Which city is cheaper, Bali or Koh Samui?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Should I visit Koh Samui or Bali? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
Koh Samui is a rainforest-covered, lush, and laid back resort island. You'll find world class beauty here as well. And you can't forget about the hiking, shopping, and nightlife.
Bali is a frequented, spiritual, and cultural island. It's also popular because of the shopping, nightlife, and food.
Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Bali and Koh Samui. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Koh Samui and Bali can be difficult as they are each unique in their own way.
Koh Samui has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. Food on the island is fresh and delicious. You'll find fine dining restaurants as well as hole in the wall dives where you can enjoy local flavors. There are also international restaurants if you need a break from the curries. Beachfront restaurants offer a beautiful setting and sunset dinner cruises are a not to be missed experience. Authentically local dishes usually include some form of coconut but there are also other common Thai dishes available almost anywhere like curries or Pad Thai.
Bali has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. The food is rich and diverse with a lot of spices and complex flavors. Turmeric is a common spice and many dishes use coconut milk. Popular local dishes include Nasi Ayam (a chicken dish), Satay (grilled chicken), and Babi Guling (a pork dish).
If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find comparable options between Koh Samui and Bali.
Koh Samui has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. All night beach parties, cheap bars, and lively dance clubs all give this island its party atmosphere. Young travelers from around the globe head here to enjoy music, cheap drinks, and world class fun. For the most active nightlife, head to Chaweng Beach, Lamai Beach or Bophut Beach.
Bali is a party destination, and you'll find plenty of activity all night long. The island is known for its crazy raves and all night pool parties. There are multi-story dance clubs as well as upscale bars and beach clubs that host parties late into the night. The best nightlife areas are around Kuta, Seminyak, and Canggu.
Koh Samui and Bali offer a relatively similar set of luxury resort options.
For the ultimate resort vacation, Koh Samui is a great choice. The island is filled with countless resorts, hotels, and private villas that you can rent. You can choose from beachfront properties or resorts that are located in the hills, which offer beautiful views. The resorts often have pools and range from five star all the way down to budget-friendly.
If you're looking for a fantastic resort destination, Bali is a perfect choice. The island has resorts as well as private villas that cater to everyone from celebrities to families or even budget travelers. Private villas offer a more secluded vacation while resorts usually have more amenities and the opportunity to socialize with other guests. There are also many family-friendly resorts around the island.
There's scuba diving or snorkeling available in both Koh Samui and Bali.
Many visitors partake in scuba diving or snorkeing while visiting Koh Samui. It's easy to arrange snorkeling or scuba diving trips through hotels or travel companies, but it's also possible to snorkel right off the shore in places like Chaweng Beach. Due to the island's popularity, the coral isn't always the healthiest, but the water is clear and you'll likely see some interesting sea life just off the shore.
The scuba diving and snorkeling in Bali is not to be missed. The waters are crystal clear and the marine life is abundant making scuba diving and snorkeling popular around the island. There are many snorkeling day trips that you can arrange and there are also dive shops that will take you out on the water.
For a relaxing beach holiday, both Koh Samui and Bali are good choices.
Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Koh Samui. The white sand beaches are lined with coconut trees and look out on crystal blue waters, making this a perfect tropical destination. There are lively activity-filled beaches as well as quiet retreats where you can enjoy a peaceful setting away from the crowds.
With world-famous beaches, Bali is a very popular vacation destination. The island is large enough that it has a diversity of beach styles. There are popular beaches with water sports as well as secluded bays where you can enjoy a more peaceful setting. Some beaches are dramatic with limestone cliffs while others are lined with palm trees.
If you're looking to go hiking, Koh Samui and Bali both have various trails.
Many visitors go to Koh Samui for the hiking trails. Hikes will take you inland through the beautiful rainforest. There are hidden waterfalls as well as Buddha gardens and ridge trails with breathtaking views. Hikes range from easy to challenging, so make sure you understand the skill level required before you set out.
Bali is a popular spot for hiking. Walking on the island is beautiful and with its varied landscapes you can explore scenic rice paddies or pristine rainforests. You'll find the most challenging hikes in West Bali National Park, where a guide is recommended, but there are many other shorter hikes on the island that can be explored independently.
If you're looking to go shopping, Koh Samui and Bali both offer plenty of spots.
Koh Samui has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The resort areas have the most interesting shops and you'll find the most options around Chaweng. There are boutique shops as well as some malls. You can sometimes negotiate prices down in independently run stores, but some places advertise fixed prices.
Bali is an extremely popular place for shoppers. A big appeal of shopping on the island is the affordability. There are many local items that are fun to bring home including jewelry, handicrafts, furniture, and clothing.
Kids will enjoy a visit to either Koh Samui or Bali.
You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Koh Samui. The island is one of the slightly calmer, family-friendly options in Thailand. It has a number of activities that all ages can enjoy including water parks, water sports, and temples to explore. Snorkeling is also fun and there's an aquarium and zoo that you can check out.
Bali is a very family-friendly place to visit. The island has countless activities that kids can enjoy. There are watersports, snorkeling, surfing lessons and beautiful beaches. You can also expose your kids to the spiritual side of the island with kid-friendly yoga classes. Animals lovers will enjoy getting to see the monkeys up close and for a unique culinary experience, you can take a family cooking class.
With fun activities for couples, both Koh Samui and Bali make for a good place to visit.
Koh Samui is a great resort island if you're traveling as a couple. Dinner cruises, beachfront restaurants, and beautiful sunsets all make this island a romantic destination for couples. There are also spas, resorts, and fine dining restaurants that you can enjoy.
For those traveling as a couple, Bali has plenty to offer. This beautiful island offers stunning beaches, adventure sports, and world class snorkeling. There are beautiful resorts with spas as well as couples yoga classes impressive natural areas.
For backpackers, both Koh Samui and Bali are fairly comparable places to visit.
Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Koh Samui. The island feels a bit more like a holiday destination than a backpacker destination, but it still has a lively nightlife and affordable accommodation around Lamai Beach. It's also a nice place to go for yoga or Muay Thai classes.
Bali is a mecca for backpackers and budget travelers. Backpackers flock to this beautiful island for its stunning setting and affordable accommodation. There are many nice places where backpackers can hang out and get to know other travelers. If you want to get off the beaten path, it's best to head into the countryside and away from the main tourist hubs.
Koh Samui and Bali both offer public transit to get you around.
While Koh Samui offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. Songthaew, the Thai version of a bus, and taxis or motorbikes are the best ways to get around the island.
Bali has a few public transit options. There are minibuses and tourist shuttle buses around the island. You can also hire a taxi or rent a car, scooter, or bicycle.
Koh Samui and Bali are similar when it comes to walkability.
Koh Samui is generally not a very walkable resort island. The roads have a good amount of traffic and generally aren't designed for walking.
Bali is generally not very walkable. There are some walkable towns and cities on the island, but many areas can be challenging to navigate on foot.
Both Koh Samui and Bali have a number of activities to choose from. You can spend a similar amount of time exploring either.
The ideal length of time for a trip to Koh Samui is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Bali is 5-7 days.
Visitors enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the destination of Koh Samui. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.
You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the island of Bali. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.
Koh Samui is a fun place to experience. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.
You'll find shopping and nightlife around the tropical destination of Bali. Hikers are also drawn to this area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This island offers a variety of activities to choose from.
Visitors enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting the rainforest-covered destination of Koh Samui. This resort island offers something for everyone. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.
You'll find nightlife and food around the tropical island of Bali. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this island makes for a great vacation. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this island has to offer.
Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the tropical resort island of Koh Samui. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Many people spend one week here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Because of this, one week is usually enough time for a trip here.
Bali is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Bali, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Koh Samui is $43, while the average daily cost in Bali is $59. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Koh Samui and Bali in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Koh Samui or Bali? 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.
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.
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Koh Samui:
Also for Koh Samui, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Bali:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bali:
Prices for flights to both Bali 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.
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Koh Samui:
For Koh Samui, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Some typical examples of dining costs in Bali are as follows:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Bali.
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Koh Samui.
Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Bali are as follows:
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Bali are as follows:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Koh Samui and Bali, we can see that Bali 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 Bali would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bali than you might in Koh Samui.
Both destinations experience a warmer tropical 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.
Both Bali and Koh Samui during the summer are popular places to visit. Koh Samui attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Bali attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.
April to September is the dry season in Bali. It rains a lot this time of the year in Koh Samui. Koh Samui usually gets more rain in July than Bali. Koh Samui gets 143 mm (5.6 in) of rain, while Bali receives 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain this time of the year.
In July, Koh Samui is generally cooler than Bali. Temperatures in Koh Samui average around 24°C (76°F), and Bali stays around 27°C (81°F).
The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Koh Samui and Bali. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Koh Samui throughout the year. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Bali throughout the year.
December to February in Koh Samui is the dry season. Also, October to December is the rainy season in Koh Samui. Also, October to March is the rainy season in Bali. Koh Samui gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Koh Samui usually receives more rain than Bali. Koh Samui gets 240 mm (9.5 in) of rain, while Bali receives 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain each month for the autumn.
Koh Samui is cooler than Bali in the autumn. The temperature in Koh Samui is usually 24°C (75°F) in October, and Bali stays around 27°C (81°F).
The winter brings many poeple to Koh Samui as well as Bali. Plenty of visitors come to Koh Samui because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Bali because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.
Also, December to February in Koh Samui is the dry season. October to March in Bali is the rainy season. Koh Samui usually gets less rain in January than Bali. Koh Samui gets 51 mm (2 in) of rain, while Bali receives 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain this time of the year.
In the winter, Koh Samui is cooler than Bali. Typically, the winter temperatures in Koh Samui in January are around 22°C (72°F), and Bali is about 26°C (79°F).
Both Bali and Koh Samui are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Koh Samui attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Bali attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.
The dry season in Bali is April to September. In April, Koh Samui usually receives less rain than Bali. Koh Samui gets 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Bali receives 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain each month for the spring.
In April, Koh Samui is generally cooler than Bali. Temperatures in Koh Samui average around 24°C (76°F), and Bali stays around 27°C (81°F).
|Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)||Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)|
|Jan||22°C (72°F)||51 mm (2 in)||26°C (79°F)||90 mm (3.5 in)|
|Feb||22°C (72°F)||11 mm (0.4 in)||26°C (79°F)||90 mm (3.5 in)|
|Mar||23°C (74°F)||24 mm (0.9 in)||27°C (81°F)||90 mm (3.5 in)|
|Apr||24°C (76°F)||55 mm (2.2 in)||27°C (81°F)||70 mm (2.8 in)|
|May||25°C (77°F)||164 mm (6.5 in)||28°C (82°F)||70 mm (2.8 in)|
|Jun||25°C (77°F)||145 mm (5.7 in)||27°C (81°F)||50 mm (2 in)|
|Jul||24°C (76°F)||143 mm (5.6 in)||27°C (81°F)||40 mm (1.6 in)|
|Aug||24°C (76°F)||140 mm (5.5 in)||27°C (81°F)||40 mm (1.6 in)|
|Sep||25°C (76°F)||196 mm (7.7 in)||27°C (81°F)||50 mm (2 in)|
|Oct||24°C (75°F)||240 mm (9.5 in)||27°C (81°F)||60 mm (2.4 in)|
|Nov||23°C (74°F)||335 mm (13.2 in)||27°C (81°F)||70 mm (2.8 in)|
|Dec||23°C (73°F)||134 mm (5.3 in)||27°C (81°F)||90 mm (3.5 in)|
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