Koh Samui is the second largest island in Thailand and is located in the Gulf of Thailand. The island is a popular tourist destination for a variety of reasons such as the amazing beaches, nightlife, and more. In terms of planning to budget for a trip to Koh Samui, you need to decide on what you want to see and do on Koh Samui. But is Koh Samui expensive?

Generally speaking, Koh Samui is cheaper than Phuket or Bangkok but comparing to places like Krabi or Chiang Mai it is more expensive. It depends a lot on what you are planning on doing for example if you are planning on enjoying the nightlife every night as it will get costly, or if you only plan to relax by the beach, then it will be reasonably cheap.

In this post, we will go through is Koh Samui expensive. Let’s get started!

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Is Koh Samui Expensive?

Koh Samui is cheaper than Phuket, Bangkok, or Koh Lipe but comparing to other places such as Krabi, Pattaya, or Chiang Mai it is more expensive. Expensive is very subjectively as this can depend on a number of factors such as.

  • The type of traveling you are planning. Is it budget backpacking traveling or more high-end wealthy traveling?
  • Are you looking to party?
  • The activities you plan on doing? For example, scuba diving or go touring the island.
Lipa Noi Beach in Koh Samui
Lipa Noi Beach

How Much Is Accommodation In Koh Samui?

The high season runs from October to February, this pulls in the crowds particularly around the Christmas period and New Year period. The low season runs from May to October this is when prices of accommodation are much cheaper.

There are a number of popular locations on Koh Samui, that are suitable for families while others are more suitable for party goers. These are as follows.

  • Chaweng – Generally Chaweng attracts young couples and young travelers who are looking to party. It can it very busy at night, especially on the beach.
  • Lamai – Generally Lamai attracts families and Budget travelers. People who like a good but not hectic nightlife.
  • Bophut – Generally Bophut attracts families and more wealthy travelers. It is never too busy or quiet.
  • Maenam – Generally Maenam attracts couples and beach lovers. This is more for travelers who want fancy resorts.
  • Big Buddha – Generally Big Buddha area attracts backpackers and families, simply the more budget-conscious travelers.

The table below shows roughly average prices in those particular areas. The prices are based on a double room with a bathroom. The budget rooms are of a good standard with no swimming pool and at least 10 mins walk from the beach.

While the mid-range is near the beach and has swimming pools and restaurants. And the high end has everything you would expect from paying a premium price.

LocationBudgetMid-RangeHigh-End
Chaweng$16 – $24$85 – $125$232 – $370
Lamai$14 – $20$95 – $120$220 – $1370
Bophut$15 – $21$100 – $125$205 – $1170
Maenam$21 – $28$95 – $120$210 – $420
Big Buddha$10 – $16$95 – $120$210 – $2170

How Do You Get Around In Koh Samui?

Travelling around Koh Samui generally is not really a problem. There are plenty of options with the main ones are as follows.

  • Songthaews – Songthaews are like buses and they are the cheapest way of getting around Koh Samui. The start price is from 50 baht per person and increases the further you go.
  • Taxis – Taxis are definitely the most comfortable method of transport in Koh Samui. The taxis in Koh Samui are colored in yellow and maroon. The with taxis on Koh Samui is that there is only one taxi company which means they can set any price they want. All taxi drivers instead of negotiating a fixed price for the journey, do have meters but they will not use them.
  • Motorbike Taxis – Motorbike taxis are cheaper than normal taxis but less comfortable. You can spot them by looking for drivers with very colorful vests.
  • Rent A Moped – Renting a moped is the most economical way to get around Samui. And is the most convenient method of transport. The daily rental can range from around 150 to 300 baht, while gasoline costs about 30 baht per liter.

It is important to note that you need an international driving permit to legally drive a moped in Thailand.

TransportAverage Cost
SongthaewsStarts at 50 THB ($1.60) and increases the further you go
TaxisA short 5 to 10 minutes drive can cost 200 THB
Motorbike taxisStarts at 50 THB ($1.60) to 100 THB ($3.30) for short distances 
Rent MopedStarts from 150 THB to 300 THB

How Much Does A Beer Cost In Koh Samui?

If you are planning on enjoying the nightlife every night, then it can get expensive. The local beers which are Singha, Leo, and Chang are the cheapest especially comparing to the European beers. Buy a Chang beer from the local shop or the 7-Eleven, which will set you back 50 baht, with 3 packs costing around 155 baht.

While imported beer, such as Heineken, or Carlsberg, where a small can cost around 50 baht to 60 baht from the local shop. While in the bar they will closer to 200 baht.

BeerBar/Restaurants Prices (baht)Nightclub Price (baht)
Chang Beer 640 ml Bottle80 – 140 150 +
Leo Beer 640 ml Bottle80 – 140 150 +
Singha 640 ml Bottle90 – 150 160 +

How Much Does A Food Cost In Koh Samui?

The food on Koh Samui is not too expensive. If you get a one-course dinner with a beer at a restaurant you can expect to pay around 240 baht. If you go for western food expect to pay closer to 400 baht.

Street food and food got at a market are cheap but food at fast food places like McDonalds or Burger King is expensive.

Wrapping Up

Finally, Koh Samui is not an expensive destination considering it is a popular tourist island. There are a number of factors that will affect how expensive your visit to Koh Samui will be. The main factor is the activities you decide to do is it enjoy the nightlife, or relax on the beach or go exploring the island.

And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on is Koh Samui expensive has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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Koh Samui Expensive

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