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

Should you visit Koh Samet or El Nido?

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

Koh Samet

The country of Thailand is full of some of the world's most stunning beauty and peaceful settings. So it begs the question, where the Thai people go to get away from it all? They go to Ko Samet on the eastern gulf coast. Located just outside of Bangkok, Ko Samet provides visitors an easily accessible and desirable weekend getaway spot. With white beaches and coral of every other color, this island has steadily developed over the last few years without an intense construction increase like many other Thai beaches. Once thought to be the home of pirates, this island provides plenty to wonder about including, are there hidden treasures under that gorgeous white sand?

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 Koh Samet?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Koh Samet is $85, 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 Koh Samet and El Nido in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in Koh Samet is about $56 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

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
    Koh Samet $28
    El Nido $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Koh Samet $56
    El Nido $26

Food

Food in Koh Samet costs travelers about $24 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

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
    Koh Samet $24
    El Nido $11

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Koh Samet is $60 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

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.
    Koh Samet $60
    El Nido $17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Nido

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

  • 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
  • El Nido to Puerto Princesa - Private Transfer: $115
  • El Nido to Sabang Private Transfer: $140

Is it cheaper to fly into Koh Samet or El Nido?

Prices for flights to both El Nido and Koh Samet 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

Koh Samet's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $7.95 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

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.
    Koh Samet $7.95
    El Nido $4.87

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

The average person spends about $4.15 on alcoholic beverages in Koh Samet per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

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


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Koh Samet $4.15
    El Nido $7.57


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

Budget Your Trip

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Koh Samet vs. El Nido Travel Comparison

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