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

Should you visit Similan Islands or Koh Lipe?

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 Lipe 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. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. It's also known for beaches, hiking, and food.

Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe is a local, tranquil, and idyllic island. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Visitors also love the scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and hiking.

Similan Islands and Koh Lipe: 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 with backpackers
Pros
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty


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

Travelers will usually find more to do in Koh Lipe. Although Similan Islands and Koh Lipe are popular destinations, Koh Lipe has more sights and attractions for tourists. Koh Lipe is more touristy than Similan Islands and is popular for its world class scuba diving and snorkeling, as well as its small and local atmosphere. It is also well known for Sunrise Beach. Similan Islands is famous for its world class diving and remote setting.

How is Similan Islands different from Koh Lipe?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Koh Lipe 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 Lipe?

Similan Islands
Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe 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 Lipe. The island is small and all about beaches and the undersea world, so you won't find any temples or museums here.

Similan Islands does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Similan Islands
Koh Lipe

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Similan Islands and Koh Lipe 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 Lipe area. There's enough of a restaurant selection that you'll find good local food and freshly caught seafood. The options change frequently as the tourist crowds have varied dramatically over the years, making it difficult for businesses to stay open.

Is Similan Islands or Koh Lipe Better for Nightlife?

Similan Islands
Koh Lipe

Neither Similan Islands or Koh Lipe offer decent nightlife.

Similan Islands doesn't offer many options. Peace and tranquility is what makes these islands special, and you'll find very limited amenities and no nightlife on the islands.

Things get quiet in the evenings in Koh Lipe. This is a small island that attracts tourists who want nature, beauty, and a serene and tranquil environment. You won't find much of a nightlife scene here.

Is Similan Islands or Koh Lipe Better for Resorts?

Similan Islands
Koh Lipe

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

In Koh Lipe, you'll find some of the region's top resorts. There are a number of locally owned hotels on the island. Many have snorkeling gear for rent.

Similan Islands is not a resort destination.


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

Similan Islands
Koh Lipe

Both Similan Islands and Koh Lipe offer amazing scuba diving or snorkeling.

Similan Islands is a world class destination for scuba diving and snorkeling. 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.

People travel from around the world to go scuba diving and snorkeling in Koh Lipe. Although it is no longer the undiscovered island paradise that it once was, the snorkeling and diving on Koh Lipe remains some of the best in the country.

Is Similan Islands or Koh Lipe Better for Beaches?

Similan Islands
Koh Lipe

Both Similan Islands and Koh Lipe are considered to be amazing 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 Lipe offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. Despite the island's small size, the beaches are truly spectacular. They have white sand and the undersea world is just steps away, so don't forget your mask and snorkel.

Is Similan Islands or Koh Lipe Better for Hiking?

Similan Islands
Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe is an excellent place to visit for its hiking trails. Also, Similan Islands is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its hiking experiences.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Koh Lipe. The island of Koh Lipe doesn't have any hiking, but nearby Adang Island has some impressive hikes that offer views and small waterfalls. You can take a longtail boat for just a short ride to the nearby island.

Similan Islands offers some nice hiking trails. There are hikes through the jungle and to various viewpoints on several of the islands.


Is the Shopping Better in Similan Islands or Koh Lipe?

Similan Islands
Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe 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 Lipe has some nice offerings. The Walking Street is the main street through the island. Its where you'll find the island's shops and restaurants. Most are closed during the morning hours, but people begin to gather in the afternoon.

Similan Islands is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Similan Islands or Koh Lipe Better for Families?

Similan Islands
Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe 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 Lipe is very family-friendly. This is a perfect island to explore with kids. There are beautiful beaches, great snorkeling, and plenty of opportunities to check out wildlife. Your kids will also enjoy seeing the Sea la vie fire show.

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 Lipe Better for Couples?

Similan Islands
Koh Lipe

Both Similan Islands and Koh Lipe are amazing 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 Lipe is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. With its stunning beaches and beautiful nature, this is a great couple's destination. The island has wonderful snorkeling and white sandy beaches that are perfect for exploring with a loved one.


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

Similan Islands
Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe is a island with good options for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Similan Islands is lacking in options for backpackers.

Koh Lipe is a good island to visit for backpackers. The island has become more popular than it was in years past, but it still offers a tranquil setting for those who are a bit jaded by the backpacker scene in Thailand.

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 Lipe Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Similan Islands
Koh Lipe

Visitors will find reasonable public transit in both Similan Islands and Koh Lipe.

Public transit is mostly 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.

Public transit is generally limited in Koh Lipe. There are longtail boats, motorbike taxis, and golf cart taxis that you can hire.

Is Similan Islands or Koh Lipe a more walkable city?

Similan Islands
Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe is an excellent place to visit for its high level of walkability. Also, Similan Islands is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its ease of walking around.

Koh Lipe is a very walkable island. It's an easy island to explore on foot and you can walk from one end of the island to the other in about half an hour.

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


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

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

How long in Similan Islands or Koh Lipe?

Both Similan Islands and Koh Lipe have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, Koh Lipe has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Koh Lipe than Similan Islands. In general, 4-7 days is a good amount of time for Similan Islands, and 3-7 days is enough time in Koh Lipe.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Koh Lipe 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 Lipe.


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

One day in Similan Islands or Koh Lipe?

The beautiful island chain of Similan Islands offers scuba diving and snorkeling and food. Most people come for the beaches. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

The local destination of Koh Lipe offers food and scuba diving and snorkeling. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. 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 Lipe?

Similan Islands is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

The island of Koh Lipe offers scuba diving and snorkeling and food. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. 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 Lipe?

Similan Islands is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Similan Islands, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Koh Lipe is a great place to explore. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. 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 Lipe?

Similan Islands is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. It's also a great beach destination, too. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Similan Islands has to offer. This island chain offers something for everyone.

The tranquil island of Koh Lipe offers scuba diving and snorkeling and food. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. For many, it makes a great getaway for one week. Because of this, one week is usually enough time for a trip here.


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 Lipe or Similan Islands?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Similan Islands is $166, while the average daily cost in Koh Lipe is $86. 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 Lipe in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Similan Islands $69
    Koh Lipe $44
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Similan Islands $138
    Koh Lipe $88
Compare Hotels in Similan Islands and Koh Lipe

Looking for a hotel in Similan Islands or Koh Lipe? 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 Lipe


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 Lipe Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Similan Islands $99
    Koh Lipe $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Koh Lipe

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Koh Lipe:

  • Private Transfer Pak Bara Pier to Hatyai Airport by Van: $70
  • Minibus and Speedboat Transfer from Koh Lipe to Hat Yai Airport : $36

Is it cheaper to fly into Similan Islands or Koh Lipe?

Prices for flights to both Koh Lipe 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 Lipe $27

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Similan Islands $44
    Koh Lipe $23

Tours and Activities in Koh Lipe

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

  • 2 Hours Tour Sunset Cruise Around Lipe: $15
  • Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) 1 day Experience: $112
  • Experience the Koh Lipe Backyard including 5 Mysterious Islands: $22
  • Experience the Koh Lipe Frontier in the Eastern Adang Archipelago: $25
  • Full-Day Koh Lipe 5 Islands Snorkeling Experience with Lunch: $21
  • Full-Day Koh Lipe 7 Islands Snorkeling Experience with Lunch: $24
  • Full-Day Koh Lipe East Zone Snorkeling Experience with Lunch: $18

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Similan Islands $9.45
    Koh Lipe $8.27


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

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 Lipe Expensive?.



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

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.

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

Both Koh Lipe and Similan Islands during the summer 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 Lipe year-round.

June to September is the rainy season in Similan Islands. Koh Lipe 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 around the same amount of rain in July as Koh Lipe. Similan Islands gets 284 mm (11.2 in) of rain, while Koh Lipe receives 269 mm (10.6 in) of rain this time of the year.

In July, Similan Islands is generally around the same temperature as Koh Lipe. Daily temperatures in Similan Islands average around 28°C (82°F), and Koh Lipe fluctuates around 27°C (81°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Similan Islands 28°C (82°F) 
    Koh Lipe 27°C (81°F)

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

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

October to May in Similan Islands is the dry season. December to April in Koh Lipe is the dry season. Also, May to October is the rainy season in Koh Lipe. Koh Lipe receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Similan Islands gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Similan Islands usually receives more rain than Koh Lipe. Similan Islands gets 351 mm (13.8 in) of rain, while Koh Lipe receives 281 mm (11.1 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

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


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

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

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

Similan Islands usually gets less rain in January than Koh Lipe. Similan Islands gets 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Koh Lipe receives 50 mm (2 in) of rain this time of the year.

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


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Similan Islands 27°C (80°F) 
    Koh Lipe 27°C (80°F)

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

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

The dry season in Similan Islands is October to May. The rainy season in Similan Islands is June to September. The dry season in Koh Lipe is December to April. The rainy season in Koh Lipe is May to October. It rains a lot this time of the year in Koh Lipe. It's quite rainy in Similan Islands. In April, Similan Islands usually receives more rain than Koh Lipe. Similan Islands gets 157 mm (6.2 in) of rain, while Koh Lipe receives 124 mm (4.9 in) of rain each month for the spring.

In April, Similan Islands is generally around the same temperature as Koh Lipe. Daily temperatures in Similan Islands average around 29°C (83°F), and Koh Lipe fluctuates around 29°C (85°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Similan Islands 29°C (83°F) 
    Koh Lipe 29°C (85°F)

Typical Weather for Koh Lipe and Similan Islands

Similan Islands Koh Lipe
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 27°C (80°F) 42 mm (1.7 in) 27°C (80°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Feb 28°C (82°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) 28°C (82°F) 23 mm (0.9 in)
Mar 28°C (83°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 29°C (84°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Apr 29°C (83°F) 157 mm (6.2 in) 29°C (85°F) 124 mm (4.9 in)
May 28°C (82°F) 345 mm (13.6 in) 29°C (83°F) 244 mm (9.6 in)
Jun 28°C (82°F) 286 mm (11.3 in) 28°C (82°F) 224 mm (8.8 in)
Jul 28°C (82°F) 284 mm (11.2 in) 27°C (81°F) 269 mm (10.6 in)
Aug 28°C (82°F) 272 mm (10.7 in) 27°C (81°F) 262 mm (10.3 in)
Sep 27°C (81°F) 417 mm (16.4 in) 27°C (81°F) 355 mm (14 in)
Oct 27°C (81°F) 351 mm (13.8 in) 27°C (81°F) 281 mm (11.1 in)
Nov 27°C (80°F) 188 mm (7.4 in) 27°C (80°F) 204 mm (8 in)
Dec 27°C (80°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 27°C (80°F) 116 mm (4.6 in)


Related Articles for Similan Islands