A Travel Price Comparison for Thailand Koh Chang vs. Railay Beach for Beaches, Couples, Resorts, and Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

Should you visit Koh Chang or Railay Beach?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Koh Chang or Railay Beach, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Koh Chang

Koh Chang is a idyllic, serene, and tranquil island. You'll find world class beauty here as well. It's also known for nightlife, food, and beaches.

Railay Beach

Railay Beach is a dramatic, spectacular, and fun-filled beach area. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Other reasons to visit include food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Koh Chang and Railay Beach: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Not as popular for scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Koh Chang or Railay Beach?

Both Railay Beach and Koh Chang have plenty of things to do for travelers. Both provide a wide variety of sights and activities for tourists. Koh Chang is more popular for its beaches and hiking, while Railay Beach is known for its scuba diving & snorkeling. Railay Beach is more touristy than Koh Chang and is popular for its beautiful limestone cliffs and its world famous rock climbing. Koh Chang is popular for its natural setting, rugged jungles, and peaceful beaches.

How is Koh Chang different from Railay Beach?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Koh Chang or Railay Beach?

Koh Chang
Railay Beach

Neither Koh Chang or Railay Beach offer quality museums and landmarks.

If you're looking to pass the time, head to a museum or historic sight in Koh Chang. This is a beach paradise, but you won't find any temples or museums around the island.

Railay Beach offers a few options for museum-goers. This is an adventure sport destination that is popular for rock climbing and its scenic beauty. Therefore, there are no real museums or temples in the area.


Is the Food Better in Koh Chang or Railay Beach? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Koh Chang
Railay Beach

Both Koh Chang and Railay Beach offer good local cuisine and restaurants.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Koh Chang. There's a good selection of restaurants that serve everything from international dishes to Thai favorites. You'll also find restaurants attached to many of the resorts, many with nice views.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Railay Beach. You'll find a number of tourist oriented restaurants. Many are affiliated with hotels and resorts and serve the standard Thai options along with pizza and burgers.

Is Koh Chang or Railay Beach Better for Nightlife?

Koh Chang
Railay Beach

Both Koh Chang and Railay Beach have good vibes after the sun sets.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Koh Chang. It's Thailand, so there is plenty of partying, but there are quiet parts to the island as well. For the biggest party scenes head to Lonely Beach, White Sand Beach, and Kai Bae Beach. Lonely Beach is where you'll find the highest concentration of backpackers.

Railay Beach has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. It's a secluded area with a decent number of laid back bars that are usually associated with hotels or resorts. There's also a young crowd, including backpackers, who come for the beautiful setting and great rock climbing. This population insures that there's always something going on at night.

Is Koh Chang or Railay Beach Better for Resorts?

Koh Chang
Railay Beach

With a similar set of options, excellent resorts can be found in both Koh Chang and Railay Beach.

Koh Chang is a popular resort destination that attracts visitors from everywhere. The island has managed to maintain a natural atmosphere without the overdevelopment found at many Thai islands, yet it still has the amenities and comforts that you need like nice resorts.

In Railay Beach, you'll find some of the region's top resorts. You'll find a mix of beachside resorts and budget hotels, as well as a number of hostels in the area.


Is Koh Chang or Railay Beach Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Koh Chang
Railay Beach

Railay Beach is an excellent place to visit for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. However, Koh Chang is lacking in options for its diving and snorkeling.

Many visitors go to Railay Beach to enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling. There are dive centers that offer both snorkeling and dive trips to nearby areas.

Koh Chang has a few snorkeling spots. You can book a snorkeling or dive trip to the nearby islands for the best experience. The beaches on Koh Chang are sandy with very few rocks and coral, so walk in snorkeling is limited.

Is Koh Chang or Railay Beach Better for Beaches?

Koh Chang
Railay Beach

Koh Chang is an unbeatable place for its beaches. Also, Railay Beach is not as famous, but is still a good beach area to visit for the beache.

With world-famous beaches, Koh Chang is a very popular vacation destination. You'll find the vast majority of the beaches on the west side of the island. The most developed beach is White Sand Beach, and most of the backpackers hang out at Lonely Beach. For a quiet and more upscale atmosphere check out Klong Prao Beach. Also make sure you keep an eye on high and low tides, because the difference is pretty extreme. You'll find large, sandy beaches at low tide, which disappear at high tide.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Railay Beach. The beaches are famous for their dramatic limestone cliffs. There are three areas: Railay Beach West is scenic with its surrounding cliffs and popular resorts. This is the place to swim or watch the sunset. Railay Beach East is most popular for its rock climbing. You should also check out Phra Nang Cave Beach, which is the location of Phra Nang Cave.

Is Koh Chang or Railay Beach Better for Hiking?

Koh Chang
Railay Beach

Koh Chang is a moderate island for the nearby hiking options. However, Railay Beach is not a hiking destination.

Koh Chang has hiking trails if you want to get outside. Very few people actually head inland to go hiking, but if you do it can be a rewarding experience. It's a challenge to hike on the island though, as there are no marked trails. You'll need to hire a guide for any trekking that you wish to do.

Railay Beach is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Koh Chang or Railay Beach?

Koh Chang
Railay Beach

Shoppers can find a variety of decent stores in both Koh Chang and Railay Beach.

Koh Chang is a good destination for shopping. While this isn't the place to do any serious shopping, there are a few places where you can pick up essentials and souvenirs from your trip.

If you're looking to go shopping, Railay Beach has some nice offerings. The Walking Street has shops that sell bathing suits or anything you may have forgotten.

Is Koh Chang or Railay Beach Better for Families?

Koh Chang
Railay Beach

Koh Chang is a well-known place for its family-friendly activities. Also, Railay Beach is not as famous, but is still a good beach area to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Koh Chang is a very family-friendly place to visit. The laid back vibe is perfect for families who want to get away from the party scene and overdevelopment that's found at many Thai islands. The island has kid-friendly beaches, great hiking, and resorts with pools and a family-friendly atmosphere.

Railay Beach is a family-friendly island. This is a favorite beach area for many visitors to Thailand. It's only accessible by water and it offers adventure sports and calm waters that are nice for kids.

Is Koh Chang or Railay Beach Better for Couples?

Koh Chang
Railay Beach

Koh Chang is an unbeatable place for romance. Also, Railay Beach is not as famous, but is still a good beach area to visit for its romantic activities.

For those traveling as a couple, Koh Chang has plenty to offer. This beautiful island is a perfect destination for a honeymoon or romantic getaway. There are beautiful resorts that have the charm and character that is lost at many of the more developed parts of Thailand. There are also beaches that cater to every travel style, including upscale and idyllic gems.

Railay Beach makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Rock climbing is a favorite activity here, and couples who have an adventurous spirit will enjoy this dramatic location.


Is Koh Chang or Railay Beach Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Koh Chang
Railay Beach

Koh Chang and Railay Beach are both excellent destinations for backpackers.

Koh Chang is very popular with the backpacker crowd. Most of the backpackers hang out around Lonely Beach, which also has a bit of a party vibe.

Railay Beach is a great island to visit for backpackers. There's no shortage of affordable accommodation that attracts budget travelers and backpackers. The area's world class rock climbing also appeals to the young and adventurous crowd.

Is Koh Chang or Railay Beach Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Koh Chang
Railay Beach

Koh Chang is very good for its public transit. However, Railay Beach is not a good beach area for times when you don't have a car.

Koh Chang has a few public transit options. There's a main road that goes around the outside of the island, with the exception of the southern tip. You can rent a motorbike or catch a ride on a Songthaew (pick-up truck taxi). Do note that the roads can be very steep and windy, which can be difficult to drive independently.

Public transit is mostly limited in Railay Beach. The area is only accessible by boat and there is no road transportation.

Is Koh Chang or Railay Beach a more walkable city?

Koh Chang
Railay Beach

Railay Beach is very popular for its walkability. However, Koh Chang is lacking in options for its high level of walkability.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Railay Beach. The area has no cars or road transportation so everything, including the beaches are easy to walk to.

Koh Chang is generally not very walkable. Your ability to walk around really depends on where you stay. Many of the resorts are located in quieter areas without easy access to restaurants or shopping.


For even more information, also check out Is Koh Chang Worth Visiting? and Is Railay Beach Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Railay Beach or Koh Chang?

How long in Koh Chang or Railay Beach?

It's fun to spend time in either Koh Chang or Railay Beach. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Koh Chang due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Koh Chang, and 2-4 days is enough time in Railay Beach.

Families should spend more time in Koh Chang than Railay Beach. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Koh Chang, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Koh Chang than Railay Beach. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Koh Chang that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Koh Chang than Railay Beach if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Koh Chang.


  • How many days in Koh Chang or Railay Beach? Ideal Length of Stay
    Koh Chang 3-5 
    Railay Beach 2-4

One day in Koh Chang or Railay Beach?

In Koh Chang, many people enjoy the food and nightlife that this scenic island offers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. 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.

You'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the beach area of Railay Beach. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Koh Chang or Railay Beach?

Koh Chang is a fun place to experience. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. Lots of people come for the beaches. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring.

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife around the fun-filled destination of Railay Beach. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this beach area has to offer. This beach area offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Koh Chang or Railay Beach?

In Koh Chang, many people enjoy the food and nightlife that this tranquil destination offers. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. Lots of people come for the beaches. So, five days is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the adventurous beach area of Railay Beach. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


A week in Koh Chang or Railay Beach?

Koh Chang is a popular place to visit. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Railay Beach is a popular choice for travelers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


Which place is cheaper, Railay Beach or Koh Chang?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Koh Chang is $49, while the average daily cost in Railay Beach is $108. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Koh Chang and Railay Beach in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Koh Chang $24
    Railay Beach $64
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Koh Chang $48
    Railay Beach $128
Compare Hotels in Koh Chang and Railay Beach

Looking for a hotel in Koh Chang or Railay Beach? 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 Koh Chang


Hotels in Railay Beach


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: Koh Chang Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Koh Chang $13
    Railay Beach $26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Koh Chang

Also for Koh Chang, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Trat Airport: Shared Transfers to/from Koh Chang with Ferry: $27
  • Arrival Bangkok Airport Private Transfer : Trat/ Koh Chang: $120
  • Departure Private Airport Transfer : Koh Chang to Bangkok Airport: $120
  • Private Transfer from Koh Chang to Bangkok Airport or Don Muang Airport: $199
  • Private Transfer from Trat to Suvarnabhumi (BKK) Airport: $212
  • Private Transfer from Trat to Don Mueang (DMK) Airport: $218

Is it cheaper to fly into Koh Chang or Railay Beach?

Prices for flights to both Railay Beach and Koh Chang 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
    Koh Chang $17
    Railay Beach $22

Typical Food Prices in Railay Beach

Some typical examples of dining costs in Railay Beach are as follows:


  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $5.57
  • Pizza
    $4.73

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Koh Chang $5.57
    Railay Beach $23

Tours and Activities in Koh Chang

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

  • Private Kayak Experience in Bang Bao Bay with Lunch: $23
  • Full-Day Koh Chang Tour with Lunch : $54
  • PADI Discover Scuba Dive Experience: $157
  • 1-Day Adventure in Diving in Koh Chang: $290

Typical Entertainment Prices in Railay Beach

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Railay Beach are as follows:


  • Rock Climbing (for Two)
    $19

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Koh Chang $4.77
    Railay Beach $15

Typical Alcohol Prices in Railay Beach

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


  • Beer
    $1.67


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Koh Chang and Railay Beach, we can see that Railay Beach is more expensive. And not only is Koh Chang much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Koh Chang would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Koh Chang 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 Railay Beach would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Railay Beach than you might in Koh Chang.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Koh Chang Expensive? and Is Railay Beach Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Koh Chang or Railay Beach?

Both destinations experience a warmer 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 Koh Chang or Railay Beach in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Koh Chang as well as Railay Beach. Koh Chang attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. The warm climate attracts visitors to Railay Beach throughout the year.

August to October in Railay Beach is the rainy season. It's quite rainy in Railay Beach. Koh Chang receives a lot of rain in the summer. Koh Chang usually gets more rain in July than Railay Beach. Koh Chang gets 440 mm (17.3 in) of rain, while Railay Beach receives 287 mm (11.3 in) of rain this time of the year.

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Railay Beach. In the summer, Koh Chang often gets less sunshine than Railay Beach. Koh Chang gets 143 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Railay Beach receives 206 hours of full sun.

Koh Chang is around the same temperature as Railay Beach in the summer. The daily temperature in Koh Chang averages around 28°C (82°F) in July, and Railay Beach fluctuates around 28°C (82°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Koh Chang 28°C (82°F) 
    Railay Beach 28°C (82°F)

Should I visit Koh Chang or Railay Beach in the Autumn?

Both Railay Beach and Koh Chang are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to Koh Chang throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Railay Beach because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.

The dry season in Koh Chang is November to February. The rainy season in Koh Chang is June to October. The dry season in Railay Beach is December to March. The rainy season in Railay Beach is August to October. It rains a lot this time of the year in Railay Beach. It's quite rainy in Koh Chang. In October, Koh Chang usually receives less rain than Railay Beach. Koh Chang gets 280 mm (11 in) of rain, while Railay Beach receives 304 mm (12 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

Koh Chang usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Railay Beach during autumn. Koh Chang gets 193 hours of sunny skies, while Railay Beach receives 181 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In the autumn, Koh Chang is around the same temperature as Railay Beach. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Koh Chang in October average around 27°C (81°F), and Railay Beach averages at about 27°C (81°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Koh Chang 27°C (81°F) 
    Railay Beach 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Koh Chang or Railay Beach in the Winter?

Both Railay Beach and Koh Chang during the winter are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Koh Chang because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Railay Beach year-round.

November to February is the dry season in Koh Chang. December to March is the dry season in Railay Beach. Koh Chang usually gets less rain in January than Railay Beach. Koh Chang gets 12 mm (0.5 in) of rain, while Railay Beach receives 31 mm (1.2 in) of rain this time of the year.

In Railay Beach, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Koh Chang. In the winter, Koh Chang often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Railay Beach. Koh Chang gets 282 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Railay Beach receives 287 hours of full sun.

In January, Koh Chang is generally around the same temperature as Railay Beach. Daily temperatures in Koh Chang average around 26°C (79°F), and Railay Beach fluctuates around 28°C (82°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Koh Chang 26°C (79°F) 
    Railay Beach 28°C (82°F)

Should I visit Koh Chang or Railay Beach in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Koh Chang and Railay Beach. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Koh Chang year-round. Railay Beach attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

Also, June to October is the rainy season in Koh Chang. Railay Beach receives a lot of rain in the spring. Koh Chang gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In April, Koh Chang usually receives less rain than Railay Beach. Koh Chang gets 111 mm (4.4 in) of rain, while Railay Beach receives 120 mm (4.7 in) of rain each month for the spring.

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Railay Beach this time of the year. In Koh Chang, it's very sunny this time of the year. Koh Chang usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Railay Beach during spring. Koh Chang gets 247 hours of sunny skies, while Railay Beach receives 249 hours of full sun in the spring.

Koh Chang is around the same temperature as Railay Beach in the spring. The daily temperature in Koh Chang averages around 29°C (84°F) in April, and Railay Beach fluctuates around 29°C (84°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Koh Chang 29°C (84°F) 
    Railay Beach 29°C (84°F)

Typical Weather for Railay Beach and Koh Chang

Koh Chang Railay Beach
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 26°C (79°F) 12 mm (0.5 in) 28°C (82°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
Feb 27°C (81°F) 45 mm (1.8 in) 28°C (83°F) 22 mm (0.9 in)
Mar 28°C (82°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 29°C (84°F) 52 mm (2 in)
Apr 29°C (84°F) 111 mm (4.4 in) 29°C (84°F) 120 mm (4.7 in)
May 28°C (83°F) 356 mm (14 in) 28°C (83°F) 318 mm (12.5 in)
Jun 28°C (82°F) 513 mm (20.2 in) 28°C (82°F) 279 mm (11 in)
Jul 28°C (82°F) 440 mm (17.3 in) 28°C (82°F) 287 mm (11.3 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 514 mm (20.2 in) 28°C (82°F) 262 mm (10.3 in)
Sep 27°C (81°F) 476 mm (18.7 in) 27°C (81°F) 399 mm (15.7 in)
Oct 27°C (81°F) 280 mm (11 in) 27°C (81°F) 304 mm (12 in)
Nov 27°C (80°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 27°C (81°F) 165 mm (6.5 in)
Dec 26°C (79°F) 12 mm (0.5 in) 27°C (81°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)


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