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

Should you visit Bali or Koh Tao?

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 Tao can help you decide which place is right for you.

Bali

Bali is a cultural, stunning, and tropical island. Visitors also love the food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Koh Tao

Koh Tao is a tropical, popular, and laid back island. You'll find world class beauty here as well. And you can't forget about the hiking, shopping, and nightlife.

Bali and Koh Tao: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Cons
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty


How is Bali different from Koh Tao?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Bali or Koh Tao Better for Food?

Bali
Koh Tao

Both Bali and Koh Tao offer a number of unique restaurants to choose from.

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 Tao has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. You'll find a huge ex-pat community on the island, and with them they bring a variety of international cuisines. There are also local establishments that sell the typical Thai dishes with lots of seafood, curries, and noodle dishes. It's fun to enjoy a beachside restaurant that lets you sit right by the water looking off into a tropical paradise.


Is Bali or Koh Tao Better for Nightlife?

Bali
Koh Tao

Both Bali and Koh Tao 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 Tao has a large number of nightlife venues. While most people head for the island for its scuba diving, when the sun goes down everyone heads to the beach to party. The island has a very active nightlife scene with full moon parties, dance clubs, beachside bars, and more. Head to Sairee Beach for the most active nightlife and entertainment options.

Is Bali or Koh Tao Better for Resorts?

Bali
Koh Tao

Luxury resorts are fairly comparable in Bali and Koh Tao.

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 Tao is a popular resort destination that attracts visitors from everywhere. While it's mostly famous as a diving destination, there are also a diversity of resorts, from luxury to affordable, available on the island. The beaches are beautiful and many resorts offer scuba diving packages as well.

Is Bali or Koh Tao Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Bali
Koh Tao

Bali and Koh Tao both offer scuba diving or snorkeling spots.

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.

People travel to Koh Tao specifically to enjoy its famous scuba diving and snorkeling areas. The island is Thailand's most famous scuba diving destination for it's affordable certifications and prolific dive shops. There are a variety of dive sites near the island, but with fame and popularity come challenges. The coral and sealife is feeling the pressure of the high number of tourists, but the training you receive here is affordable and well-established.

Is Bali or Koh Tao Better for Beaches?

Bali
Koh Tao

Bali and Koh Tao 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 Tao are among the best in the world. The white sand beaches have a mellow vibe with beautiful blue waters. This is a true tropical paradise with beachside cafes, easy snorkeling, and warm water. The beaches range from quiet and isolated to high energy and vibrant.


Is Bali or Koh Tao Better for Hiking?

Bali
Koh Tao

You'll find hiking in both Bali and Koh Tao.

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 Tao. Hiking is the best way to enjoy the inland beauty of the island. There are paths that take you through the jungle covered land to viewpoints and remote areas. Many paths are rustic and not always well maintained so it's helpful to ask a local for directions beforehand.

Is Bali or Koh Tao Better for Shopping?

Bali
Koh Tao

Both Bali and Koh Tao are good shopping destinations.

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 Tao has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The main beach areas of Mae Haad, Sairee, and Chalok Baan Kao have the highest concentration of clothing and dive equipment shops. Because it's an island with limited access, prices can be a bit high.

Is Bali or Koh Tao Better for Families?

Bali
Koh Tao

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

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 Tao is a family-friendly island. The island is popular for its affordable scuba diving certifications, so there are a number of options for families with older kids who'd like to get certified. It's a more laid back and smaller island than some of the nearby places, so it's possible to find quiet beaches where your family can relax. Some of the quieter beaches include Sai Nuan and Ao Luek.

Is Bali or Koh Tao Better for Couples?

Bali
Koh Tao

Both Bali and Koh Tao are good destinations to visit as a couple.

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 Tao makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. This laid back island offers a relaxing honeymoon destination for couples who want to learn to scuba dive and enjoy a bit of tropical paradise. There are beachside restaurants, beautiful blue waters, and white sand - everything you need for your own piece of paradise.


Is Bali or Koh Tao Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Bali
Koh Tao

Both Bali and Koh Tao 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 Tao, as it is a very popular island for budget travelers. The island is an oasis for backpackers who want to enjoy the mellow island life, cheap scuba diving, and beachside parties. There are plenty of affordable places to stay and countless opportunities to meet other backpackers. The island is also well connected to other nearby islands.

Is Bali or Koh Tao Better for Public Transit?

Bali
Koh Tao

Both Bali and Koh Tao 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 Tao. You can rent a motorbike or bicycle to explore the island. There are also taxis and taxi boats available.

Is Bali or Koh Tao a more walkable city?

Bali
Koh Tao

Koh Tao is considered more walkable than Bali.

Koh Tao is a very walkable island. The island is smaller than many in Thailand, and the small towns are usually no more than 5 kilometers apart. It's also possible to walk around most small towns.

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

Should I spend more time in Koh Tao or Bali?

How long in Bali or Koh Tao?

Both Bali and Koh Tao have a number of activities to choose from. You can spend a similar amount of time exploring either.

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 Tao is 2-7 days.


  • How many days in Bali or Koh Tao? Ideal Length of Stay
    Bali 5-7 
    Koh Tao 2-7

One day in Bali or Koh Tao?

In Bali, you'll find nightlife and food. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. This island offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

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


A weekend in Bali or Koh Tao?

In Bali, you'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Koh Tao is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Five days in Bali or Koh Tao?

Bali is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Bali has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Visitors enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting the tropical destination of Koh Tao. This island offers something for everyone. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

A week in Bali or Koh Tao?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Bali. In Bali, you'll find shopping and nightlife. It's also a relaxing resort destination. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the tropical island of Koh Tao. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Many people spend one week here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Because of this, one week is usually enough time for a trip here.

Which city is cheaper, Koh Tao or Bali?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Bali is $62, while the average daily cost in Koh Tao is $33. 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 Tao in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bali $35
    Koh Tao $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bali $70
    Koh Tao $26
Compare Hotels in Bali and Koh Tao

Looking for a hotel in Bali or Koh Tao? 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 Tao


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.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Bali Hotel Prices and Koh Tao Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bali $7.78
    Koh Tao $7.76
Typical Local Transportation prices in Bali

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


  • Motorbike Rental
    $3.34

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bali

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bali:

  • Private Transfer from Bali to Sitia (JSH) Airport: $394
  • Crete Private Transfer from Bali city to Heraklion (HER) Airport: $108
  • Bali Departure Private Transfers from Bali Central to Bali Airport DPS: $83
  • Bali Airport: Luxury Private Transfer by Alphard Vellfire: $65
  • Ubud: Jungle Trampoline, Swing & Luwak Coffee with Transfer: $57
  • Airport transfer and tour service: $56
  • Departure Private Transfer Nusa Dua or Seminyak to Bali Airport DPS by Minivan: $52
  • Airport Transfer Service from Area Ubud / Tanah Lot / Pecatu (13 Seater): $52
  • Airport Transfer Service from Area Ubud / Tanah Lot / Pecatu (8 seater): $41
  • Return Private Transfer for Night Safari: $41
  • Airport Transfer Service from Area Ubud / Tanah Lot / Pecatu: $23
  • Private One-Way Transfer Between Legian & DPS Airport: $17

Typical Local Transportation prices in Koh Tao

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


  • Motorbike Rental
    $5.80
  • Chumpon to Koh Tao Ferry
    $20

Is it cheaper to fly into Bali or Koh Tao?

Prices for flights to both Koh Tao 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 Tao $8.29
Typical Food prices in Bali

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


  • Coffee
    $1.34
  • Lunch for Two
    $15
  • Bali Cafe for Two
    $29
  • Lunch for Two
    $8.68
  • Lunch for 2
    $9.62
  • Dinner for 2
    $11

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 Tao

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Koh Tao:


  • Sit Down Lunch (for One)
    $6.10
  • Breakfast
    $4.58
  • Casual Breakfast (for Two)
    $3.66
  • Fancy Dinner (for Two)
    $15
  • Pancake
    $2.14
  • American Breakfast (for Two)
    $8.54
  • Dinner at Bam Bam (for Two)
    $8.24

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Bali $9.32
    Koh Tao $24
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:

  • 2 Days Rinjani Trekking Tour: $250
  • Amazing Nusa Penida Snorkeling Experience: $63
  • Ancient Tour to Yeh Pulu and Goa Gajah: $45
  • Ayung River: All Inclusive Rafting Adventure: $26
  • Bali - Kintamani Tour: $65
  • Bali - Ubud Tour: $60
  • Bali 5 Days Tour & Activities - All Included: $306
  • Bali ATV or Quad Bike Tandem Tour Package: $101
  • Bali Alternative Temples Private Group Tour: $74
  • Bali Bird Park 1-Day Admission Ticket: $25
  • Bali Countryside Bike Tour Package: $101
  • Bali Full-Day Private Customized Tour: $50

Typical Entertainment prices in Koh Tao

For Koh Tao, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Kayak Rental (One Hour)
    $7.63
  • Snorkel Rental
    $3.05
  • Kayak and Snorkel (2)
    $3.05

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bali $2.75
    Koh Tao $6.39

Typical Alcohol prices in Koh Tao

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Koh Tao from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $1.98
  • Bottle of Wine
    $11


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Bali and Koh Tao, we can see that Bali is more expensive. And not only is Koh Tao much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Koh Tao would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Koh Tao 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 Tao.


When is the best time to visit Bali or Koh Tao?

Both destinations experience a warmer tropical climate most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season. Although in the rainy season, it doesn't necessarily rain every day.

Should I visit Bali or Koh Tao in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Bali as well as Koh Tao. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Bali throughout the year. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Koh Tao throughout the year.

Also, April to September in Bali is the dry season. It's quite rainy in Koh Tao. Bali usually gets less rain in July than Koh Tao. Bali gets 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain, while Koh Tao receives 174 mm (6.9 in) of rain this time of the year.

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Bali this time of the year. In the summer, Bali often gets more sunshine than Koh Tao. Bali gets 253 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Koh Tao receives 195 hours of full sun.

Bali is a little warmer than Koh Tao in the summer. The temperature in Bali is usually 27°C (81°F) in July, and Koh Tao stays around 24°C (76°F).


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

Should I visit Bali or Koh Tao in the Autumn?

Both Koh Tao and Bali are popular destinations to visit in the autumn 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 Tao because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

The rainy season in Bali is October to March. The rainy season in Koh Tao is October and November. It rains a lot this time of the year in Koh Tao. In October, Bali usually receives less rain than Koh Tao. Bali gets 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Koh Tao receives 276 mm (10.9 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Bali. Bali usually receives more sunshine than Koh Tao during autumn. Bali gets 266 hours of sunny skies, while Koh Tao receives 167 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In the autumn, Bali is a little warmer than Koh Tao. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Bali in October are around 27°C (81°F), and Koh Tao is about 24°C (76°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Bali 27°C (81°F) 
    Koh Tao 24°C (76°F)

Should I visit Bali or Koh Tao in the Winter?

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

October to March is the rainy season in Bali. February to June is the dry season in Koh Tao. Bali usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Koh Tao. Bali gets 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain, while Koh Tao receives 94 mm (3.7 in) of rain this time of the year.

In Koh Tao, it's very sunny this time of the year. In the winter, Bali often gets less sunshine than Koh Tao. Bali gets 170 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Koh Tao receives 255 hours of full sun.

In January, Bali is generally a little warmer than Koh Tao. Temperatures in Bali average around 26°C (79°F), and Koh Tao stays around 22°C (72°F).


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

Should I visit Bali or Koh Tao in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Bali and Koh Tao. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Bali throughout the year. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Koh Tao throughout the year.

April to September in Bali is the dry season. February to June in Koh Tao is the dry season. In April, Bali usually receives around the same amount of rain as Koh Tao. Bali gets 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Koh Tao receives 74 mm (2.9 in) of rain each month for the spring.

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Koh Tao this time of the year. In Bali, it's very sunny this time of the year. Bali usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Koh Tao during spring. Bali gets 226 hours of sunny skies, while Koh Tao receives 239 hours of full sun in the spring.

Bali is around the same temperature as Koh Tao in the spring. The temperature in Bali is usually 27°C (81°F) in April, and Koh Tao stays around 25°C (77°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Bali 27°C (81°F) 
    Koh Tao 25°C (77°F)

Typical Weather for Koh Tao and Bali

Bali Koh Tao
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 26°C (79°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 22°C (72°F) 94 mm (3.7 in)
Feb 26°C (79°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 23°C (74°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Mar 27°C (81°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 24°C (75°F) 57 mm (2.2 in)
Apr 27°C (81°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 25°C (77°F) 74 mm (2.9 in)
May 28°C (82°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 25°C (78°F) 189 mm (7.4 in)
Jun 27°C (81°F) 50 mm (2 in) 25°C (78°F) 174 mm (6.9 in)
Jul 27°C (81°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 24°C (76°F) 174 mm (6.9 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 25°C (76°F) 206 mm (8.1 in)
Sep 27°C (81°F) 50 mm (2 in) 25°C (77°F) 158 mm (6.2 in)
Oct 27°C (81°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 24°C (76°F) 276 mm (10.9 in)
Nov 27°C (81°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 23°C (74°F) 380 mm (15 in)
Dec 27°C (81°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 23°C (73°F) 118 mm (4.6 in)


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Bali vs. Koh Tao Travel Comparison

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