A Travel Price Comparison for Thailand Phuket vs. Koh Samui for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Phuket or Koh Samui?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Phuket or Koh Samui, 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.

Koh Samui

The largest island on the east coast of southern Thailand, Ko Samui (or Koh Samui) sees a good number of visitors every year who come for its lush rainforest, beautiful shores, and undersea wildlife. The size of the island is still small enough to allow visitors to circumnavigate it with a taxi or motorbike in a day, while hikers and outdoor enthusiasts can find plenty of inland activities in the hills and jungle.

Which city is cheaper, Koh Samui or Phuket?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Phuket is $91, while the average daily cost in Koh Samui is $49. 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 Koh Samui in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in Phuket is about $100 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $42 in Koh Samui For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Phuket $50
    Koh Samui $21
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Phuket $100
    Koh Samui $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.

On average, meal and food prices in Koh Samui cost around $17 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 $6.80.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Phuket $18
    Koh Samui $17
Typical Food prices in Phuket

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


  • Casual Dinner (for Two)
    $8.71
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $5.12
  • Sit Down Dinner (for Two)
    $13
  • Thai Noodles
    $2.71
  • Bananas
    $0.75
  • Pizza (for Two)
    $9.04

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
  • Phuket Old Town 15-Taster Food Tour: $63
  • 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

Typical Food prices in Koh Samui

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Koh Samui:


  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $6.48

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Koh Samui

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

  • Cooking Class with Herbal Garden by Amari Koh Samui: $55
  • Koh Samui Jungle Kitchen - Half Day Cooking Class: $77
  • Jungle Kitchen Cooking Class in Koh Samui: $89
  • Red Baron : A Sunset Dinner Cruise from Koh Samui with Return Transfer: $122
  • Koh Samui Red Baron Sunset Dinner Cruise with Return Transfer: $131
  • 4-Hour Koh Samui Red Baron Sunset Dinner Cruise: $131

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Phuket is $8.87 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.

Koh Samui'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 $15 per person, per day on transportation in Koh Samui.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Phuket $8.87
    Koh Samui $15
Typical Local Transportation prices in Phuket

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


  • Longtail Taxi (for Two)
    $9.04
  • Taxi from Airport to Phuket Town
    $7.54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Phuket

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Phuket:

  • Phuket Airport to Koh Lanta any hotel Private transfer: $182
  • Luxe Transfer Airport - South Phuket by Mercedes-Benz S-class: $154
  • Luxe Transfer Airport - Central Phuket by Mercedes-Benz S-class: $136
  • Luxe Transfer Airport - South Phuket by Toyota Alphard: $136
  • Minivan Private Transfer from Phuket Airport to Khao Sok: $120
  • Luxe Transfer Airport - North Phuket by Mercedes-Benz S-class: $118
  • Luxe Transfer Airport - Central Phuket by Toyota Alphard: $118
  • Phang Nga Bay Speed Boat with Private RoundTrip Transfer: $115
  • Phuket Airport Transfers : Phuket City to Phuket Airport HKT in Luxury Van: $106
  • Luxe Transfer Airport - South Phuket by Mercedes-Benz E-class: $104
  • Phuket Private Transfer To Ao Nang Beach, Krabi: $101
  • Departure Private Transfers from Phuket City to Phuket Airport HKT: $100

Typical Local Transportation prices in Koh Samui

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


  • Scooter Rental
    $2.26
  • Gas for Scooter
    $1.21
  • Airport Taxi
    $13
  • Taxi- Na Thon Pier to Lamai Beach
    $13
  • Minibus- Airport to Chaweng
    $3.62

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Koh Samui

Also for Koh Samui, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Guided Zipline Adventure in Ko Samui with Round Trip Transfer: $87
  • Koh Samui Airport (USM): One-Way Private Hotel Transfer: $23
  • Koh Samui Paradise Park Farm Admission Ticket with Return Transfer: $58
  • Private Transfer from Choeng Mon Beach to Samui (USM) Airport: $41
  • The Red Baron Luxury Yacht Cruise from Koh Samui with Return Transfer: $181

Is it cheaper to fly into Phuket or Koh Samui?

Prices for flights to both Koh Samui 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 $37 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, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Koh Samui can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $9.27 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Phuket $37
    Koh Samui $9.27
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
    $27
  • Scuba Diving (Two Dives)
    $75
  • Thai Oil Massage
    $19
  • Surfboard Rental
    $9.04

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 Deluxe Phi Phi Tour by Speedboat & Lunch Buffet: $104
  • From Full-Day Coral Island Tour & Sea Walking: $79
  • From Phang Nga Adventure Tour with Zipline: $70

Tours and Activities in Koh Samui

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

  • Ko Samui City Tour including Wat Phra Yai, Lat Ko Viewpoint, Hin Ta Hin Yai Rock: $29
  • Ko Samui City Tour including Wat Phra Yai, Lat Ko Viewpoint, Hin Ta Hin Yai Rock: $29
  • Ko Samui City Tour including Wat Phra Yai, Lat Ko Viewpoint, Hin Ta Hin Yai Rock: $29
  • 4x4 Off Road Island Safari Tour Including Lunch: $40
  • Gulf of Thailand Fishing Challenge Tour from Ko Samui: $52
  • Koh Samui Jungle Mountain Adventure Tour: $64
  • Full-Day Koh Samui Jungle Mountain Adventure Tour with Lunch: $64
  • Pig Island Experience & Koh Tan by Speed Boat (Snorkeling, Relaxing, Sunset): $66
  • Koh Phangan Day Tour by Speed Boat from Koh Samui: $70
  • Koh Samui to Koh Taen and Koh Mudsum Day Tour with Snorkeling: $70
  • Koh Samui Island Tour by Boat: $78
  • Ko Samui Angthong Marine Park Full Day Tour : Snorkeling & Sea Kayaking: $82

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Phuket may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $5.62 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Koh Samui, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $4.09.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Phuket $5.62
    Koh Samui $4.09
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)
    $6.03
  • Beer
    $2.56

Sample the Local Flavors in Phuket

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

  • Bar Crawl Tour: $31


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

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Phuket vs. Koh Samui Travel Comparison

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