Should you visit Similan Islands or Koh Phi Phi?
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Similan Islands and Koh Phi Phi 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.
Koh Phi Phi
The islands of Koh Phi Phi, off the coast of southwestern Thailand, are very popular with travelers because of their unrivaled tropical scenery, clear blue waters, relaxing atmosphere, and undersea attractions. However, in the last decade, Koh Phi Phi has seen a huge surge in tourism, adding to the crowds and pollution of the main (and only populated) island, known as Koh Phi Phi Don.
Which city is cheaper, Koh Phi Phi 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 Phi Phi is $65. 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 Phi Phi in more detail.
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.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $72 in Koh Phi Phi For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
The price of a meal in Koh Phi Phi can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $10 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $4.00 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.
Meals for one day
Similan Islands $33
Koh Phi Phi $10
Typical Food prices in Koh Phi Phi
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Koh Phi Phi:
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.
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Koh Phi Phi than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $6.21 on transportation in Koh Phi Phi on average per day.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Koh Phi Phi
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Koh Phi Phi:
Is it cheaper to fly into Similan Islands or Koh Phi Phi?
Prices for flights to both Koh Phi Phi 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.
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.
Sightseeing expenses in Koh Phi Phi, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $41 per day, per person.
Typical Entertainment prices in Koh Phi Phi
For Koh Phi Phi, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Typically, people visiting Similan Islands spend on average $8.44 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Koh Phi Phi, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $5.10.
Typical Alcohol prices in Koh Phi Phi
Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Koh Phi Phi from other travelers:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Similan Islands and Koh Phi Phi, we can see that Similan Islands is more expensive. And not only is Koh Phi Phi much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Koh Phi Phi would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Koh Phi Phi 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 Phi Phi.
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