Phuket and Koh Samui are both popular well-known islands in Thailand. Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and Koh Samui is the second-largest island in Thailand. And both are very popular with tourists but is Phuket or Koh Samui better.
Phuket is a busy resort island that tends to attract people who are looking to party, older travelers, and those traveling with their families. While Koh Samui tends to attract younger tourists looking to party as well as families.
In this post, we will go through which is Phuket or Koh Samui better. Let’s get started!
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Is Phuket Or Koh Samui Better?
Phuket and Koh Samui are both very similar islands with respect to they both have awesome beaches, parties, and resorts. Phuket is a tourist-focused resort island with popular nightlife and plenty of beaches. That has a population of around 420,000 people.
While Koh Samui has a population of around 67,000 people also has a vibrant nightlife. With plenty of beach resorts around the island.
In comparing these two places, we will compare things to do in each place, accommodation, nightlife, and any other factors that would have an impact on your visit.
Let us compare Phuket and Koh Samui.
Places To Stay In Phuket Or Koh Samui
Phuket and Koh Samui both have a good supply of guest houses, hostels, and hotels. Here are a few places to give you an idea of what is available if you are planning to visit either one.
Remember to check the reviews and book a place that suits your interests while traveling.
Rating 8.1, Prices start from $45 for a double room
Pearl Hotel offers accommodation in Phuket Town with an outdoor swimming pool, a bar, laundry service, and a shared lounge. Free WiFi is available in all areas.
Rooms are air-conditioning with a seating area that has a flat-screen satellite TV, a fridge, and a minibar. Shower facilities, and free toiletries.
Rating 8.3, Prices start from $125 for a double room
Novotel Phuket Kamala Beach offers accommodation on the beach which comes with a restaurant, concierge service, and an outdoor swimming pool. Free WiFi is accessible in the rooms and throughout its premises.
The rooms are modern air-conditioned rooms with a private balcony, flat-screen satellite TV, a fridge, and a minibar. The private bathroom comes with shower facilities and free toiletries.
Rating 8.4, Prices start from $50 for a double room
DoubleTree by Hilton Phuket Banthai Resort offers accommodation in Patong. WiFi is available in public areas and in some rooms. The property offers an outdoor swimming pool, free parking, a bar, and a restaurant.
The rooms are modern air-conditioned rooms with a private balcony, flat-screen satellite TV, a safe, and a minibar. The private bathroom comes with shower facilities and free toiletries.
Koh Samui Accommodation
Koh Samui also has a huge variety of guest houses, hostels, and hotels. There are over 566 properties in Koh Samui with prices starting from $17 a night.
Rating 8.9, Prices start from $25 for a double room
J4 Samui Hotel is a beachfront property and is only 200 meters from Chaweng Beach. This hotel offers a concierge service, a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, room service, and free WiFi throughout the property.
Rooms and suites are all air-conditioned suites that have a comfortable living space and flat-screen TVs.
Rating 8.7, Prices start from $125 for a one-bed villa room
All room types come with an en suite kitchen, separate seating area, and a dressing room.
Rating 8.8, Prices start from $95 for a double room
Lub d Koh Samui Chaweng beach offers an outdoor swimming pool and non-smoking rooms. The property features a 24-hour front desk. This resort offers a 24-hour front desk, restaurant, room service. Free WiFi is available.
Room includes air conditioning, and certain rooms offer a balcony.
Nightlife in Phuket And Koh Samui
Thailand is well known for its nightlife and Phuket and Koh Samui definitely have a vibrant nightlife. It’s well known that they are both great places to party.
Let’s compare the nightlife between Phuket and Koh Samui.
Phuket’s nightlife is mainly in Patong, particularly on Bangla road. It is full of clubs, bars, go-go bars, massage parlors, and more. You will find that some bars and clubs are open till 4 am.
Patong in particularly on Bangla road can come across as sleazy, so you need to go there with an open mind. Also, don’t waste your time on money going to the ping pong shows, it’s not worth it.
Koh Samui Nightlife
You will find clubs, bars, go-go bars, and more. There are 3 main party areas on Koh Samui which are Chaweng Beach, Lamai Beach, and Bophut Beach. You will find clubs, bars, go-go bars, and more.
In particular, Chaweng can come across as a bit sleazy, so you need to go there with an open mind, or it’s not worth visiting.
What To Do See In Phuket and Koh Samui?
Phuket and Koh Samui are both are blessed with beaches, temples, food, and plenty of other things to see and do on each island.
Here are some of the best things to do in Phuket and Koh Samui.
Things To Do In Phuket
Phuket is a popular resort island that attracts millions of international visitors every year. Despite being an island there are other things to do in Phuket other than the nightlife.
Here is a list of a few things to do in Phuket Thailand.
Visit a Few Temples
There are a few interesting temples in Phuket that are worth a visit. Here are the lists of the temples to visit in Phuket.
- Chalong Temple – This is a massive temple and is the largest and the most popular Buddhist temple in Phuket.
- Big Buddha of Phuket – This is an iconic 45-meter tall marble statue on top of Nakkerd hill. That offers panoramic views from the top.
Go Diving Or Snorkeling
Phuket offers some of the best site dives in Thailand as well as great snorkeling opportunities. There is no shortage of dive shops on the island.
Here are some of the dive sites around Phuket.
- Racha Noi and Racha Yai.
- Hin Musang.
- King Cruiser wreck.
- Similan islands.
- Surin islands.
Snorkeling gear can be rented from dive shops on the many beaches on Phuket.
Go, Island Hopping
Phuket is close to a couple of islands that have some awesome beaches and is an enjoyable day out visiting the islands. Go can relax on the beach, go snorkeling, and more.
Some of these islands are as follows.
- Phi Phi islands.
- James Bond island.
- Koh Panyi.
- Similan islands.
Visit The Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
Elephants can be found across Thailand but because of tourism and logging have suffered terrible abuse.
Elephant sanctuaries provide protection and rehabilitation. There is a fee to enter the elephant sanctuary but it is money well spent. As it helps to ruin the sanctuary.
Enjoy The Beaches
One thing Phuket does not lack is beaches. Phuket beaches are crystal clear water, comfortable breeze, blue lagoons, and white and soft sands.
Some beaches in Phuket have been damaged by over-development in the last 20 years. Here is a list of the best beaches in Phuket.
- Nai Harn beach.
- Kata Noi beach
- Bangtao beach.
- Freedom beach.
- Karon beach.
- Kata beach.
- More on the best beaches in Phuket.
Things To Do In Koh Samui
Days in Koh Samui can be spent lounging on the beach or exploring the islands. Other than the nightlife there is plenty of things to do in Koh Samui. The challenge could be getting around to do it all.
Here are a couple of things to do in Koh Samui Thailand.
Explore The Temples
One thing that Koh Samui does not lack is temples. You can take a temple tour for the full day to see most of the temples and shrines around Koh Samui.
Some of the Buddhist temples and Chinese shrines see are as follows.
- Wat Plai Laem.
- Wat Khao Chedi.
- Big Buddha.
- Samui Big Buddha (Wat Phra Yai).
- Wat Ratchathammaram.
Remember there is a dress code as you are visiting a temple, so dress modestly. No tank tops, bare feet, or short shirts/shorts.
Meet The Mummified Monk
Not what you expect to find on Koh Samui is a mummified monk. The mummified body of Koh Samui’s most famous monk known as Loung Pordaeng. Which is kept on display in an upright glass casket.
Loung Pordang died at the age of 79. The sign for the temple says he wanted his body to inspire future generations to follow Buddhist teachings, to be saved the week before his death.
He instructed his followers that if his body decayed, he wanted to be cremated.
Relax at Maenam Beach
Koh Samui has over 35 beaches but Maenam beach is one of the better beaches to visit. Maenam beach is a long beach that is roughly about 6 km long.
This is a clean quiet beach with restaurants and bars along the beach. Maenam beach is perfect to hang out, swim, or whatever.
There are no loud beach bars or restaurants and a lot quieter than Chaweng beach.
Finally, there really aren’t too many differences between the two islands except Phuket is more expensive and more touristy. It depends on your personal preference. Personally, I would choose Phuket over Koh Samui as it offers better scuba diving.
And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on Phuket or Koh Samui should you visit has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.