngan attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

April to September is the dry season in Bali. Bali usually gets more rain in April than Koh Pha Ngan. Bali gets 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Koh Pha Ngan receives 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain this time of the year.

In April, Bali is generally a little warmer than Koh Pha Ngan. Temperatures in Bali average around 27°C (81°F), and Koh Pha Ngan stays around 24°C (76°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Bali 27°C (81°F) 
    Koh Pha Ngan 24°C (76°F)

Typical Weather for Koh Pha Ngan and Bali

Bali Koh Pha Ngan
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 26°C (79°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 22°C (72°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Feb 26°C (79°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 22°C (72°F) 11 mm (0.4 in)
Mar 27°C (81°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 23°C (74°F) 24 mm (0.9 in)
Apr 27°C (81°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 24°C (76°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
May 28°C (82°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 25°C (77°F) 164 mm (6.5 in)
Jun 27°C (81°F) 50 mm (2 in) 25°C (77°F) 145 mm (5.7 in)
Jul 27°C (81°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 24°C (76°F) 143 mm (5.6 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 24°C (76°F) 140 mm (5.5 in)
Sep 27°C (81°F) 50 mm (2 in) 25°C (76°F) 196 mm (7.7 in)
Oct 27°C (81°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 24°C (75°F) 240 mm (9.5 in)
Nov 27°C (81°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 23°C (74°F) 335 mm (13.2 in)
Dec 27°C (81°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 23°C (73°F) 134 mm (5.3 in)


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Bali vs. Koh Pha Ngan Travel Comparison

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