Which place is cheaper, Koh Tao 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 Tao, 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's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the shopping, nightlife, and food.
Koh Tao is a popular, laid back, and mellow island. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. And you can't forget about the hiking, shopping, and nightlife.
Visitors will usually find more to do in Koh Tao than Phuket, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Koh Tao is better known for its museums, food, scuba diving & snorkeling, hiking, and impressive beauty, while Phuket is more popular for its nightlife and resorts. Phuket is more touristy than Koh Tao and is popular for its long sandy beaches, wild nightlife, colorful resorts, and easy access to day tours. Koh Tao is well known for its affordable scuba diving courses, laid-back island vibe, popularity with backpackers, and stunning island hikes. Also, Koh Tao is famous for Mango Bay Viewpoint.
Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Koh Tao and Phuket. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
Koh Tao is not so good for its museums and landmarks. However, Phuket does not have museums and landmarks.
Koh Tao offers a few options for museum-goers. It's a small island that is all about beachfront beauty. Most visitors enjoy the island's outdoor paradise setting, but on those rainy afternoons, there really are very few indoor activities or temples to visit.
Phuket does not have museums and landmarks.
Koh Tao is a great destination for its restaurant scene. Also, Phuket is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.
Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Koh Tao. You'll find a huge ex-pat community on the island, and with them they bring a variety of international cuisines. There are also local establishments that sell the typical Thai dishes with lots of seafood, curries, and noodle dishes. It's fun to enjoy a beachside restaurant that lets you sit right by the water looking off into a tropical paradise.
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."
Phuket is an unbeatable place for nightlife and partying. Also, Koh Tao is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its evening party scene.
The nightlife in Phuket is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. 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 Tao has plenty to do after the sun goes down. While most people head for the island for its scuba diving, when the sun goes down everyone heads to the beach to party. The island has a very active nightlife scene with its own Full Moon Parties, dance clubs, beachside bars, and more. Head to Sairee Beach for the most active nightlife and entertainment options.
Phuket is an unbeatable place for its luxury resorts. Also, Koh Tao is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its resorts.
Phuket offers an unforgettable resort vacation.
In Koh Tao, you'll find some of the region's top resorts.
Koh Tao is an amazing island to visit for its diving and snorkeling. Also, Phuket is still popular, but not quite as popular for snorkeling and scuba diving.
People travel to Koh Tao specifically to enjoy its famous scuba diving and snorkeling areas. The island is Thailand's most famous scuba diving destination for it's affordable certifications and prolific dive shops. There are a variety of dive sites near the island, but with fame and popularity come challenges. The coral and sealife is feeling the pressure of the high number of tourists, and the reefs show their damage. But the training you receive here is affordable and well-established.
Phuket is an extremely popular place to visit for 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.
Both Phuket and Koh Tao have amazing 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 Tao is considered to be a world-class beach destination. The white sand beaches have a mellow vibe with beautiful blue waters. This is a true tropical paradise with beachside cafes, easy snorkeling, and warm water. The beaches range from quiet and isolated to high energy and vibrant.
Koh Tao is a great destination for its hiking experiences. However, Phuket is not a hiking destination.
You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Koh Tao. Hiking is the best way to enjoy the inland beauty of the island. There are paths that take you through the jungle covered land to viewpoints and remote areas. Many paths are rustic and not always well maintained so it's helpful to ask a local for directions beforehand.
Phuket is not a hiking destination.
Shopping is a popular activity in both Koh Tao 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 Tao has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The main beach areas of Mae Haad, Sairee, and Chalok Baan Kao have the highest concentration of clothing and dive equipment shops. Because it's an island with limited access, prices can be a bit high.
Phuket and Koh Tao are both notable 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.
Koh Tao offers lots of family activities. The island is popular for its affordable scuba diving certifications, so there are a number of options for families with older kids who'd like to get certified. It's also a more laid back and smaller island than some nearby places, so it's possible to find quiet beaches where your family can relax. Some of the quieter beaches include Sai Nuan and Ao Luek. You'll still find a large number of backpackers on the island, but there's a more chill atmosphere with most visitors focused on scuba diving and exploring.
Phuket and Koh Tao are both superb 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 Tao is a great resort island if you're traveling as a couple. This laid back island offers a relaxing honeymoon destination for couples who want to learn to scuba dive and enjoy a bit of tropical paradise. There are beachside restaurants, beautiful blue waters, white sand, and everything you need for your own piece of paradise.
Koh Tao is an amazing island 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 Koh Tao. The island is an oasis for backpackers who want to enjoy the mellow island life, learn to scuba dive cheaply, and have fun at a beachside party. There are plenty of affordable places to stay and countless opportunities to meet other backpackers. The island is also well connected to other nearby islands.
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.
Phuket is a nice place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Koh Tao is not a good destination for its public transit.
While Phuket offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. Tuk tuks, buses, and motorbike taxis are all available on the island. The buses are usually Songtaew, which have open air seating areas.
Public transit is generally limited in Koh Tao. You can rent a motorbike or bicycle to explore the island. There are also taxis and taxi boats available.
Koh Tao is a great destination for its high level of walkability. Also, Phuket is still popular, but not quite as popular for its ease of walking around.
Koh Tao is a very walkable island. The island is smaller than many islands in Thailand, and the small towns are usually no more than 5 kilometers apart. It's also possible to walk around most of the small towns.
Phuket is a somewhat walkable resort island. Most of the hotels and resorts are walking distance to the beach and many resort areas are small enough to be explored on foot.
Both Phuket and Koh Tao have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, Koh Tao has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Koh Tao than Phuket. In general, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Phuket, and 2-7 days is enough time in Koh Tao.
Families should spend more time in Koh Tao than Phuket. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Koh Tao, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.
Couples should spend more time in Koh Tao than Phuket. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Koh Tao that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.
Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Koh Tao 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 Koh Tao.
In Phuket, you'll find nightlife and food. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. This resort island offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.
Many travelers enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting the destination of Koh Tao. 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.
In Phuket, you'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Most people come for the beaches. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.
Koh Tao 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.
Phuket is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Phuket has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Koh Tao. 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.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Phuket. In Phuket, you'll find shopping and nightlife. It's also a relaxing resort destination. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.
Many travelers enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the popular destination of Koh Tao. This 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 $109, while the average daily cost in Koh Tao is $38. 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 Koh Tao in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Phuket or Koh Tao? 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:
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in 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.
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 Tao:
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:
For Koh Tao, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Koh Tao.
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:
Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Koh Tao from other travelers:
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.
Phuket is bigger, and its population is about 64.5 times larger than the population of Koh Tao. When comparing the population of Phuket vs. Koh Tao, 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 and the activities that interest you.
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.
Both Koh Tao 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 Koh Tao year-round.
Koh Tao 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 Tao. Phuket gets 287 mm (11.3 in) of rain, while Koh Tao receives 174 mm (6.9 in) of rain this time of the year.
It's quite sunny in Phuket. In the summer, Phuket often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Koh Tao. Phuket gets 206 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Koh Tao receives 195 hours of full sun.
Phuket is a little warmer than Koh Tao in the summer. The daily temperature in Phuket averages around 28°C (82°F) in July, and Koh Tao fluctuates around 24°C (76°F).
The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Phuket and Koh Tao. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Phuket year-round. Koh Tao 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. Also, October and November is the rainy season in Koh Tao. Koh Tao 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 Tao. Phuket gets 304 mm (12 in) of rain, while Koh Tao receives 276 mm (10.9 in) of rain each month for the autumn.
Phuket usually receives more sunshine than Koh Tao during autumn. Phuket gets 181 hours of sunny skies, while Koh Tao receives 167 hours of full sun in the autumn.
In the autumn, Phuket is a little warmer than Koh Tao. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Phuket in October average around 27°C (81°F), and Koh Tao averages at about 24°C (76°F).
The winter brings many poeple to Phuket as well as Koh Tao. Phuket attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. The warm climate attracts visitors to Koh Tao throughout the year.
Also, December to March in Phuket is the dry season. Also, February to June in Koh Tao is the dry season. Phuket usually gets less rain in January than Koh Tao. Phuket gets 31 mm (1.2 in) of rain, while Koh Tao receives 94 mm (3.7 in) of rain this time of the year.
The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Koh Tao. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Phuket this time of the year. In the winter, Phuket often gets more sunshine than Koh Tao. Phuket gets 287 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Koh Tao receives 255 hours of full sun.
In January, Phuket is generally a little warmer than Koh Tao. Daily temperatures in Phuket average around 28°C (82°F), and Koh Tao fluctuates around 22°C (72°F).
Both Koh Tao 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 Koh Tao because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.
The rainy season in Phuket is June to October. The dry season in Koh Tao is February to June. It's quite rainy in Phuket. In April, Phuket usually receives more rain than Koh Tao. Phuket gets 120 mm (4.7 in) of rain, while Koh Tao receives 74 mm (2.9 in) of rain each month for the spring.
It's quite sunny in Koh Tao. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Phuket. Phuket usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Koh Tao during spring. Phuket gets 249 hours of sunny skies, while Koh Tao receives 239 hours of full sun in the spring.
Phuket is a little warmer than Koh Tao in the spring. The daily temperature in Phuket averages around 29°C (84°F) in April, and Koh Tao fluctuates around 25°C (77°F).
|Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)||Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)|
|Jan||28°C (82°F)||31 mm (1.2 in)||22°C (72°F)||94 mm (3.7 in)|
|Feb||28°C (83°F)||22 mm (0.9 in)||23°C (74°F)||63 mm (2.5 in)|
|Mar||29°C (84°F)||52 mm (2 in)||24°C (75°F)||57 mm (2.2 in)|
|Apr||29°C (84°F)||120 mm (4.7 in)||25°C (77°F)||74 mm (2.9 in)|
|May||28°C (83°F)||318 mm (12.5 in)||25°C (78°F)||189 mm (7.4 in)|
|Jun||28°C (82°F)||279 mm (11 in)||25°C (78°F)||174 mm (6.9 in)|
|Jul||28°C (82°F)||287 mm (11.3 in)||24°C (76°F)||174 mm (6.9 in)|
|Aug||28°C (82°F)||262 mm (10.3 in)||25°C (76°F)||206 mm (8.1 in)|
|Sep||27°C (81°F)||399 mm (15.7 in)||25°C (77°F)||158 mm (6.2 in)|
|Oct||27°C (81°F)||304 mm (12 in)||24°C (76°F)||276 mm (10.9 in)|
|Nov||27°C (81°F)||165 mm (6.5 in)||23°C (74°F)||380 mm (15 in)|
|Dec||27°C (81°F)||62 mm (2.4 in)||23°C (73°F)||118 mm (4.6 in)|
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