- Koh Samui
- Koh Tao
Although these two islands are only 30 minutes by ferry from each other, they give off a very different atmosphere…
First of all, Koh Samui is the second largest island in Thailand with an area of 228 km², almost twice as big as Koh Phangan (125 km²). Samui was inhabited well before Phangan and is today 6 times more populated than its little sister. In this context, Phangan remains much less
industrialised, in fact the island is protected and more than half of its surface is declared ‘National Park’. Thus, Phangan is much more preserved than Samui and offers a sense of authenticity.
Although they are both known for their beautiful beaches and nightlife, we don’t find the same type of tourism.
Regarding the cost of living, Phangan is cheaper. For example, a Pad Thai dish on Phangan costs about 70 baht compared to 120 baht on Samui. It also means that on Samui you can find any type of cuisine, the choice on Phangan is smaller and more traditional yet you can still find amazing restaurants with lots of international food.
To sum up, if you are looking for a more authentic destination, choose Phangan, but if you prefer something more commercial, choose Samui!
By guest writer Juliette