Many vacationers are trying to choose between these two Thailand beach destinations for their vacation. Both have great beaches, islands, and a lot to do, but which one is better?
Which One is Best – Krabi or Koh Samui?
We hope to shed some light on just how different these two places are, so you can come to the right decision and choose the right one for your vacation.
Krabi is the best place to go for your vacation because of the variety. You can see many more amazing beaches, mountains, rivers, caves, waterfalls, hot ponds, hikes, and wildlife.
In general, Koh Samui is going to appeal more to young singles, especially with money, who are going to meet other young singles with money. Koh Samui cost of living and visiting is very high and probably higher than in Phuket – which is astronomically high.
Here are some differences between the two destinations:
Advantages of Koh Samui
- Koh Samui is in some ways easier to reach than Krabi. This seems odd because Koh Samui is an island. Still, Krabi is in a weird place and harder to reach for that reason. To reach Samui, you can go by bus or van, bus and boat, train and boat, and fly direct. You can take a boat from Koh Phangan after the Full Moon Party. You can reach Samui by taking a boat from Chumphon to Koh Tao and then down to the island of Samui.
- More Fun Things to Do for a Young Crowd. Young crowd meaning people under 30 are going to be drawn more toward Koh Samui than Krabi. Think of the island of Samui as one huge Club Med resort with all sorts of spas and other local attractions that would be fun for singles with some money. If you’re on a typical backpacker budget, you are going to want to give Samui a miss, or at least just go for a day and get back to somewhere cheaper. The island will suck you dry of money very quickly!
- Better Beaches? There are a couple of beaches that are mind-blowing on Koh Samui. My personal favorite is Tong Takien Bay, though it is being overbuilt all the time, it is stunning in beauty. Krabi has a couple of nice beaches, but just for sheer beauty, I think Samui has it beat. Now, I’m not including Koh Phi Phi in this comparison, so, sure – Phi Phi has some really nice spots!
- Better Food! If you are looking for food a cut above the rest, the island has far more choices than does Krabi. Krabi has many cheap places to eat – but really, not very many great places to eat – even if you can pay for it. There are about 4 really good places to eat in Krabi – one in Krabi Town and the rest in Ao Nang at the beach. Samui is just FILLED with great places to eat – expensive, but excellent food. Chefs are imported from all over the world to make the best food possible at their high-end restaurants. If your choice of where to stay has anything to do with food – don’t bother with Krabi!
- Better Spas! Koh Samui is the ultimate place to go for spas to pamper yourself. If you’re addicted to something, Krabi has excellent detox facilities in luxury spas. There are probably more places to get a colon cleanse on Samui than anywhere else in Thailand, including Bangkok.
Advantages of Krabi
- Krabi is Cheaper! Without a doubt, your vacation in Krabi could be much cheaper than your trip to Koh Samui. The accommodations and food, and day-trips and tours – are all much less expensive than you would pay in Samui for vacationers. For people thinking about living in Krabi or Samui, the difference is even greater. Housing in Krabi for a month starts at around 6,000 THB ($180 USD).
- Krabi is Better for Families. Krabi has a laid-back, safer atmosphere feel to it than Samui does. We considered moving to Koh Samui about nine years ago. We liked it. We probably could have made it there. Still, we were thinking about starting a family and the idea of raising them on the island put us off it. Krabi is more spread out, fewer people, fewer tourists, cheaper, easier to get around, and a better environment to raise kids. If you have kids and will be vacationing in Thailand, you are probably better off choosing Krabi if you have a choice between here or there.
- Roads are Safer in Krabi. Every time we stayed on Samui there was this fear that we were going to crash the car or motorbike, whichever we happened to be driving at the time. On the island, people cut the blind corners and come way over into your lane. It’s hazardous as hell. There are so many head-on crashes there that it was just one more thing that totally put us off the place. If you’re a bit afraid of dangerous driving – yours or someone else’s, choose Krabi!
- A Lot More Land Area to Explore. Though Samui has a lot of things to do, and you wouldn’t be bored if you were there for five days, Krabi has heaps more. I think you wouldn’t be bored in Krabi if you stayed for a month and tried to do something every day. There are so many fun attractions and little day trips you can do from here as a base. We have a lot of boat trips – you can see a number of different caves, Railay Beach, 4-island tours, see Phi Phi islands, go to Phuket, go to Koh Lanta. Krabi is really a great central hub and jumping off point to go see many other nice Southern Thailand attractions.
Let’s compare Krabi and Ko Samui side-by-side:
|Nightlife||Ao Nang bars, mild not wild||Wild and crazy and naughty side|
|Beaches||Phi Phi, Lanta, Ko Jum, |
Noppharathara, 18 Islands
|1+ weeks||2-3 days max|
|Close by Islands||18+ to visit||Ko Tao, Ko Phangan|
|Close by Places||Phuket, Phang Nga, Trang||Islands above|
|Cost||Still reasonable||Outrageous (too high)|
|Traffic||Almost none||Crazy traffic sometimes|
|Friendliness||Very high||Not always good 🙁|
|Top Activities||Swimming, hiking, hot springs, Rock Climbing, Crystal Pool, caves, waterfalls||Jet ski, swimming, tanning, banana boat,|
restaurants, shopping, waterfalls
|Singles or Family?||Both!||Singles more so than family.|
So, you can see above the main differences between Krabi and Koh Samui. Now you have to choose… which will it be?