A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Singapore vs. Koh Pha Ngan for Food, Nightlife, Resorts, and Beaches

Should you visit Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan?

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

Should I visit Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Singapore

Singapore is a glitzy, modern, and global city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and food.

Koh Pha Ngan

Koh Pha Ngan is a high energy, funky, and beautiful party island. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and hiking.

Singapore and Koh Pha Ngan: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good music scene
  • Nice resorts
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Not as popular for scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Less attractive beach
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Full Moon Parties
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food
  • Not as many resort options
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with couples
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Singapore than Koh Pha Ngan, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Singapore is better known for its museums, food, music, resorts, shopping, and big city activities, while Koh Pha Ngan is more popular for its nightlife, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and hiking. Koh Pha Ngan is more touristy than Singapore and is known for its wild Full Moon Parties, large backpacker crowds, and strikingly beautiful beaches. Singapore is well known for its blend of cultures, its lush gardens, and its clean streets. Also, Singapore is famous for Merlion Park Waterfront.

How is Singapore different from Koh Pha Ngan?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan?

Singapore
Koh Pha Ngan

Singapore is well known for its museums and landmarks. However, Koh Pha Ngan is not particularly known for its historical sights.

Many visitors head to Singapore specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The mix of cultures and unique history have led to museums and landmarks that mix historic and modern. The Merlion statue in Merlion Park has become a symbol of the city. For an educational experience, head to the Asian Civilizations Museum, and to see colonial architecture check out Fort Canning Park.

While most people don't head to Koh Pha Ngan specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. Visitors come of the natural beauty, outdoor sports, and hardcore parties more than the sights and museums. Kuan Yin Temple is worth visiting, as is Wat Pho and Wat Phu Khao Noi.


Is the Food Better in Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Singapore
Koh Pha Ngan

Singapore is a world-class destination for its restaurant scene. Also, Koh Pha Ngan is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

Singapore has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. From local dives to five star restaurants, the city's food scene is all about diversity. Make sure you try Hainanese chicken rice, chili crab, and Hokkien prawn mee.

Koh Pha Ngan has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. There is frequent turnover in the restaurant scene around town, but there are a few mainstay restaurants that offer consistent and reliable Thai or international cuisine. In general, the food is fresh and the typical Thai favorites are available most places. Also make sure you check out the Thong Sala Night Market, which offers unique snacks and local dishes.

Is Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan Better for Nightlife?

Singapore
Koh Pha Ngan

Koh Pha Ngan is a must-visit destination for its evening party scene. Also, Singapore is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for nightlife.

Koh Pha Ngan is a world class party destination. The island's famous Full Moon Parties have landed it on many lists for top party destinations around the world. These parties are held every month on the night of the full moon, with the biggest crowds between November and March. The parties are traditionally held at the beach in Haad Rin. If you miss the Full Moon Party, you can check out the Half Moon Festival on Baan Ti. During other times, you'll find a variety of different parties that capitalize on the party reputation of the island, so whenever you visit, you can enjoy some level of festivities.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Singapore. It's all about the glitzy nightclubs and exclusive cocktail bars. Head to Clarke Quay, Marina Bay Sands, or one of the many rooftop bars to experience the best of Singapore's nightlife. Do keep in mind that the city has a high alcohol tax, and strict rules around drinking in public places during certain hours.

Is Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan Better for Music?

Singapore
Koh Pha Ngan

Singapore is a world-class destination for live music. However, Koh Pha Ngan is not a live music destination.

Singapore is a world class music destination. As a globalized city, you'll find almost any type of music here. Popular music venues include Timbre, Zouk, and the Crazy Elephant.

Koh Pha Ngan is not a live music destination.


Is Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan Better for Resorts?

Singapore
Koh Pha Ngan

Singapore is a world-class destination for its resorts. Also, Koh Pha Ngan is still popular, but not quite as popular for its luxury resorts.

If you're looking for a fantastic resort destination, Singapore is a perfect choice. From sleek high rises with rooftop pools to family-friendly resorts with kid oriented activities, this city has it all. Popular resorts include Oasia Resort Sentosa, Dusit Thani Laguna, and The Ritz-Carlton.

With a selection of resorts, Koh Pha Ngan makes a nice vacation spot. Much of the island caters to the backpacker crowd, but there are some luxury resorts to choose from as well. Many resorts take advantage of the beautiful nature on the island or intentionally prioritize a serene environment where you can relax by the pool.

Is Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Singapore
Koh Pha Ngan

Koh Pha Ngan is a popular place for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Singapore is a mediocre city for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling.

Koh Pha Ngan has a few good snorkeling spots. The island has its share of dive shops and a nice underwater setting where you can see coral and a variety of marine life. The island doesn't draw the huge diving crowds like some of the other islands, but that isn't always a bad thing.

Most people don't go snorkeling in Singapore. The best place to snorkel in the area is Pulau Hantu.

Is Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan Better for Beaches?

Singapore
Koh Pha Ngan

Koh Pha Ngan is a must-visit destination for the beach. Also, Singapore is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its beaches.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Koh Pha Ngan. The white sand beaches with turquoise blue waters make this island a truly beautiful destination. While most people think of beach parties and Full Moon Parties, the island also has some quieter beaches where you can relax in a peaceful paradise. The parties are mostly concentrated around Sunrise Beach in Haad Rin. This beach also has cheap bungalows that are popular with the backpacker crowd. For the quieter beaches, head to the northern side of the island around Hat Khuat and Hat Thian.

Many people head to Singapore to enjoy the beach. You'll find most of the area's best beaches on Sentosa Island. There's a 2 kilometer long artificial beach that is split into Palawan Beach, Siloso Beach, and Tanjong Beach.


Is Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan Better for Hiking?

Singapore
Koh Pha Ngan

Koh Pha Ngan is notable for the nearby hiking options. However, Singapore is not a hiking destination.

Koh Pha Ngan is a popular spot for hiking. In its interior, the island has beautiful jungle and impressive hikes. Some of the best hikes are found in Than Sadet National Park, but come prepared because they can often be challenging. They usually end with a breathtaking viewpoint, secluded beach, or stunning waterfall though.

Singapore is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan?

Singapore
Koh Pha Ngan

Singapore is a world-class destination for shopping. However, Koh Pha Ngan is not particularly known for its shopping opportunities.

Singapore is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. You'll find tons of malls along Orchard Road, but for a more eclectic shopping experience head to the Chinatown Street Market.

If you're looking to go shopping, Koh Pha Ngan has some nice offerings. Although shopping isn't particularly popular on the island, it does offer a unique opportunity to support individual shop owners as there are more independently owned vendors on this island than in many other areas. Head to the markets and you'll find the most independent shops to support.

Is Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan Better for Families?

Singapore
Koh Pha Ngan

Singapore is a world-class destination for its family-friendly activities. However, Koh Pha Ngan is not particularly known for its kid-friendly activities.

Singapore is one of the most popular family destinations. With places like Sentosa and Universal Studios, there really is no shortage of activities for kids. There's also a zoo, an aquarium, and bird park, and many kid-friendly museums.

For families, Koh Pha Ngan is not always the best place to visit. Most people think of Full Moon Parties and backpacker crowds when they think of this island. There are actually some quieter areas on the eastern and northern sides of the island that are good for families. The activities are best suited for older kids and include hiking, windsurfing, yoga, and shopping.


Is Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan Better for Couples?

Singapore
Koh Pha Ngan

Singapore is a world-class destination for romance. Also, Koh Pha Ngan is still popular, but not quite as popular for its romantic activities.

For those traveling as a couple, Singapore has plenty to offer. The city has stunning hotels, amazing restaurants, and plenty of fun activities that are perfect for couples.

Koh Pha Ngan makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples who enjoy partying, yoga retreats, and outdoor exploration will find something for them on this island. There are beautiful hikes to waterfalls as well as nice beaches and, of course, the wild parties.

Is Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Singapore
Koh Pha Ngan

Both Singapore and Koh Pha Ngan are world-class destinations for backpackers.

Singapore is a very popular city to visit for backpackers. Many backpackers use this city as a starting or ending point for their Southeast Asian backpacking trip. It's modern and glamourous, but still has plenty of backpacker-friendly and budget-friendly options.

Many backpackers frequent Koh Pha Ngan. This island is synonymous with backpacker vibes and full moon parties. Head to the southern side of the island around Haad Rin and Ban Tai for the highest concentration of backpacker crowds. Like much of Thailand, there is frequent turnover in hostel ownership, so most reviews that you read online will be out of date. It's best to talk to people on the road to get the most up-to-date perspective.

Is Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan Better for Students?

Singapore
Koh Pha Ngan

Singapore is a world-class destination for students. However, Koh Pha Ngan is not popular with students.

Students come from all over the world to visit Singapore. As such a diverse city, you'll find plenty of international students as well as expats to hang out with.

Koh Pha Ngan is not popular with students.


Is Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Singapore
Koh Pha Ngan

Singapore is a world-class destination for its public transit. However, Koh Pha Ngan is not particularly known for times when you don't have a car.

With a huge network, the transit system in Singapore can get you around easily. There is the MRT subway system as well as buses that travel all over the city.

Public transit is mostly limited in Koh Pha Ngan. Your best bet for getting around the island without a private vehicle is Songthaew taxi, longtail boats, and rental mopeds.

Is Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan a more walkable city?

Singapore
Koh Pha Ngan

Singapore is a world-class destination for its walkability. Also, Koh Pha Ngan is still popular, but not quite as popular for its high level of walkability.

Getting around Singapore on foot is easy. It's possible to walk in most areas in the city center. There are also park connectors that are nice for taking a stroll or going for a run.

Koh Pha Ngan is a somewhat walkable place. It's possible, and even enjoyable, to walk from place to place around the island but allow yourself a lot of time and bring water because temperatures can be very warm.

For even more information, also check out Is Singapore Worth Visiting? and Is Koh Pha Ngan Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Koh Pha Ngan or Singapore?

How long in Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan?

In either Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Singapore than Koh Pha Ngan because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-7 days is a good amount of time for Singapore, and 3-5 days is enough time in Koh Pha Ngan.

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

Couples should spend more time in Singapore than Koh Pha Ngan. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Singapore that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Singapore than Koh Pha Ngan 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 Singapore.


  • How many days in Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan? Ideal Length of Stay
    Singapore 2-7 
    Koh Pha Ngan 3-5

One day in Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan?

Each neighborhood in Singapore has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

You'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the party island of Koh Pha Ngan. 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.


A weekend in Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan?

Singapore is a fun place to experience. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. So, a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife around the party-oriented destination of Koh Pha Ngan. Hikers are also drawn to this area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This party island offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan?

Each neighborhood in Singapore has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. So, five days is just the right amount of time to spend here.

You'll find nightlife and food around the funky party island of Koh Pha Ngan. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this party island makes for a great vacation. It's also a great beach destination, too. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this party island has to offer.

A week in Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan?

Singapore is a popular place to visit. Many people spend one week here. It's also a relaxing resort destination. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Koh Pha Ngan is a popular choice for travelers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Cultural Tours in Singapore, The Best Budget Tours to Singapore, The Best Budget Tours to Thailand, and The Best Tours for Seniors to Thailand.


Which place is cheaper, Koh Pha Ngan or Singapore?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Singapore is $152, while the average daily cost in Koh Pha Ngan is $45. 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 Singapore and Koh Pha Ngan in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Singapore $98
    Koh Pha Ngan $23
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Singapore $196
    Koh Pha Ngan $46
Compare Hotels in Singapore and Koh Pha Ngan

Looking for a hotel in Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan? 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 Singapore


Hotels in Koh Pha Ngan


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 Pha Ngan Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Singapore $10
    Koh Pha Ngan $13
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Singapore

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


  • Taxi to Airport
    $24

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Singapore

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Singapore:

  • Airport Transfer: $81
  • Changi International Airport Private MPV Transfer: $105
  • City Experience with National Orchid Garden + Roundtrip Transfers: $57
  • City Tour+Gardens by the Bay(FlowerDome&CloudForest)Transfers: $74
  • Departing Transfer to Changi Airport or Cruise Centre: $61
  • Downtown to Singapore Airport (SIN) - Departure Private Transfer: $36
  • ExhilaratingSentosa MorningTour(Guided Shared Roundtrip Transfer): $150
  • Free Wifi Rental | Two - Way Airport Transfer Minivan (4pax): $186
  • Gardens By the Bay with One Way Transfer (2 Domes): $38
  • Glittering Singapore Night Out + Roundtrip Transfers: $80
  • MBCC & HFCC - Cruise Terminal to City Hotel Transfer: $29
  • Morning at the Zoo with Transfer : $65

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Koh Pha Ngan

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Koh Pha Ngan are as follows:


  • Scooter Rental
    $8.18
  • Ferry Ride
    $14
  • Gas for Scooter
    $3.00

Is it cheaper to fly into Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan?

Prices for flights to both Koh Pha Ngan and Singapore 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
    Singapore $27
    Koh Pha Ngan $10
Typical Food Prices in Singapore

Some typical examples of dining costs in Singapore are as follows:


  • Breakfast
    $4.50
  • Sugarcane Juice
    $1.48

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Singapore

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Singapore.

  • Singapore : Traditional Snacks Cooking Class: $34
  • Secrets of Singapore Kick Scooter Tour with Dinner: $48
  • Eat and Snap in Chinatown Walking Food Tour: $72
  • Small Group: Michelin and Local Hawker Food Tour: $73
  • Private Korean Cooking Class in Balmoral Road: $74
  • Zebra Urban Safari Bicycle Tour with Local Dinner and Drinks: $76
  • Local Food Tour: $82
  • Experience Cultural Cooking Class: $83
  • Singapore Heritage Food (Cooking Class - Hands-on) : $95
  • Michelin Premium Food Tour with Hawker Centre & Chinatown Tour: $105
  • Eat Pray Love - Singapore Food Tour With A Difference: $106
  • Off the Menu: Singapore Authentic Food Tour with Local Student: $114

Typical Food Prices in Koh Pha Ngan

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Koh Pha Ngan:


  • Noodle Lunch (for One)
    $1.09
  • Sit Down Dinner (for Two)
    $10
  • Smoothies (for Two)
    $1.09
  • Ice Cream
    $0.55
  • Juice
    $1.64
  • 3 Spring Rolls
    $0.82
  • 2 Pancakes
    $1.64

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Singapore $32
    Koh Pha Ngan $17

Tours and Activities in Singapore

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

  • Singapore Street Art Hunting in Kampong Glam: A Self-guided Audio Tour: $5.20
  • Big Little India: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.20
  • Singapore's History of Trade: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.20
  • Kampong Glam: A Self-Guided Audio Tour of Singapore's Malay Culture: $5.20
  • The Civic District: Hear stories about Singapore's past on an audio tour: $5.20
  • Indian Heritage Centre Admission Ticket: $5.36
  • Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall Admission Ticket: $6.07
  • Singapore's Stories and Histories: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.99
  • Singapore Central Area: Quest Experience: $7.10
  • National Orchid Garden Admission Ticket: $7.30
  • Chinatown Heritage Walking Tour: $7.59
  • Self Guided Tour to Explore and Play in Joo Chiat: $7.59

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Singapore $27
    Koh Pha Ngan $9.88

Sample the Local Flavors in Singapore

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Singapore:

  • Tour of Tiger Brewery in Singapore: $21
  • Little India Pub Crawl : $23

Typical Alcohol Prices in Koh Pha Ngan

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Koh Pha Ngan are as follows:


  • Drinks at Irish Pub (for Two)
    $7.09


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Singapore and Koh Pha Ngan, we can see that Singapore is more expensive. And not only is Koh Pha Ngan much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Koh Pha Ngan would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Koh Pha Ngan 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 Singapore would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Singapore than you might in Koh Pha Ngan.

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


Which is Bigger, Singapore or Koh Pha Ngan?

Singapore has a larger population, and is about 300 times larger than the population of Koh Pha Ngan. When comparing the sizes of Singapore and Koh Pha Ngan, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.