A Travel Price Comparison for Thailand Similan Islands vs. Railay Beach for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Similan Islands or Railay Beach?

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 Railay Beach 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

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.

Railay Beach

If you're looking to scale great heights and add more achievements to your list during your vacation, consider a trip to the peninsula of Rai Leh, or more commonly Railay Bay or Railay Beach, in the Krabi region of Thailand. This swimming and rock climbing hotspot is known for its towering limestone peaks and gorgeous surrounding scenery.

Which city is cheaper, Railay Beach or Similan Islands?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Similan Islands is $153, while the average daily cost in Railay Beach is $89. 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 Railay Beach in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Similan Islands $57
    Railay Beach $53
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Similan Islands $114
    Railay Beach $106

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Similan Islands $113
    Railay Beach $21

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Railay Beach

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Railay Beach:

  • Ao Nang: One-Way Railay Beach Longtail Boat Transfer: $31

Is it cheaper to fly into Similan Islands or Railay Beach?

Prices for flights to both Railay Beach 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 $30
    Railay Beach $18

Typical Food prices in Railay Beach

Some typical examples of dining costs in Railay Beach are as follows:


  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $5.76
  • Pizza
    $4.90

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Similan Islands $37
    Railay Beach $19

Typical Entertainment prices in Railay Beach

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Railay Beach are as follows:


  • Rock Climbing (for Two)
    $20

Tours and Activities in Railay Beach

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Railay Beach are as follows:

  • Crystal Clear Kayak Tour in Krabi: $30
  • Krabi: Hong Islands Full-Day Private Speedboat Charter Tour: $508

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Similan Islands $7.90
    Railay Beach $12

Typical Alcohol prices in Railay Beach

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Railay Beach are as follows:


  • Beer
    $1.73

Sample the Local Flavors in Railay Beach

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Railay Beach:

  • Railay Pub Crawl: $15


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

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Similan Islands vs. Railay Beach Travel Comparison

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