Should you visit Similan Islands or Koh Chang?
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Similan Islands and Koh Chang can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.
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.
Most people pick Thailand for their destination because they're anxious to collapse on a breathtaking beach. If that is you, Ko Chang does not disappoint. As one the country's most beautiful islands, Ko Chang is full of white beaches and incredible wildlife. Beware, though, you're not the only one with Ko Chang in mind. During the high season, the island can become quite crowded with tourists.
Which city is cheaper, Koh Chang or Similan Islands?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Similan Islands is $155, while the average daily cost in Koh Chang is $41. 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 Koh Chang in more detail.
Travelers usually pay around $116 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.
The prices for places to stay in Koh Chang can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $21, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $42.
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 $114 on transportation in Similan Islands on average per day.
To get around in Koh Chang, the average visitor spends $11 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
Is it cheaper to fly into Similan Islands or Koh Chang?
Prices for flights to both Koh Chang 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.
On average, meal and food prices in Similan Islands cost around $31 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 $12.
While meal prices in Koh Chang can vary, the average travelers spends about $14 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Koh Chang should cost around $5.60 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Koh Chang is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
Similan Islands $31
Koh Chang $14
Sightseeing expenses in Similan Islands, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $38 per day, per person.
In Koh Chang, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $4.67 per person, per day.
Typically, people visiting Similan Islands spend on average $8.01 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typically, people visiting Koh Chang spend on average $4.01 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Similan Islands and Koh Chang, we can see that Similan Islands is more expensive. And not only is Koh Chang much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Koh Chang would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Koh Chang 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 Koh Chang.
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