A Travel Price Comparison for Thailand Similan Islands vs. Koh Chang for Scuba Diving & Snorkeling, Beaches, Couples, and Families

Should you visit Similan Islands or Koh Chang?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Similan Islands and Koh Chang can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Similan Islands

Similan Islands is a remote, spectacular, and idyllic island chain. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Other reasons to visit include scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and hiking.

Koh Chang

Koh Chang is a serene, tranquil, and scenic island. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Visitors also love the food, beaches, and nightlife.

Similan Islands and Koh Chang: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Not as popular for scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Less hiking options


Is there more to do in Similan Islands or Koh Chang?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Koh Chang. Although Similan Islands and Koh Chang are popular destinations, Koh Chang has more sights and attractions for tourists. Koh Chang is very popular for its museums, nightlife, resorts, and shopping, while Similan Islands attracts visitors for its scuba diving & snorkeling and hiking. Koh Chang is more touristy than Similan Islands and is known for its natural setting, rugged jungles, and peaceful beaches. It is also well known for White Sand Beach. Similan Islands is famous for its world class diving and remote setting.

How is Similan Islands different from Koh Chang?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Koh Chang and Similan Islands. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Similan Islands or Koh Chang?

Similan Islands
Koh Chang

Koh Chang is not a good area for its museums and history. However, Similan Islands does not have museums and landmarks.

If you're looking to pass the time, head to a museum or historic sight in Koh Chang. This is a beach paradise, but you won't find any temples or museums around the island.

Similan Islands does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Similan Islands or Koh Chang? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Similan Islands
Koh Chang

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Similan Islands and Koh Chang can be difficult as they are each nice in their own way.

Similan Islands has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Most people visit the islands as part of an organized tour, which usually provides meals as part of the package.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Koh Chang area. There's a good selection of restaurants that serve everything from international dishes to Thai favorites. You'll also find restaurants attached to many of the resorts, many with nice views.

Is Similan Islands or Koh Chang Better for Nightlife?

Similan Islands
Koh Chang

Koh Chang is a island with good options for nightlife and partying. However, Similan Islands is lacking in options for its evening party scene.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Koh Chang. It's Thailand, so there is plenty of partying, but there are quiet parts to the island as well. For the biggest party scenes head to Lonely Beach, White Sand Beach, and Kai Bae Beach. Lonely Beach is where you'll find the highest concentration of backpackers.

Things get quiet in the evenings in Similan Islands. Peace and tranquility is what makes these islands special, and you'll find very limited amenities and no nightlife on the islands.

Is Similan Islands or Koh Chang Better for Resorts?

Similan Islands
Koh Chang

Koh Chang is an excellent place to visit for its luxury resorts. However, Similan Islands is not a resort destination.

In Koh Chang, you'll find some of the region's top resorts. The island has managed to maintain a natural atmosphere without the overdevelopment found at many Thai islands, yet it still has the amenities and comforts that you need like nice resorts.

Similan Islands is not a resort destination.


Is Similan Islands or Koh Chang Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Similan Islands
Koh Chang

Similan Islands is very popular for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. However, Koh Chang is lacking in options for its diving and snorkeling.

People travel to Similan Islands specifically to enjoy its famous scuba diving and snorkeling areas. These islands offer one of the world's most famous and impressive diving spots. World class divers travel great distances to experience the undersea world here. There are liveaboard boat trips that range in length from 4 to 6 nights and leave from either Khao Lak or Phuket. These trips will take you to the many great dive spots in the area. Do take note that the islands close every year from May until October.

Koh Chang has a few snorkeling spots. You can book a snorkeling or dive trip to the nearby islands for the best experience. The beaches on Koh Chang are sandy with very few rocks and coral, so walk in snorkeling is limited.

Is Similan Islands or Koh Chang Better for Beaches?

Similan Islands
Koh Chang

Both Similan Islands and Koh Chang are considered to be first-rate beach destinations.

Similan Islands is considered to be a world-class beach destination. The world class beaches have white sand and stunningly blue waters. The setting is challenging enough to reach that you'll likely have few people to share the beaches with. The undersea world is also among the best and most vibrant around.

Koh Chang offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. You'll find the vast majority of the beaches on the west side of the island. The most developed beach is White Sand Beach, and most of the backpackers hang out at Lonely Beach. For a quiet and more upscale atmosphere check out Klong Prao Beach. Also make sure you keep an eye on high and low tides, because the difference is pretty extreme. You'll find large, sandy beaches at low tide, which disappear at high tide.

Is Similan Islands or Koh Chang Better for Hiking?

Similan Islands
Koh Chang

Similan Islands is a nice place to visit for its hiking trails. However, Koh Chang is lacking in options for its hiking experiences.

Similan Islands has hiking trails worth exploring. There are hikes through the jungle and to various viewpoints on several of the islands.

Many visitors include a hike while visiting Koh Chang. Very few people actually head inland to go hiking, but if you do it can be a rewarding experience. It's a challenge to hike on the island though, as there are no marked trails. You'll need to hire a guide for any trekking that you wish to do.


Is the Shopping Better in Similan Islands or Koh Chang?

Similan Islands
Koh Chang

Koh Chang is a decent place to visit for its shopping opportunities. However, Similan Islands is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

If you're looking to go shopping, Koh Chang has some nice offerings. While this isn't the place to do any serious shopping, there are a few places where you can pick up essentials and souvenirs from your trip.

Similan Islands is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Similan Islands or Koh Chang Better for Families?

Similan Islands
Koh Chang

Koh Chang is an excellent place to visit for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Similan Islands is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Koh Chang is very family-friendly. The laid back vibe is perfect for families who want to get away from the party scene and overdevelopment that's found at many Thai islands. The island has kid-friendly beaches, great hiking, and resorts with pools and a family-friendly atmosphere.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Similan Islands. It's a remote setting, but it's spectacularly beautiful with great snorkeling and sandy beaches that kids and adults alike will enjoy.

Is Similan Islands or Koh Chang Better for Couples?

Similan Islands
Koh Chang

Both Similan Islands and Koh Chang are first-rate destinations for a couple's getaway.

Similan Islands is a great island chain for couples, as it has plenty to offer. Couples who want to escape the tourist crowds will appreciate this remote and beautiful beach setting. The blue water and sandy beaches make for a true paradise.

Koh Chang is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. This beautiful island is a perfect destination for a honeymoon or romantic getaway. There are beautiful resorts that have the charm and character that is lost at many of the more developed parts of Thailand. There are also beaches that cater to every travel style, including upscale and idyllic gems.


Is Similan Islands or Koh Chang Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Similan Islands
Koh Chang

Koh Chang is an excellent place to visit for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Similan Islands is lacking in options for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit Koh Chang. Most of the backpackers hang out around Lonely Beach, which also has a bit of a party vibe.

Similan Islands is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It's remote setting makes it challenging to reach on a budget, but if you're willing to devote a day or more to travel, then you'll be well rewarded.

Is Similan Islands or Koh Chang Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Similan Islands
Koh Chang

Koh Chang is a island with good options for times when you don't have a car. However, Similan Islands is lacking in options for its public transit.

Koh Chang has some public transit options. There's a main road that goes around the outside of the island, with the exception of the southern tip. You can rent a motorbike or catch a ride on a Songthaew (pick-up truck taxi). Do note that the roads can be very steep and windy, which can be difficult to drive independently.

Public transit is generally limited in Similan Islands. The national park operates boats between the islands. You can also charter private longtail boats, however these must be secured in advance and availability is not guaranteed.

Is Similan Islands or Koh Chang a more walkable city?

Similan Islands
Koh Chang

Similan Islands is a nice place to visit for its walkability. However, Koh Chang is lacking in options for its high level of walkability.

Similan Islands is somewhat walkable. There are footpaths that connect the points of interest on some of the islands.

Koh Chang is generally not very walkable. Your ability to walk around really depends on where you stay. Many of the resorts are located in quieter areas without easy access to restaurants or shopping.


For even more information, also check out Is Similan Islands Worth Visiting? and Is Koh Chang Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Koh Chang or Similan Islands?

How long in Similan Islands or Koh Chang?

In either Similan Islands or Koh Chang, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Similan Islands than Koh Chang because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 4-7 days is a good amount of time for Similan Islands, and 3-5 days is enough time in Koh Chang.

Families should spend more time in Koh Chang than Similan Islands. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Koh Chang, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Koh Chang than Similan Islands. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Koh Chang that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Koh Chang than Similan Islands 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 Chang.


  • How many days in Similan Islands or Koh Chang? Ideal Length of Stay
    Similan Islands 4-7 
    Koh Chang 3-5

One day in Similan Islands or Koh Chang?

You'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the island chain of Similan Islands. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. 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.

The tranquil destination of Koh Chang offers nightlife and food. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. It's no surprise that beaches is why people visit. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Similan Islands or Koh Chang?

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and food around the idyllic destination of Similan Islands. 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 island chain offers a variety of activities to choose from.

The island of Koh Chang offers food and nightlife. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Five days in Similan Islands or Koh Chang?

You'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the remote island chain of Similan Islands. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this island chain makes for a great vacation. It's also a great beach destination, too. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this island chain has to offer.

Koh Chang is a great place to explore. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. It's no surprise that beaches is why people visit. This island offers something for everyone. It is common to spend five days here. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.


A week in Similan Islands or Koh Chang?

Similan Islands is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Similan Islands, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Many people enjoy the food and nightlife when visiting Koh Chang. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Bangkok, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Phuket, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Chiang Mai, and The Best 10-Day Tours from Bangkok.


Which place 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 $163, while the average daily cost in Koh Chang is $48. 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 Similan Islands and Koh Chang in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Similan Islands $68
    Koh Chang $24
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Similan Islands $136
    Koh Chang $48
Compare Hotels in Similan Islands and Koh Chang

Looking for a hotel in Similan Islands or Koh Chang? 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.

Hotels in Similan Islands


Hotels in Koh Chang


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.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Koh Chang Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Similan Islands $97
    Koh Chang $13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Koh Chang

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

  • Trat Airport: Shared Transfers to/from Koh Chang with Ferry: $27
  • Private Transfer from Trat to Suvarnabhumi (BKK) Airport: $213
  • Private Transfer from Trat to Don Mueang (DMK) Airport: $219
  • Private Transfer from Koh Chang to Bangkok Airport or Don Muang Airport: $199
  • Departure Private Airport Transfer : Koh Chang to Bangkok Airport: $119
  • Arrival Bangkok Airport Private Transfer : Trat/ Koh Chang: $119

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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Similan Islands $36
    Koh Chang $17

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Similan Islands $44
    Koh Chang $5.43

Tours and Activities in Koh Chang

For Koh Chang, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 1-Day Adventure in Diving in Koh Chang: $289
  • Bubblemaker, experience dive for kids from 8 to 10 years old (Koh Chang): $85
  • Full-Day Koh Chang Tour with Lunch : $54
  • PADI Discover Scuba Dive Experience: $156
  • Private Kayak Experience in Bang Bao Bay with Lunch: $23

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Similan Islands $9.32
    Koh Chang $4.66


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.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Similan Islands Expensive? and Is Koh Chang Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Similan Islands or Koh Chang?

Both destinations experience a warmer climate with nice weather most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season.

Should I visit Similan Islands or Koh Chang in the Summer?

Both Koh Chang and Similan Islands are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to Similan Islands throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Koh Chang because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.

The rainy season in Similan Islands is June to September. It rains a lot this time of the year in Koh Chang. It's quite rainy in Similan Islands. In July, Similan Islands usually receives less rain than Koh Chang. Similan Islands gets 284 mm (11.2 in) of rain, while Koh Chang receives 440 mm (17.3 in) of rain each month for the summer.

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Similan Islands. Similan Islands usually receives more sunshine than Koh Chang during summer. Similan Islands gets 206 hours of sunny skies, while Koh Chang receives 143 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Similan Islands is generally around the same temperature as Koh Chang. Daily temperatures in Similan Islands average around 28°C (82°F), and Koh Chang fluctuates around 28°C (82°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Similan Islands 28°C (82°F) 
    Koh Chang 28°C (82°F)

Should I visit Similan Islands or Koh Chang in the Autumn?

Both Koh Chang and Similan Islands during the autumn are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Similan Islands because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Koh Chang year-round.

October to May is the dry season in Similan Islands. November to February is the dry season in Koh Chang. June to October is the rainy season in Koh Chang. Koh Chang gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Similan Islands. Similan Islands usually gets more rain in October than Koh Chang. Similan Islands gets 351 mm (13.8 in) of rain, while Koh Chang receives 280 mm (11 in) of rain this time of the year.

In the autumn, Similan Islands often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Koh Chang. Similan Islands gets 181 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Koh Chang receives 193 hours of full sun.

Similan Islands is around the same temperature as Koh Chang in the autumn. The daily temperature in Similan Islands averages around 27°C (81°F) in October, and Koh Chang fluctuates around 27°C (81°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Similan Islands 27°C (81°F) 
    Koh Chang 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Similan Islands or Koh Chang in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Similan Islands and Koh Chang. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Similan Islands year-round. Koh Chang attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

November to February in Koh Chang is the dry season. In January, Similan Islands usually receives more rain than Koh Chang. Similan Islands gets 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Koh Chang receives 12 mm (0.5 in) of rain each month for the winter.

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Koh Chang this time of the year. In Similan Islands, it's very sunny this time of the year. Similan Islands usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Koh Chang during winter. Similan Islands gets 287 hours of sunny skies, while Koh Chang receives 282 hours of full sun in the winter.

In the winter, Similan Islands is around the same temperature as Koh Chang. Typically, the winter temperatures in Similan Islands in January average around 27°C (80°F), and Koh Chang averages at about 26°C (79°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Similan Islands 27°C (80°F) 
    Koh Chang 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit Similan Islands or Koh Chang in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Similan Islands as well as Koh Chang. Similan Islands attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. The warm climate attracts visitors to Koh Chang throughout the year.

Also, October to May in Similan Islands is the dry season. June to September in Similan Islands is the rainy season. June to October in Koh Chang is the rainy season. It's quite rainy in Koh Chang. Similan Islands receives a lot of rain in the spring. Similan Islands usually gets more rain in April than Koh Chang. Similan Islands gets 157 mm (6.2 in) of rain, while Koh Chang receives 111 mm (4.4 in) of rain this time of the year.

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Koh Chang. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Similan Islands this time of the year. In the spring, Similan Islands often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Koh Chang. Similan Islands gets 249 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Koh Chang receives 247 hours of full sun.

In April, Similan Islands is generally around the same temperature as Koh Chang. Daily temperatures in Similan Islands average around 29°C (83°F), and Koh Chang fluctuates around 29°C (84°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Similan Islands 29°C (83°F) 
    Koh Chang 29°C (84°F)

Typical Weather for Koh Chang and Similan Islands

Similan Islands Koh Chang
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 27°C (80°F) 42 mm (1.7 in) 26°C (79°F) 12 mm (0.5 in)
Feb 28°C (82°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) 27°C (81°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Mar 28°C (83°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 28°C (82°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
Apr 29°C (83°F) 157 mm (6.2 in) 29°C (84°F) 111 mm (4.4 in)
May 28°C (82°F) 345 mm (13.6 in) 28°C (83°F) 356 mm (14 in)
Jun 28°C (82°F) 286 mm (11.3 in) 28°C (82°F) 513 mm (20.2 in)
Jul 28°C (82°F) 284 mm (11.2 in) 28°C (82°F) 440 mm (17.3 in)
Aug 28°C (82°F) 272 mm (10.7 in) 27°C (81°F) 514 mm (20.2 in)
Sep 27°C (81°F) 417 mm (16.4 in) 27°C (81°F) 476 mm (18.7 in)
Oct 27°C (81°F) 351 mm (13.8 in) 27°C (81°F) 280 mm (11 in)
Nov 27°C (80°F) 188 mm (7.4 in) 27°C (80°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Dec 27°C (80°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 26°C (79°F) 12 mm (0.5 in)


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