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

Should you visit Phuket or Koh Tao?

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

With a name that literally means, "Turtle Island," Koh Tao, Thailand is the type of vacation spot divers dream of. There is the faintest current and a buffet of dive sites and shops.

This tiny island hosts hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, but take not that there are no garbage disposal facilities. Everything that can't be burnt needs to be taken from the island. Avoid plastic bags, and don't dump your trash in the open landscape (then again, why would you?) because there are no departments for road clean up. Water and electricity on the island are scarce, so use them wisely.

Keep in mind that monsoon season from November to January so you may be faced with constant rain for days at a time in those months.

Which city is cheaper, Koh Tao or Phuket?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Phuket is $92, while the average daily cost in Koh Tao is $33. 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 Tao in more detail.



Accommodation

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

The prices for places to stay in Koh Tao can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $13, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $26.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Phuket $51
    Koh Tao $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Phuket $102
    Koh Tao $26

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.

In Koh Tao travelers spend around $8.31 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Phuket $18
    Koh Tao $8.31
Typical Food prices in Phuket

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


  • Casual Dinner (for Two)
    $8.84
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $5.20
  • Sit Down Dinner (for Two)
    $13
  • Thai Noodles
    $2.75
  • Bananas
    $0.76
  • Pizza (for Two)
    $9.17

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Phuket

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

  • Thai Akha Kitchen Cooking Class & Local Market Tour: $23
  • Tom Yum Thai Cooking Class with Market Tour in Chiang Mai: $23
  • Asia Scenic Thai Cooking Class: $25
  • Siamese Cookery House Thai Cooking Class in Bangkok: $26
  • InFusion Cooking Classes in Koh Samui: $26
  • Sompong Thai Cooking Class: $27
  • Galangal Cooking Class with Market Tour in Chiang Mai: $28
  • Lanna Smile Thai Cooking Class in Chiang Mai: $29
  • Chocolate Cooking Class at SO Sofitel Bangkok: $31
  • Thai Cooking Course Hua Hin: $31
  • Pum Thai Cooking Class in Patong Beach: $31
  • Bangkok Thai Cooking Academy: $31

Typical Food prices in Koh Tao

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


  • Sit Down Lunch (for One)
    $6.12
  • Breakfast
    $4.59
  • Casual Breakfast (for Two)
    $3.67
  • Fancy Dinner (for Two)
    $15
  • Pancake
    $2.14
  • American Breakfast (for Two)
    $8.56
  • Dinner at Bam Bam (for Two)
    $8.26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Koh Tao

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

  • Thai Akha Kitchen Cooking Class & Local Market Tour: $23
  • Tom Yum Thai Cooking Class with Market Tour in Chiang Mai: $23
  • Asia Scenic Thai Cooking Class: $25
  • Siamese Cookery House Thai Cooking Class in Bangkok: $26
  • InFusion Cooking Classes in Koh Samui: $26
  • Sompong Thai Cooking Class: $27
  • Galangal Cooking Class with Market Tour in Chiang Mai: $28
  • Lanna Smile Thai Cooking Class in Chiang Mai: $29
  • Pum Thai Cooking Class in Patong Beach: $31
  • Chocolate Cooking Class at SO Sofitel Bangkok: $31
  • Thai Cooking Course Hua Hin: $31
  • Bangkok Thai Cooking Academy: $31

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Phuket is $8.99 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 Koh Tao than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $7.78 on transportation in Koh Tao on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Phuket $8.99
    Koh Tao $7.78
Typical Local Transportation prices in Phuket

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


  • Longtail Taxi (for Two)
    $9.17
  • Taxi from Airport to Phuket Town
    $7.64

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Phuket

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Phuket:

  • Kata Rocks Resort & Residences (8D7N) with free COE Application and Airport Transfers: $2,321
  • 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
  • [Next Day Result] COVID-19 RT-PCR Test by Bangkok Hospital Phuket (Transfer Arranged by TTD): $105
  • Luxe Transfer Airport - South Phuket by Mercedes-Benz E-class: $104

Typical Local Transportation prices in Koh Tao

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


  • Motorbike Rental
    $5.81
  • Chumpon to Koh Tao Ferry
    $20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Koh Tao

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

  • Private Krabi/Phuket Airport Transfers (KBV/HKT) for Krabi & More: $15
  • Private Phuket Airport Transfers (HKT) for Phuket and Other Areas by Oriental Holiday: $18
  • 7 Spa Luxury Spa Treatments in Pattaya with Round Trip Transfers: $26
  • Kata Rocks Resort & Residences (8D7N) with free COE Application and Airport Transfers: $2,321
  • Private Bangkok and Pattaya Airports Transfers (UTP, DMK or BKK) for Pattaya: $31
  • Private Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) Transfers for Chiang Mai by TTD: $12
  • Private Chiang Mai International Airport Transfers (CNX) for Chiang Mai and More: $16
  • Private City Transfers between Ayutthaya and Bangkok by TTS: $53
  • Private City Transfers between Bangkok and Pattaya by TTS: $53
  • Private City Transfers between Bangkok and Pattaya, Ayutthaya, Hua Hin & More: $46
  • Private City Transfers between Bangkok and Pattaya, Ayutthaya, Hua Hin & More by TTD: $43
  • Private City Transfers between Hat Yai and Pak Bara Pier: $68

Is it cheaper to fly into Phuket or Koh Tao?

Prices for flights to both Koh Tao 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 Koh Tao, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $24 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Phuket $38
    Koh Tao $24
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)
    $76
  • Thai Oil Massage
    $20
  • Surfboard Rental
    $9.17

Tours and Activities in Phuket

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

  • 4 Island Day Tour by Speedboat or Longtail Boat from Lanta Island: $31
  • ATV Half Day Adventure in Pattaya: $28
  • Ancient Ayutthaya Tour: Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, Bang Pa-In Royal Palace & More by AK Travel: $33
  • Aquaria Phuket Ticket: $4.95
  • Ayutthaya Day Tour from Bangkok with Bang Pa In and Night Market Visit┬áby TTD: $31
  • Ayutthaya Day Tour from Bangkok with Bang Pa-In Summer Palace and Market Visit: $35
  • Bangkok Floating Markets Day Tour from Siam Paragon by TTD: $28
  • Dii Wellness Med Spa Experience by Divana at Central Embassy BTS Ploenchit: $62
  • Go Bangkok e-Scooter Tour: $46
  • Indoor Go Karting Experience by EasyKart Bangkok: $13
  • Krabi Koh Klang Cultural Day Tour by TTD: $74
  • Krabi Sunrise Tour with Breakfast and Kayaking at Klong Nam Sai: $33

Typical Entertainment prices in Koh Tao

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


  • Kayak Rental (One Hour)
    $7.64
  • Snorkel Rental
    $3.06
  • Kayak and Snorkel (2)
    $3.06

Tours and Activities in Koh Tao

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

  • SHOCK PRICE!! Only at THB10 for Airport Rail Link (ARL) Single Journey Ticket with FREE EMS: $0.30
  • Pattaya Pipo Pony Club Admission Ticket in Pattaya: $1.55
  • Pattaya Sheep Farm Ticket: $2.19
  • Nails, Eyelash, and Waxing Beauty Experience at Ju's Nail: $3.75
  • Ramayana Water Park Ticket in Pattaya: $3.75
  • Wakeboarding Experience at Thai Wake Park in Pattaya: $4.19
  • Pong Yang Adventure Park Experience: $4.49
  • Aquaria Phuket Ticket: $4.95
  • Rejuv Salon Beauty Experiences at Sathon Bangkok: $5.85
  • Nong Nooch Tropical Garden Ticket in Pattaya: $5.89
  • Sleep Salon & Nails Experience in Bangkok: $6.15
  • Kanchanaburi Mallika City Ticket: $6.19

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Phuket may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $5.70 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 Tao, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $6.41.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Phuket $5.70
    Koh Tao $6.41
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)
    $6.12
  • Beer
    $2.60

Sample the Local Flavors in Phuket

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

  • PB Valley Vineyard and Wine Tasting Tour in Khao Yai: $22
  • Bangkok Pub Crawl by Pub Crawls Thailand: $22

Typical Alcohol prices in Koh Tao

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


  • Beer
    $1.99
  • Bottle of Wine
    $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Koh Tao

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

  • PB Valley Vineyard and Wine Tasting Tour in Khao Yai: $22
  • Bangkok Pub Crawl by Pub Crawls Thailand: $22


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

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Phuket vs. Koh Tao Travel Comparison

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