Phuket vs. Koh Samui

Phuket is a city by the sea while Koh Samui is a relaxed tropical island. For the bang for buck-experience, both Phuket and Koh Samui have a wide array of affordable allures. But as far as affordability goes, that’s pretty much the only similarity. Despite the two being beach destinations, the sand, waters, and marine life are noticeably different. That includes both islands’ nightlife, underwater activities, and sightseeing tours. Altogether, what matters most is your ideal version of a Thai island jaunt. And this guide tells all.  
Phuket vs. Koh Samui

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Just take a quick peek at Koh Samui’s beaches on Google, and immediately you’ll know the island flaunts its relaxed vibes. Koh Samui’s status as a yoga-retreat magnet easily tells you it’s a top choice for anyone looking to recharge their life batteries.

Butter-soft sand and waters just begging you to take a splash, Koh Samui’s beaches are the mainstay of the island.

Compared to Phuket, the island boasts beautiful beaches, nonstop sightseeing, and a wild mix of nightlife. Although Phuket also prides itself on having some of the best beaches in Thailand, sun, sand, and sea aren’t its only attraction.

Just less than a one-hour boat ride away, tourists also have access to even more stunning islands. Koh Phi Phi, for starters, is beyond breathtaking.

Before making your decision between Phuket and Koh Samui, you’ll need a little more about what each island offers. And not just in regard to each destination’s pros and cons. Other factors like weather, family-friendliness, and which is better for a honeymoon are details not worth leaving out.

So, without further ado, here’s a guide to help you decide between Phuket and Koh Samui.


As Thailand’s largest island, Phuket is a premier destination, especially for first-time visitors. And beaches aren’t Phuket’s only way of greeting its guests:

You have temples full of authentic Thai soul. Several high perches and viewpoints for a panoramic view of the island’s beaches. Neighboring islands home to one of the most unspoiled, gorgeous beaches in all of Thailand. A thriving nightlife sure to inspire any young or adult crowd. And even large shopping centers, along with duty-free shops perfect for any shopaholic to go gaga over.

Partiers and activity lovers will love it in Phuket. But even more so, if you’re a fan of sightseeing and trekking adventures, Phuket does not disappoint.

Want more proof? Here are a few interesting qualities you’ll love about Thailand’s largest island:

What Makes Phuket Unique?

Great Beach Variety and a Lot of Islands to Explore

The sky’s the limit when it comes to beaches in Phuket. Not even the capital of Thailand, Bangkok, can compare to the sun-drenched action Phuket offers.

From a relaxing day in the sand to doing a ton of water sports activities, Phuket’s beaches cater to all sorts of travelers. Be it for kids, couples, friends, or even solo explorers.

Looking for a quick guide? Kata, Karon, and Patong beach are the main or most popular beaches in Phuket. Yes, they can get touristy during the high season, but these beaches are still worth a visit. For families, beaches like Surin, Bang Tao, Kamala, and Nai Thon are your best family-friendly spots.

And for the honeymooners? Mai Khao beach, Nai Harn beach, Kata Noi beach, Panthea beach, and Nai Yang beach are just perfect for a romantic stroll. Or if you fancy an afternoon picnic or photo opportunities to make new memories, you can’t go wrong with any of those mentioned.

Lastly, those in need of a secluded spot to unwind and recharge will find it at Ya Nui, Laem Singh, Banana, and Sai Keaw beach.

Now, it’s worth noting that the beaches mentioned are only within the island of Phuket. This doesn’t include the other beautiful islands you can easily take a boat to and from Phuket in under an hour.

Plus, on each island, you’ll find even more beaches. Some even have jungles to explore and dive spots rich with tropical marine life. While in Phuket, not visiting the islands would almost be a crime. And if you’re looking for the best picks, here are a few worth mentioning:

  • Coral Island
  • Racha Island
  • Koh Maphrao
  • Phi Phi Islands
  • Similan Islands
  • Koh Khai Islands

A Bustling Nightlife Scene for Young Teens and Adults

There’s no question Thailand offers one of the best nightlife experiences all over the world. However, only a few of the many areas in the country have outstanding nightlife scenes that rank at the top. And Phuket is undoubtedly one of them.

Bangla Road, Phuket’s main nightlife scene, has seen a growing reputation throughout the years. And for good reason. Neon lights and loud music aren’t the only qualities that make this place lively and so attractive. Even the craft pub bars, mega nightclubs, and go-go bars in Bangla Road are a famous stop for anyone in need of a wild, exciting night.

But would you believe Phuket’s nightlife crowd isn’t just limited to pole dancing and party animal vibes?

Tourists looking for a quieter, more chill, and low-key party spot will find it in Phuket’s beach bars. Commonly known as tiki-style clubs, these bars are perched right by the sandy shore, offering a casual night out experience.

Beach bars in Phuket come in a wide variety. From luxurious spaces to beachy ambiances, guests can easily choose whichever suits their liking best. A few worth mentioning include Carpe Diem, Café Del Mar, Pine Beach Bar, Xana Beach Club, HQ Beach Lounge, and Coast Beach Club.

In case you’re looking for something more romantic, Phuket’s rooftop bars offer all the sunset vibes you could hope for. And here are some you won’t be able to resist:

  • Heaven
  • The Sundeck
  • Akoya Star Lounge
  • The Kee Sky Lounge
  • Wassa Homemade Bar
  • Baba Nest at Sri Panwa
  • Vanilla Sky at Cape Sienna

A Huge Spread of Accommodations From Economy to Luxury

Finding a hotel or place to stay in Phuket is hardly a concern. There are over 1,200 options to choose from. Ranging from affordable guesthouses and midrange hotels to beach resorts and lavish beachfronts.

Variety is one of the many highlights when it comes to accommodations in Phuket. Whether you’re a budget-conscious traveler or seeking absolute pleasure and luxury, this island has it all. And here’s the best part. Because there’s so much competition due to the wide spread of options, prices aren’t skyrocket high.

That means even booking a 5-star resort offers a great bang for your buck. Speaking of lavishness and luxury, Surin is one of the most exclusive areas in Phuket. This area is a beach paradise and ideal if you’re after accommodations that lean more toward the high-end scale. Great hotels in the area include Outrigger Surin Beach Resort and The Surin Phuket.

Those in need of lodging away from the traffic and noise will love Bang Tao. Ideally, the area is more suited to travelers looking for a peaceful stay in Phuket. While there are a good number of beach bars here, the nightlife is limited.

And that simply means it’s a preferred spot if an extravagant evening isn’t at the top of your travel priorities. Great hotels in the area include Sunwing Bangtao beach, which is more suitable for families. Pai Tan Villas if you’re after a secluded location. And The Pavilions or Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket Resort for high-end options.

Now, if budget is a crucial factor for you, Karon is your best option. Around this area, you’ll find a ton of purse-friendly accommodations. The Fishtail Hostel Phuket is one of the most popular. And for something in the midrange category, it’s worth choosing The Village Resort & Spa.

Sun worshippers, nature lovers, and serenity seekers will undoubtedly love Nai Harn. Not only does this area offer some of the most picturesque beaches, but it’s also perfect for honeymooners. The natural beauty here is breathtaking and truly worth visiting even if you don’t plan on staying here.

The best hotels in the area include The Nai Harn and The Gallery Hotel Nai Harn. For a more wallet-friendly option, go with Naiharn Beach Resort.

All in all, finding a suitable place to stay is the least of your problems in Phuket. Note that the ones mentioned are only 4 out of the 12 areas you can choose from around the island. There’s still Patong if you want nightlife, Phuket Town for sightseeing, Kamala for long-term vacationers, and more.

Perfect if You’re Looking for Sightseeing and Soft Adventure

Phuket’s nightlife scene isn’t the only thing that keeps its tourists entertained. When bars and clubs hibernate during the day, the island’s cultural attractions and sightseeing spots add life to the entire city.

And the Big Buddha Statue is perhaps one of the most highly-rated spots in all of Phuket. Apart from the panoramic view here, this is truly a place where you’ll get a better feel of local culture in action. That said, you don’t need to spend hours here when you still have loads of cultural sites to visit.

For something that leans more towards the nature-lover side, Karon Viewpoint is a must. The best sightseeing in Phuket is also found in none other than Phuket Old Town. Come sunset, the night markets around the area are worth a stop.

If the Big Buddha Statue wasn’t enough to fill your cultural appetite, you can always visit Wat Chalong. Animal lovers and families traveling with kids also have several fun-filled activities to do and sites to explore. Some of these include the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary, Tiger Kingdom, and Soi Dog Foundation.

What’s more, Surf House Phuket and Phuket Wake Park are excellent spots for kids, teens, and even adults. You can even go bungee jumping, explore Hanuman World, do football crazy golf, and even go-karting.

That’s not all. There are waterfalls, national parks, and virgin rainforests too. The Khao Phra Thaeo National Park offers a leisurely walking or trekking adventure for active travelers. And while Phuket’s natural terrain isn’t exactly geared for thrill-seekers, it has more than enough if you’re after soft adventure.

Overall, Phuket has more than enough sites and spots to keep you busy during your trip. It’s far from being simply a sand and sea destination.

Koh Samui

Did you know Koh Samui was named the 7th best island in the whole world? And that it ranked 2nd in all of Asia? It’s no wonder Koh Samui has become such a popular choice for families and couples hungry for natural charm.

Although Phuket is undeniably an island that offers more variety, Koh Samui wins if it’s a quiet holiday you’re truly after. Rather than a vibrant and lively adventure, the island’s biggest selling points are relaxation and personal pleasure.

Not to mention, natural beauty that’s undoubtedly hard to compete with. After all, it is the 7th best island in the world. And one of the most beautiful too.

Even divers and snorkelers will love it in Koh Samui. With so much underwater adventure and the famous Ang Thong Marine Park, how could one say no?

For all the exciting details about why Koh Samui is worth visiting, read on below for the juiciest bits.

What Makes Koh Samui Unique?

A Mecca for Relaxation and Wellness

Koh Samui bears the title of being the “Spa Capital of Asia,” making it a relaxation hub for tourists and locals. While Phuket offers a lively nightlife scene, Koh Samui’s list of night activities is more focused on well-being.

If it’s relaxed entertainment you want, you’ll definitely find it in Koh Samui. Whether it’s a blissful spa treatment or a quiet bar by the beach with great music.

However, Koh Samui isn’t just known for its spas and treatments if you want relaxation. There are plenty of ways to spend your downtime around the island. Silver Beach and Taling Ngam deserve a shoutout. And while Silver Beach is truly a gorgeous spot, Taling Ngam is more suited for travelers who want absolute seclusion. It’s the perfect farther-flung beach if you’re craving for me-time.

Beaches aside, a trip to Koh Samui wouldn’t be complete without at least booking a session at any of its spas. And here are some of the best around the island:

  • Luxsa Spa
  • Baan Sabai
  • Anodas Spa
  • Six Senses Spa
  • Tamarind Springs
  • Conrad Koh Samui Spa
  • Four Seasons Tropical Spa

Natural Beauty Full of Tropical Island Charm

There’s a reason why you won’t find a lot of high-rise hotels and urbanized areas in Koh Samui.

The main purpose is so that the island retains its tropical charm. And most of all, it’s so that Koh Samui’s natural landscapes and beauty remain unspoiled.

There’s natural beauty to be found all over the island, and it evokes a sense of peace and serenity in every traveler.

Consider Khao Hua Jook pagoda as your starting point to witness a panoramic view of the island. If that isn’t enough, you can head to Jungle Club or Lamai viewpoint.

After you’ve taken in all the beautiful sights of the island, make your way to Namuang Waterfalls. As if Koh Samui wasn’t paradisiacal enough, these natural waterfalls are just as attractive. Not only does it feature beautiful water cascades, but there are also natural pools around the area to bathe in.

For something unique that will satiate your curiosity for natural landscapes, the Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks are a must-do. Regarded as the grandfather and grandmother rocks, these large stones are a popular landmark of Koh Samui. And the shape is so bizarre that it’s the only one of its kind.

Unlike any other in the world, the main highlight of natural beauty in Koh Samui is the Ang Thong Marine Park. The area is home to over 42 different islands, making it an adventurer’s paradise. If you’ve come to visit Thailand to appreciate its beaches and coasts, the Ang Thong Marine Park showcases that beautifully.

There’s so much untouched and unspoiled nature around the marine park. What’s more, you can even do tours and excursions here. Apart from swimming activities, there’s kayaking, hiking, diving, and snorkeling. However, if you want the full experience, hop on a boat and explore the marine park’s many islands. You can even go cave exploring here.

If it’s a bucket-list adventure you’re looking for, Ang Thong Marine Park easily ranks as one of the best in the world. From island hopping excursions to simply relaxing on its beaches and enjoying the view, this park has it all.

Fewer Crowds and Peaceful Beaches

Being a less touristy destination compared to Phuket, Koh Samui is a vacation that suits laid-back travelers. Even though millions of tourists flock to the island every year, it’s nothing like a horde of tourists swallowing the entire beach space.

So, what does that mean for you? Whether you’re traveling as a couple, with family, or solo, Koh Samui is ideal if you want an uninterrupted vacation. It’s a place to find solace and spend your afternoon contemplating life.

Compared to Phuket’s many touristy beaches, Koh Samui’s beaches offer peaceful vibes. Some worth mentioning include Laem Set beach, Tong Yang beach, Thongson bay, and Ban Tai beach. For absolute tranquility, Taling Ngam is the undisputed king when it comes to relaxing in seclusion.

And if you’re in need of more get-away-from-it-all vibes, be sure to visit these beaches:

  • Chaweng Noi
  • Lipa Noi beach
  • Bang Por beach
  • Samrong beach
  • Choeng Mon beach

All in all, these beaches are worlds away from the crowds. And travelers looking for the golden mean of a tranquil vacation will undoubtedly find it in Koh Samui.

Yes, there is some nightlife and activity around the area. But it’s nothing like what you’d find in overly exciting cities like Pattaya, Phuket, or Bangkok.

An Underwater Paradise for Aquatic Lovers

There’s no doubt Thailand is an underwater gem that offers a haven of coral reefs and marine life for divers and snorkelers. Between Phuket and Koh Samui though, Koh Samui is two notches higher when it comes to underwater adventures.

And because of Koh Samui’s initiatives to sustain most of its natural beauty, its aquatic world is a marvel to behold.

If your main hobbies include diving and snorkeling, Koh Samui is the real deal. Koh Tao, also known as the “World’s Diving Factory,” boasts breathtaking natural beauty and crystal clear waters. This is also where you’ll find spectacular diving and snorkeling spots. It’s a mini tropical paradise home to abundant marine life. Some of these include tuna, sea turtles, barracuda, and snapper.

Ao Phang Nga is perfect if you want to explore underwater rock formations. Green Rock for cave explorations, archways, crevices, and caverns. In addition, the marine life at Green Rock is some of the best you’ll find. These include whitetip reef sharks, blue-ringed angelfish, moray eels, and harlequin sweetlips.

From there, head to Southwest Pinnacles if you want more rock-formation exploring. One of the highlights of this dive site is being able to see whale sharks. Even leopard sharks are found here. Between the rock formations, you might also spot gorgonian sea fans and bushy black coral sea whips.

There are still plenty of dive sites to explore around Koh Samui. Sail Rock, White Rock, Koh Yippon, and Koh Wao are other popular options.

And don’t forget that Koh Samui is the doorstep to Ang Thong Marine Park. With its pristine underwaters, Koh Samui is truly a beloved place for aquaphiles.

Which Is Better – Koh Samui or Phuket?

Phuket and Koh Samui offer the best of both worlds when it comes to a beach vacation. And if your version of a Thai island jaunt lies mostly along sandy shores and beautiful coastlines, Koh Samui is the better pick. But if your sights lean more towards a mix of beaches, sightseeing, cultural attractions, and nightlife, Phuket takes the crown.

Between the two, the distinction is quite clear. Phuket offers exceptional variety. While Koh Samui offers serene beaches & landscapes, along with an island-hopping escapade.

For divers and snorkelers, make no mistake, Koh Samui is also the better choice. The island’s rich variety and quality of dive and snorkeling spots make Koh Samui the reigning option.

If you’re thinking about which destination offers a better culinary experience, both will satisfy your palate. Mouth-watering local street food and local delicacies on both islands are impressive, to say the least. For authentic street grub, Old Phuket Town in Phuket and Fisherman’s Village in Koh Samui are great spots.

One thing worth noting though is that Koh Samui has more fine-dining restaurants. All over the island, there are dozens of rooftop and beachfront restaurants perfect if you’re after a romantic setting.

All in all, here’s a good way to decide which is the better destination:

Koh Samui leans towards travelers looking for a more relaxed and peaceful vacation. If your main purpose is to escape from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, you couldn’t have picked a better place than Koh Samui.

Island-hopping adventures and a rich number of dive sites also await aquaphiles in Koh Samui. Overall, the island is the ideal vacation spot for those who want to recharge.

Phuket, in contrast, caters to a wide range of travelers: sun worshippers, nature lovers, and party animals.

Because there’s so much to do around Phuket, any traveler would enjoy spending their vacation here. Whether you’re simply looking to do some sightseeing, soft adventure, island-hopping, beach lounging, or partying. You’ll find more than just sunbathing activities in Phuket. And this means it’s ideal for first-time visitors that have yet to experience Thailand.


Is Koh Samui More Beautiful Than Phuket?

Both Koh Samui and Phuket are beautiful destinations offering tourists unique natural beauty. If unspoiled beauty is what you’re after, then Koh Samui is more beautiful than Phuket in that regard.

Phuket is more developed and has more high-rise hotels. So, you could even go as far as to say it’s more urbanized than Koh Samui.

When it comes to beaches and natural landscapes, Phuket has a few that are better than Koh Samui’s. But at the same time, Koh Samui also has beaches that are much more pristine and leisurely than Phuket’s.

Either way, both are tropical island paradises. Whether you choose Koh Samui or Phuket, both are beautiful islands worth visiting.

One thing to note though is that Phuket’s beaches are more lively, while Koh Samui’s is more peaceful. In terms of selection, Phuket offers more beach variety while Koh Samui has fewer but several postcard-worthy beaches.

Is Phuket or Koh Samui Cheaper?

When it comes to affordability, both destinations are generally affordable. However, Koh Samui is more expensive than Phuket in a few categories.

For instance, a plane ticket to Phuket is much cheaper than it is to Koh Samui. However, travelers are more likely to spend more in Phuket. Mainly due to its wide availability of excursions, activities, nightclubs, and shopping malls.

Whereas in Koh Samui, you’re more likely to spend more on accommodations. Mostly because there aren’t a lot of options compared to what Phuket offers. Being the larger island, Phuket has hotels and resorts that cater to all budgets.

In terms of dining out, Koh Samui has more fine-dining restaurants, making food expenses slightly higher than in Phuket. And although Phuket also has fine-dining restaurants, you have more affordable options to select from.

The biggest advantage to staying in Phuket is you’re not limited to above-average price ranges. Because there’s so much variety around the island, you can easily budget your expenses too. Be it food, nightlife, and accommodations.

Koh Samui, in contrast, also offers price-friendly deals but is more limited than Phuket. This isn’t to say Koh Samui is an expensive destination, though. Backpackers and budget-conscious travelers will still find several low-cost options around the island.

Phuket or Koh Samui for Families?

Generally, Thailand is a welcoming destination for families traveling with kids. And that includes beach destinations like Phuket and Koh Samui. If safety is a top concern, you don’t have to worry as both Phuket and Koh Samui are fantastic places to travel with kids.

When it comes to activities, this is where both differ. Koh Samui offers families more time at the beach and water sports activities for kids and young adults. You can also do some island exploring as a family in Koh Samui.

Phuket, on the other hand, has more activities and excursions to offer families. Be it spending your time at the beach, island-hopping, or land activities like zip-lining, go-karting, and more.

If you’re traveling with teens or young adults, Phuket offers a more vibrant nightlife than Koh Samui as well.

Koh Samui vs. Phuket for Honeymoon

Although Phuket is a great destination for couples and honeymooners, Koh Samui is a much better option. Unless your idea of a honeymoon leans more towards an active vacation and a livelier nightlife scene, Phuket may be the better option.

In Koh Samui, from beaches and accommodations to dining and nightlife, there are more choices suited for couples. For instance, several of Koh Samui’s beaches are undisturbed and peaceful. So, if you wanted to go for a romantic stroll or enjoy an afternoon picnic by the beach, you don’t have to worry about crowds.

When it comes to dining selections, there are plenty of fine-dining restaurants that cater to romantic settings. The same goes for nightlife. Every once in a while, there’s a good rave going about on the island. But mostly, the nightlife at Koh Samui is much more relaxed than what you’d find in Phuket.

Last but not least, the majority of accommodations in Koh Samui are beachfront resorts. Aside from the authentic ocean views, you can choose tucked-away spots if you’re after seclusion and privacy.

Overall, Koh Samui is the better honeymoon destination if you’re after a peaceful, quiet, and private getaway. Phuket is better if you prefer your honeymoon to have more activity, sightseeing, and a mild taste of nightlife extravagance.

That said, you will have more options in Phuket than in Koh Samui. For instance, Nai Harn and Surin in Phuket are excellent areas if you want seclusion during your stay.

The main difference between the two is that Koh Samui has fewer crowds and is less touristy than Phuket overall.

Koh Samui vs. Phuket Nightlife

A good way to differentiate between the two destinations in regard to nightlife is…

Koh Samui has more beach clubs & bars, while Phuket has more nightclubs. If Phuket’s overall nightlife scene is energetic, Koh Samui’s is a tamer version and more relaxed.

Phuket is popular for Bangla Road – its party central hub that’s impossible to miss. Koh Samui’s main party spot lies in Chaweng – a beachside town with several clubs and beachside bars.

The evening atmosphere in Koh Samui is more laid-back and chill. Whereas Phuket offers a variety of evening fun. Granted, nightclubs and bars get the most rap in Phuket. But those aren’t the only spots either.

If you want something more mellow, Phuket has beach bars too, along with luxurious beach lounges and clubs. For something even more casual and chill, there are several rooftop bars with great panoramic views.

Altogether, Phuket is the better choice for nightlife. Yes, there is a wild side to Phuket, but you also have more possibilities. And while Koh Samui’s nightlife is indeed entertaining, it’s not as vibrant as Phuket’s. However, every once in a while, Koh Samui will offer a massive party that’s worth experiencing.

Known as the Full Moon Party, it’s a spectacular nightlife experience that happens once a month in Koh Phanang. The island is only a short boat ride away from Koh Samui and is easily accessible.

Phuket vs. Koh Samui Weather

Both Phuket and Koh Samui offer tropical climates year-round, so it’s pretty much warm all throughout the year.

The biggest difference between the two in terms of weather is when the dry and rainy season occurs. For Phuket, its rainy season falls from May to October. Whereas in Koh Samui, the rainy season falls from October to early December.

As for the dry season, Phuket starts in November and ends in April. In Koh Samui, its driest months are from December to February.

One thing worth noting is that Koh Samui has a longer rainy season than Phuket. This means there’s more annual sunshine in Phuket than there is in Koh Samui.

Overall, it’s easy to plan around choosing between Koh Samui and Phuket weather-wise. Since their dry and rainy seasons happen in different months, it should be easier to make a decision.

The best times to visit Phuket are from November to April. As for Koh Samui, January to March and July to September are the best times.

Phuket or Koh Samui in February?

Both Phuket and Koh Samui are excellent to visit in February. In Phuket, February is when the humidity drops to its lowest. And it’s a month that follows the two busiest months: December and January. This means you’ll find fewer crowds in Phuket too.

Koh Samui is also excellent to visit in February since it’s also the last month of the island’s dry season. That being said, December to February are when Koh Samui is at its busiest. Activities like surfing, diving, and bodyboarding are popular activities to do in Koh Samui during this month.

Phuket or Koh Samui in April?

Phuket and Koh Samui will be at their hottest in April. However, Phuket offers one extra advantage: April is one of the best months to go diving.

The most popular reason why people may choose to visit Phuket and Koh Samui in April? This also marks the shoulder season in Phuket and Koh Samui. This means cheaper travel fares and better accommodation deals.

You’re getting an even better bang for your buck during this time. And if you’re looking to save on travel expenses, the heat in April just might be worth it.

Phuket or Koh Samui in June?

In June, the rainy season will have already begun in Phuket. However, this is also one of the best months to find the lowest deals, even lower than what you’d find in April. And it’s also when the grand sale starts, so it’s the perfect time for shoppers to take advantage of out-of-this-world deals.

If you’re worried about the rain, you’ll be happy to know that it’s only a short downpour – about half an hour.

As for Koh Samui, the weather will be much more pleasant in June. Plus, it’s even quieter and more secluded during the month. So, if you’ve been meaning to go for a secluded beach escape, June in Koh Samui is the best time to go.

Phuket or Koh Samui in July?

Phuket in July is very much like how it is in June, which means it’s still the rainy season. Also, similar to in June, Phuket will currently be in its low season period. So, if you’re visiting the island this month, you can take full advantage of the cheapest deals.

July is one of the best times to visit Koh Samui thanks to the perfect beach weather, plenty of sunshine, and calm waters. July in Koh Samui is ideal for families, couples, and solo travelers who want to spend most of their vacation at the beach.

Compared to Phuket in July, your chances are much better in Koh Samui. Granted, there are a few afternoon showers in Koh Samui in July, but it’s not too bad that it would ruin your vacation.

Phuket or Koh Samui in August?

Koh Samui in August will see short afternoon showers, but won’t be as heavy as in Phuket. Overall, the weather in Koh Samui is much more pleasant in August and, like in July, also one of the best months to visit.

August marks the rainiest season in Phuket, unfortunately. Not only is there more rain in Phuket during this time, but the seas are also rougher.

One thing to note about Koh Samui in August though is you may start to see more crowds this month than in July. Fortunately, the crowds in Koh Samui aren’t too bad that you’d barely have any beach real estate to spend a quiet day in.

Between the two, Koh Samui is better to visit in August.

Phuket or Koh Samui in September?

September will be the wettest month in Phuket, whereas Koh Samui’s weather remains pleasant. Not to mention, Koh Samui sees the least crowds during this time. In other words, Koh Samui is all yours to enjoy and unwind in.

However, September is the last month of Koh Samui’s dry season. So, expect a more moderate chance of rainfall towards the end of the month.

Although Phuket will be at its wettest, it doesn’t rain all day either. You will still be able to enjoy your time around the island. That being said, spending most of your time at the beach isn’t exactly the wisest thing to do.

Because the humidity is at its highest this month, Phuket’s weather may feel uncomfortable for some. The one advantage, though, is there are fewer tourists on the island due to the rainy weather.

Either way, Koh Samui offers more comfortable weather in September, making it a better place to visit.

Phuket or Koh Samui in October?

Phuket in October sees less rainfall, especially towards the end of the month. Mostly because October marks the end of the rainy season.

Koh Samui, on the other hand, will be at its cloudiest during October. Now, you’re not exactly going to see Eeyore skies in Koh Samui this month. In the mornings and early afternoons, a lot of sunshine still passes through. And you still get your healthy dose of Vitamin D.

But in the late afternoons, there’s a good chance of brief rainfall and light grey skies. Koh Samui is also especially windy this time, so swimming can be a hit or miss.

Overall, Phuket in October is a better place to visit. Not only does its skies start to clear up, but you can take full advantage of its attractions in early October. Mainly due to the fact that there won’t be a lot of tourists yet.

As the end of October approaches, you’ll start to see more crowds pick up in Phuket.

Phuket or Koh Samui in December?

Although Koh Samui is quite busy this time, the weather in December is generally not as good compared to Phuket, which has fantastic weather in December.

The only downside to visiting Phuket in December is the high number of tourists during this time. Especially during the holidays like Christmas and the week leading to New Year.

Phuket in December will have comfortable and gorgeous weather, so it’s undeniably better to visit than Koh Samui this time.

But as far as the definition of “bad weather” goes, Koh Samui will still have a good amount of sunshine in December. What’s more concerning, if not the rain, is how rough the seas may be.

Generally, the Andaman coast will have better weather in early December. This refers to places like Phuket and Krabi.

Places like Koh Samui are more likely to have rougher waters. And although the rainfall is minimal towards the end of December, Phuket offers zero chances of rain.

Altogether, Phuket will be much better to visit in December.

Is Koh Samui Part of Phuket?

Although both Koh Samui and Phuket geographically belong to Thailand, Koh Samui is a separate island. Specifically, it’s hailed as the third largest island in Thailand, while Phuket is the largest. Not to mention, Koh Samui is situated in the Gulf of Thailand, whereas Phuket is located in the Andaman Sea.

Is Phuket Close to Koh Samui?

Phuket is quite close to Koh Samui, and you can even fly from one destination to the other in just under an hour.

Koh Samui to Phuket Distance

The approximate distance between Koh Samui and Phuket is 214 miles or 345 kilometers.

How to Get From Phuket to Koh Samui

There are three ways to get from Phuket to Koh Samui: by plane, bus/taxi + ferry, and private transfer. A rental car is another option, but can be costly since you’ll have to pay extra when you take the ferry.

Taking a plane from Phuket or Koh Samui is the fastest route – only 55 minutes total travel time. Bus/taxi + ferry is the most economical and affordable. It takes roughly eight hours if you take the bus/taxi + ferry route. Whereas a private transfer might be more suitable for families and kids.

Koh Samui to Phuket Airport

According to Google Maps, the distance from Koh Samui to the Phuket Airport is 199.3 miles (320.8 km). Like you would if you were traveling from Phuket to Koh Samui, there are three ways to travel from Koh Samui to Phuket Airport:

  • Plane
  • Private transfer
  • Bus/taxi + ferry

Taking a plane from Koh Samui to Phuket is the fastest route. Bus/taxi + ferry is popular among budget travelers. While a private transfer is best for families and ideal if you prefer door-to-door service.

Flights From Phuket to Koh Samui

You can take a direct flight from Phuket to Ko Samui. On average, there are about four flights between Phuket and Ko Samui per day. A ticket usually costs 3,700 Thai Baht or THB (USD 100 at 37 THB a dollar). If you book in advance, you can get a plane ticket for much less – around 3,100 THB (USD 83.7).

In case you’re not able to find any direct flights, you can still easily fly from Phuket to Koh Samui. That said, expect there to be at least one stopover.

Phuket to Koh Samui Flight Time

The average flight time from Phuket to Koh Samui is only 55 minutes if you’re taking a direct flight. In cases where there are stopovers in between, the total travel time can take between four to five hours.

There are four direct flights daily as well, with the last direct flight usually departing around 9 pm.

What Airline Flies From Phuket to Koh Samui?

Bangkok Airways is the only airline that offers direct flights from Phuket to Koh Samui.

Cheap Flights From Phuket to Koh Samui

You can easily find cheap flights from Phuket to Koh Samui online, with the cheapest rates as low as 2,000 THB (USD 54.05). To get the most bang for your buck, be sure to make an advanced booking.

Phuket to Koh Samui by Train

You cannot travel from Phuket to Koh Samui via train. The reason is there is no railway that connects Phuket and Surat Thani.

Phuket to Koh Samui by Speedboat

Although you can travel from Phuket to Koh Samui by ferry, speedboats are a different story. There aren’t many speedboat services from Phuket to Koh Samui. Your best option would be to book with the company Lomprayah, which is one of the most popular ferry services in the area.

Note as well that you still have to take a bus or taxi from the Phuket Northern bus station to Donsak Pier. From there, you can take the speedboat to Koh Samui.

Phuket to Koh Samui Speedboat Time

If you take a speedboat from Phuket to Koh Samui, it only takes about 45 to 55 minutes. However, with the combined trip of the bus ride from the Northern bus station to Donsak Pier, it takes a total of 6 hours and 45 minutes.

Phuket to Koh Samui by Ferry

Taking the ferry from Phuket to Koh Samui is one of the more popular options. Although the trip can be quite long compared to flying, transportation costs are very cheap.

The typical route by ferry is first, you’ll have to take the bus from the Phuket Northern bus station to Donsak Pier. On average, this bus ride will take you about six hours. Upon arriving at the Phuket Northern bus station, you can take the ferry to Koh Samui.

How Long Is the Ferry From Phuket to Koh Samui?

The average trip duration from Phuket to Koh Samui by ferry is 1 hour and 30 minutes. However, when taking into account the bus ride, the total travel time is approximately 7 hours and 30 minutes.

Phuket to Koh Samui Ferry Price

Ferry prices from Phuket to Koh Samui vary. Typically, expect a rate between 500 to 1,300 THB (USD 13.5 to 35.13). Note that this price is a combined ticket price of the bus + ferry trip. If you take the bus + speedboat option, prices are higher – about 1,000 to 1,300 THB (USD 27 to 35.13).

Phuket to Koh Samui by Road

There are several ways to get from Phuket to Koh Samui by road: bus, taxi, or private transfer/rental car. Among all three options, hiring a rental car is the most expensive. Mostly because you still have to pay the 420 THB (USD 11.35) fee to bring your car with you on the ferry.

Private transfers and taxis are considerably pricey too. However, this is the best way to travel from Phuket to Koh Samui by road if you prefer comfort and privacy. Especially if you’re traveling with a lot of heavy luggage.

Lastly, taking the bus from Phuket to Koh Samui is one of the most popular options because it’s super cheap. For budget-conscious travelers, taking the bus is your best option.

Phuket to Koh Samui by Bus

Taking the bus from Phuket to Koh Samui takes about six hours. If you’re coming from the Phuket airport, it takes an additional 30 minutes from the airport to the Northern bus station.

From there, you’ll have to take the bus to Donsak Pier and ride the ferry, which takes another 1 hour and 30 minutes. Overall, you’re looking at a total travel time of roughly eight hours. You can cut the total travel time to 6 hours and 45 minutes if you take the speedboat instead of a ferry.

How Much Is a Bus From Phuket to Koh Samui?

Bus tickets are very cheap, costing about 296 THB (USD 8). However, many prefer to buy a combined bus + ferry ticket instead of buying separate tickets, which can be a hassle. You can easily buy a combined bus + ferry ticket online for only 500 THB (USD 13.5).

Best Way to Get From Phuket to Koh Samui

The best way to get from Phuket to Koh Samui is by plane. Granted, it’s much more expensive than taking the bus, but it’s the fastest way too. It only takes 55 minutes to fly from Phuket to Koh Samui. This means you’ll still have plenty of time to explore Koh Samui upon arriving.

Compared to taking a bus or going by road, you lose about a half-day since it takes eight hours via bus + ferry. Not to mention, from the Koh Samui pier, you’ll have to take another trip to your hotel. This will take another 20 minutes, by the way.

The best way to travel from Phuket to Koh Samui also depends mostly on your preferences. Each form of transport has its pros and cons. For instance, taking a plane is the fastest route but also relatively more expensive than taking the bus, which is nearly 4x cheaper. Then again, riding the bus also means the longest travel time.

How Much Does It Cost to Get From Phuket to Koh Samui?

The travel fares from Phuket to Koh Samui vary. For instance, flight rates from Phuket to Koh Samui can be as cheap as 2,000 THB (USD 54.05). However, the average price ranges from 2,960 to 3,700 THB (USD 80 to 100). If you want cheaper flight rates, always book in advance.

For those traveling on a budget, the bus + ferry route will be the cheapest – 500 to 1,300 THB (USD 13.5 to 35.13).

Last but not least, private transfers offer the most convenience, comfort, and flexibility. It’s also ideal for families or if you’re traveling with kids. That being said, it’s also the most expensive.

The average private transfer fare costs 16,280 THB (USD 440). If you’re traveling as a large group, you’ll have to take a minibus or van as your private transfer vehicle. Overall, it costs upwards of 18,500 THB (USD 500).

Compared to taking the bus from Phuket to Koh Samui, a private transfer has a shorter trip duration. On average, it only takes six hours if you hire a private transfer vehicle.