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

Should you visit Koh Samet or Penang?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Koh Samet or Penang, 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?

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 Koh Samet?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Koh Samet is $86, 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 Koh Samet and Penang in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in Koh Samet is about $58 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

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
    Koh Samet $29
    Penang $43
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Koh Samet $58
    Penang $86

Food

Food in Koh Samet costs travelers about $25 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 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
    Koh Samet $25
    Penang $30

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 average price of local transportation around Koh Samet is $62 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.

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.
    Koh Samet $62
    Penang $11

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:

  • Penang Arrival Transfer: $11
  • Shared Transfer: Penang Airport to Penang Beach and City Hotels: $11
  • Private Penang Arrival transfer to Hotel: $12
  • Private Airport Transfer: Penang Island to Penang International Airport (PEN): $17
  • Penang Airport Transfer to any Georgetown City Hotel or vice versa: $19
  • Private Transfer: Penang International Airport to Penang Beach or City Hotels: $22
  • Airport Private Transfer: Penang Airport to or from Town Hotel (6 seater): $23
  • Private Economy Penang Airport Transfer-Departure: $25
  • Airport Transfer Service: $34
  • Escape Theme Park with One-Way Transfer from Penang: $60
  • Penang City to Kuala Lumpur City One-way Transfer: $103
  • Penang City to Kuala Lumpur International Airport One-way Transfer: $103

Is it cheaper to fly into Koh Samet or Penang?

Prices for flights to both Penang 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 $8.08 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.

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.
    Koh Samet $8.08
    Penang $44

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

The average person spends about $4.22 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.

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
    Koh Samet $4.22
    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 Koh Samet and Penang, we can see that Penang 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.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Koh Samet vs. Penang Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.