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

Should you visit Koh Tarutao or Penang?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Koh Tarutao and Penang. 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. So, let's dig into it.

Koh Tarutao

While much of Thailand has been built up into a tourist destination of hotels and resorts, there are spots that are still untouched and covered in the beauty of this part of the world. The unspoiled regions of the Ko Tarutao Marine National Park is 51 islands of rainforest ready for visitors. Established in 1974, the park is the second oldest in the country, and was the setting for the 2002 season of the reality television show Survivor. The park includes stunning coral reefs, pristine white beaches and wildlife of all shapes and sizes. Trek through and keep your eyes out for mouse deer, wild pigs, sea otters, tree pythons, sea eagles, hornbills, reef egrets and so much more.

Penang

Just off the northwestern coast of Malaysia is the charming and diverse island state of Penang. As the link between the ancient kingdoms of Asia and Europe's colonial empire, this area is enriched with Malay, Chinese, Indian and European influences. This exciting culture is centered in George Town, the main city of the state.

Which city is cheaper, Penang or Koh Tarutao?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Koh Tarutao is $89, while the average daily cost in Penang is $93. 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 Tarutao and Penang in more detail.



Accommodation

For a normal double-occupancy room in Koh Tarutao, $90 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Koh Tarutao, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $45, such as in a hostel.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $86 for a double occupancy room in Penang.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Koh Tarutao $45
    Penang $43
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Koh Tarutao $90
    Penang $86

Food

In Koh Tarutao travelers spend around $26 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.

In Penang travelers spend around $30 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 Tarutao $26
    Penang $30

Typical Food prices in Penang

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Penang:


  • Snack
    $1.91
  • Dinner at The Suffolk House (for 2)
    $82
  • Lunch at Sakae Sushi (for 2)
    $69
  • Lassy Juice
    $1.67
  • Dinner for 2
    $3.58
  • Street Stall Food
    $0.67
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $4.53
  • Italian Lunch (for Two)
    $11

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Penang

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

  • Dinner at Penang Hill: $91
  • Private Dinner at THE TOP with Skywalk Experience from Penang: $103
  • Private Malaysian Cooking Tour with Lunch from Penang: $119

Local Transportation

Koh Tarutao'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 $30 per person, per day on transportation in Koh Tarutao.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $11 per day to get around in Penang.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Koh Tarutao $30
    Penang $11

Typical Local Transportation prices in Penang

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


  • Local Bus
    $1.43
  • Island Ferry
    $0.57
  • Bus From Airport to George Town
    $0.64
  • Taxi From Airport to George Town
    $11
  • Motorbike Rental (One Day)
    $7.16
  • Bicycle Rental (One Day)
    $2.39

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Penang

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Penang:

  • Shared Transfer: Penang Airport to Penang Beach and City Hotels: $11
  • Private Transfer: Penang International Airport to Penang Beach or City Hotels: $22
  • Private Penang Arrival transfer to Hotel: $12
  • Private Economy Penang Airport Transfer-Departure: $25
  • Private Airport Transfer: Penang Island to Penang International Airport (PEN): $17
  • Penang to Kuala Lumpur transfer with sightseeing(optional): $206
  • Penang City to Kuala Lumpur International Airport One-way Transfer: $103
  • Penang City to Kuala Lumpur City One-way Transfer: $103
  • Penang City Hotels to Kuala Lumpur Airport One-way Transfer: $103
  • Penang Arrival Transfer: $11
  • Penang Airport Transfer to any Georgetown City Hotel or vice versa: $19
  • Escape Theme Park with One-Way Transfer from Penang: $60

Is it cheaper to fly into Koh Tarutao or Penang?

Prices for flights to both Penang 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Koh Tarutao can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $13 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $44 per person, per day in Penang. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Koh Tarutao $13
    Penang $44

Typical Entertainment prices in Penang

Here are a few typical costs in Penang for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Butterfly Gardens
    $7.40
  • Trishaw Tour (One Hour)
    $7.16
  • Fort Cornwallis Entrance
    $0.48
  • Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi Entrance
    $2.39

Tours and Activities in Penang

Here are a few actual costs in Penang for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 10 days Non-stop Excitement Peninsular Malaysia Private Tour: $2,031
  • A Fabulous Day in Penang (Private Tour with Lunch): $109
  • Full Day Kedah and Mount Jerai Tour with Lunch from Penang: $106
  • Full Day Lost World of Tambun Tour from Penang: $115
  • Group Tour : Full Day Pulau Penang Exploration with English Speaking Guide: $81
  • Group Tour : Half Day Penang Guided Trip: $61
  • Orangutan & Charcoal Factory Tour: $154
  • Penang Day Tour and Sightseeing: $62
  • Penang Day Tour and Sightseeing: $62
  • Penang Full-Day Private Customizable Tour with Pick Up: $70
  • Penang Heritage Tour: $90
  • Penang Hill and Temple Tour: $36

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Koh Tarutao spend on average $6.33 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Penang may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $14 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Koh Tarutao $6.33
    Penang $14

Typical Alcohol prices in Penang

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Penang:


  • Beer
    $1.91


When comparing the travel costs between Koh Tarutao and Penang, we can see that Penang is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Asia, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Koh Tarutao vs. Penang Travel Comparison

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