A Travel Price Comparison for Thailand Similan Islands vs. Koh Samui for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Similan Islands or Koh Samui?

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 Samui 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.

Where Should I go: Similan Islands or Koh Samui?

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.

Koh Samui

The largest island on the east coast of southern Thailand, Ko Samui (or Koh Samui) sees a good number of visitors every year who come for its lush rainforest, beautiful shores, and undersea wildlife. The size of the island is still small enough to allow visitors to circumnavigate it with a taxi or motorbike in a day, while hikers and outdoor enthusiasts can find plenty of inland activities in the hills and jungle.

Which city is cheaper, Koh Samui or Similan Islands?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Similan Islands is $162, while the average daily cost in Koh Samui is $49. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Similan Islands and Koh Samui in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Similan Islands $60
    Koh Samui $21
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Similan Islands $120
    Koh Samui $42
Compare Hotels in Similan Islands and Koh Samui

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


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: Similan Islands Hotel Prices and Koh Samui Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Similan Islands $119
    Koh Samui $15

Typical Local Transportation prices in Koh Samui

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Koh Samui:


  • Scooter Rental
    $2.29
  • Gas for Scooter
    $1.22
  • Airport Taxi
    $13
  • Taxi- Na Thon Pier to Lamai Beach
    $13
  • Minibus- Airport to Chaweng
    $3.66

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Koh Samui

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

  • The Red Baron Luxury Yacht Cruise from Koh Samui with Return Transfer: $181
  • Private Transfer from Choeng Mon Beach to Samui (USM) Airport: $41
  • Koh Samui Paradise Park Farm Admission Ticket with Return Transfer: $58
  • Koh Samui Airport (USM): One-Way Private Hotel Transfer: $23
  • Guided Zipline Adventure in Ko Samui with Round Trip Transfer: $87

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

Prices for flights to both Koh Samui 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 $32
    Koh Samui $17

Typical Food prices in Koh Samui

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Koh Samui:


  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $6.56

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Koh Samui

For Koh Samui, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Cooking Class with Herbal Garden by Amari Koh Samui: $55
  • Koh Samui Jungle Kitchen - Half Day Cooking Class: $77
  • Jungle Kitchen Cooking Class in Koh Samui: $89
  • Red Baron : A Sunset Dinner Cruise from Koh Samui with Return Transfer: $122
  • Koh Samui Red Baron Sunset Dinner Cruise with Return Transfer: $131
  • 4-Hour Koh Samui Red Baron Sunset Dinner Cruise: $131

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Similan Islands $39
    Koh Samui $9.38

Tours and Activities in Koh Samui

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Koh Samui.

  • Full Day Ko Samui Island Boat Tour: $87
  • Full-Day Koh Samui Jungle Mountain Adventure Tour with Lunch: $64
  • Full-Day Tour to Koh Phangan by Speedboat from Koh Samui: $93
  • Full-Day Tour to Koh Samui Island by Boat with Lunch: $87
  • Full-day diving experience for beginners (no license): $212
  • Gulf of Thailand Fishing Challenge Tour from Ko Samui: $52
  • Ko Samui Angthong Marine Park Full Day Tour : Snorkeling & Sea Kayaking: $82
  • Ko Samui Angthong Marine Park Full Day Tour with Snorkeling & Sea Kayaking: $82
  • Ko Samui City Tour including Wat Phra Yai, Lat Ko Viewpoint, Hin Ta Hin Yai Rock: $29
  • Ko Samui City Tour including Wat Phra Yai, Lat Ko Viewpoint, Hin Ta Hin Yai Rock: $29
  • Ko Samui City Tour including Wat Phra Yai, Lat Ko Viewpoint, Hin Ta Hin Yai Rock: $29
  • Koh Nangyuan Snorkeling and Koh Tao Tour by Catamaran Cruise from Koh Samui: $92

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Similan Islands $8.37
    Koh Samui $4.14


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


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

Both destinations experience a tropical climate with warm 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 Samui in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Similan Islands and Koh Samui. Plenty of visitors come to Similan Islands because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Koh Samui because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

Koh Samui receives a lot of rain in the summer. Similan Islands gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Similan Islands usually receives more rain than Koh Samui. Similan Islands gets 284 mm (11.2 in) of rain, while Koh Samui receives 143 mm (5.6 in) of rain each month for the summer.

In the summer, Similan Islands is a little warmer than Koh Samui. Typically, the summer temperatures in Similan Islands in July are around 28°C (82°F), and Koh Samui is about 24°C (76°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Similan Islands 28°C (82°F) 
    Koh Samui 24°C (76°F)

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

The autumn brings many poeple to Similan Islands as well as Koh Samui. Similan Islands attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Koh Samui attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

Also, December to February in Koh Samui is the dry season. October to December in Koh Samui is the rainy season. It's quite rainy in Koh Samui. Similan Islands receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Similan Islands usually gets more rain in October than Koh Samui. Similan Islands gets 351 mm (13.8 in) of rain, while Koh Samui receives 240 mm (9.5 in) of rain this time of the year.

In October, Similan Islands is generally a little warmer than Koh Samui. Temperatures in Similan Islands average around 27°C (81°F), and Koh Samui stays around 24°C (75°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Similan Islands 27°C (81°F) 
    Koh Samui 24°C (75°F)

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

Both Koh Samui and Similan Islands are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Similan Islands throughout the year. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Koh Samui throughout the year.

The dry season in Koh Samui is December to February. In January, Similan Islands usually receives less rain than Koh Samui. Similan Islands gets 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Koh Samui receives 51 mm (2 in) of rain each month for the winter.

Similan Islands is a little warmer than Koh Samui in the winter. The temperature in Similan Islands is usually 27°C (80°F) in January, and Koh Samui stays around 22°C (72°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Similan Islands 27°C (80°F) 
    Koh Samui 22°C (72°F)

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

Both Koh Samui and Similan Islands during the spring are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Similan Islands because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Koh Samui because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Similan Islands. Similan Islands usually gets more rain in April than Koh Samui. Similan Islands gets 157 mm (6.2 in) of rain, while Koh Samui receives 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain this time of the year.

In the spring, Similan Islands is a little warmer than Koh Samui. Typically, the spring temperatures in Similan Islands in April are around 29°C (83°F), and Koh Samui is about 24°C (76°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Similan Islands 29°C (83°F) 
    Koh Samui 24°C (76°F)

Typical Weather for Koh Samui and Similan Islands

Similan Islands Koh Samui
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 27°C (80°F) 42 mm (1.7 in) 22°C (72°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Feb 28°C (82°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) 22°C (72°F) 11 mm (0.4 in)
Mar 28°C (83°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 23°C (74°F) 24 mm (0.9 in)
Apr 29°C (83°F) 157 mm (6.2 in) 24°C (76°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
May 28°C (82°F) 345 mm (13.6 in) 25°C (77°F) 164 mm (6.5 in)
Jun 28°C (82°F) 286 mm (11.3 in) 25°C (77°F) 145 mm (5.7 in)
Jul 28°C (82°F) 284 mm (11.2 in) 24°C (76°F) 143 mm (5.6 in)
Aug 28°C (82°F) 272 mm (10.7 in) 24°C (76°F) 140 mm (5.5 in)
Sep 27°C (81°F) 417 mm (16.4 in) 25°C (76°F) 196 mm (7.7 in)
Oct 27°C (81°F) 351 mm (13.8 in) 24°C (75°F) 240 mm (9.5 in)
Nov 27°C (80°F) 188 mm (7.4 in) 23°C (74°F) 335 mm (13.2 in)
Dec 27°C (80°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 23°C (73°F) 134 mm (5.3 in)


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Similan Islands vs. Koh Samui Travel Comparison

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