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

Should you visit Koh Samui or Koh Tao?

Should I visit Koh Samui or Koh Tao? 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 Tao

With a name that literally means, "Turtle Island," Koh Tao, Thailand is the type of vacation spot divers dream of. There is the faintest current and a buffet of dive sites and shops.

This tiny island hosts hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, but take not that there are no garbage disposal facilities. Everything that can't be burnt needs to be taken from the island. Avoid plastic bags, and don't dump your trash in the open landscape (then again, why would you?) because there are no departments for road clean up. Water and electricity on the island are scarce, so use them wisely.

Keep in mind that monsoon season from November to January so you may be faced with constant rain for days at a time in those months.

Which city is cheaper, Koh Tao 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 Koh Tao is $33. 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 Tao 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.

The prices for places to stay in Koh Tao can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $13, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $26.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Koh Samui $21
    Koh Tao $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Koh Samui $42
    Koh Tao $26

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.

In Koh Tao travelers spend around $8.31 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 Samui $17
    Koh Tao $8.31
Typical Food prices in Koh Samui

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


  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $6.57

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 Koh Tao

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


  • Sit Down Lunch (for One)
    $6.12
  • Breakfast
    $4.59
  • Casual Breakfast (for Two)
    $3.67
  • Fancy Dinner (for Two)
    $15
  • Pancake
    $2.14
  • American Breakfast (for Two)
    $8.56
  • Dinner at Bam Bam (for Two)
    $8.26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Koh Tao

For Koh Tao, 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
  • Chocolate Cooking Class at SO Sofitel Bangkok: $31
  • Thai Cooking Course Hua Hin: $31
  • Bangkok Thai Cooking Academy: $31

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.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Koh Tao than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $7.78 on transportation in Koh Tao on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Koh Samui $15
    Koh Tao $7.78
Typical Local Transportation prices in Koh Samui

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


  • Scooter Rental
    $2.29
  • Gas for Scooter
    $1.22
  • Airport Taxi
    $13
  • Taxi- Na Thon Pier to Lamai Beach
    $13
  • Minibus- Airport to Chaweng
    $3.67

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Koh Samui

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

  • Kata Rocks Resort & Residences (8D7N) with free COE Application and Airport Transfers: $2,321
  • The Red Baron Luxury Yacht Cruise from Koh Samui with Return Transfer: $181
  • [Next Day Result] COVID-19 RT-PCR Test by Bangkok Hospital Phuket (Transfer Arranged by TTD): $105
  • Guided Zipline Adventure in Ko Samui with Round Trip Transfer: $87
  • Private City Transfers from Pattaya to Bangkok, Hua Hin, Koh Samet & Koh Chang: $78
  • Private City Transfers between Hua Hin and Bangkok by TTS: $76
  • Private City Transfers between Hua Hin and Bangkok: $73
  • Private City Transfers between Hat Yai and Pak Bara Pier: $68
  • Koh Samui Paradise Park Farm Admission Ticket with Return Transfer: $58
  • Private City Transfers between Bangkok and Pattaya by TTS: $53
  • Private City Transfers between Ayutthaya and Bangkok by TTS: $53
  • Private City Transfers between Bangkok and Pattaya, Ayutthaya, Hua Hin & More: $46

Typical Local Transportation prices in Koh Tao

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


  • Motorbike Rental
    $5.81
  • Chumpon to Koh Tao Ferry
    $20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Koh Tao

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

  • Kata Rocks Resort & Residences (8D7N) with free COE Application and Airport Transfers: $2,321
  • [Next Day Result] COVID-19 RT-PCR Test by Bangkok Hospital Phuket (Transfer Arranged by TTD): $105
  • Private City Transfers from Pattaya to Bangkok, Hua Hin, Koh Samet & Koh Chang: $78
  • Private City Transfers between Hua Hin and Bangkok by TTS: $76
  • Private City Transfers between Hua Hin and Bangkok: $73
  • Private City Transfers between Hat Yai and Pak Bara Pier: $68
  • Private City Transfers between Bangkok and Pattaya by TTS: $53
  • Private City Transfers between Ayutthaya and Bangkok 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 Bangkok and Pattaya Airports Transfers (UTP, DMK or BKK) for Pattaya: $31
  • 7 Spa Luxury Spa Treatments in Pattaya with Round Trip Transfers: $26

Is it cheaper to fly into Koh Samui or Koh Tao?

Prices for flights to both Koh Tao 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 $9.41 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Sightseeing expenses in Koh Tao, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $24 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Koh Samui $9.41
    Koh Tao $24

Tours and Activities in Koh Samui

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

  • 4 Island Day Tour by Speedboat or Longtail Boat from Lanta Island: $31
  • ATV Half Day Adventure in Pattaya: $28
  • Ancient Ayutthaya Tour: Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, Bang Pa-In Royal Palace & More by AK Travel: $33
  • Aquaria Phuket Ticket: $4.95
  • Ayutthaya Day Tour from Bangkok with Bang Pa In and Night Market Visit┬áby TTD: $31
  • Ayutthaya Day Tour from Bangkok with Bang Pa-In Summer Palace and Market Visit: $35
  • Bangkok Floating Markets Day Tour from Siam Paragon by TTD: $28
  • Dii Wellness Med Spa Experience by Divana at Central Embassy BTS Ploenchit: $62
  • Go Bangkok e-Scooter Tour: $46
  • Indoor Go Karting Experience by EasyKart Bangkok: $13
  • Krabi Koh Klang Cultural Day Tour by TTD: $74
  • Krabi Sunrise Tour with Breakfast and Kayaking at Klong Nam Sai: $33

Typical Entertainment prices in Koh Tao

For Koh Tao, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Kayak Rental (One Hour)
    $7.64
  • Snorkel Rental
    $3.06
  • Kayak and Snorkel (2)
    $3.06

Tours and Activities in Koh Tao

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

  • 4 Island Day Tour by Speedboat or Longtail Boat from Lanta Island: $31
  • ATV Half Day Adventure in Pattaya: $28
  • Ancient Ayutthaya Tour: Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, Bang Pa-In Royal Palace & More by AK Travel: $33
  • Aquaria Phuket Ticket: $4.95
  • Ayutthaya Day Tour from Bangkok with Bang Pa In and Night Market Visit┬áby TTD: $31
  • Ayutthaya Day Tour from Bangkok with Bang Pa-In Summer Palace and Market Visit: $35
  • Bangkok Floating Markets Day Tour from Siam Paragon by TTD: $28
  • Dii Wellness Med Spa Experience by Divana at Central Embassy BTS Ploenchit: $62
  • Go Bangkok e-Scooter Tour: $46
  • Indoor Go Karting Experience by EasyKart Bangkok: $13
  • Krabi Koh Klang Cultural Day Tour by TTD: $74
  • Krabi Sunrise Tour with Breakfast and Kayaking at Klong Nam Sai: $33

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 $4.15.

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 Tao, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $6.41.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Koh Samui $4.15
    Koh Tao $6.41

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

Typical Alcohol prices in Koh Tao

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Koh Tao from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $1.99
  • Bottle of Wine
    $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Koh Tao

Also in Koh Tao, 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


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Koh Samui and Koh Tao, we can see that Koh Samui is more expensive. And not only is Koh Tao much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Koh Tao would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Koh Tao 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 Tao.

Budget Your Trip

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Koh Samui vs. Koh Tao Travel Comparison

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