Which city is cheaper, Koh Samui or Phuket?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
If you're trying to decide where to visit between Phuket or Koh Samui, 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 is a energetic, party-hard, and stunning resort island. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. It's also popular because of the scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and shopping.
Koh Samui is a lush, laid back, and beautiful resort island. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. And you can't forget about the hiking, shopping, and nightlife.
Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Koh Samui and Phuket. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Phuket and Koh Samui can be difficult as they are each unique in their own way.
Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Phuket. 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."
Koh Samui has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. Food on the island is fresh and delicious. You'll find fine dining restaurants as well as hole in the wall dives where you can enjoy local flavors. There are also international restaurants if you need a break from the curries. Beachfront restaurants offer a beautiful setting and sunset dinner cruises are a not to be missed experience. Authentically local dishes usually include some form of coconut but there are also other common Thai dishes available almost anywhere like curries or Pad Thai.
It's hard to distinguish whether Phuket or Koh Samui has a better nightlife scene.
Phuket has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. 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.
Koh Samui is a party destination, and you'll find plenty of activity all night long. All night beach parties, cheap bars, and lively dance clubs all give this island its party atmosphere. Young travelers from around the globe head here to enjoy music, cheap drinks, and world class fun. For the most active nightlife, head to Chaweng Beach, Lamai Beach or Bophut Beach.
With a similar set of options, resorts can be found in both Phuket and Koh Samui.
Phuket offers an unforgettable resort vacation. 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.
Koh Samui is a world class resort vacation destination. The island is filled with countless resorts, hotels, and private villas that you can rent. You can choose from beachfront properties or resorts that are located in the hills, which offer beautiful views. The resorts often have pools and range from five star all the way down to budget-friendly.
You'll find snorkeling or scuba diving in both Phuket and Koh Samui.
Many visitors go to Phuket to enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling. 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.
Koh Samui is an extremely popular place to visit for scuba diving and snorkeling. It's easy to arrange snorkeling or scuba diving trips through hotels or travel companies, but it's also possible to snorkel right off the shore in places like Chaweng Beach. Due to the island's popularity, the coral isn't always the healthiest, but the water is clear and you'll likely see some interesting sea life just off the shore.
Both Phuket and Koh Samui have beaches worth visiting.
The beaches in Phuket are among the best in 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.
Koh Samui is considered to be a world-class beach destination. The white sand beaches are lined with coconut trees and look out on crystal blue waters, making this a perfect tropical destination. There are lively activity-filled beaches as well as quiet retreats where you can enjoy a peaceful setting away from the crowds.
Shopping is a popular activity in both Koh Samui and Phuket.
Phuket offers some nice shopping areas. 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.
Koh Samui has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The resort areas have the most interesting shops and you'll find the most options around Chaweng. There are boutique shops as well as some malls. You can sometimes negotiate prices down in independently run stores, but some places advertise fixed prices.
Phuket and Koh Samui are both fun destinations for the whole family.
You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Phuket. 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.
You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Koh Samui. The island is one of the slightly calmer, family-friendly options in Thailand. It has a number of activities that all ages can enjoy including water parks, water sports, and temples to explore. Snorkeling is also fun and there's an aquarium and zoo that you can check out.
Phuket and Koh Samui are both fun 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.
Koh Samui is a great resort island if you're traveling as a couple. Dinner cruises, beachfront restaurants, and beautiful sunsets all make this island a romantic destination for couples. There are also spas, resorts, and fine dining restaurants that you can enjoy.
You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Phuket and Koh Samui.
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 Koh Samui offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. Songthaew, the Thai version of a bus, and taxis or motorbikes are the best ways to get around the island.
Phuket and Koh Samui both are comparable 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.
Koh Samui is generally not a very walkable resort island. The roads have a good amount of traffic and generally aren't designed for walking.
Both Phuket and Koh Samui have a number of activities to choose from. You can spend a similar amount of time exploring either.
The ideal length of time for a trip to Phuket is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Koh Samui is 3-7 days.
You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the resort island of Phuket. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.
Many travelers enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting the destination of Koh Samui. 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.
You'll find shopping and nightlife around the stunning destination of Phuket. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This resort island offers a variety of activities to choose from.
Koh Samui is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.
You'll find nightlife and food around the energetic resort island of Phuket. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this resort island makes for a great vacation. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this resort island has to offer.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Koh Samui. 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.
Phuket is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Phuket, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.
Many travelers enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the laid back destination of Koh Samui. This resort island 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.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Phuket is $80, while the average daily cost in Koh Samui is $43. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Phuket and Koh Samui in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Phuket or Koh Samui? 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.
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.
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Phuket:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Phuket:
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Koh Samui:
Also for Koh Samui, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
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.
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Phuket:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Phuket.
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Koh Samui:
For Koh Samui, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Here are a few typical costs in Phuket for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:
Here are a few actual costs in Phuket for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Koh Samui.
Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Phuket from other travelers:
Also in Phuket, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
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.
Both destinations experience a warmer tropical 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.
Both Koh Samui and Phuket during the summer are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Phuket because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Koh Samui because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.
Koh Samui 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 Koh Samui. Phuket gets 287 mm (11.3 in) of rain, while Koh Samui receives 143 mm (5.6 in) of rain this time of the year.
In the summer, Phuket is a little warmer than Koh Samui. Typically, the summer temperatures in Phuket in July are around 28°C (82°F), and Koh Samui is about 24°C (76°F).
The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Phuket and Koh Samui. Phuket attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Koh Samui attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.
December to March in Phuket is the dry season. Also, June to October is the rainy season in Phuket. December to February in Koh Samui is the dry season. Also, October to December is the rainy season in Koh Samui. Koh Samui 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 Koh Samui. At this time of the year, Phuket gets 304 mm (12 in) of rain, while Koh Samui receives 240 mm (9.5 in) of rain.
In October, Phuket is generally a little warmer than Koh Samui. Temperatures in Phuket average around 27°C (81°F), and Koh Samui stays around 24°C (75°F).
The winter brings many poeple to Phuket as well as Koh Samui. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Phuket throughout the year. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Koh Samui throughout the year.
Also, December to March in Phuket is the dry season. Also, December to February in Koh Samui is the dry season. Phuket usually gets less rain in January than Koh Samui. Phuket gets 31 mm (1.2 in) of rain, while Koh Samui receives 51 mm (2 in) of rain this time of the year.
Phuket is a little warmer than Koh Samui in the winter. The temperature in Phuket is usually 28°C (82°F) in January, and Koh Samui stays around 22°C (72°F).
Both Koh Samui and Phuket are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Plenty of visitors come to Phuket because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Koh Samui because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.
The rainy season in Phuket is June to October. It's quite rainy in Phuket. In April, Phuket usually receives more rain than Koh Samui. At this time of the year, Phuket gets 120 mm (4.7 in) of rain, while Koh Samui receives 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain.
In the spring, Phuket is a little warmer than Koh Samui. Typically, the spring temperatures in Phuket in April are around 29°C (84°F), and Koh Samui is about 24°C (76°F).
|Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)||Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)|
|Jan||28°C (82°F)||31 mm (1.2 in)||22°C (72°F)||51 mm (2 in)|
|Feb||28°C (83°F)||22 mm (0.9 in)||22°C (72°F)||11 mm (0.4 in)|
|Mar||29°C (84°F)||52 mm (2 in)||23°C (74°F)||24 mm (0.9 in)|
|Apr||29°C (84°F)||120 mm (4.7 in)||24°C (76°F)||55 mm (2.2 in)|
|May||28°C (83°F)||318 mm (12.5 in)||25°C (77°F)||164 mm (6.5 in)|
|Jun||28°C (82°F)||279 mm (11 in)||25°C (77°F)||145 mm (5.7 in)|
|Jul||28°C (82°F)||287 mm (11.3 in)||24°C (76°F)||143 mm (5.6 in)|
|Aug||28°C (82°F)||262 mm (10.3 in)||24°C (76°F)||140 mm (5.5 in)|
|Sep||27°C (81°F)||399 mm (15.7 in)||25°C (76°F)||196 mm (7.7 in)|
|Oct||27°C (81°F)||304 mm (12 in)||24°C (75°F)||240 mm (9.5 in)|
|Nov||27°C (81°F)||165 mm (6.5 in)||23°C (74°F)||335 mm (13.2 in)|
|Dec||27°C (81°F)||62 mm (2.4 in)||23°C (73°F)||134 mm (5.3 in)|
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