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

Should you visit Koh Samui or Bali?

Should I visit Koh Samui or Bali? 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.

Bali

Known as the "Island of the Gods," it's not difficult to see why the Gods would want to set up shop in Bali. With a beautifully diverse landscape of hills, mountains, coastlines, beaches, vibrant rice fields and volcanic hillsides, you'll easily go into sensory overload.

Bali is home to 4 million people who all hold true to a deeply spiritual and unique culture. With champion surfing, world class resorts and challenging hiking trails, this Indonesian island accommodates travelers from every walk of life. It's often called, "paradise on earth, " and no one disagrees.

Which city is cheaper, Bali or Koh Samui?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Koh Samui is $48, while the average daily cost in Bali is $65. 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 Bali 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.

Bali's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $74. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $37.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Koh Samui $21
    Bali $37
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Koh Samui $42
    Bali $74

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.

Bali food costs typically run travelers around $18 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
    Bali $18
Typical Food prices in Koh Samui

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


  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $6.37

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:

  • 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
  • Thai Cooking Course Hua Hin: $31
  • Chocolate Cooking Class at SO Sofitel Bangkok: $31
  • Yanui Cape Sunset Catamaran Tour in Phuket with Dinner by We Love Andaman: $31

Typical Food prices in Bali

Some typical examples of dining costs in Bali are as follows:


  • Coffee
    $1.40
  • Lunch for Two
    $15
  • Bali Cafe for Two
    $30
  • Lunch for Two
    $9.11
  • Lunch for 2
    $10
  • Dinner for 2
    $11

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bali

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

  • Seafood Dinner in Jimbaran Bali: $4.59
  • Bandung Street Food Tour: $5.40
  • Omah Kecebong Fun Outbound and Dinner Experience in Yogyakarta: $11
  • Yogyakarta Historical Walking and Food Tour: $13
  • Pirate Dinner Cruise by Sea Safari Cruise in Bali: $13
  • Online Cooking Class with Chef Juna by Kelas.com: $18
  • Cooking Class in Ubud: $21
  • Indonesia Food Online Cooking Class by Masakonline: $21
  • Cooking Class and Village Tour Experience at Bukit Lawang: $21
  • Eat while chef is cooking in front of you: $24
  • Jambangan Bali Cooking Class in Ubud: $25
  • Visesa Cooking Class in Ubud : $27

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 $14 per person, per day on transportation in Koh Samui.

The average price of local transportation around Bali is $8.16 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Koh Samui $14
    Bali $8.16
Typical Local Transportation prices in Koh Samui

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


  • Scooter Rental
    $2.22
  • Gas for Scooter
    $1.19
  • Airport Taxi
    $13
  • Taxi- Na Thon Pier to Lamai Beach
    $12
  • Minibus- Airport to Chaweng
    $3.56

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Koh Samui

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

  • Shared Airport Bus Transfer Phuket : $3.09
  • Tiger Kingdom Ticket in Chiang Mai with Transfers: $5.59
  • Private Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) Transfers for Chiang Mai by TTD: $12
  • Private Krabi (KBV) or Phuket Airport Transfers (HKT) for Krabi, Phuket, and More by TTD: $15
  • Private Krabi/Phuket Airport Transfers (KBV/HKT) for Krabi & More: $15
  • Samui Airport Transfers (USM) for Koh Samui and More: $15
  • Private City Transfers for Ao Nang, Krabi Town, Phuket, and More by TTD: $15
  • Private Chiang Mai International Airport Transfers (CNX) for Chiang Mai and More: $16
  • Private City Transfers between Phuket, Khao Lak, Krabi and Koh Lanta: $16
  • Private Suvarnabhumi Airport Transfers (BKK) for Bangkok, Pattaya, and More by Oriental Holiday: $17
  • Private Don Mueang Airport (DMK) Transfers for Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, and Ayutthaya: $18
  • Private Phuket Airport Transfers (HKT) for Phuket and Other Areas by Oriental Holiday: $18

Typical Local Transportation prices in Bali

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Bali:


  • Motorbike Rental
    $3.50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bali

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bali:

  • Plataran Canggu Resort & Spa 3 Night Villa Staycation with Dining, Spa and Airport Transfers: $906
  • Private Transfer from Bali to Sitia (JSH) Airport: $394
  • Bandung Intercity Private Transfer to Surabaya: $336
  • Surabaya Intercity Private Transfer to Cirebon: $275
  • Surabaya Intercity Private Transfer to Purwokerto: $260
  • Bandung Intercity Private Transfer to Jogjakarta: $233
  • Surabaya Intercity Private Transfer to Solo: $204
  • Bandung Intercity Private Transfer to Semarang: $198
  • Jogjakarta Intercity Private Transfer to Malang: $186
  • Surabaya Intercity Private Transfer to Semarang: $176
  • Surabaya Intercity Private Transfer to Jogja: $158
  • Jogjakarta Intercity Private Transfer to Cirebon: $140

Is it cheaper to fly into Koh Samui or 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Koh Samui can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $9.11 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Bali's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $9.78 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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Koh Samui $9.11
    Bali $9.78

Tours and Activities in Koh Samui

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

  • 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
  • Ramayana Water Park Ticket in Pattaya: $3.75
  • Nails, Eyelash, and Waxing Beauty Experience at Ju's Nail: $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 Bali

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Bali are as follows:


  • Spa for Two
    $61
  • Snorkelling Trip
    $14
  • Cooking School
    $32

Tours and Activities in Bali

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

  • 2D1N Bromo and Ijen Crater Private Hiking Tour from Malang: $93
  • Aristocrat Sailing Cruise Tour to Nusa Lembongan by Bali Hai Cruise: $133
  • Best Rafting and Bali Bird Park Combo Experience in Bail: $63
  • Borobudur Temple Tour: $16
  • Elo River Rafting Experience by Citra Elo from Yogyakarta: $42
  • FANPEKKA by Aeon Fantasy Ticket in Jakarta: $6.49
  • Fast Boat Ticket between Sanur and Nusa Penida by The Angkal: $5.19
  • Full Body Massage Experience at Bali Orchid Spa: $18
  • Instagramable Kedung Pedut Waterfall and Borobudur Temple Tour: $24
  • Nakamura Spa Experience in Jakarta, Tangerang, and Bekasi: $11
  • Nusa Penida Tour from Bali : $13
  • Prambanan Temple Sunset Tour: $14

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 $4.02.

The average person spends about $2.89 on alcoholic beverages in Bali per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Koh Samui $4.02
    Bali $2.89

Sample the Local Flavors in Koh Samui

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Koh Samui:

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Bali

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

  • Sababay Winery Tour with Wine Tasting in Bali: $13


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.

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Koh Samui vs. Bali Travel Comparison

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