Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

Whether you’re planning a dream honeymoon or a relaxing weekend away, on paper, Koh Samui and Bali are both tropical islands with views to spare.

So how to compare Koh Samui and Bali? Which should you choose, and why? Let’s settle “which is best” (for you) with a short comparison, covering ideal travel dates, cost comparison, villas, activities and more. Grab a pen and paper; I’ll help you jot down a side-by-side pro/con Bali vs Samui list to reach a decision in no time at all.

Koh Samui vs Bali hotels

Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

 

Crazy fact: Koh Samui is just 3.95% of Bali’s size!

As such, Bali gives you much more hotel choice and many of the biggest hotel names have two properties on Bali. Yet all the big names are on Koh Samui, too, including a Ritz-Carlton due to open later this year.

Here’s a quick and easy comparison of fifteen hotel chains on Bali and Koh Samui. See if you prefer the ambience of one island over the other…

Anantara (☆☆☆☆☆)

Banyan Tree (☆☆☆☆☆)

Belmond (☆☆☆☆☆)

Conrad (☆☆☆☆☆)

Four Seasons (☆☆☆☆☆)

Ibis (☆☆☆)

InterContinental (☆☆☆☆☆)

Le Méridien (☆☆☆☆☆)

Luxury Collection (☆☆☆☆☆)

Mercure (☆☆☆☆)

Novotel (☆☆☆☆)

Renaissance (☆☆☆☆☆)

Ritz-Carlton (☆☆☆☆☆)

Sheraton (☆☆☆☆☆)

W Hotels (☆☆☆☆☆)

Koh Samui vs Bali cost

Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

In addition to getting more choice on Bali, you might also find more competitive pricing. Using the fifteen hotel chains above, I found the price range and median cost for two popular times of year – mid-July and New Year’s Eve:

Five-star hotels in July

  • Koh Samui: $271-$1391
  • Bali: $174-$882

Five-star hotels at New Year

  • Koh Samui: $316-$2380
  • Bali: $204-$938

Four-star hotels in July

  • Koh Samui: $88-$180
  • Bali: $61-$115

Four-star hotels at New Year

  • Koh Samui: $113-$212
  • Bali: $112-$158

Three-star hotel in July

  • Koh Samui: $62
  • Bali: $29

Three-star hotel at New Year

  • Koh Samui: $139
  • Bali: $80

(Prices in USD for the best-available room, via Booking.com)

As you can see, Koh Samui hotels come out pricier in both comparisons (however, this is an admittedly small sample!). It’s likely that you’ll find more competitive rates on Bali as there’s more selection and Samui occupancy rates are very strong – especially in peak seasons. Christmas/New Year is a popular time for both destinations: Bali New Year hotel rates are 138% more than July, yet Koh Samui New Year hotel rates are 200% more than July.

If you love hunting for deals or prefer independent or boutique hotels, you can find a huge range of choice – at all price points – on both islands. See where to stay on Koh Samui for a great beach-by-beach head-start.

Just start playing around with the filters on Booking.com for facilities, room perks, property type, etc., and you’ll have a short-list of treasures in no time. Also, consider coming in a slower season (like rainy season) when you might find very tempting hotel rates.

Koh Samui vs Bali villas

Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

As villa rental grows in popularity, so too does the amazing range of options. Bali and Koh Samui offer the best-of-the-best in Asia, and – as you’ll see – the choice is vast. Whether you want to be on the beach, or have a hilltop view, come for your honeymoon or with a crew (rhyme points!) – you’ve got nothing but gold-star choices.

Bali villas

A random sampling of Bali villas with superb reviews:

Likewise, a random sampling of Koh Samui villas (again, with fantastic reviews):

How to compare Koh Samui vs Bali?

 

Which is bigger?

Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

Bali is biiiig. In total it’s 5,780 km²/2,231 mi² – similar to Prince Edward Island and Trinidad. Samui, in contrast, is just 3.95% of Bali’s size (228.7 km²/88.3 mi²).

The benefit of small? You can drive around Samui in an afternoon to discover new favourites – ideal for those afraid of (geographic) commitment!

A point in Koh Samui’s corner: Samui is just an hour’s flight from Bangkok, and offers easy connections to the rest of Bangkok Airways’s route map (including Chiang Mai up north and neighbouring Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, etc). Tack on any number of aspects to your holiday: get your beach fix in Samui, then top up on city lights and shopping in Bangkok and round out with some culture in Siem Reap at Angkor Wat. Or, enjoy even more beach with a quick direct flight from Samui to Phuket or Krabi.

Which is best?

Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

I know which is best for me – but for you? It depends on what you like to do and see, and what you have in mind. Bali is bigger so you’ll have more activities and accommodation to choose from, however, Samui has more enticing beaches (and typically clearer water). Certainly, you can lounge by the pool in the Bali sunshine, but its terraced paddy fields (rather than soft, white sand) are more the lure.

Which has better service?

Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

Koh Samui offers Thai charm and ready smiles – as for Bali?

My experience in Bali involved some fairly outrageous swindling and the constant presence of touts and beggars (very rare on Samui).

However, I’ve heard from others who insist they found better service on Bali. Luck of the draw, perhaps? Certainly, five-star Asian hospitality is the best you’ll find anywhere, though experiences will vary in the real world.

Which is best for your honeymoon?

Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

Early riser? You’ll have to get up 5-10 minutes earlier to watch a Bali sunrise! Both Samui and Bali are top contenders for honeymoon destinations in Asia – which is best? If you want utter privacy or a specific ambience, it’s a case of finding the right resort or villa as both destinations offer romantic accommodation to suit diverse personalities. My best advice is to consider how quickly you tire of relaxing on a pool bed – and what you want to do when you’re ready to leave your resort.

Which is best for kids?

Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

Bali’s main waterpark has bigger, better slides than Samui’s (missable) equivalent. However, if you have small children consider the total Thai love of kids (especially cute ones!). Rock up with a toddler and hotel staff will adopt it, offering non-stop cuddles, babysitting and entertainment.

See my top picks for where to stay on Koh Samui with kids – there are dozens of fantastic choices for all ages, interests and budgets.

Which is more touristy?

Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

Put it this way… both islands have a Hard Rock Café. And a Hooters.

Hopefully, the photos throughout convince you that, with a little research, it’s very easy to find your little version of paradise (whether or not that includes fake Oakleys, jet-ski rentals and celebrity DJs).  If you’ve heard anyone complain that Samui was too touristy I can assure you they didn’t look very hard. Conclusion? You can find both ends of the spectrum on both islands (and Eat-Pray-Love as much as you like).

Koh Samui vs Bali weather

Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

In general, Koh Samui averages about 2°C warmer than Bali throughout the year. As Bali is much more mountainous than Koh Samui (its highest point is 477% taller), you can find a greater climate range on Bali – cooler temperatures and mist are common in the mountains.

For Koh Samui’s hottest, sunniest weather, plan to visit in February, March and April (when it gets v-e-r-y- hot). If you refuse to pack an umbrella, avoid Koh Samui’s rainy season from mid-October through December. Bali’s rainy season overlaps Koh Samui’s and lasts from October through March.

When is best to visit Koh Samui or Bali?

Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

*All data via holiday-weather.com (Bali and Koh Samui), and are averages, not guarantees!

January

  • Temperature: 26°C in Bali vs 26°C on Koh Samui
  • Rainy days: 16 days (90mm) in Bali vs 7 days (90mm) on Koh Samui

February

  • Temperature: 26°C in Bali vs 27°C on Koh Samui
  • Rainy days: 15 days (90mm) in Bali vs 5 days (30mm) on Koh Samui

March

  • Temperature: 27°C in Bali vs 29°C on Koh Samui
  • Rainy days: 14 days (90mm) in Bali vs 4 days (30mm) on Koh Samui

April

  • Temperature: 27°C in Bali vs 29°C on Koh Samui
  • Rainy days: 12 days (70mm) in Bali vs 5 days (80mm) on Koh Samui

May

  • Temperature: 28°C in Bali vs 30°C on Koh Samui
  • Rainy days: 9 days (70mm) in Bali vs 9 days (160mm) on Koh Samui

June

  • Temperature: 27°C in Bali vs 29°C on Koh Samui
  • Rainy days: 5 days (50mm) in Bali vs 9 days (100mm) on Koh Samui

July

  • Temperature: 27°C in Bali vs 29°C on Koh Samui
  • Rainy days: 4 days (40mm) in Bali vs 9 days (120mm) on Koh Samui

August

  • Temperature: 27°C in Bali vs 29°C on Koh Samui
  • Rainy days: 3 days (40mm) in Bali vs 10 days (100mm) on Koh Samui

September

  • Temperature: 27°C in Bali vs 28°C on Koh Samui
  • Rainy days: 4 days (50mm) in Bali vs 11 days (130mm) on Koh Samui

October

  • Temperature: 27°C in Bali vs 27°C on Koh Samui
  • Rainy days: 8 days (60mm) in Bali vs 16 days (290mm) on Koh Samui

November

  • Temperature: 27°C in Bali vs 27°C on Koh Samui
  • Rainy days: 13 days (70mm) in Bali vs 15 days (430mm) on Koh Samui

December

  • Temperature: 27°C in Bali vs 27°C on Koh Samui
  • Rainy days: 13 days (90mm) in Bali vs 9 days (150mm) on Koh Samui

Koh Samui vs Bali: Getting there

Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

Which is quickest to get to? Using Hipmunk, I found the quickest (not the cheapest) flights to Koh Samui Airport (USM) and Bali’s Denpasar International Airport (DPS). From…

  • Hong Kong: Koh Samui is quickest (3h20 vs 5h5m to Bali)
  • London: Koh Samui is quickest (13h35m vs 16h35m to Bali)
  • Kuala Lumpur: Koh Samui is quickest (1h30m vs 2h55m to Bali)
  • New Delhi: Koh Samui is quickest (7h vs 9h10m to Bali)
  • New York: Koh Samui is quickest (21h35m vs 22h10m to Bali)
  • Singapore: Koh Samui is quickest (1h35m vs 2h30m to Bali)
  • Sydney: Bali is quickest (6h35m vs 12h5m to Koh Samui)

Koh Samui vs Bali: Things to do

As green and hilly islands, both Bali and Koh Samui have excursions involving Jeeps, jungle treks and assorted ‘adventure tours’.

Culture

Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

 

Samui has Buddhist temples (Big Buddha the most notable attraction), Bali has Hindu temples. Given its size, Bali has actual museums and a much more developed culture scene.

Day-trips

Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

You’ll find a greater array of challenging outdoor activities in Bali, including white-water rafting and challenging hikes. Ang Thong Marine Park is the big day out from Samui.

Elephant trekking is available in both places – but have you done your elephant research yet?

Watersports

Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

Bali will offer you (and the rest of Australia) the chance to surf, though Koh Samui has plenty else to offer on, in or above the water (including kite-boarding and stand-up paddling). Both destinations have dive schools and various boating excursions.

Golf

Koh Samui vs Bali: How to Choose? Compare Hotels, Weather & More – Compare Koh Samui vs Bali hotels, villas, costs, weather and more. Easily choose your perfect destination with a side-by-side Bali vs Samui comparison.

Koh Samui has just one 18-hole course, Santiburi Samui Country Club. Bali has a lot more to offer a golfer – half a dozen courses, including one with a Greg Norman connection.

Need more expertise?

Whether your travel dates, beach preferences, activity interests or budget have helped to sway your decision, I can offer plenty more help to plan and enjoy your perfect trip in The Koh Samui Guide. Otherwise, keep the comparisons coming with the help of these highly rated Bali travel guides. Enjoy!

Bali travel guides

Koh Samui travel guide

The Koh Samui Guide: “Just got back from 2 weeks in Samui. Your guide was a huge help to us”. Get your Koh Samui Guide

Sources: Weather on Bali, Mount Agung, Samui geographyWeatherSpark (x2), Hipmunk, Bangkok Airways route map, MAPfrappe, Bali’s wiki.

Subscribe

Get Thailand travel tips delivered to your inbox