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 $100, while the average daily cost in El Nido 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. 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 $94. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $24 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 $47
    El Nido $12
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Khao Lak $94
    El Nido $24

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 $10 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 $10

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Khao Lak

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

  • Thai Akha Kitchen Cooking Class & Local Market Tour: $23
  • Tom Yum Thai Cooking Class with Market Tour in Chiang Mai: $23
  • Asia Scenic Thai Cooking Class: $25
  • Siamese Cookery House Thai Cooking Class in Bangkok: $26
  • InFusion Cooking Classes in Koh Samui: $26
  • Sompong Thai Cooking Class: $27
  • Galangal Cooking Class with Market Tour in Chiang Mai: $28
  • Lanna Smile Thai Cooking Class in Chiang Mai: $29
  • Chocolate Cooking Class at SO Sofitel Bangkok: $31
  • Thai Cooking Course Hua Hin: $31
  • Pum Thai Cooking Class in Patong Beach: $31
  • Bangkok Thai Cooking Academy: $31

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in El Nido

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

  • Cebu Street Half Day Food Tour: $17
  • Dining Voucher at the Firehouse Pizza (of Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, Manila): $18
  • Okada Manila Sunset Experience with Dinner Buffet: $54
  • Kwentong Dagat Stay with Full-Board Meal & Vegan Cooking Class: $90
  • Holiday Inn Manila Galleria with Breakfast & Dinner: $100
  • Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria with Breakfast & Dinner: $110
  • 4D3N Casa Bianca Siargao Stay with Breakfast, Dinner at Wild Siargao & 20% Discount Coupon at KudoSurf: $184

Local Transportation

The cost of a taxi ride in Khao Lak is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $45 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 $45
    El Nido $17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Khao Lak

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Khao Lak:

  • [Next Day Result] COVID-19 RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Test by Nabon Inter Medical Clinic in Phuket (Transfer arranged by TTD): $21
  • [Next Day Result] COVID-19 RT-PCR Test by Bangkok Hospital Phuket (Transfer Arranged by TTD): $105
  • Tiger Kingdom Ticket in Phuket with Transfers: $22
  • Tiger Kingdom Ticket in Chiang Mai with Transfers: $5.59
  • Shared Minivan Transfers between Krabi & Khao Sok: $16
  • Shared Minivan Transfers between Krabi & Khao Lak: $17
  • Shared Airport Bus Transfer Phuket : $3.09
  • Samui Airport Transfers (USM) for Koh Samui and More: $15
  • 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
  • Private Suvarnabhumi Airport Transfers (BKK) for Bangkok, Pattaya, and More by Oriental Holiday: $17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Nido

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

  • Club Paradise Palawan Stay with Dining/Spa Credits and Transfers [Valid til Dec 2022]: $268
  • Discovery Shores Boracay Stay with Dining/Spa Credits and Transfers [Valid til Dec 2022]: $272
  • Private Intercity Transfer Between Simala Shrine and Cebu City and Mactan Island: $51
  • Private Intercity Transfer between Cebu City/Mactan and Moalboal, Oslob, and More: $26
  • Private Transfers between Cebu Safari and Cebu City and Mactan: $61
  • Altabriza Resort Boracay 3D2N All-In Stay with Breakfast, Island Hopping, & Transfers: $95
  • Buy 2, Get 1 Night FREE at Casa Kalaw (Stay with Breakfast & Transfers): $435
  • DiveGurus Boracay 3D2N All-In Stay with Breakfast, Island Hopping, & Transfers: $56
  • El Nido to Puerto Princesa - Private Transfer: $115
  • El Nido to Sabang Private Transfer: $140
  • Ferra Hotel and Garden Suites Boracay 3D2N All-In Stay with Breakfast, Island Hopping, & Transfers: $156
  • Godofredo P. Ramos Airport Transfers (MPH) for Boracay: $11

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 $4.80 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Khao Lak $17
    El Nido $4.80

Tours and Activities in Khao Lak

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

  • 4 Island Day Tour by Speedboat or Longtail Boat from Lanta Island: $31
  • ATV Half Day Adventure in Pattaya: $28
  • Ancient Ayutthaya Tour: Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, Bang Pa-In Royal Palace & More by AK Travel: $33
  • Aquaria Phuket Ticket: $4.95
  • Ayutthaya Day Tour from Bangkok with Bang Pa In and Night Market Visit┬áby TTD: $31
  • Ayutthaya Day Tour from Bangkok with Bang Pa-In Summer Palace and Market Visit: $35
  • Bangkok Floating Markets Day Tour from Siam Paragon by TTD: $28
  • Dii Wellness Med Spa Experience by Divana at Central Embassy BTS Ploenchit: $62
  • Go Bangkok e-Scooter Tour: $46
  • Indoor Go Karting Experience by EasyKart Bangkok: $13
  • Krabi Koh Klang Cultural Day Tour by TTD: $74
  • Krabi Sunrise Tour with Breakfast and Kayaking at Klong Nam Sai: $33

Tours and Activities in El Nido

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

  • Chocolate Hills Adventure Park Ticket in Bohol: $1.15
  • Zoocolate Thrills Ticket in Bohol: $2.39
  • Paradizoo Ticket in Tagaytay: $3.19
  • Dahilayan Adventure Park Ticket in Bukidnon: $3.60
  • Zoori at Residence Inn Ticket in Tagaytay: $3.99
  • Zoocobia Fun Zoo Ticket in Clark: $4.75
  • Milea Bee Farm Tour: $5.00
  • Nightmares Manila Admission Ticket: $5.10
  • Adventure Beach Waterpark Ticket in Subic: $6.35
  • Taraw Via Ferrata (Taraw Cliff, Canopy Walk Viewdeck and Dreamcatcher) Ticket in El Nido: $6.80
  • Baguio Historical Walking Tour: $7.00
  • Baguio Creative Walking Tour: $7.00

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 $7.46 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Khao Lak $12
    El Nido $7.46

Sample the Local Flavors in Khao Lak

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Khao Lak:

  • PB Valley Vineyard and Wine Tasting Tour in Khao Yai: $22
  • Bangkok Pub Crawl by Pub Crawls Thailand: $22


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.

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Khao Lak vs. El Nido Travel Comparison

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