A Travel Price Comparison for Thailand Phuket vs. Chiang Mai for Food, Nightlife, Backpackers, and Families

Should you visit Phuket or Chiang Mai?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Phuket or Chiang Mai, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Phuket

Phuket is a energetic, party-hard, and stunning resort island. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Other reasons to visit include food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a natural, temple-filled, and laid-back city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the museums, nightlife, and food.

Phuket and Chiang Mai: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Phuket or Chiang Mai?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Chiang Mai than Phuket. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Chiang Mai is very popular for its museums, food, historical sights, hiking, shopping, big city activities, and impressive beauty, while Phuket attracts visitors for its nightlife, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, and beaches. Phuket is famous for its long sandy beaches, wild nightlife, colorful resorts, and easy access to day tours. Chiang Mai is famous for its lively night market, historical temples, local cuisine, and cultural rainforest treks. It is also well known for Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.

How is Phuket different from Chiang Mai?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Phuket or Chiang Mai?

Phuket
Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is an amazing city to visit for its museums and landmarks. However, Phuket does not have museums and landmarks.

The museums, monuments, and landmarks in Chiang Mai are among the most recognizable in the world. The city is filled with culture and you'll find many beautiful temples in the area. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a mountain-top temple that is an iconic landmark in the city. Other famous sights include Doi Inthanon and Wat Chedi Luang.

Phuket does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Phuket or Chiang Mai? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Phuket
Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is an amazing city to visit for its restaurant scene. Also, Phuket is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Chiang Mai is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. For many, this city offers some of the best food in all of Thailand. The cuisine is influenced by nearby Burma and China, with ginger and turmeric often used. Curries tend to be a bit milder and dishes are often served with sticky rice. Famous dishes around town include Khao Soi, Larb Kua, and Sai Oua. Cooking classes are also very popular around town and the courses often include a trip to a market.

Phuket is becoming an appealing option for foodies. Because it served as an international port for so long, food around the island has many international influences. For the most authentic local food, head into Phuket Town. Many dishes include seafood, but there are also chicken curries and noodle soup. Like elsewhere in Thailand, the food can be quite spicy but because the island is so touristy, they're accustomed to people asking for "no spice."

Is Phuket or Chiang Mai Better for Nightlife?

Phuket
Chiang Mai

Phuket is a world-class destination for nightlife. Also, Chiang Mai is not as popular, but is still a nice city for nightlife and partying.

People head to Phuket just to party. The island has a long running reputation as a party destination and it lives up to expectations. The biggest party area is Patong, particularly around Bangla Road, but even in Kata and Karon, it's hard to escape the party atmosphere.

Chiang Mai offers plenty to do in the evening. It is the largest city in Northern Thailand, so it has the most active nightlife scene in the area. Whatever your style, you can find something to do at night here. Many people head to the riverside to drink and listen to music. You'll also find clubs concentrated around Nimmanhaemin Road and Loy Kroh Road. There's also the famous Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, which is packed with stalls and people sampling food and drinks.

Is Phuket or Chiang Mai Better for Resorts?

Phuket
Chiang Mai

Phuket is a world-class destination for its luxury resorts. However, Chiang Mai is not a resort destination.

Vacationers flock to Phuket for its luxury resorts. It's easy accessibility and larger size make this the premiere resort destination in Thailand. There are five star resorts, family-friendly resorts, and everything in between. Many people use the island as a base for exploring other nearby islands. Any resort or tour company can arrange excursions or activities for guests.

Chiang Mai is not a resort destination.


Is Phuket or Chiang Mai Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Phuket
Chiang Mai

Phuket is a great resort island for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. However, Chiang Mai is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

There are many scuba diving and snorkeling spots near Phuket. You can dive and snorkel year round, but the visibility is usually best between November and May. There are countless boat tours available and the easy accessibility make this a good base for snorkeling and diving. Many areas are overrun with tourists though, so it'll be hard to find a quiet, undisturbed location.

Chiang Mai is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Phuket or Chiang Mai Better for Beaches?

Phuket
Chiang Mai

Phuket is a world-class destination for its beaches. However, Chiang Mai is not a beach destination.

Phuket offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. The island has more than 30 beaches to choose from, ranging from party hard areas to a few quieter gems in more remote locations. The area became a world-famous destination because of its white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, and the beaches will not disappoint, even if development has taken over the island.

Chiang Mai is not a beach destination.

Is Phuket or Chiang Mai Better for its Old Town?

Phuket
Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a great destination for its old town. However, Phuket does not have a historic old town.

Many visitors go to Chiang Mai to see the historical old town. The old city is about 1.5 square kilometers in size and it has four gates, one on each side. The most famous area is Sunday Walking Street, which comes to life at 4pm every day when it is lined with stalls and filled with people.

Phuket does not have a historic old town.


Is Phuket or Chiang Mai Better for Hiking?

Phuket
Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is an amazing city to visit for its hiking experiences. However, Phuket is not a hiking destination.

Known for its hiking, Chiang Mai draws a crowd to experience the nature and the trails. Many people use this city as a base for a trekking excursion into the surrounding countryside. The land is lush and beautiful and many treks also expose you to the welcoming Hilltribe people of Northern Thailand. Treks can be organized at almost any hotel or hostel as well the many tour agencies around town.

Phuket is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Phuket or Chiang Mai?

Phuket
Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is an amazing city to visit for its shopping opportunities. Also, Phuket is still popular, but not quite as popular for its shopping areas.

The abundance of shops in Chiang Mai make it a world-class shopping destination. The city is famous for its night markets, which run every night of the year until around midnight. You'll find the streets packed with people and vendors, rain or shine. This is a great place to search for local handicrafts and try some of the city's famous street food. Popular items to buy include rice boxes, silk, and Thai sky lanterns.

Phuket has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. Shopping malls offer a range of stores, air conditioning, and fixed prices while markets have more local items and unique souvenirs. There are also galleries and other souvenir shops all over the island.

Is Phuket or Chiang Mai Better for Families?

Phuket
Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a great destination for its family-friendly activities. Also, Phuket is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

Chiang Mai is a very kid-friendly city. This city is very friendly and welcoming to kids. There are many cultural and adventurous activities that the whole family can enjoy. One of the most popular kid-friendly places to visit is the Elephant Sanctuary, where kids can get up close and personal with these beautiful animals. Kids will also enjoy heading into the countryside to trek or visit one of Thailand’s Hilltribes. The cultural experience and opportunity to meet a diversity of kids will be an experience your children will never forget. In town, a cooking class is a popular option for budding foodies.

Phuket offers lots of family activities. Many people visit this island with kids because it has beautiful beaches and tons of activities including water sports, water parks, and amusement areas. The island is filled with a diversity of tourists, so you'll encounter a number of areas with party-hard atmospheres, but there are also tons of family-friendly resorts to choose from as well.


Is Phuket or Chiang Mai Better for Couples?

Phuket
Chiang Mai

Phuket and Chiang Mai are both great to visit as a couple.

Couples visit Phuket frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. The island is filled with beautiful beaches and plenty of activities for all travel styles. It's a tourist and party mecca in Thailand with many resorts and restaurants to choose from.

Chiang Mai is a great resort island if you're traveling as a couple. Trekking, rafting, temples, and some of the best food in Thailand all make this city a popular destination for a couple's getaway. The region is perfect for adventurous couples who want to experience more of the authentic side of Thailand.

Is Phuket or Chiang Mai Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Phuket
Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is an amazing city to visit for backpackers. However, Phuket is a resort island with minimal options for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Chiang Mai. This is one of the biggest backpacker mecca's in Southeast Asia, and you'll find the city flooded with budget travelers out to experience it all. There are countless hostels and budget hotels available and most will organize treks and activities for guests. It's easy to meet other backpackers and many visitors end up staying longer than they planned. Prices in Northern Thailand are also much more affordable than many other areas.

Phuket is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It has a long history as a party island with expensive prices and hordes of tourists. Many backpackers complain about the lack of authenticity and prefer to spend their time elsewhere.

Is Phuket or Chiang Mai Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Phuket
Chiang Mai

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Phuket and Chiang Mai.

You'll find some public transit in Phuket, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. Tuk tuks, buses, and motorbike taxis are all available on the island. The buses are usually Songtaew, which have open air seating areas.

While Chiang Mai offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. Transportation options include red songthaew (converted pick-up trucks), buses, and tuk-tuks.


Is Phuket or Chiang Mai a more walkable city?

Phuket
Chiang Mai

Phuket and Chiang Mai both are nice when exploring on foot.

Phuket is a somewhat walkable place. Most of the hotels and resorts are walking distance to the beach and many resort areas are small enough to be explored on foot.

Chiang Mai is a somewhat walkable resort island. Although there are a few walking streets, the city can get very crowded and many places are easier to access with a tuk tuk or taxi.

For even more information, also check out Is Phuket Worth Visiting? and Is Chiang Mai Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Chiang Mai or Phuket?

How long in Phuket or Chiang Mai?

Both Phuket and Chiang Mai have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, Chiang Mai has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Chiang Mai than Phuket. In general, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Phuket, and 2-7 days is enough time in Chiang Mai.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Chiang Mai than Phuket 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 Chiang Mai.


  • How many days in Phuket or Chiang Mai? Ideal Length of Stay
    Phuket 3-7 
    Chiang Mai 2-7

One day in Phuket or Chiang Mai?

With shopping and nightlife around the party-hard resort island of Phuket, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Chiang Mai is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Phuket or Chiang Mai?

With nightlife and food around the destination of Phuket, there's plenty to do. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.

Chiang Mai is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


Five days in Phuket or Chiang Mai?

Phuket, a popular resort island, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this resort island. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Chiang Mai. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Phuket or Chiang Mai?

Phuket is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have one week, this resort island makes for a great vacation. One week should give you a good understanding of everything this resort island has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Chiang Mai is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Thailand, The Best 2-Week Tours in Thailand, The Best Bicycle Tours in Thailand, and Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Thailand.


Which place is cheaper, Chiang Mai or Phuket?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Phuket is $105, while the average daily cost in Chiang Mai is $45. 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 Phuket and Chiang Mai in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Phuket $56
    Chiang Mai $26
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Phuket $112
    Chiang Mai $52
Compare Hotels in Phuket and Chiang Mai

Looking for a hotel in Phuket or Chiang Mai? 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 Phuket


Hotels in Chiang Mai


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: Phuket Hotel Prices and Chiang Mai Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Phuket $11
    Chiang Mai $3.63
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Phuket

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


  • Longtail Taxi (for Two)
    $8.18
  • Taxi from Airport to Phuket Town
    $6.82

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Phuket

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Phuket:

  • Phuket Jet Ski Tour to 7 Islands with Pickup and Transfer: $216
  • Phuket’s Top Tours DISCOUNTED with Private Airport Transfer : $211
  • Phuket any hotel to Koh lanta Private transfer: $167
  • Phuket Airport to Koh Lanta any hotel Private transfer: $152
  • ATV Bike 1 hr + ziplines 30 platforms with Roundtrip Transfer : $141
  • Private Transfer from Phuket to Krabi: $139
  • Morning Blue Sky Spa Package with Private Transfer: $125
  • Full Day Guided Banana Beach Paradise Trip With Lunch & Hotel Transfers: $123
  • Private Airport Arrival Transfer : Airport to Hotel in Krabi: $118
  • ATV Bike 1 hr+ Skyline Adventure 28 platforms with free Transfer: $118
  • Best Ziplines Adventure 30 platforms with free transfer : $113
  • Private Transfer from Phuket to Krabi with 2h of Sightseeing: $113

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Chiang Mai

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Chiang Mai are as follows:


  • Tuk Tuk Ride
    $1.09
  • Moped Rental
    $4.91

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chiang Mai

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

  • 2-Day Transfer Luang Prabang from Chiang Mai by Sleeper Bus : $84
  • Chiang Mai #1 Way Private Car transfer to/from Bangkok City: $273
  • Chiang Mai #Private Car transfer to/from Mae Sot: $197
  • Chiang Mai : Sticky Waterfalls transfer: $23
  • Chiang Mai Airport (CNX): One-Way Private Transfer: $12
  • Chiang Mai Airport Arrival – Private Transfer from Airport to Four Seasons Hotel: $24
  • Chiang Mai Airport CNX to Chiang Dao Round Trip Private Transfer: $54
  • Chiang Mai Airport CNX to Pai Thermal Resorts Arrival Transfer: $76
  • Chiang Mai Airport Departure – Private Transfer from Hotel to Airport: $13
  • Chiang Mai Airport PRIVATE Arrival or Departure Transfer : $21
  • Chiang Mai Airport Private Arrival Transfers: $10
  • Chiang Mai Airport Private Departure Transfers: $10

Is it cheaper to fly into Phuket or Chiang Mai?

Prices for flights to both Chiang Mai and Phuket 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
    Phuket $22
    Chiang Mai $10
Typical Food Prices in Phuket

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


  • Casual Dinner (for Two)
    $7.88
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $4.64
  • Sit Down Dinner (for Two)
    $12
  • Thai Noodles
    $2.45
  • Bananas
    $0.68
  • Pizza (for Two)
    $8.18

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Phuket

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

  • Thai Cooking Class 1.5 Hrs ( 2 Dishes Menu): $36
  • Thai Cooking Class 2 Hrs ( 3 Dishes Menu): $39
  • Express Thai Cooking Class in Phuket: $43
  • Thai Cooking Class 2 Hrs ( 4 Dishes Menu): $48
  • Afternoon Cocktails or Dinner in the Sky: $52
  • Vegetarian Organic Thai Cooking Class and Market Tour in Phuket: $52
  • Flavours of the South Guided Food Tour: $52
  • Phuket Coral Island Sunset with Dinner by Catamaran Yacht: $53
  • Coral Island & Sunset Dinner by Sailing Catamaran: $53
  • Twilight Stylish Sky Set Dinner - The SIS Kata Resort : $55
  • Organic Thai Cooking Class and Market Tour in Phuket: $56
  • Thai Cooking Class in Phuket: $56

Typical Food Prices in Chiang Mai

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Chiang Mai:


  • Sit Down Dinner (for One)
    $5.32
  • Roti Snack (Bread)
    $0.65
  • Casual Breakfast
    $1.09
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $5.46
  • Mangoes
    $0.82
  • Coffee
    $1.36

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chiang Mai

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

  • Cooking Evening Class Chiang Mai Visit Organic Garden and Market: $11
  • Cooking Morning Class Chiang Mai Visit Organic Garden and Market : $11
  • Traditional Khantoke Dinner and Show from Chiang Mai: $20
  • Khantoke Dinner with Traditional Performance: $22
  • Half-Day Thai Cooking Class at Organic Farm in Chiang Mai: $22
  • Afternoon Cooking Class in Organic Garden in Chiang Mai: $22
  • Morning Cooking Class in Organic Garden | Chiang Mai: $22
  • Cooking Class, Market and Thai Herbs Garden Tour: $25
  • Half Day Morning Cooking Class with Yummy Tasty Thai Cooking School: $25
  • Half Day Evening Cooking Class with Yummy Tasty Thai Cooking School: $25
  • Half-Day Thai Cuisine Cooking Experience in Chiang Mai : $27
  • Thai and Isaan Cooking Class & Local Market Tour: $27

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Phuket $42
    Chiang Mai $13
Typical Entertainment Prices in Phuket

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


  • One Day Boat Tour
    $25
  • Scuba Diving (Two Dives)
    $68
  • Thai Oil Massage
    $17
  • Surfboard Rental
    $8.18

Tours and Activities in Phuket

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

  • 3 Khai Islands Snorkeling Tour by Speed Boat: $43
  • Activities In & Around Full Day Customizable Tour: $90
  • Amazing Krabi Private 1 day tour from Phuket by VAN: $222
  • Khai Island Half Day Tour by Speedboat from Phuket (SHA Plus): $62
  • Phi Phi Islands Adventure Day Tour with Seaview Lunch from Phuket: $68
  • Phuket Night Food Walking tour : $90
  • Unseen Phuket Full Day Tour + Lunch : $154
  • Water Rafting 5 km Tour & ATV 1 hour - Real Adventure: $101
  • Whitewater Rafting & ATV Adventure Tour from Phuket including Lunch: $120
  • 1 Hour Phuket ATV on Tour + Big Buddha: $40
  • 12 Islands Overnight Tour: $183
  • 2 Hours Phuket Old Town Street Food Walking Tour: $45

Typical Entertainment Prices in Chiang Mai

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


  • Thai Cooking Class
    $35
  • Doi Suthep Entrance Ticket
    $1.64
  • Kratong Lessons
    $2.73
  • Pedicure
    $4.09
  • Chiang Mai Museum (for Two)
    $4.91

Tours and Activities in Chiang Mai

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

  • Scavenger Hunt City Tour for Your Smartphone: $7.66
  • Chiang Mai Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $7.85
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: $11
  • Art in Paradise Illusion Museum Entry Ticket: $11
  • Mae Ping River Cruise: $12
  • Old City and Temples Guided Walking Tour: $14
  • Local Food and Markets Guided Walking Tour: $14
  • Skip the Line: Chiang Mai Art in Paradise Admission Ticket: $14
  • Tweechol Botanic Garden Half Day Adventure : $15
  • Chiang Mai Michelin Food Walking Tour with Professional Tour Guide: $15
  • Chiang Mai Old City & Temples Guided Walking Tour - 2 Hrs: $15
  • Circuit Karting Experience at Chiang Mai Circuit - Go Kart: $16

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Phuket $6.35
    Chiang Mai $6.76
Typical Alcohol Prices in Phuket

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


  • Cocktails (for Two)
    $5.46
  • Beer
    $2.32

Sample the Local Flavors in Phuket

Also in Phuket, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • All-Night Bar Crawl with Drinks & 4 Venues: $22
  • Phuket Guided Pub Crawl: $25
  • Pub Crawl Tour: $25
  • Phuket Real City Tour with Rum Cocktail Distillery: $79
  • Big Buddha & The Distillery Phuket: $98
  • Phuket Sightseeing Tour with Rum Distillery : $98
  • Phuket Rum Distillery Cocktail Workshop And Wat Chalong Temple : $172
  • Phuket Rum Distillery Cocktail Workshop & Wat Chalong Temple: $213

Typical Alcohol Prices in Chiang Mai

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Chiang Mai are as follows:


  • Wine
    $2.73

Sample the Local Flavors in Chiang Mai

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Chiang Mai:

  • Chiang Mai Pub Crawl: The Best Bars & Pubs in Chiang Mai!: $9.56


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

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


Which is Bigger, Phuket or Chiang Mai?

Chiang Mai has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Phuket. When comparing the sizes of Phuket and Chiang Mai, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Phuket or Chiang Mai?

Both destinations experience a warmer climate most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season. Although in the rainy season, it doesn't necessarily rain every day.

Should I visit Phuket or Chiang Mai in the Summer?

Both Chiang Mai and Phuket during the summer are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Phuket because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Chiang Mai year-round.

June to September is the rainy season in Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Phuket. Phuket usually gets more rain in July than Chiang Mai. Phuket gets 287 mm (11.3 in) of rain, while Chiang Mai receives 161 mm (6.3 in) of rain this time of the year.

It's quite sunny in Phuket. In the summer, Phuket often gets more sunshine than Chiang Mai. Phuket gets 206 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chiang Mai receives 146 hours of full sun.

In July, Phuket is generally around the same temperature as Chiang Mai. Daily temperatures in Phuket average around 28°C (82°F), and Chiang Mai fluctuates around 30°C (86°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Phuket 28°C (82°F) 
    Chiang Mai 30°C (86°F)

Should I visit Phuket or Chiang Mai in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Phuket and Chiang Mai. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Phuket year-round. Chiang Mai attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

December to March in Phuket is the dry season. Also, June to October is the rainy season in Phuket. November to February in Chiang Mai is the dry season. Chiang Mai receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Phuket gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Phuket usually receives more rain than Chiang Mai. Phuket gets 304 mm (12 in) of rain, while Chiang Mai receives 122 mm (4.8 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Chiang Mai this time of the year. Phuket usually receives less sunshine than Chiang Mai during autumn. Phuket gets 181 hours of sunny skies, while Chiang Mai receives 226 hours of full sun in the autumn.

Phuket is around the same temperature as Chiang Mai in the autumn. The daily temperature in Phuket averages around 27°C (81°F) in October, and Chiang Mai fluctuates around 29°C (83°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Phuket 27°C (81°F) 
    Chiang Mai 29°C (83°F)

Should I visit Phuket or Chiang Mai in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Phuket as well as Chiang Mai. Phuket attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. The warm climate attracts visitors to Chiang Mai throughout the year.

Also, December to March in Phuket is the dry season. Also, November to February in Chiang Mai is the dry season. Phuket usually gets more rain in January than Chiang Mai. Phuket gets 31 mm (1.2 in) of rain, while Chiang Mai receives 7 mm (0.3 in) of rain this time of the year.

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Chiang Mai. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Phuket this time of the year. In the winter, Phuket often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Chiang Mai. Phuket gets 287 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chiang Mai receives 283 hours of full sun.

In the winter, Phuket is a little warmer than Chiang Mai. Typically, the winter temperatures in Phuket in January average around 28°C (82°F), and Chiang Mai averages at about 23°C (74°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Phuket 28°C (82°F) 
    Chiang Mai 23°C (74°F)

Should I visit Phuket or Chiang Mai in the Spring?

Both Chiang Mai and Phuket are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to Phuket throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Chiang Mai because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.

The rainy season in Phuket is June to October. The rainy season in Chiang Mai is June to September. It's quite rainy in Phuket. In April, Phuket usually receives more rain than Chiang Mai. Phuket gets 120 mm (4.7 in) of rain, while Chiang Mai receives 50 mm (2 in) of rain each month for the spring.

It's quite sunny in Chiang Mai. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Phuket. Phuket usually receives less sunshine than Chiang Mai during spring. Phuket gets 249 hours of sunny skies, while Chiang Mai receives 275 hours of full sun in the spring.

It's very hot in Chiang Mai this time of the year. In April, Phuket is generally around the same temperature as Chiang Mai. Daily temperatures in Phuket average around 29°C (84°F), and Chiang Mai fluctuates around 31°C (88°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Phuket 29°C (84°F) 
    Chiang Mai 31°C (88°F)

Typical Weather for Chiang Mai and Phuket

Phuket Chiang Mai
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 28°C (82°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 23°C (74°F) 7 mm (0.3 in)
Feb 28°C (83°F) 22 mm (0.9 in) 26°C (78°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Mar 29°C (84°F) 52 mm (2 in) 29°C (83°F) 13 mm (0.5 in)
Apr 29°C (84°F) 120 mm (4.7 in) 31°C (88°F) 50 mm (2 in)
May 28°C (83°F) 318 mm (12.5 in) 31°C (87°F) 158 mm (6.2 in)
Jun 28°C (82°F) 279 mm (11 in) 30°C (86°F) 132 mm (5.2 in)
Jul 28°C (82°F) 287 mm (11.3 in) 30°C (86°F) 161 mm (6.3 in)
Aug 28°C (82°F) 262 mm (10.3 in) 29°C (85°F) 236 mm (9.3 in)
Sep 27°C (81°F) 399 mm (15.7 in) 29°C (85°F) 228 mm (9 in)
Oct 27°C (81°F) 304 mm (12 in) 29°C (83°F) 122 mm (4.8 in)
Nov 27°C (81°F) 165 mm (6.5 in) 27°C (80°F) 53 mm (2.1 in)
Dec 27°C (81°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 24°C (75°F) 20 mm (0.8 in)