A Travel Price Comparison for Thailand Koh Tarutao vs. Koh Tao for Beaches, Backpackers, Food, and Hiking

Should you visit Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Koh Tarutao and Koh Tao. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Koh Tarutao

Koh Tarutao is a undiscovered, secluded, and remote island. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the beaches and hiking.

Koh Tao

Koh Tao is a mellow, beautiful, and tropical island. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. It's also popular because of the shopping, nightlife, and food.

Koh Tarutao and Koh Tao: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Not as many resort options
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Koh Tao. Although Koh Tarutao and Koh Tao are both popular with visitors, Koh Tao has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Koh Tao is more touristy than Koh Tarutao and is known for its affordable scuba diving courses, laid-back island vibe, popularity with backpackers, and stunning island hikes. It is also home to Mango Bay Viewpoint. Koh Tarutao is popular for its secluded beauty and undiscovered paradise setting.

How is Koh Tarutao different from Koh Tao?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Koh Tao and Koh Tarutao. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao?

Koh Tarutao
Koh Tao

Neither Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao offer quality museums and landmarks.

If you're looking to pass the time, head to a museum or historic sight in Koh Tarutao. This island is all about remote natural settings that will take your breath away, but you won't find anything in the form of temples or museums.

Koh Tao offers a few options for museum-goers. It's a small island that is all about beachfront beauty. Most visitors enjoy the island's outdoor paradise setting, but on those rainy afternoons, there really are very few indoor activities or temples to visit.


Is the Food Better in Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Koh Tarutao
Koh Tao

Koh Tao is a very popular place for its restaurants. However, Koh Tarutao is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

Koh Tao has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. You'll find a huge ex-pat community on the island, and with them they bring a variety of international cuisines. There are also local establishments that sell the typical Thai dishes with lots of seafood, curries, and noodle dishes. It's fun to enjoy a beachside restaurant that lets you sit right by the water looking off into a tropical paradise.

Koh Tarutao offers some easy restaurants to choose from. There are three restaurants on the island that have limited hours so, if possible, it's best to arrive with some snacks. The food is simple and can get repetitive if you eat the same meals several days in a row.

Is Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao Better for Nightlife?

Koh Tarutao
Koh Tao

Koh Tao is a very popular place for its evening party scene. However, Koh Tarutao is lacking in good options for nightlife.

Koh Tao has a large number of nightlife venues. While most people head for the island for its scuba diving, when the sun goes down everyone heads to the beach to party. The island has a very active nightlife scene with its own Full Moon Parties, dance clubs, beachside bars, and more. Head to Sairee Beach for the most active nightlife and entertainment options.

Things get quiet in the evenings in Koh Tarutao. There's a good chance you'll have this island almost completely to yourself. The few restaurants on the island close early and you'll likely head to bed early after taking in the stunning night sky.

Is Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao Better for Resorts?

Koh Tarutao
Koh Tao

Koh Tao is a very popular place for its luxury resorts. However, Koh Tarutao is lacking in good options for its resorts.

There are plenty of resorts in Koh Tao to choose from. While it's mostly famous as a diving destination, there are also a diversity of resorts, from luxury to affordable, available on the island. The beaches are beautiful and many resorts offer scuba diving packages as well.

While Koh Tarutao is not known as a resort destination, there are some nice places to stay. You won't find luxury resorts (or any resorts) on the island. What you will find is simple bungalows, or tents available for rent at the ranger stations.


Is Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Koh Tarutao
Koh Tao

Koh Tao is an unbeatable place for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Koh Tarutao is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

People travel from around the world to go scuba diving and snorkeling in Koh Tao. The island is Thailand's most famous scuba diving destination for it's affordable certifications and prolific dive shops. There are a variety of dive sites near the island, but with fame and popularity come challenges. The coral and sealife is feeling the pressure of the high number of tourists, and the reefs show their damage. But the training you receive here is affordable and well-established.

Koh Tarutao is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao Better for Beaches?

Koh Tarutao
Koh Tao

Koh Tarutao and Koh Tao both offer world-class beaches.

Koh Tarutao offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. A true island paradise, you'll find isolated beaches here that are so remote that you'll likely have them to yourself for large parts of the day.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Koh Tao. The white sand beaches have a mellow vibe with beautiful blue waters. This is a true tropical paradise with beachside cafes, easy snorkeling, and warm water. The beaches range from quiet and isolated to high energy and vibrant.

Is Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao Better for Hiking?

Koh Tarutao
Koh Tao

Hiking trails can be found around both Koh Tarutao and Koh Tao, and they are great.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Koh Tarutao. There are hiking trails through mangrove coves, inland through the dramatic vegetation, and up cliffs to impressive viewpoints.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Koh Tao. Hiking is the best way to enjoy the inland beauty of the island. There are paths that take you through the jungle covered land to viewpoints and remote areas. Many paths are rustic and not always well maintained so it's helpful to ask a local for directions beforehand.


Is the Shopping Better in Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao?

Koh Tarutao
Koh Tao

Koh Tao is a good destination for its shopping areas. However, Koh Tarutao is lacking in good options for shopping.

Koh Tao has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The main beach areas of Mae Haad, Sairee, and Chalok Baan Kao have the highest concentration of clothing and dive equipment shops. Because it's an island with limited access, prices can be a bit high.

Koh Tarutao has some shopping areas for those that seek them out. There's a small shop at the visitor center where you can pick up simple drinks and snacks.

Is Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao Better for Families?

Koh Tarutao
Koh Tao

Both Koh Tarutao and Koh Tao are good family-friendly destinations.

Koh Tarutao is a family-friendly island. For families who want seclusion, this beautiful island is the place to spend a night or two. There are great beaches, interesting hikes, and kayaks available to visitors.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Koh Tao. The island is popular for its affordable scuba diving certifications, so there are a number of options for families with older kids who'd like to get certified. It's also a more laid back and smaller island than some nearby places, so it's possible to find quiet beaches where your family can relax. Some of the quieter beaches include Sai Nuan and Ao Luek. You'll still find a large number of backpackers on the island, but there's a more chill atmosphere with most visitors focused on scuba diving and exploring.

Is Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao Better for Couples?

Koh Tarutao
Koh Tao

Koh Tarutao and Koh Tao both great destinations for a couple.

Koh Tarutao makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. For a truly remote experience, couples will enjoy this often overlooked island. There are hikes and isolated beaches that offer romance in its most simple form.

Couples visit Koh Tao frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. This laid back island offers a relaxing honeymoon destination for couples who want to learn to scuba dive and enjoy a bit of tropical paradise. There are beachside restaurants, beautiful blue waters, white sand, and everything you need for your own piece of paradise.


Is Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Koh Tarutao
Koh Tao

Koh Tao is an unbeatable place for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Koh Tarutao is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

A large number of backpackers visit Koh Tao, as it is a very popular island for budget travelers. The island is an oasis for backpackers who want to enjoy the mellow island life, learn to scuba dive cheaply, and have fun at a beachside party. There are plenty of affordable places to stay and countless opportunities to meet other backpackers. The island is also well connected to other nearby islands.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Koh Tarutao. Most backpackers overlook this beautiful island for the more party-oriented destinations of Thailand, but those who spend a night or two here will be rewarded with a truly unique and authentic experience.

Is Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Koh Tarutao
Koh Tao

Visitors will find decent public transit in both Koh Tarutao and Koh Tao.

Public transit is mostly limited in Koh Tarutao. There are shuttle taxis that travel around the island at fixed times. You can also rent a mountain bike at the ranger stations.

Public transit is generally limited in Koh Tao. You can rent a motorbike or bicycle to explore the island. There are also taxis and taxi boats available.

Is Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao a more walkable city?

Koh Tarutao
Koh Tao

Koh Tao is a very popular place for its ease of walking around. However, Koh Tarutao is lacking in good options for its walkability.

Koh Tao is a very walkable destination. The island is smaller than many islands in Thailand, and the small towns are usually no more than 5 kilometers apart. It's also possible to walk around most of the small towns.

Koh Tarutao is generally not very walkable. The island is quite large and difficult to explore on foot alone.


For even more information, also check out Is Koh Tarutao Worth Visiting? and Is Koh Tao Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Koh Tao or Koh Tarutao?

How long in Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao?

Both Koh Tarutao and Koh Tao have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Koh Tao than in Koh Tarutao. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Koh Tarutao, and 2-7 days is enough time in Koh Tao.

Families should spend more time in Koh Tao than Koh Tarutao. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Koh Tao, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Koh Tao than Koh Tarutao. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Koh Tao that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Koh Tao than Koh Tarutao if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Koh Tao.


  • How many days in Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao? Ideal Length of Stay
    Koh Tarutao 2-3 
    Koh Tao 2-7

One day in Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao?

In Koh Tarutao, you'll find . You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. This island offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the popular island of Koh Tao. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A weekend in Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao?

In Koh Tarutao, you'll find . The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Koh Tarutao has to offer.

Visitors enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the popular destination of Koh Tao. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. This island offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Five days in Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao?

Koh Tarutao is a great place to explore. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the popular island of Koh Tao. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Many people spend five days here.If you enjoy all that's offered here, then five days is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.


A week in Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Koh Tarutao. Many people enjoy the when visiting Koh Tarutao. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Visitors enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting the destination of Koh Tao. Anyone can find something fun to do here. This is a popular place to visit for one week. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. In one week, you should have a good grasp of this island.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Sightseeing Tours in Thailand, The Best Cultural Tours in Thailand, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Thailand, and The Best Nightlife Tours in Thailand.


Which place is cheaper, Koh Tao or Koh Tarutao?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Koh Tarutao is $98, while the average daily cost in Koh Tao is $37. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Koh Tarutao and Koh Tao in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Koh Tarutao $50
    Koh Tao $14
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Koh Tarutao $100
    Koh Tao $28
Compare Hotels in Koh Tarutao and Koh Tao

Looking for a hotel in Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao? 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.

Hotels in Koh Tarutao


Hotels in Koh Tao


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.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Koh Tao Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Koh Tarutao $33
    Koh Tao $8.66

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Koh Tao

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


  • Motorbike Rental
    $5.18
  • Chumpon to Koh Tao Ferry
    $18

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

Prices for flights to both Koh Tao and Koh Tarutao 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Koh Tarutao $28
    Koh Tao $9.20

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)
    $5.45
  • Breakfast
    $4.09
  • Casual Breakfast (for Two)
    $3.27
  • Fancy Dinner (for Two)
    $13
  • Pancake
    $1.91
  • American Breakfast (for Two)
    $7.63
  • Dinner at Bam Bam (for Two)
    $7.36

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Koh Tarutao $14
    Koh Tao $26

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)
    $6.81
  • Snorkel Rental
    $2.73
  • Kayak and Snorkel (2)
    $2.73

Tours and Activities in Koh Tao

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

  • 5 Islands Full-Day Tour Around Koh Tao and Koh Nangyuan: $24
  • Advanced Adventurer - 2 days ( Advanced Open Water): $280
  • Basic Diver ( One Day Experience): $126
  • Full day snorkeling adventure around Koh Tao: $22
  • Koh Nang Yuan and Koh Tao 5 Point Snorkeling Tour: $23
  • Koh Tao Cliff Jumping Snorkeling Experience: $135
  • Koh Tao Snorkeling Tour to Hidden Bays and Koh Nang Yuan : $29
  • Koh Tao Viewpoint and Snorkeling Tour: $55
  • Premium Snorkel Tour to the Bays of Koh Tao onboard the Oxygen: $33
  • Snorkel Tour to Koh Nangyuan and the hidden bays of Koh Tao onboard the Oxygen: $22

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Koh Tarutao $7.01
    Koh Tao $7.14

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
    $1.77
  • Bottle of Wine
    $10


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Koh Tarutao Expensive? and Is Koh Tao Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao?

Both destinations experience a warmer climate with nice weather most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season.

Should I visit Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Koh Tarutao and Koh Tao. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Koh Tarutao year-round. Koh Tao attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

Koh Tao receives a lot of rain in the summer. Koh Tarutao gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Koh Tarutao usually receives more rain than Koh Tao. Koh Tarutao gets 269 mm (10.6 in) of rain, while Koh Tao receives 174 mm (6.9 in) of rain each month for the summer.

In July, Koh Tarutao is generally a little warmer than Koh Tao. Daily temperatures in Koh Tarutao average around 27°C (81°F), and Koh Tao fluctuates around 24°C (76°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Koh Tarutao 27°C (81°F) 
    Koh Tao 24°C (76°F)

Should I visit Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Koh Tarutao as well as Koh Tao. Koh Tarutao attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. The warm climate attracts visitors to Koh Tao throughout the year.

Also, November to April in Koh Tarutao is the dry season. May and October in Koh Tarutao is the rainy season. October and November in Koh Tao is the rainy season. It's quite rainy in Koh Tao. Koh Tarutao receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Koh Tarutao usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Koh Tao. Koh Tarutao gets 281 mm (11.1 in) of rain, while Koh Tao receives 276 mm (10.9 in) of rain this time of the year.

Koh Tarutao is a little warmer than Koh Tao in the autumn. The daily temperature in Koh Tarutao averages around 27°C (81°F) in October, and Koh Tao fluctuates around 24°C (76°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Koh Tarutao 27°C (81°F) 
    Koh Tao 24°C (76°F)

Should I visit Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao in the Winter?

Both Koh Tao and Koh Tarutao are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to Koh Tarutao throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Koh Tao because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.

The dry season in Koh Tao is February to June. In January, Koh Tarutao usually receives less rain than Koh Tao. Koh Tarutao gets 50 mm (2 in) of rain, while Koh Tao receives 94 mm (3.7 in) of rain each month for the winter.

In the winter, Koh Tarutao is a little warmer than Koh Tao. Typically, the winter temperatures in Koh Tarutao in January average around 27°C (80°F), and Koh Tao averages at about 22°C (72°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Koh Tarutao 27°C (80°F) 
    Koh Tao 22°C (72°F)

Should I visit Koh Tarutao or Koh Tao in the Spring?

Both Koh Tao and Koh Tarutao during the spring are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Koh Tarutao because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Koh Tao year-round.

November to April is the dry season in Koh Tarutao. May and October is the rainy season in Koh Tarutao. February to June is the dry season in Koh Tao. It rains a lot this time of the year in Koh Tarutao. Koh Tarutao usually gets more rain in April than Koh Tao. Koh Tarutao gets 124 mm (4.9 in) of rain, while Koh Tao receives 74 mm (2.9 in) of rain this time of the year.

In April, Koh Tarutao is generally a little warmer than Koh Tao. Daily temperatures in Koh Tarutao average around 29°C (85°F), and Koh Tao fluctuates around 25°C (77°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Koh Tarutao 29°C (85°F) 
    Koh Tao 25°C (77°F)

Typical Weather for Koh Tao and Koh Tarutao

Koh Tarutao Koh Tao
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 27°C (80°F) 50 mm (2 in) 22°C (72°F) 94 mm (3.7 in)
Feb 28°C (82°F) 23 mm (0.9 in) 23°C (74°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Mar 29°C (84°F) 51 mm (2 in) 24°C (75°F) 57 mm (2.2 in)
Apr 29°C (85°F) 124 mm (4.9 in) 25°C (77°F) 74 mm (2.9 in)
May 29°C (83°F) 244 mm (9.6 in) 25°C (78°F) 189 mm (7.4 in)
Jun 28°C (82°F) 224 mm (8.8 in) 25°C (78°F) 174 mm (6.9 in)
Jul 27°C (81°F) 269 mm (10.6 in) 24°C (76°F) 174 mm (6.9 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 262 mm (10.3 in) 25°C (76°F) 206 mm (8.1 in)
Sep 27°C (81°F) 355 mm (14 in) 25°C (77°F) 158 mm (6.2 in)
Oct 27°C (81°F) 281 mm (11.1 in) 24°C (76°F) 276 mm (10.9 in)
Nov 27°C (80°F) 204 mm (8 in) 23°C (74°F) 380 mm (15 in)
Dec 27°C (80°F) 116 mm (4.6 in) 23°C (73°F) 118 mm (4.6 in)