A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Similan Islands vs. Bali for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Similan Islands or Bali?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Similan Islands and Bali can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Similan Islands

There are places divers like, and there are places divers love. One of the most popular spots to visit the underwater world is at the national park of the Similan Islands in southern Thailand. With 140 square kilometers of land and nine islands, this area is a paradise for those ready to get their feet wet.

The park is made up of nine islands: Ko Bon, Ko Bayu, Ko Similan, Ko Payu, Ko Miang, Ko Payan, Ko Paying and Ko Huyong. If these names are a bit too similar for you to easily differentiate, don't worry. Most refer to each island with a number from 1 to 9. Two more islands were added to the park Koh Bon and Koh Tachai in 1998.

Even though the park was only established in 1982, the islands have been around for approximately 65 million years. They are the product of swells of hot magma during the Cretaceous period and smoothed over by glacial ice and water erosion. The reefs beneath the surface are approximately 5,000 years and therefor the oldest in Thailand. Luckily, because of its deep waters, the islands' underwater landscapes were essentially unharmed during the 2004 tsunami.

Each island is covered in lush, tropical jungle and white, sandy coastlines. There is fish of every shape, color and size including the famous "Nemo" clownfish, batfish, barracudas, whale sharks and manta rays.

You'll want to plan your visit around monsoon season. So book a trip sometime between December and April. March is a particularly good time to visit as the winds have died down and the water is crystal clear. The park is closed from May to November.

There are a few tents and bungalows on some of the islands. They are government run, and you'll need to reserve them in advance. Many divers will simply take day trips, or sleep on board boats. There are several organized tour and boat options available out of Phuket, Khao Lak and Ranong. Both areas will likely offer day trips and live-aboard cruises. These cruises typically start at four days and 4 nights, but shorter trips are available. There is an entry fee to the park, along with a daily usage fee for those spending multiple days in the park. This fee is paid to your driver before the trip.

Bali

Known as the "Island of the Gods," it's not difficult to see why the Gods would want to set up shop in Bali. With a beautifully diverse landscape of hills, mountains, coastlines, beaches, vibrant rice fields and volcanic hillsides, you'll easily go into sensory overload.

Bali is home to 4 million people who all hold true to a deeply spiritual and unique culture. With champion surfing, world class resorts and challenging hiking trails, this Indonesian island accommodates travelers from every walk of life. It's often called, "paradise on earth, " and no one disagrees.

Which city is cheaper, Bali or Similan Islands?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Similan Islands is $163, while the average daily cost in Bali is $64. 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 Similan Islands and Bali in more detail.



Accommodation

Travelers usually pay around $122 for a double occupancy room in Similan Islands If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.

Bali's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $72. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $36.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Similan Islands $61
    Bali $36
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Similan Islands $122
    Bali $72

Food

On average, meal and food prices in Similan Islands cost around $33 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 $13.

Bali food costs typically run travelers around $18 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Similan Islands $33
    Bali $18

Typical Food prices in Bali

Some typical examples of dining costs in Bali are as follows:


  • Coffee
    $1.38
  • Lunch for Two
    $15
  • Bali Cafe for Two
    $30
  • Lunch for Two
    $8.97
  • Lunch for 2
    $9.94
  • Dinner for 2
    $11

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bali

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

  • Eat while chef is cooking in front of you: $24
  • Withlocals your Way: 100% Personalised Bali Private Food Tour: $39
  • Bali Cooking Class: $39
  • Romantic Dinner by Oceana Restaurant & Bar: $74

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Similan Islands than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $120 on transportation in Similan Islands on average per day.

The average price of local transportation around Bali is $8.04 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Similan Islands $120
    Bali $8.04

Typical Local Transportation prices in Bali

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


  • Motorbike Rental
    $3.45

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bali

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bali:

  • Private Transfer from Bali to Sitia (JSH) Airport: $394
  • Departure Private Transfer Nusa Dua or Seminyak to Bali Airport DPS by Minivan: $52
  • Crete Private Transfer from Bali city to Heraklion (HER) Airport: $108
  • Bali Departure Private Transfers from Bali Central to Bali Airport DPS: $83
  • Airport transfer and tour service: $56
  • Airport Transfers: $16
  • Airport Transfer Service from Area Ubud / Tanah Lot / Pecatu (8 seater): $41
  • Airport Transfer Service from Area Ubud / Tanah Lot / Pecatu (13 Seater): $52
  • Airport Transfer Service from Area Ubud / Tanah Lot / Pecatu: $23

Is it cheaper to fly into Similan Islands or Bali?

Prices for flights to both Bali and Similan Islands 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

Sightseeing expenses in Similan Islands, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $40 per day, per person.

Bali's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $9.63 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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Similan Islands $40
    Bali $9.63

Typical Entertainment prices in Bali

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Bali are as follows:


  • Spa for Two
    $60
  • Snorkelling Trip
    $14
  • Cooking School
    $31

Tours and Activities in Bali

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Bali are as follows:

  • 2 Days Rinjani Trekking Tour: $250
  • Amazing Nusa Penida Snorkeling Experience: $63
  • Ancient Tour to Yeh Pulu and Goa Gajah: $45
  • Bali - Kintamani Tour: $65
  • Bali - Ubud Tour: $60
  • Bali 5 Days Tour & Activities - All Included: $306
  • Bali ATV or Quad Bike Tandem Tour Package: $101
  • Bali Alternative Temples Private Group Tour: $74
  • Bali Countryside Bike Tour Package: $101
  • Bali Full-Day Private Customized Tour: $50
  • Bali Hai - Island Discovery Cruise: $60
  • Bali Instagram Tour Gate Of Heaven: $92

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Similan Islands spend on average $8.44 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $2.85 on alcoholic beverages in Bali per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Similan Islands $8.44
    Bali $2.85


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Similan Islands and Bali, we can see that Similan Islands is more expensive. And not only is Bali much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Bali would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Bali 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 Similan Islands would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Similan Islands than you might in Bali.

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Similan Islands vs. Bali Travel Comparison

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