The short answer is no, Koh Samui isn’t an expensive place to visit. However, there are ways to splash the cash if you feel like doing so.
Thailand is still considered to be a budget-friendly destination, however it all depends on the kind of vacation you’re after and where you’re staying. Koh Samui is just like the rest of the country in that it fits many budgets, however in general it’s slightly more expensive than the mainland.
In terms of accommodation costs, our villas in Koh Samui start at around $114 per night for a 1-bedroom villa with a private pool. Our best rentals cost around $13,000 per night, but that’s for 8 side-by-side villas with 8 swimming pools and a whopping 38 bedrooms.
The cost of food depends in Koh Samui varies a lot, depending on what your plans are. You can stock up on fresh local produce and cook at home very cheaply, or you can dine out on tasty street food for just a few dollars. If you’re heading to a restaurant you should expect to pay around $15 or 515 Thai baht (THB) for a 3-course mid-range meal.
The cheapest way of getting around Koh Samui is by songthaew (pick-up trucks with bench seats in the back) which follow set routes between resorts and can be flagged down anywhere for as little as 20 baht per person (50 cents). Taxis are a more expensive way of getting around as there is only one company operating on the island however they are the most comfortable form of public transport and you can negotiate the price before you get in. Motorbike rental costs around 200 baht or $6 per day or you can hire a car – a far safer option – from around $30 (1000 baht) a day.
Here’s a rundown of other approximate costs:
|An espresso in a café||$2 (68 THB)|
|A 2-liter bottle of water||$2 (68 THB)|
|A 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke from a supermarket||$2 (68 THB)|
|A 1-hour Thai massage on the beach||$10 (343 THB)|
|A green curry at a casual restaurant||$5 (171 THB)|
|1 bottle of Ambre Solaire sunscreen||$17 (583 THB)|
|1 bottle of wine from a supermarket||$18 (618 THB)|
|1 small bottle of Singha beer from a supermarket||$1 (34 THB)|
|A jungle tour by Jeep||$60 (2061 THB)|
|A full-day fishing tour||$60 (2061 THB)|
|A liter of gasoline||87 cents (29 THB)|