A Travel Price Comparison for Thailand Koh Samui vs. Ao Nang for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Koh Samui or Ao Nang?

Should I visit Koh Samui or Ao Nang? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Koh Samui

The largest island on the east coast of southern Thailand, Ko Samui (or Koh Samui) sees a good number of visitors every year who come for its lush rainforest, beautiful shores, and undersea wildlife. The size of the island is still small enough to allow visitors to circumnavigate it with a taxi or motorbike in a day, while hikers and outdoor enthusiasts can find plenty of inland activities in the hills and jungle.

Ao Nang

If you're looking for a relaxing beach on the coast of Thailand, it might be time to make a trip to Ao Nang. This developed and "westernized" beach was once the place to be for backpackers, but is now quite popular with package tourist crowds, too, as prices have risen in recent decades. Here you'll find nice hotels, restaurants, and plenty of fun activities at the beach and nearby, too.

Which city is cheaper, Ao Nang or Koh Samui?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Koh Samui is $49, while the average daily cost in Ao Nang is $94. 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 Samui and Ao Nang in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $42 in Koh Samui For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $92 in Ao Nang For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Koh Samui $21
    Ao Nang $46
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Koh Samui $42
    Ao Nang $92

Food

On average, meal and food prices in Koh Samui cost around $17 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $6.80.

Ao Nang food costs typically run travelers around $22 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Koh Samui $17
    Ao Nang $22
Typical Food prices in Koh Samui

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


  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $6.48

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Koh Samui

For Koh Samui, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Cooking Class with Herbal Garden by Amari Koh Samui: $55
  • Koh Samui Jungle Kitchen - Half Day Cooking Class: $77
  • Jungle Kitchen Cooking Class in Koh Samui: $89
  • Red Baron : A Sunset Dinner Cruise from Koh Samui with Return Transfer: $122
  • Koh Samui Red Baron Sunset Dinner Cruise with Return Transfer: $131
  • 4-Hour Koh Samui Red Baron Sunset Dinner Cruise: $131

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Ao Nang

For Ao Nang, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Evening Couse Thai Cooking Class in Ao Nang, Krabi: $39
  • Krabi 7 Islands Sunset with Luminescent Plankton Swim & BBQ Dinner: $41
  • Half Day Thai Cooking Class in Ao Nang, Krabi: $43
  • Krabi 4 Island & Sunset Tour By Long Tail Boat + Dinner: $49
  • Krabi 4 Islands Sunset Cruise Dinner: $70
  • Romantic Sunset Cruise from Ao Nang with BBQ Seafood Dinner: $100

Local Transportation

Koh Samui'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 $15 per person, per day on transportation in Koh Samui.

Ao Nang'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 $49 per person, per day on transportation in Ao Nang.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Koh Samui $15
    Ao Nang $49
Typical Local Transportation prices in Koh Samui

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Koh Samui:


  • Scooter Rental
    $2.26
  • Gas for Scooter
    $1.21
  • Airport Taxi
    $13
  • Taxi- Na Thon Pier to Lamai Beach
    $13
  • Minibus- Airport to Chaweng
    $3.62

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Koh Samui

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

  • The Red Baron Luxury Yacht Cruise from Koh Samui with Return Transfer: $181
  • Private Transfer from Choeng Mon Beach to Samui (USM) Airport: $41
  • Koh Samui Paradise Park Farm Admission Ticket with Return Transfer: $58
  • Koh Samui Airport (USM): One-Way Private Hotel Transfer: $23
  • Guided Zipline Adventure in Ko Samui with Round Trip Transfer: $87

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ao Nang

Also for Ao Nang, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Phuket Airport to Krabi City or Hotel Private Transfer: $119
  • Krabi Transfer to Khao Lak: $117
  • Ao Nang Krabi Thai Boxing Stadium Admission Ticket with Return Transfer: $111
  • Aonang any hotel to Khao Lak Private transfer: $110
  • Krabi to Phuket: Private City Transfer: $107
  • Aonang any hotel to Koh Lanta any hotel Private transfer: $107
  • Ao Nang Krabi Thai Boxing Stadium Admission Ticket with Return Transfer: $99
  • Ao Nang Krabi Thai Boxing Stadium Admission Ticket with Return Transfer: $99
  • Private Transfer Ao Nang Beach Krabi To Phuket Airport: $90
  • Full Day Jungle Tour With Elephan Trekking 30 Minutes + Tiger Cave + Transfers: $73
  • Private Transfer to Phuket with Jimmy Phuket Taxi: $68
  • Private Round Trip Transfer between Ao Nang and KBV Krabi Airport: $44

Is it cheaper to fly into Koh Samui or Ao Nang?

Prices for flights to both Ao Nang and Koh Samui 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

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Koh Samui can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $9.27 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Ao Nang can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $9.65 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Koh Samui $9.27
    Ao Nang $9.65

Tours and Activities in Koh Samui

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

  • Full Day Ko Samui Island Boat Tour: $87
  • Full-Day Koh Samui Jungle Mountain Adventure Tour with Lunch: $64
  • Full-Day Tour to Koh Phangan by Speedboat from Koh Samui: $93
  • Full-Day Tour to Koh Samui Island by Boat with Lunch: $87
  • Full-day diving experience for beginners (no license): $212
  • Gulf of Thailand Fishing Challenge Tour from Ko Samui: $52
  • Ko Samui Angthong Marine Park Full Day Tour : Snorkeling & Sea Kayaking: $82
  • Ko Samui Angthong Marine Park Full Day Tour with Snorkeling & Sea Kayaking: $82
  • Ko Samui City Tour including Wat Phra Yai, Lat Ko Viewpoint, Hin Ta Hin Yai Rock: $29
  • Ko Samui City Tour including Wat Phra Yai, Lat Ko Viewpoint, Hin Ta Hin Yai Rock: $29
  • Ko Samui City Tour including Wat Phra Yai, Lat Ko Viewpoint, Hin Ta Hin Yai Rock: $29
  • Koh Nangyuan Snorkeling and Koh Tao Tour by Catamaran Cruise from Koh Samui: $92

Tours and Activities in Ao Nang

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

  • 2 Days 1 Night Khao Sok National Park Tour from Krabi: $285
  • 2D1N Khao Sok National Park Tour from Krabi: $285
  • 2D1N Khao Sok National Park Tour from Krabi: $285
  • 2D1N Khao Sok National Park Tour from Krabi: $285
  • All day Krabi Jungle Tour (Hot Spring Water, Emerald Pool, Tiger Cave Temple): $61
  • Aonang wonder Cocktail testing tour: $41
  • Ban Bor Thor Kayaking Full-Day Tour from Krabi with Lunch: $87
  • Ban Bor Thor Kayaking Full-Day Tour from Krabi with Lunch: $87
  • Deep mangrove and canyon Kayak Tour in Krabi: $36
  • Four Island Half Day Tour From Krabi By SpeedBoat: $75
  • Full Day Rock Climbing Tour Railay Beach, Krabi: $93
  • Full day Rock Climbing Experience @ Railay, Krabi: $109

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Koh Samui, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $4.09.

Typically, people visiting Ao Nang spend on average $13 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Koh Samui $4.09
    Ao Nang $13


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

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Koh Samui vs. Ao Nang Travel Comparison

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