A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Phuket vs. Gili Trawangan for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Phuket or Gili Trawangan?

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

Phuket

Phuket Island is the tourist mecca of southern Thailand. Known for its beaches and resorts, the island brings in a massive amount of travelers from all over the world, year round. Although the beaches are beautiful, Phuket has also become more westernized and tourist-oriented in recent decades, leaving many travelers to venture elsewhere to find that amazing beach with a more authentic Thai vibe. However, Phuket Island is quite large, and hidden gems can still be found.

Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan, known as Gili T, is the most visited of the three Gili Islands, located on the northeast side of Lombok. These islands are known for world-class diving and snorkeling spots. It's not hard to see why, considering that any direction you step off the shoreline, there's a beautiful underwater world to explore.

Which city is cheaper, Gili Trawangan or Phuket?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Phuket is $93, while the average daily cost in Gili Trawangan is $32. 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 Phuket and Gili Trawangan in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in Phuket is about $102 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $42 in Gili Trawangan For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Phuket $51
    Gili Trawangan $21
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Phuket $102
    Gili Trawangan $42

Food

On average, meal and food prices in Phuket 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.

The average traveler spends about $6.42 per day in Gili Trawangan for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Phuket $18
    Gili Trawangan $6.42
Typical Food prices in Phuket

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


  • Casual Dinner (for Two)
    $8.89
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $5.23
  • Sit Down Dinner (for Two)
    $13
  • Thai Noodles
    $2.77
  • Bananas
    $0.77
  • Pizza (for Two)
    $9.23

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Phuket

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

  • Private Authentic Thai Cooking Class in a Family Home in Phuket: $60
  • Siam Niramit w/ Ticket+ Buffet Dinner + Transfer: $63
  • Half Day Thai Cooking Class including Lunch from Khao Lak: $65
  • Phuket FantaSea: Show with Dinner and Transfers: $75
  • Phijittra Uniqueness Sailing Sunset Dinner Cruise: $79
  • Phuket Cooking Course with Sightseeing Tour plus Kata Local Market (Full Day): $101
  • Dinner Buffet Cruise in Phuket: $109
  • James Bond Island Trip on Luxury Boat & lunch buffet, dinner, water activities: $153
  • Sunset Dinner Cruise on board a beautiful: $204

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Phuket is $9.05 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Gili Trawangan than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $2.45 on transportation in Gili Trawangan on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Phuket $9.05
    Gili Trawangan $2.45
Typical Local Transportation prices in Phuket

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


  • Longtail Taxi (for Two)
    $9.23
  • Taxi from Airport to Phuket Town
    $7.69

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Phuket

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Phuket:

  • Transfer from Phuket Hotel to Phuket Airport: $43
  • Transfer from Phuket Hotel to Phi Phi Island: $25
  • Transfer from Phuket Airport to Phuket Hotel: $43
  • Transfer from Phuket Airport to Khao Lak Hotel: $50
  • Private Van: Phuket Airport Transfers: $38
  • Private Transfer: Van Charter incl Airport Pick Up or Drop Off: $92
  • Private Transfer from Phuket to Krabi with 2h of Sightseeing: $91
  • Private Transfer from Phuket City to Phuket (HKT) Airport: $62
  • Private Transfer from Mai Khao Beach to Phuket (HKT) Airport: $62
  • Private Transfer from Bang Tao Beach to Phuket (HKT) Airport: $62
  • Private Phuket Point To Point Transfer Services by Minivan: $58
  • Private Car: Phuket Airport Departure Transfer: $35

Is it cheaper to fly into Phuket or Gili Trawangan?

Prices for flights to both Gili Trawangan 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.





Entertainment

Phuket's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $38 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

Sightseeing expenses in Gili Trawangan, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $3.54 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Phuket $38
    Gili Trawangan $3.54
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
    $28
  • Scuba Diving (Two Dives)
    $77
  • Thai Oil Massage
    $20
  • Surfboard Rental
    $9.23

Tours and Activities in Phuket

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

  • Coral and Racha Islands Speedboat Snorkeling Tour from Phuket: $73
  • DAY TRIP - JOIN TOUR Coral Island Phuket by Sailing Catamaran Yacht: $155
  • Early Bird Small Group - Phi Phi Islands Sunrise Tour with Seaview Lunch Buffet: $106
  • Fishing Live Aboard Cruise to the Similan Islands: $7,338
  • Fishing Live Aboard Cruise to the Surin Islands: $7,338
  • Flying Hanuman Phuket Tour: $119
  • Flying Hanuman Ziplining Experience: $83
  • Flying Trapeze Adventure in Phuket: $21
  • From 4-Day Tropical Island Cruise - Suwan Macha: $1,328
  • From Full-Day Coral Island Tour & Sea Walking: $79
  • From Soi Dog Foundation and Islands Tour: $85
  • Full Day Phi Phi Island Budget Speed Boat Tour with Lunch: $64

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Phuket may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $5.73 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Typically, people visiting Gili Trawangan spend on average $3.27 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Phuket $5.73
    Gili Trawangan $3.27
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)
    $6.15
  • Beer
    $2.61


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Phuket and Gili Trawangan, we can see that Phuket is more expensive. And not only is Gili Trawangan much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Gili Trawangan would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Gili Trawangan 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 Gili Trawangan.

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Phuket vs. Gili Trawangan Travel Comparison

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