A Travel Price Comparison for Thailand Koh Lipe vs. Koh Tao for Scuba Diving & Snorkeling, Beaches, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit Koh Lipe or Koh Tao?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Koh Lipe and Koh Tao can help you decide which place is right for you.

Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe is a idyllic, small, and local island. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Visitors also love the hiking, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Koh Tao

Koh Tao is a tropical, popular, and laid back island. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. It's also known for nightlife, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Koh Lipe and Koh Tao: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Koh Lipe or Koh Tao?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Koh Tao. Although Koh Lipe and Koh Tao are popular destinations, Koh Tao has more sights and attractions for tourists. Koh Tao is more touristy than Koh Lipe and is popular for its affordable scuba diving courses, laid-back island vibe, popularity with backpackers, and stunning island hikes. It is also well known for Mango Bay Viewpoint. Koh Lipe is famous for its world class scuba diving and snorkeling, as well as its small and local atmosphere.

How is Koh Lipe different from Koh Tao?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Koh Lipe or Koh Tao?

Koh Lipe
Koh Tao

Neither Koh Lipe or Koh Tao offer quality museums and landmarks.

Koh Lipe offers a few options for museum-goers. The island is small and all about beaches and the undersea world, so you won't find any temples or museums here.

If you're looking to pass the time, head to a museum or historic sight in Koh Tao. It's a small island that is all about beachfront beauty. Most visitors enjoy the island's outdoor paradise setting, but on those rainy afternoons, there really are very few indoor activities or temples to visit.


Is the Food Better in Koh Lipe or Koh Tao? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Koh Lipe
Koh Tao

Koh Tao is a great destination for its restaurant scene. Also, Koh Lipe is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Koh Tao makes for a great culinary experience. You'll find a huge ex-pat community on the island, and with them they bring a variety of international cuisines. There are also local establishments that sell the typical Thai dishes with lots of seafood, curries, and noodle dishes. It's fun to enjoy a beachside restaurant that lets you sit right by the water looking off into a tropical paradise.

Koh Lipe has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. There's enough of a restaurant selection that you'll find good local food and freshly caught seafood. The options change frequently as the tourist crowds have varied dramatically over the years, making it difficult for businesses to stay open.

Is Koh Lipe or Koh Tao Better for Nightlife?

Koh Lipe
Koh Tao

Koh Tao is a great destination for nightlife. However, Koh Lipe is a island with minimal options for nightlife and partying.

The people in Koh Tao know how to have a good time. While most people head for the island for its scuba diving, when the sun goes down everyone heads to the beach to party. The island has a very active nightlife scene with its own Full Moon Parties, dance clubs, beachside bars, and more. Head to Sairee Beach for the most active nightlife and entertainment options.

The nightlife scene is quiet in Koh Lipe This is a small island that attracts tourists who want nature, beauty, and a serene and tranquil environment. You won't find much of a nightlife scene here.

Is Koh Lipe or Koh Tao Better for Resorts?

Koh Lipe
Koh Tao

Luxury resorts are fairly comparable in Koh Lipe and Koh Tao.

Vacationers can choose from a number of terrific resorts in Koh Lipe. There are a number of locally owned hotels on the island. Many have snorkeling gear for rent.

Koh Tao is a popular resort destination that attracts visitors from everywhere. While it's mostly famous as a diving destination, there are also a diversity of resorts, from luxury to affordable, available on the island. The beaches are beautiful and many resorts offer scuba diving packages as well.


Is Koh Lipe or Koh Tao Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Koh Lipe
Koh Tao

Koh Lipe and Koh Tao both offer terrific scuba diving or snorkeling spots.

The scuba diving and snorkeling in Koh Lipe is not to be missed. Although it is no longer the undiscovered island paradise that it once was, the snorkeling and diving on Koh Lipe remains some of the best in the country.

People travel to Koh Tao specifically to enjoy its famous scuba diving and snorkeling areas. The island is Thailand's most famous scuba diving destination for it's affordable certifications and prolific dive shops. There are a variety of dive sites near the island, but with fame and popularity come challenges. The coral and sealife is feeling the pressure of the high number of tourists, and the reefs show their damage. But the training you receive here is affordable and well-established.

Is Koh Lipe or Koh Tao Better for Beaches?

Koh Lipe
Koh Tao

Koh Lipe and Koh Tao are terrific choices for a beach vacation.

With world-famous beaches, Koh Lipe is a very popular vacation destination. Despite the island's small size, the beaches are truly spectacular. They have white sand and the undersea world is just steps away, so don't forget your mask and snorkel.

The beaches in Koh Tao are among the best in the world. The white sand beaches have a mellow vibe with beautiful blue waters. This is a true tropical paradise with beachside cafes, easy snorkeling, and warm water. The beaches range from quiet and isolated to high energy and vibrant.

Is Koh Lipe or Koh Tao Better for Hiking?

Koh Lipe
Koh Tao

You'll find excellent hiking in both Koh Lipe and Koh Tao.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Koh Lipe. The island of Koh Lipe doesn't have any hiking, but nearby Adang Island has some impressive hikes that offer views and small waterfalls. You can take a longtail boat for just a short ride to the nearby island.

Many visitors go to Koh Tao for the hiking trails. Hiking is the best way to enjoy the inland beauty of the island. There are paths that take you through the jungle covered land to viewpoints and remote areas. Many paths are rustic and not always well maintained so it's helpful to ask a local for directions beforehand.


Is the Shopping Better in Koh Lipe or Koh Tao?

Koh Lipe
Koh Tao

Koh Tao is very good for shopping. However, Koh Lipe is a island with minimal options for its shopping opportunities.

Koh Tao is a great destination for shopping. The main beach areas of Mae Haad, Sairee, and Chalok Baan Kao have the highest concentration of clothing and dive equipment shops. Because it's an island with limited access, prices can be a bit high.

If you're looking to go shopping, Koh Lipe has some nice offerings. The Walking Street is the main street through the island. Its where you'll find the island's shops and restaurants. Most are closed during the morning hours, but people begin to gather in the afternoon.

Is Koh Lipe or Koh Tao Better for Families?

Koh Lipe
Koh Tao

Koh Lipe is great for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Koh Tao is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its family-friendly activities.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Koh Lipe is very family-friendly. This is a perfect island to explore with kids. There are beautiful beaches, great snorkeling, and plenty of opportunities to check out wildlife. Your kids will also enjoy seeing the Sea la vie fire show.

Koh Tao is a family-friendly place to visit. The island is popular for its affordable scuba diving certifications, so there are a number of options for families with older kids who'd like to get certified. It's also a more laid back and smaller island than some nearby places, so it's possible to find quiet beaches where your family can relax. Some of the quieter beaches include Sai Nuan and Ao Luek. You'll still find a large number of backpackers on the island, but there's a more chill atmosphere with most visitors focused on scuba diving and exploring.

Is Koh Lipe or Koh Tao Better for Couples?

Koh Lipe
Koh Tao

Koh Lipe is an unbeatable place for its romantic activities. Also, Koh Tao is not as popular, but is still a nice island for couples.

Koh Lipe has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. With its stunning beaches and beautiful nature, this is a great couple's destination. The island has wonderful snorkeling and white sandy beaches that are perfect for exploring with a loved one.

Koh Tao is a very popular place to visit for couples. This laid back island offers a relaxing honeymoon destination for couples who want to learn to scuba dive and enjoy a bit of tropical paradise. There are beachside restaurants, beautiful blue waters, white sand, and everything you need for your own piece of paradise.


Is Koh Lipe or Koh Tao Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Koh Lipe
Koh Tao

Koh Tao is a must-visit destination for backpackers. Also, Koh Lipe is still popular, but not quite as popular for backpackers and budget travelers.

Koh Tao is a mecca for backpackers and budget travelers. The island is an oasis for backpackers who want to enjoy the mellow island life, learn to scuba dive cheaply, and have fun at a beachside party. There are plenty of affordable places to stay and countless opportunities to meet other backpackers. The island is also well connected to other nearby islands.

It's common for backpackers to visit Koh Lipe. The island has become more popular than it was in years past, but it still offers a tranquil setting for those who are a bit jaded by the backpacker scene in Thailand.

Is Koh Lipe or Koh Tao Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Koh Lipe
Koh Tao

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Koh Lipe and Koh Tao.

Public transit is generally limited in Koh Lipe. There are longtail boats, motorbike taxis, and golf cart taxis that you can hire.

Public transit is mostly limited in Koh Tao. You can rent a motorbike or bicycle to explore the island. There are also taxis and taxi boats available.

Is Koh Lipe or Koh Tao a more walkable city?

Koh Lipe
Koh Tao

Koh Lipe and Koh Tao both are excellent when exploring on foot.

Koh Lipe is very walkable. It's an easy island to explore on foot and you can walk from one end of the island to the other in about half an hour.

Koh Tao is a very walkable island. The island is smaller than many islands in Thailand, and the small towns are usually no more than 5 kilometers apart. It's also possible to walk around most of the small towns.


For even more information, also check out Is Koh Lipe Worth Visiting? and Is Koh Tao Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Koh Tao or Koh Lipe?

How long in Koh Lipe or Koh Tao?

Both Koh Lipe and Koh Tao have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, Koh Tao has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Koh Tao than Koh Lipe. In general, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Koh Lipe, and 2-7 days is enough time in Koh Tao.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Koh Tao than Koh Lipe 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 Tao.


  • How many days in Koh Lipe or Koh Tao? Ideal Length of Stay
    Koh Lipe 3-7 
    Koh Tao 2-7

One day in Koh Lipe or Koh Tao?

In Koh Lipe, you'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. This island offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

The beautiful island of Koh Tao offers food and scuba diving and snorkeling. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Koh Lipe or Koh Tao?

In Koh Lipe, you'll find scuba diving and snorkeling 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.

Koh Tao is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this island makes for a great vacation. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Koh Tao, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Koh Lipe or Koh Tao?

Koh Lipe is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Koh Lipe has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Koh Tao is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Koh Tao, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


A week in Koh Lipe or Koh Tao?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Koh Lipe. In Koh Lipe, you'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and food. It's also a relaxing resort destination. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.

Koh Tao is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Koh Tao has to offer. This island offers something for everyone.


Which place is cheaper, Koh Tao or Koh Lipe?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Koh Lipe is $87, while the average daily cost in Koh Tao is $38. 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 Lipe and Koh Tao in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Koh Lipe $45
    Koh Tao $15
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Koh Lipe $90
    Koh Tao $30
Compare Hotels in Koh Lipe and Koh Tao

Looking for a hotel in Koh Lipe or Koh Tao? 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 Lipe


Hotels in Koh Tao


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 Lipe Hotel Prices and Koh Tao Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Koh Lipe $18
    Koh Tao $8.85

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Koh Lipe

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Koh Lipe:

  • Private Transfer Pak Bara Pier to Hatyai Airport by Van: $71
  • Minibus and Speedboat Transfer from Koh Lipe to Hat Yai Airport : $37

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Koh Tao

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Koh Tao:


  • Motorbike Rental
    $5.29
  • Chumpon to Koh Tao Ferry
    $18

Is it cheaper to fly into Koh Lipe or Koh Tao?

Prices for flights to both Koh Tao and Koh Lipe 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 Lipe $27
    Koh Tao $9.40

Typical Food Prices in Koh Tao

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Koh Tao:


  • Sit Down Lunch (for One)
    $5.57
  • Breakfast
    $4.18
  • Casual Breakfast (for Two)
    $3.34
  • Fancy Dinner (for Two)
    $14
  • Pancake
    $1.95
  • American Breakfast (for Two)
    $7.80
  • Dinner at Bam Bam (for Two)
    $7.52

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Koh Lipe $24
    Koh Tao $27

Tours and Activities in Koh Lipe

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

  • 2 Hours Tour Sunset Cruise Around Lipe: $16
  • Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) 1 day Experience: $114
  • Experience the Koh Lipe Backyard including 5 Mysterious Islands: $22
  • Experience the Koh Lipe Frontier in the Eastern Adang Archipelago: $26
  • Full-Day Koh Lipe 5 Islands Snorkeling Experience with Lunch: $21
  • Full-Day Koh Lipe 7 Islands Snorkeling Experience with Lunch: $24
  • Full-Day Koh Lipe East Zone Snorkeling Experience with Lunch: $19

Typical Entertainment Prices in Koh Tao

For Koh Tao, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Kayak Rental (One Hour)
    $6.96
  • Snorkel Rental
    $2.78
  • Kayak and Snorkel (2)
    $2.78

Tours and Activities in Koh Tao

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Koh Tao.

  • Full day snorkeling adventure around Koh Tao: $22
  • Snorkel Tour to Koh Nangyuan and the hidden bays of Koh Tao onboard the Oxygen: $23
  • Koh Nang Yuan and Koh Tao 5 Point Snorkeling Tour: $24
  • 5 Islands Full-Day Tour Around Koh Tao and Koh Nangyuan: $24
  • Koh Tao Snorkeling Tour to Hidden Bays and Koh Nang Yuan : $29
  • Premium Snorkel Tour to the Bays of Koh Tao onboard the Oxygen: $33
  • Koh Tao Viewpoint and Snorkeling Tour: $55
  • Basic Diver ( One Day Experience): $128
  • Koh Tao Cliff Jumping Snorkeling Experience: $135
  • Koh Tao Snorkeling and Island Hopping Tour (Private) : $175
  • Advanced Adventurer - 2 days ( Advanced Open Water): $285

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Koh Lipe $8.35
    Koh Tao $7.29

Typical Alcohol Prices in Koh Tao

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Koh Tao from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $1.81
  • Bottle of Wine
    $10


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

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



When is the best time to visit Koh Lipe or Koh Tao?

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 Lipe or Koh Tao in the Summer?

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

Koh Tao gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Koh Lipe. Koh Lipe usually gets more rain in July than Koh Tao. Koh Lipe gets 269 mm (10.6 in) of rain, while Koh Tao receives 174 mm (6.9 in) of rain this time of the year.

In the summer, Koh Lipe is a little warmer than Koh Tao. Typically, the summer temperatures in Koh Lipe in July average around 27°C (81°F), and Koh Tao averages at about 24°C (76°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Koh Lipe 27°C (81°F) 
    Koh Tao 24°C (76°F)

Should I visit Koh Lipe or Koh Tao in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Koh Lipe and Koh Tao. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Koh Lipe year-round. Koh Tao attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

December to April in Koh Lipe is the dry season. Also, May to October is the rainy season in Koh Lipe. Also, October and November is the rainy season in Koh Tao. Koh Tao receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Koh Lipe gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Koh Lipe usually receives around the same amount of rain as Koh Tao. Koh Lipe gets 281 mm (11.1 in) of rain, while Koh Tao receives 276 mm (10.9 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

In October, Koh Lipe is generally a little warmer than Koh Tao. Daily temperatures in Koh Lipe average around 27°C (81°F), and Koh Tao fluctuates around 24°C (76°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Koh Lipe 27°C (81°F) 
    Koh Tao 24°C (76°F)

Should I visit Koh Lipe or Koh Tao in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Koh Lipe as well as Koh Tao. Koh Lipe attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. The warm climate attracts visitors to Koh Tao throughout the year.

Also, February to June in Koh Tao is the dry season. Koh Lipe usually gets less rain in January than Koh Tao. Koh Lipe gets 50 mm (2 in) of rain, while Koh Tao receives 94 mm (3.7 in) of rain this time of the year.

Koh Lipe is a little warmer than Koh Tao in the winter. The daily temperature in Koh Lipe averages around 27°C (80°F) in January, and Koh Tao fluctuates around 22°C (72°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Koh Lipe 27°C (80°F) 
    Koh Tao 22°C (72°F)

Should I visit Koh Lipe or Koh Tao in the Spring?

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

The dry season in Koh Lipe is December to April. The rainy season in Koh Lipe is May to October. The dry season in Koh Tao is February to June. It's quite rainy in Koh Lipe. In April, Koh Lipe usually receives more rain than Koh Tao. Koh Lipe gets 124 mm (4.9 in) of rain, while Koh Tao receives 74 mm (2.9 in) of rain each month for the spring.

In the spring, Koh Lipe is a little warmer than Koh Tao. Typically, the spring temperatures in Koh Lipe in April average around 29°C (85°F), and Koh Tao averages at about 25°C (77°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Koh Lipe 29°C (85°F) 
    Koh Tao 25°C (77°F)

Typical Weather for Koh Tao and Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe Koh Tao
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 27°C (80°F) 50 mm (2 in) 22°C (72°F) 94 mm (3.7 in)
Feb 28°C (82°F) 23 mm (0.9 in) 23°C (74°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Mar 29°C (84°F) 51 mm (2 in) 24°C (75°F) 57 mm (2.2 in)
Apr 29°C (85°F) 124 mm (4.9 in) 25°C (77°F) 74 mm (2.9 in)
May 29°C (83°F) 244 mm (9.6 in) 25°C (78°F) 189 mm (7.4 in)
Jun 28°C (82°F) 224 mm (8.8 in) 25°C (78°F) 174 mm (6.9 in)
Jul 27°C (81°F) 269 mm (10.6 in) 24°C (76°F) 174 mm (6.9 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 262 mm (10.3 in) 25°C (76°F) 206 mm (8.1 in)
Sep 27°C (81°F) 355 mm (14 in) 25°C (77°F) 158 mm (6.2 in)
Oct 27°C (81°F) 281 mm (11.1 in) 24°C (76°F) 276 mm (10.9 in)
Nov 27°C (80°F) 204 mm (8 in) 23°C (74°F) 380 mm (15 in)
Dec 27°C (80°F) 116 mm (4.6 in) 23°C (73°F) 118 mm (4.6 in)