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

Should you visit Koh Samui or Pattaya?

Should I visit Koh Samui or Pattaya? 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.

Pattaya

Go where the locals go. If that is your vacation motto, you will want to take a look at the popular weekend getaway of Pattaya, Thailand. This seaside resort on the Eastern Gulf Coast of Thailand is just outside of Bangkok, and full of resorts, beer bars and beaches.

Hosting more than five million visitors a year, Pattaya is easily accessed from the capital and the airport. Keep in mind, the sex tourism industry is still a large money earner for this city, but efforts by local authorities have created resorts and attractions for families and vacationers from all around the world.

Which city is cheaper, Pattaya 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 Pattaya is $60. 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 Pattaya 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.

Travelers usually pay around $42 for a double occupancy room in Pattaya If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.


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

Food in Pattaya costs travelers about $20 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Koh Samui $18
    Pattaya $20
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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Pattaya

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

  • Drink Drunk Drunk night & Sunset landmark selfie with Dinner: $56

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 Pattaya than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $11 on transportation in Pattaya on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Koh Samui $15
    Pattaya $11
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:

  • The Red Baron Luxury Yacht Cruise from Koh Samui with Return Transfer: $181
  • 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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Pattaya

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

  • Private Van Transfer from Pattaya City Center - Hua Hin City Center: $160
  • Private Car Transfer Pattaya City - Hua Hin City Beach: $137
  • Private Taxi Transfer Pattaya City Beach Thailand to Siem Reap City Cambodia: $123
  • Private Transfer: BKK Airport to Pattaya hotel 100% All-Electric Car: $100
  • BKK Airport to Pattaya hotel 100% All-Electric Private Transfer: $100
  • DMK Airport to Pattaya hotel 100% All-Electric Private Transfer: $85
  • Private Transfer: DMK Airport to Pattaya hotel 100% All-Electric Car: $85
  • Private Transfer: Pattaya to Bangkok: $82
  • Private Departure Transfer: Pattaya to Bangkok Airport - 3 PAX: $79
  • Private Transfer from Pattaya Hotel to DMK Airport: $73
  • Private Transfer from Pattaya to Suvarnabhumi Airport: $73
  • Private Airport Transfer: Bangkok to/from Pattaya: $73

Is it cheaper to fly into Koh Samui or Pattaya?

Prices for flights to both Pattaya 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.

Sightseeing expenses in Pattaya, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $18 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Koh Samui $9.46
    Pattaya $18

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 Pattaya

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

  • 3-Hour Mini Siam Tour in Pattaya: $55
  • Admission Ticket to Ramayana Water Park in Pattaya: $41
  • Alcazar Cabaret Admission Ticket with Optional Hotel Pickup in Pattaya: $21
  • Alcazar Cabaret Admission Ticket with Optional Hotel Pickup in Pattaya: $16
  • Alcazar Cabaret Show Admission Tickets: $19
  • Alcazar Cabaret Show at Pattaya Admission Ticket: $17
  • Art in Paradise Pattaya Entrance (Ticket Only): $9.09
  • Art in Paradise at Pattaya Admission Ticket: $15
  • Art in Paradise in Pattaya Admission Ticket: $15
  • Bangkok Temples Private Tour from Pattaya – Full Day: $150
  • Coral Island (Koh Larn) & Sanctuary of Truth Private Tour from Pattaya –Full Day: $85
  • Coral Island (Koh Larn) Tours with Lunch: $18

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.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Pattaya, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $7.38.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Koh Samui $4.18
    Pattaya $7.38


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Koh Samui and Pattaya, we can see that Pattaya 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 Pattaya would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Pattaya than you might in Koh Samui.

Budget Your Trip

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Koh Samui vs. Pattaya Travel Comparison

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