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 $83, 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 $56 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 $28
    Penang $43
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Koh Samet $56
    Penang $86

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 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 $24
    Penang $30

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Koh Samet

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

  • Thai Akha Kitchen Cooking Class & Local Market Tour: $23
  • Tom Yum Thai Cooking Class with Market Tour in Chiang Mai: $23
  • Asia Scenic Thai Cooking Class: $25
  • Siamese Cookery House Thai Cooking Class in Bangkok: $26
  • InFusion Cooking Classes in Koh Samui: $26
  • Sompong Thai Cooking Class: $27
  • Galangal Cooking Class with Market Tour in Chiang Mai: $28
  • Lanna Smile Thai Cooking Class in Chiang Mai: $29
  • Pum Thai Cooking Class in Patong Beach: $31
  • Chocolate Cooking Class at SO Sofitel Bangkok: $31
  • Thai Cooking Course Hua Hin: $31
  • Bangkok Thai Cooking Academy: $31

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)
    $4.54
  • 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.

  • Bachelor's Pizza Co. at EPiC Food Hall: $1.75
  • US PIZZA in Malaysia: $3.70
  • US PIZZA in Malaysia: $3.70
  • US PIZZA in Malaysia: $3.70
  • Pizza Mansion in Klang Valley: $19
  • Cooking Class With Garden Tours in Penang: $38
  • Local Evening Food Tour in Kuala Lumpur: $40
  • Bayu Balau Beach Resort 2D1N Stay at Standard Room with Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner: $41
  • Kota Kinabalu City Night Tour with Seafood Dinner: $43
  • Kuala Selangor Fireflies Night Tour with Seafood Dinner and Boat Trip: $43
  • Countryside Village Walk and Cooking Tour at Kota Kinabalu: $45
  • Sunset and City Night Dinner Cruise with Complimentary Drinks in Kota Kinabalu: $45

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Koh Samet is $59 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 $59
    Penang $11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Koh Samet

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Koh Samet:

  • Private Krabi/Phuket Airport Transfers (KBV/HKT) for Krabi & More: $15
  • Private Phuket Airport Transfers (HKT) for Phuket and Other Areas by Oriental Holiday: $18
  • 7 Spa Luxury Spa Treatments in Pattaya with Round Trip Transfers: $26
  • Kata Rocks Resort & Residences (8D7N) with free COE Application and Airport Transfers: $2,321
  • Private Bangkok and Pattaya Airports Transfers (UTP, DMK or BKK) for Pattaya: $31
  • Private Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) Transfers for Chiang Mai by TTD: $12
  • Private Chiang Mai International Airport Transfers (CNX) for Chiang Mai and More: $16
  • Private City Transfers between Ayutthaya and Bangkok by TTS: $53
  • Private City Transfers between Bangkok and Pattaya by TTS: $53
  • Private City Transfers between Bangkok and Pattaya, Ayutthaya, Hua Hin & More: $46
  • Private City Transfers between Bangkok and Pattaya, Ayutthaya, Hua Hin & More by TTD: $43
  • Private City Transfers between Hat Yai and Pak Bara Pier: $68

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)
    $7.17
  • Bicycle Rental (One Day)
    $2.39

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Penang

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Penang:

  • Shared Bus Transfers for Senai International Airport (JHB): $1.95
  • Ferry Transfers between Langkawi and Penang by Super Fast Ferry: $8.40
  • Ferry Transfers between Langkawi and Penang by Super Fast Ferry: $8.40
  • Shared Boat Transfer Between Langkawi, Beras Basah, Dayung Bunting and Singa Besar Island: $8.45
  • KL Bird Park Admission Ticket With One Way Transfer: $8.49
  • Shared Bus Transfer between Cameron Highlands and Kuala Lumpur by Unititi Express: $9.05
  • Penang Arrival Transfer: $11
  • Shared Transfer: Penang Airport to Penang Beach and City Hotels: $11
  • Upside Down House Gallery and Busquarium Tickets with Transfers in Langkawi: $11
  • Private Penang Arrival transfer to Hotel: $12
  • [Exclusive Sale] Private Langkawi International Airport Transfers (LGK) for Langkawi: $12
  • Private Transfer between Ipoh City and Ipoh Railway Station: $13

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 $7.79 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 $7.79
    Penang $44

Tours and Activities in Koh Samet

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Koh Samet are as follows:

  • SHOCK PRICE!! Only at THB10 for Airport Rail Link (ARL) Single Journey Ticket with FREE EMS: $0.30
  • Pattaya Pipo Pony Club Admission Ticket in Pattaya: $1.55
  • Pattaya Sheep Farm Ticket: $2.19
  • Nails, Eyelash, and Waxing Beauty Experience at Ju's Nail: $3.75
  • Ramayana Water Park Ticket in Pattaya: $3.75
  • Wakeboarding Experience at Thai Wake Park in Pattaya: $4.19
  • Pong Yang Adventure Park Experience: $4.49
  • Aquaria Phuket Ticket: $4.95
  • Rejuv Salon Beauty Experiences at Sathon Bangkok: $5.85
  • Nong Nooch Tropical Garden Ticket in Pattaya: $5.89
  • Sleep Salon & Nails Experience in Bangkok: $6.15
  • Kanchanaburi Mallika City Ticket: $6.19

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)
    $7.17
  • 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:

  • Kidzooona Ticket in Sabah: $1.69
  • The Sheep Sanctuary Admission Ticket at Cameron Highland: $1.95
  • Kidzooona Ticket in Ipoh, Taiping and Kelantan: $2.05
  • Kidzooona Ticket in Melaka: $2.05
  • Kidzooona Ticket in Penang and Kedah: $2.05
  • Musical Carousel & Jelly Bump Admission Ticket at The TOP Komtar: $2.19
  • Kidzooona Ticket in Sarawak: $2.35
  • Penang 3D Trick Art Museum Admission Ticket: $3.15
  • Magic Art Museum Admission Ticket in Melaka: $3.15
  • Urban Playz Admission Ticket in Penang: $3.25
  • Melaka Crocodile and Recreation Park Ticket: $3.49
  • White Water Rafting Adventure in Slim River : $3.65

Alcohol

The average person spends about $4.06 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 $4.06
    Penang $14

Sample the Local Flavors in Koh Samet

Also in Koh Samet, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • PB Valley Vineyard and Wine Tasting Tour in Khao Yai: $22
  • Bangkok Pub Crawl by Pub Crawls Thailand: $22

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.

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Koh Samet vs. Penang Travel Comparison

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