A Travel Price Comparison for Thailand Bangkok vs. Koh Pha Ngan for Food, Nightlife, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit Bangkok or Koh Pha Ngan?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Bangkok and Koh Pha Ngan can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Bangkok

Bangkok is a spirited, colorful, and vibrant capital city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Koh Pha Ngan

Koh Pha Ngan is a tropical, party-oriented, and high energy party island. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for nightlife, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Bangkok and Koh Pha Ngan: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good for shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with couples


How is Bangkok 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 Bangkok. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Bangkok or Koh Pha Ngan Better for Food?

Bangkok
Koh Pha Ngan

Bangkok has a longer list of notable local restaurants than Koh Pha Ngan.

Many restaurants in Bangkok have been singled out for their culinary prowess. The city is filled with colorful markets, street food vendors, and a range of restaurants from casual to high end. The aroma and beautiful flavors of local dishes are a big part of the experience in this city. Dishes that you must try include Pad Thai, Tom Yum Goong (shrimp soup), and Gaeng Daeng (red curry). Many foods are very spicy so make sure you order with "no spice" if that is your preference.

Koh Pha Ngan has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. 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.


Is Bangkok or Koh Pha Ngan Better for Nightlife?

Bangkok
Koh Pha Ngan

It's hard to distinguish whether Bangkok or Koh Pha Ngan has a better nightlife scene.

People head to Bangkok just to party. Cheap drinks, late nights, and crazy parties make this city a favorite for backpackers and young party-goers. Head to Khao San Road for the biggest crowds and crazy parties. Nana Plaza is another option with a three story building that is filled with bars and clubs.

The nightlife in Koh Pha Ngan is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. 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.

Is Bangkok or Koh Pha Ngan Better for Shopping?

Bangkok
Koh Pha Ngan

While Koh Pha Ngan and Bangkok are both popular shopping destinations, overall Bangkok is considered to be better.

Bangkok is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. Shopping options range from modern malls to more traditional markets. The malls offer bargain prices for technology and gadgets while the markets offer fabric, food, local goods, and a unique experience. The city also has nearby floating markets as well as night markets, which let you experience a different side to the culture.

If you're looking to go shopping, Koh Pha Ngan has some nice offerings. 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.

Is Bangkok or Koh Pha Ngan Better for Families?

Bangkok
Koh Pha Ngan

Both Bangkok and Koh Pha Ngan are fun to visit with kids.

Bangkok is a very family-friendly place to visit. This city is full of energy and kids will love the vibrant atmosphere. There are colorful temples, spirited markets, and kid-friendly museums. It's good to choose a hotel with a pool, as temperatures can get hot during the day. Kids will also enjoy having new experiences like riding in a tuk tuk or taking a boat ride. There are also a number of amusement parks and entertainment centers around town.

Koh Pha Ngan offers lots of family activities. 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.

Is Bangkok or Koh Pha Ngan Better for Couples?

Bangkok
Koh Pha Ngan

Bangkok offers a wider variety of romantic activities for couples than Koh Pha Ngan.

Bangkok is a great capital city for couples, as it has plenty to offer. This is a great city for couples who enjoy culture, food, partying, and soaking up life. Wandering the grounds of the stunning temples, sampling food at the markets, or taking a boat cruise will all make memorable experiences.

Koh Pha Ngan makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. 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.


Is Bangkok or Koh Pha Ngan Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Bangkok
Koh Pha Ngan

Bangkok and Koh Pha Ngan are comparable places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Bangkok is a mecca for backpackers and budget travelers. This part of the world is a mecca for backpackers, and many arrive or depart from this city. It's filled with hostels and budget accommodation, as well as entertainment, bars, tours (and even scams so stay alert). The most famous backpacker area is around Khao San Road, where you'll find parties, bars, street food, and large crowds. If you're looking for a slightly more mellow vibe, you should consider a different area like Phaya Thai.

With so many budget-friendly offerings, Koh Pha Ngan is extremely popular for backpackers. 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.

Is Bangkok or Koh Pha Ngan Better for Public Transit?

Bangkok
Koh Pha Ngan

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Bangkok and Koh Pha Ngan.

You'll find some public transit in Bangkok, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. The Skytrain and Metro are the most efficient way to get around. The city's crazy traffic can make buses and taxis a bit frustrating, but tuk tuks are also a fun option.

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.

Is Bangkok or Koh Pha Ngan a more walkable city?

Bangkok
Koh Pha Ngan

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

Bangkok is generally not very walkable. The crowds and size make walking a bit challenging, so it's best to plan your day in advance.

Koh Pha Ngan is a somewhat walkable place. 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.

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

How long in Bangkok or Koh Pha Ngan?

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

The ideal length of time for a trip to Bangkok is 2-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Koh Pha Ngan is 3-5 days.


  • How many days in Bangkok or Koh Pha Ngan? Ideal Length of Stay
    Bangkok 2-7 
    Koh Pha Ngan 3-5

One day in Bangkok or Koh Pha Ngan?

Each neighborhood in Bangkok has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. 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.

In Koh Pha Ngan, you'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. This party island offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.


A weekend in Bangkok or Koh Pha Ngan?

Bangkok is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. So, a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

In Koh Pha Ngan, you'll find nightlife and food. 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.

Five days in Bangkok or Koh Pha Ngan?

Each neighborhood in Bangkok has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. So, five days is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Koh Pha Ngan is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Koh Pha Ngan has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Bangkok or Koh Pha Ngan?

Bangkok is a popular place to visit. Many people spend one week here. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Koh Pha Ngan. Many people enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife when visiting Koh Pha Ngan. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Which city is cheaper, Koh Pha Ngan or Bangkok?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Bangkok is $63, while the average daily cost in Koh Pha Ngan is $39. 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 Bangkok and Koh Pha Ngan in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bangkok $34
    Koh Pha Ngan $20
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bangkok $68
    Koh Pha Ngan $40
Compare Hotels in Bangkok and Koh Pha Ngan

Looking for a hotel in Bangkok 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 Bangkok


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.


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

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bangkok $4.26
    Koh Pha Ngan $11
Typical Local Transportation prices in Bangkok

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Bangkok are as follows:


  • Tuk Tuk to bus station
    $2.37
  • Skytrain Ticket
    $4.74
  • Chao Phraya River Express Ticket
    $0.95
  • Ferry Ride
    $0.77
  • Taxi From Airport
    $7.41
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $2.67
  • Boat Taxi
    $1.48
  • Trains to airport
    $4.74

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bangkok

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bangkok:

  • 6 Seater SUV transfer service between Bangkok airport and downtown Bangkok: $41
  • Airport Transfer from Trang Airport to Hotels: $13
  • Airport Transfer outside Bangkok: $87
  • Airport transfer to Bangkok downtown: $24
  • Amazing Muay Thai Show Bangkok include Transfer: $45
  • Amphawa Floating Market Day Tour Bangkok Private Transfer Roud Trip: $145
  • Arrival Private Airport Transfer : Bangkok Airport to Hotel in Bangkok: $37
  • Private Car Transfer Bangkok Airport (SUV-DMK) - Hua Hin Hotel: $91
  • Private Car Transfer Bangkok City - Hua Hin Hotel: $91
  • Private Car Transfer Bangkok City - Pattaya City: $51
  • Private Car Transfer Bangkok City Center - Donmaung Airport: $36
  • Private Car Transfer Bangkok City Center - Suvarnabhumi Airport: $36

Typical Local Transportation prices in Koh Pha Ngan

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


  • Scooter Rental
    $8.89
  • Ferry Ride
    $15
  • Gas for Scooter
    $3.26

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

Prices for flights to both Koh Pha Ngan and Bangkok 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
    Bangkok $15
    Koh Pha Ngan $8.92
Typical Food prices in Bangkok

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Bangkok:


  • Dinner at Hard Rock Cafe (for Two)
    $27
  • Casual Lunch of Prawns (for Two)
    $5.93
  • 2 Rotis (Bread)
    $1.33
  • Mango & Sticky Rice
    $0.89
  • Lunch at KFC (for Two)
    $5.93
  • Pad Thai
    $2.08
  • Airport Lunch for 2
    $16
  • Lunch for 2
    $22

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bangkok

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

  • Silom Village Authentic Thai Dinner and Performance Ticket: $17
  • Luxurious Afternoon Tea or Dinner at the Erawan Tea Rooms: $26
  • Skip the Line: Baiyoke Sky Hotel Observation Deck Ticket with Lunch or Dinner: $26
  • Bangkok Thai Classical Dance with Thai Set Dinner Ticket: $27
  • 2-Hour Dinner & Shows on White Orchid River Cruise: $30
  • Bangkok Calypso Cabaret Show With Optional Dinner & Transfers: $31
  • Bangkok Calypso Cabaret Show Tour With Optional Dinner.: $31
  • Skip the Line:Bangkok Calypso Cabaret Show Ticket w/(optional) Dinner &Transfers: $32
  • Dinner Cruise on Chao Phraya River in Bangkok (Optional Transfers): $34
  • Bangkok Dinner Cruise on Chao Phraya River: $34
  • Bangkok White Orchid Dinner Cruise: $34
  • Bangkok Dinner Cruise on the Chao Phraya River: $34

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)
    $1.19
  • Sit Down Dinner (for Two)
    $11
  • Smoothies (for Two)
    $1.19
  • Ice Cream
    $0.59
  • Juice
    $1.78
  • 3 Spring Rolls
    $0.89
  • 2 Pancakes
    $1.78

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Bangkok $12
    Koh Pha Ngan $15
Typical Entertainment prices in Bangkok

Here are a few typical costs in Bangkok for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Movie Ticket
    $4.74
  • Grand Palace Entrance Ticket
    $10
  • Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha) Ticket
    $1.48
  • Dusit Zoo Entrance Fee (for Two)
    $5.93
  • Club Cover Charge
    $11
  • Thai Boxing Tickets (for Two)
    $71
  • Fish Pedicure
    $4.45
  • Wat Pho entrance ticket
    $2.96
  • Siriraj Museum (2)
    $12

Tours and Activities in Bangkok

Here are a few actual costs in Bangkok for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Old Bangkok Instagram Tour: $4.70
  • Road to Democracy Audio Tour: Discover Thailand's volatile modern politics: $5.00
  • Red Lights, Hummus, and a Beer Stop or Three: Audio Tour of Nana by VoiceMap: $5.13
  • Bangkok Chinatown Eats Self-guided Walking and Eating Tour by VoiceMap: $5.13
  • Samut Prakan: Erawan Museum Discounted Admission Ticket: $9.39
  • Kids Special: Bangkok Fantasia Lagoon Water Park Tickets: $10
  • Bangkok Calypso Cabaret Show Ticket: $10
  • Art in Paradise Bangkok Entrance (Ticket Only): $10
  • Calypso Cabaret Show Ticket in Bangkok: $10
  • 1-Hour Guided Patpong Museum Tour: $11
  • Art in Paradise Bangkok Tickets: $12
  • The Patpong Museum Bangkok Ticket: $14

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bangkok $7.07
    Koh Pha Ngan $8.60
Typical Alcohol prices in Bangkok

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Bangkok are as follows:


  • Beer
    $1.19

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)
    $7.71


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Bangkok and Koh Pha Ngan, we can see that Bangkok 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 Bangkok would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bangkok than you might in Koh Pha Ngan.


When is the best time to visit Bangkok 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 Bangkok or Koh Pha Ngan in the Summer?

Both Koh Pha Ngan and Bangkok are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Bangkok throughout the year. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Koh Pha Ngan throughout the year.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Koh Pha Ngan. It's quite rainy in Bangkok. In July, Bangkok usually receives more rain than Koh Pha Ngan. Bangkok gets 155 mm (6.1 in) of rain, while Koh Pha Ngan receives 143 mm (5.6 in) of rain each month for the summer.

Bangkok is a little warmer than Koh Pha Ngan in the summer. The temperature in Bangkok is usually 29°C (84°F) in July, and Koh Pha Ngan stays around 24°C (76°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Bangkok 29°C (84°F) 
    Koh Pha Ngan 24°C (76°F)

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

Both Koh Pha Ngan and Bangkok during the autumn are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Bangkok 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.

November to February is the dry season in Bangkok. May to October is the rainy season in Bangkok. December to March is the dry season in Koh Pha Ngan. October and November is the rainy season in Koh Pha Ngan. Koh Pha Ngan gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Bangkok. Bangkok usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Koh Pha Ngan. Bangkok gets 242 mm (9.5 in) of rain, while Koh Pha Ngan receives 240 mm (9.5 in) of rain this time of the year.

In the autumn, Bangkok is a little warmer than Koh Pha Ngan. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Bangkok in October are around 28°C (83°F), and Koh Pha Ngan is about 24°C (75°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Bangkok 28°C (83°F) 
    Koh Pha Ngan 24°C (75°F)

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

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Bangkok and Koh Pha Ngan. Bangkok 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.

November to February in Bangkok is the dry season. December to March in Koh Pha Ngan is the dry season. In January, Bangkok usually receives less rain than Koh Pha Ngan. Bangkok gets 9 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Koh Pha Ngan receives 51 mm (2 in) of rain each month for the winter.

In January, Bangkok is generally a little warmer than Koh Pha Ngan. Temperatures in Bangkok average around 27°C (80°F), and Koh Pha Ngan stays around 22°C (72°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Bangkok 27°C (80°F) 
    Koh Pha Ngan 22°C (72°F)

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

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

May to October in Bangkok is the rainy season. Bangkok usually gets more rain in April than Koh Pha Ngan. Bangkok gets 65 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Koh Pha Ngan receives 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain this time of the year.

Bangkok is a little warmer than Koh Pha Ngan in the spring. The temperature in Bangkok is usually 31°C (87°F) in April, and Koh Pha Ngan stays around 24°C (76°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Bangkok 31°C (87°F) 
    Koh Pha Ngan 24°C (76°F)

Typical Weather for Koh Pha Ngan and Bangkok

Bangkok Koh Pha Ngan
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 27°C (80°F) 9 mm (0.4 in) 22°C (72°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Feb 28°C (82°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) 22°C (72°F) 11 mm (0.4 in)
Mar 29°C (85°F) 29 mm (1.1 in) 23°C (74°F) 24 mm (0.9 in)
Apr 31°C (87°F) 65 mm (2.6 in) 24°C (76°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
May 30°C (86°F) 220 mm (8.7 in) 25°C (77°F) 164 mm (6.5 in)
Jun 29°C (85°F) 149 mm (5.9 in) 25°C (77°F) 145 mm (5.7 in)
Jul 29°C (84°F) 155 mm (6.1 in) 24°C (76°F) 143 mm (5.6 in)
Aug 29°C (84°F) 197 mm (7.8 in) 24°C (76°F) 140 mm (5.5 in)
Sep 28°C (83°F) 344 mm (13.5 in) 25°C (76°F) 196 mm (7.7 in)
Oct 28°C (83°F) 242 mm (9.5 in) 24°C (75°F) 240 mm (9.5 in)
Nov 27°C (81°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 23°C (74°F) 335 mm (13.2 in)
Dec 26°C (79°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 23°C (73°F) 134 mm (5.3 in)


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Bangkok vs. Koh Pha Ngan Travel Comparison

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