A Travel Price Comparison for Thailand Koh Tarutao vs. Similan Islands for Beaches, Couples, Hiking, and Food

Should you visit Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands?

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 Similan Islands. 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 remote, beautiful, and undiscovered island. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the beaches and hiking.

Similan Islands

Similan Islands is a idyllic, remote, and spectacular island chain. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. It's also popular because of the scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and hiking.

Koh Tarutao and Similan Islands: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Similan Islands. Although Koh Tarutao and Similan Islands are both popular with visitors, Similan Islands has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Similan Islands is more popular for its food, scuba diving & snorkeling, and impressive beauty, while Koh Tarutao is known for its museums, resorts, hiking, and shopping. Koh Tarutao is popular for its secluded beauty and undiscovered paradise setting. Similan Islands is popular for its world class diving and remote setting. It is also home to the undersea world.

How is Koh Tarutao different from Similan Islands?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Similan Islands 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 Similan Islands?

Koh Tarutao
Similan Islands

Koh Tarutao is not a good area for its museums and history. However, Similan Islands does not have 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.

Similan Islands does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Koh Tarutao
Similan Islands

Similan Islands is a good destination for its restaurants. However, Koh Tarutao is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

Similan Islands is becoming an appealing option for foodies. Most people visit the islands as part of an organized tour, which usually provides meals as part of the package.

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 Similan Islands Better for Nightlife?

Koh Tarutao
Similan Islands

Neither Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands offer decent nightlife.

Koh Tarutao doesn't offer many options. 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.

Things get quiet in the evenings in Similan Islands. Peace and tranquility is what makes these islands special, and you'll find very limited amenities and no nightlife on the islands.

Is Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands Better for Resorts?

Koh Tarutao
Similan Islands

Koh Tarutao is not a good area for its luxury resorts. However, Similan Islands is not a resort destination.

There isn't the widest selection of resorts in Koh Tarutao, but you'll find a few options to choose from. 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.

Similan Islands is not a resort destination.


Is Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Koh Tarutao
Similan Islands

Similan Islands 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 Similan Islands. These islands offer one of the world's most famous and impressive diving spots. World class divers travel great distances to experience the undersea world here. There are liveaboard boat trips that range in length from 4 to 6 nights and leave from either Khao Lak or Phuket. These trips will take you to the many great dive spots in the area. Do take note that the islands close every year from May until October.

Koh Tarutao is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands Better for Beaches?

Koh Tarutao
Similan Islands

Koh Tarutao and Similan Islands both offer fantastic 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 Similan Islands. The world class beaches have white sand and stunningly blue waters. The setting is challenging enough to reach that you'll likely have few people to share the beaches with. The undersea world is also among the best and most vibrant around.

Is Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands Better for Hiking?

Koh Tarutao
Similan Islands

Koh Tarutao is an excellent place to visit for its hiking trails. Also, Similan Islands is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its hiking experiences.

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.

Similan Islands offers some nice hiking trails. There are hikes through the jungle and to various viewpoints on several of the islands.


Is the Shopping Better in Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands?

Koh Tarutao
Similan Islands

Koh Tarutao is not a good area for its shopping opportunities. However, Similan Islands is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Shopping in Koh Tarutao can be found for those interested. There's a small shop at the visitor center where you can pick up simple drinks and snacks.

Similan Islands is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands Better for Families?

Koh Tarutao
Similan Islands

Both Koh Tarutao and Similan Islands 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 Similan Islands. It's a remote setting, but it's spectacularly beautiful with great snorkeling and sandy beaches that kids and adults alike will enjoy.

Is Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands Better for Couples?

Koh Tarutao
Similan Islands

Similan Islands is an unbeatable place for couples. Also, Koh Tarutao is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for romance.

Similan Islands is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. Couples who want to escape the tourist crowds will appreciate this remote and beautiful beach setting. The blue water and sandy beaches make for a true paradise.

Couples visit Koh Tarutao frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. 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.


Is Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Koh Tarutao
Similan Islands

Koh Tarutao is a island with good options for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Similan Islands is lacking in options for backpackers.

Koh Tarutao is a good island to visit for backpackers. 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.

Similan Islands is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It's remote setting makes it challenging to reach on a budget, but if you're willing to devote a day or more to travel, then you'll be well rewarded.

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

Koh Tarutao
Similan Islands

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

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 Similan Islands. The national park operates boats between the islands. You can also charter private longtail boats, however these must be secured in advance and availability is not guaranteed.

Is Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands a more walkable city?

Koh Tarutao
Similan Islands

Similan Islands is a good destination for its ease of walking around. However, Koh Tarutao is lacking in good options for its walkability.

Similan Islands is a somewhat walkable island chain. There are footpaths that connect the points of interest on some of the islands.

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 Similan Islands Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Similan Islands or Koh Tarutao?

How long in Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands?

Both Koh Tarutao and Similan Islands have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Similan Islands than in Koh Tarutao. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Koh Tarutao, and 4-7 days is enough time in Similan Islands.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Koh Tarutao than Similan Islands 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 Tarutao.


  • How many days in Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands? Ideal Length of Stay
    Koh Tarutao 2-3 
    Similan Islands 4-7

One day in Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands?

The beautiful destination of Koh Tarutao offers . Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. It's no surprise that beaches is why people visit. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Visitors enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the idyllic island chain of Similan Islands. It's also a great beach destination, too. 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 Similan Islands?

The island of Koh Tarutao offers . Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. A weekend here is typical. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities.

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and food when visiting the spectacular destination of Similan Islands. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This island chain offers something for everyone. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Five days in Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands?

Koh Tarutao is a great place to explore. It's also a great beach destination, too. It's no surprise that beaches is why people visit. This island offers something for everyone. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

Visitors enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the remote island chain of Similan Islands. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. 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 Similan Islands?

Many people enjoy the when visiting Koh Tarutao. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and food when visiting the destination of Similan Islands. Anyone can find something fun to do here. This is a popular place to visit for one week. Most people come for the beaches. In one week, you should have a good grasp of this island chain.


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, Similan Islands 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 Similan Islands is $163. 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 Similan Islands in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Koh Tarutao $49
    Similan Islands $68
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Koh Tarutao $98
    Similan Islands $136
Compare Hotels in Koh Tarutao and Similan Islands

Looking for a hotel in Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands? 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 Similan Islands


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Koh Tarutao $33
    Similan Islands $97

Is it cheaper to fly into Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands?

Prices for flights to both Similan Islands 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
    Similan Islands $36

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Koh Tarutao $14
    Similan Islands $44

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Koh Tarutao $6.99
    Similan Islands $9.32


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

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 Similan Islands Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands?

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 Similan Islands in the Summer?

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

The rainy season in Similan Islands is June to September. It rains a lot this time of the year in Similan Islands. It's quite rainy in Koh Tarutao. In July, Koh Tarutao usually receives around the same amount of rain as Similan Islands. Koh Tarutao gets 269 mm (10.6 in) of rain, while Similan Islands receives 284 mm (11.2 in) of rain each month for the summer.

In July, Koh Tarutao is generally around the same temperature as Similan Islands. Daily temperatures in Koh Tarutao average around 27°C (81°F), and Similan Islands fluctuates around 28°C (82°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Koh Tarutao 27°C (81°F) 
    Similan Islands 28°C (82°F)

Should I visit Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands in the Autumn?

Both Similan Islands and Koh Tarutao during the autumn 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 Similan Islands year-round.

November to April is the dry season in Koh Tarutao. May and October is the rainy season in Koh Tarutao. October to May is the dry season in Similan Islands. Similan Islands gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Koh Tarutao. Koh Tarutao usually gets less rain in October than Similan Islands. Koh Tarutao gets 281 mm (11.1 in) of rain, while Similan Islands receives 351 mm (13.8 in) of rain this time of the year.

Koh Tarutao is around the same temperature as Similan Islands in the autumn. The daily temperature in Koh Tarutao averages around 27°C (81°F) in October, and Similan Islands fluctuates around 27°C (81°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Koh Tarutao 27°C (81°F) 
    Similan Islands 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands in the Winter?

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

In January, Koh Tarutao usually receives more rain than Similan Islands. Koh Tarutao gets 50 mm (2 in) of rain, while Similan Islands receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain each month for the winter.

In the winter, Koh Tarutao is around the same temperature as Similan Islands. Typically, the winter temperatures in Koh Tarutao in January average around 27°C (80°F), and Similan Islands averages at about 27°C (80°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Koh Tarutao 27°C (80°F) 
    Similan Islands 27°C (80°F)

Should I visit Koh Tarutao or Similan Islands in the Spring?

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

Also, November to April in Koh Tarutao is the dry season. May and October in Koh Tarutao is the rainy season. Also, October to May in Similan Islands is the dry season. June to September in Similan Islands is the rainy season. It's quite rainy in Similan Islands. Koh Tarutao receives a lot of rain in the spring. Koh Tarutao usually gets less rain in April than Similan Islands. Koh Tarutao gets 124 mm (4.9 in) of rain, while Similan Islands receives 157 mm (6.2 in) of rain this time of the year.

In April, Koh Tarutao is generally around the same temperature as Similan Islands. Daily temperatures in Koh Tarutao average around 29°C (85°F), and Similan Islands fluctuates around 29°C (83°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Koh Tarutao 29°C (85°F) 
    Similan Islands 29°C (83°F)

Typical Weather for Similan Islands and Koh Tarutao

Koh Tarutao Similan Islands
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 27°C (80°F) 50 mm (2 in) 27°C (80°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
Feb 28°C (82°F) 23 mm (0.9 in) 28°C (82°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)
Mar 29°C (84°F) 51 mm (2 in) 28°C (83°F) 60 mm (2.4 in)
Apr 29°C (85°F) 124 mm (4.9 in) 29°C (83°F) 157 mm (6.2 in)
May 29°C (83°F) 244 mm (9.6 in) 28°C (82°F) 345 mm (13.6 in)
Jun 28°C (82°F) 224 mm (8.8 in) 28°C (82°F) 286 mm (11.3 in)
Jul 27°C (81°F) 269 mm (10.6 in) 28°C (82°F) 284 mm (11.2 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 262 mm (10.3 in) 28°C (82°F) 272 mm (10.7 in)
Sep 27°C (81°F) 355 mm (14 in) 27°C (81°F) 417 mm (16.4 in)
Oct 27°C (81°F) 281 mm (11.1 in) 27°C (81°F) 351 mm (13.8 in)
Nov 27°C (80°F) 204 mm (8 in) 27°C (80°F) 188 mm (7.4 in)
Dec 27°C (80°F) 116 mm (4.6 in) 27°C (80°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)


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