A Travel Price Comparison for Thailand Koh Samui vs. Koh Pha Ngan for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Koh Samui or Koh Pha Ngan?

Should I visit Koh Samui or Koh Pha Ngan? 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.

Koh Pha Ngan

Ko Phangan (or Pha Ngan) is best known for its full moon parties, attracting backpackers and budget travelers the world over for all-night parties on the beach. The clear, blue water, beautiful beaches, and tropical atmosphere bring the tourists to the island, and the low prices, diverse activities, and abundant amenities keep them here.

Which city is cheaper, Koh Pha Ngan or Koh Samui?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Koh Samui is $50, while the average daily cost in Koh Pha Ngan is $41. 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 Koh Pha Ngan 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.

Koh Pha Ngan's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $42. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $21.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Koh Samui $21
    Koh Pha Ngan $21
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Koh Samui $42
    Koh Pha Ngan $42

Food

On average, meal and food prices in Koh Samui cost around $18 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 $7.20.

The average traveler spends about $9.25 per day in Koh Pha Ngan for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Koh Samui $18
    Koh Pha Ngan $9.25
Typical Food prices in Koh Samui

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


  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $6.61

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

Typical Food prices in Koh Pha Ngan

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Koh Pha Ngan:


  • Noodle Lunch (for One)
    $1.23
  • Sit Down Dinner (for Two)
    $12
  • Smoothies (for Two)
    $1.23
  • Ice Cream
    $0.62
  • Juice
    $1.85
  • 3 Spring Rolls
    $0.92
  • 2 Pancakes
    $1.85

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.

The cost of a taxi ride in Koh Pha Ngan is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $12 per person, per day, on local transportation in Koh Pha Ngan.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Koh Samui $15
    Koh Pha Ngan $12
Typical Local Transportation prices in Koh Samui

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


  • Scooter Rental
    $2.31
  • Gas for Scooter
    $1.23
  • Airport Taxi
    $14
  • Taxi- Na Thon Pier to Lamai Beach
    $13
  • Minibus- Airport to Chaweng
    $3.69

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Koh Samui

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

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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Koh Pha Ngan

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Koh Pha Ngan are as follows:


  • Scooter Rental
    $9.23
  • Ferry Ride
    $15
  • Gas for Scooter
    $3.38

Is it cheaper to fly into Koh Samui or Koh Pha Ngan?

Prices for flights to both Koh Pha Ngan 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 $9.46 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Entertainment and activities in Koh Pha Ngan typically cost an average of $15 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Koh Samui $9.46
    Koh Pha Ngan $15

Tours and Activities in Koh Samui

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

  • 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
  • Gulf of Thailand Fishing Challenge Tour from Ko Samui: $52
  • Koh Samui Jungle Mountain Adventure Tour: $64
  • Full-Day Koh Samui Jungle Mountain Adventure Tour with Lunch: $64
  • Pig Island Experience & Koh Tan by Speed Boat (Snorkeling, Relaxing, Sunset): $66
  • Koh Phangan Day Tour by Speed Boat from Koh Samui: $70
  • Koh Samui to Koh Taen and Koh Mudsum Day Tour with Snorkeling: $70
  • Koh Samui Island Tour by Boat: $78
  • Ko Samui Angthong Marine Park Full Day Tour : Snorkeling & Sea Kayaking: $82
  • Koh Samui Tour with all Terrain Vehicle: $82

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 $4.18.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Koh Pha Ngan may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $8.92 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Koh Samui $4.18
    Koh Pha Ngan $8.92

Typical Alcohol prices in Koh Pha Ngan

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Koh Pha Ngan are as follows:


  • Drinks at Irish Pub (for Two)
    $8.00


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

Budget Your Trip

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Koh Samui vs. Koh Pha Ngan Travel Comparison

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