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

Should you visit Khao Lak or El Nido?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Khao Lak and El Nido can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Khao Lak

Resiliency and relaxation. Those are the two words used to describe one of Thailand's most breathtaking cities. Khao Lak is located in southern Thailand, and when the tsunami of 2004 hit, this area saw the most damage. With more than 4,000 fatalities, 3,000 still unaccounted for and enormous structural damages, many thought Khao Lak would not be able to bounce back. They have proved everyone wrong with a strong and impressive recovery. Now it has returned to its status of vacation hotspot. Unlike neighboring Phuket, though, the resorts in Khao Lak are designed for families and some peace and quiet.

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 Khao Lak?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Khao Lak is $102, 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 Khao Lak and El Nido in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Khao Lak is $96. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

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
    Khao Lak $48
    El Nido $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Khao Lak $96
    El Nido $26

Food

On average, meal and food prices in Khao Lak cost around $27 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $11.

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
    Khao Lak $27
    El Nido $11

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Khao Lak

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

  • Riverside Thai Cooking Class in Khao Lak with Market Tour: $63
  • Thai Cooking Class in Khao Lak: $71

Local Transportation

The cost of a taxi ride in Khao Lak is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $46 per person, per day, on local transportation in Khao Lak.

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.
    Khao Lak $46
    El Nido $17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Khao Lak

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Khao Lak:

  • Shared Minivan Transfers between Krabi & Khao Sok: $16
  • Shared Minivan Transfers between Krabi & Khao Lak: $17
  • SUV Car Private Transfer from Khao Lak to Phuket Airport: $59
  • SUV Car Private Transfer from Khao Lak to Patong, Kata, Karon Beach: $100
  • Round Trip Private Transfer from Phuket Airport to Khao Lak: $60
  • Krabi Airport: Private Transfer to/from Khaolak: $64
  • Khao Lak any hotel to Krabi airport Private transfer: $113
  • Khao Lak any hotel to Koh Lanta any hotel Private transfer: $212

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Nido

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

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Khao Lak or El Nido?

Prices for flights to both El Nido and Khao Lak 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

Entertainment and activities in Khao Lak typically cost an average of $17 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in El Nido can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $4.87 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Khao Lak $17
    El Nido $4.87

Tours and Activities in Khao Lak

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

  • Adventure Off Road Safari to Khao Lak National Park: $103
  • Cheow Lan Lake & Coral Cave Tour with Kayaking: $87
  • From Similan Islands Speed Boat Tour: $102
  • From Krabi: Cheow Larn Lake Raft House Adventure: $271
  • From Phuket: Full-Day All Adventure w/ White Water Rafting: $115
  • From Phuket: Similan Islands Tour by Speed Boat: $110
  • Jungle Trekking to Waterfall and Adventure Tubing 45 min. (Only Khao lak): $80
  • Khao Lak to Similan Islands Snorkeling Tour: $109
  • Local Life Experience (Takuapa): $84
  • Phi Phi Islands - Early Bird Snorkeling Tour from Khao Lak in English, French, German, Italian: $126
  • Rafting, ATV and Ziplining Adventure in Phangnga: $147
  • Similan Islands One Day Tour From Khao Lak: $118

Tours and Activities in El Nido

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

  • Snorkeling/Island Hopping Tour A: $24
  • El Nido Island Hopping Tours(A-D): $25
  • EL Nido Tour A: $26
  • El Nido Island Hopping (Tour A) – Full Day: $28
  • Island Hopping Tour's,private Tours,packages Tours,transportation's: $30
  • El Nido Island Hopping Tour B: $32
  • EL Nido Tour D: $33
  • EL Nido Tour B: $35
  • El Nido Tour A With Big Or Small Lagoon: $39
  • EL Nido Tour C: $40
  • El Nido to Puerto Princesa via Underground River Tour: $49
  • Nacpan El Nido Tour: $50

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Khao Lak may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $12 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Typically, people visiting El Nido spend on average $7.57 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Khao Lak $12
    El Nido $7.57


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

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Khao Lak vs. El Nido Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.