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

Should you visit Khao Lak or Penang?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Khao Lak and Penang 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.

Penang

Just off the northwestern coast of Malaysia is the charming and diverse island state of Penang. As the link between the ancient kingdoms of Asia and Europe's colonial empire, this area is enriched with Malay, Chinese, Indian and European influences. This exciting culture is centered in George Town, the main city of the state.

Which city is cheaper, Penang or Khao Lak?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Khao Lak is $104, while the average daily cost in Penang is $93. 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 Penang in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Khao Lak is $98. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $86 for a double occupancy room in Penang.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Khao Lak $49
    Penang $43
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Khao Lak $98
    Penang $86

Food

On average, meal and food prices in Khao Lak cost around $28 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 Penang travelers spend around $30 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 $28
    Penang $30

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

Typical Food prices in Penang

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


  • Snack
    $1.91
  • Dinner at The Suffolk House (for 2)
    $82
  • Lunch at Sakae Sushi (for 2)
    $69
  • Lassy Juice
    $1.67
  • Dinner for 2
    $3.58
  • Street Stall Food
    $0.67
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $4.53
  • Italian Lunch (for Two)
    $11

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Penang

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

  • Dinner at Penang Hill: $91
  • Private Dinner at THE TOP with Skywalk Experience from Penang: $103
  • Private Malaysian Cooking Tour with Lunch from Penang: $119

Local Transportation

The cost of a taxi ride in Khao Lak is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $47 per person, per day, on local transportation in Khao Lak.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $11 per day to get around in Penang.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Khao Lak $47
    Penang $11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Khao Lak

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Khao Lak:

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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Penang

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Penang:


  • Local Bus
    $1.43
  • Island Ferry
    $0.57
  • Bus From Airport to George Town
    $0.64
  • Taxi From Airport to George Town
    $11
  • Motorbike Rental (One Day)
    $7.16
  • Bicycle Rental (One Day)
    $2.39

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Penang

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Penang:

  • Airport Private Transfer: Penang Airport to or from Town Hotel (6 seater): $23
  • Airport Transfer Service: $34
  • Escape Theme Park with One-Way Transfer from Penang: $60
  • Penang Airport Transfer to any Georgetown City Hotel or vice versa: $19
  • Penang Arrival Transfer: $11
  • Penang City Hotels to Kuala Lumpur Airport One-way Transfer: $103
  • Penang City to Kuala Lumpur City One-way Transfer: $103
  • Penang City to Kuala Lumpur International Airport One-way Transfer: $103
  • Penang to Kuala Lumpur transfer with sightseeing(optional): $206
  • Private Airport Transfer: Penang Island to Penang International Airport (PEN): $17
  • Private Economy Penang Airport Transfer-Departure: $25
  • Private Penang Arrival transfer to Hotel: $12

Is it cheaper to fly into Khao Lak or Penang?

Prices for flights to both Penang 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.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $44 per person, per day in Penang. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Khao Lak $17
    Penang $44

Tours and Activities in Khao Lak

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

  • Jungle Trekking to Waterfall and Adventure Tubing 45 min. (Only Khao lak): $80
  • Local Life Experience (Takuapa): $84
  • Cheow Lan Lake & Coral Cave Tour with Kayaking: $87
  • From Similan Islands Speed Boat Tour: $102
  • Adventure Off Road Safari to Khao Lak National Park: $103
  • Khao Lak to Similan Islands Snorkeling Tour: $109
  • From Phuket: Similan Islands Tour by Speed Boat: $110
  • From Phuket: Full-Day All Adventure w/ White Water Rafting: $115
  • Similan Islands One Day Tour From Khao Lak: $118
  • Similan Islands Snorkeling Tour By Speed Catamaran From Khao Lak: $122
  • Phi Phi Islands - Early Bird Snorkeling Tour from Khao Lak in English, French, German, Italian: $126
  • Similan Islands Snorkeling VIP Tour From Khao Lak: $127

Typical Entertainment prices in Penang

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


  • Butterfly Gardens
    $7.40
  • Trishaw Tour (One Hour)
    $7.16
  • Fort Cornwallis Entrance
    $0.48
  • Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi Entrance
    $2.39

Tours and Activities in Penang

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

  • The Habitat at Penang Hill Official Admission Ticket: $13
  • Penang Street Food Experience: $29
  • Penang Hill and Temple Tour: $36
  • Private George Town Heritage Tour from Penang: $49
  • Private Discovery Tour of Entopia from Penang: $58
  • Group Tour : Half Day Penang Guided Trip: $61
  • Penang Day Tour and Sightseeing: $62
  • Penang Day Tour and Sightseeing: $62
  • Penang Full-Day Private Customizable Tour with Pick Up: $70
  • Penang Hourly Tour with Driver cum Guide: $77
  • Group Tour : Full Day Pulau Penang Exploration with English Speaking Guide: $81
  • Penang Heritage Tour: $90

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.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Penang may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $14 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Khao Lak $12
    Penang $14

Typical Alcohol prices in Penang

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Penang:


  • Beer
    $1.91


When comparing the travel costs between Khao Lak and Penang, we can see that Khao Lak is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Asia, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Khao Lak vs. Penang Travel Comparison

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