The two most popular vacation destinations in Thailand. Koh Samui and Phuket. Despite both being islands, these are still entirely 2 different vacation destinations. Both islands have an international airport. Both islands have a connection with "The Beach". On the island of Koh Phi Phi is the film The Beach recorded which is based on the book whose inspiration comes from Ang Thong National Park near Koh Samui. On both islands you will find large hotel chains such as Hyatt, Novotel and Amari resorts. Both Islands have a Big Buddha. (on Samui of Gold and in Phuket of Burmese white marble) But what are the big differences? You can read them below.
#1Location of Koh Samui vs Phuket
As described above, both islands have many similarities but the biggest difference is of course the location. Koh Samui lies in the Gulf of Thailand while Phuket lies in the Andaman Sea.
The location of both islands also make the islands so very different.
#2Climate van Koh Samui vs Pukhet.
We have already talked about climate change in a previous article. Because of this, we do see some changes on Koh Samui. This is what studies also show. Showers are heavier and droughts last longer. But because of the location of both islands there are clear climate differences.
The best travel time for Koh Samui is from December through April. These months are relatively the driest.
The Wet Season is from late September through November, half december. In these months there is relatively a lot of rain. The average temperature on Koh Samui is around 30 degrees.
Phuket also has a very pleasant climate with an average temperature of 30 degrees. The seasons are similar to those of Koh Samui. The major difference is the number of MM of precipitation that falls.
Koh Samui is a lot drier compared to Phuket. Especially when the Summer vacations are in Europe, the chances of nice weather on Koh Samui are good. In contrast, in November during the wet season there is much more rain on Koh Samui.
Fun fact is that where Idyllic Samui Resort is located it rains the least on Koh Samui.
#3Size of the islands
Phuket has a total area of 590 Km2. Koh Samui has only 250 Km2
#4inhabitants van Koh Samui vs Phuket
Despite that Phuket is twice as big compared to Koh Samui, the population is many times higher.
Phuket has about 417,000 inhabitants compared to the only 69,000 on Koh Samui.
#5Nightlife on Koh Samui vs Phuket.
On both islands you can make it as late as you want of course. On both islands you can find bars and restaurants in various price ranges and of various quality. But the choice on Phuket to dance late into the night is many times greater. Phuket also has a redlight area. A walking street (redlight district) is not available on Koh Samui.
If you want to party until late during your vacation, Phuket has more possibilities. Do you want to experience a spectacular party during your stay on Koh Samui visit the neighboring island of Koh Phanang. Every month there is the Full Moon Party which is known as the best full moon party of Thailand.
From Koh Samui Koh Phanang is easily reached by boat.
#6Prices on Koh Samui vs Phuket
On both islands you can make it as expensive or as cheap as you want but the prices on Koh Samui for accommodation and food are slightly higher than on Phuket. Both islands are a lot more expensive compared to Bangkok.
#7Nature on Koh Samui vs Phuket
Both islands are part of a Nature Reserve. They consist of many small islands. Some are inhabited but most are uninhabited. The islands with their beautiful beaches are often visited by day trip.
The big difference is that on many islands around Phuket you can also stay overnight. The islands belonging to the reserve Ang Thong are for the most part unspoiled.
#8Resorts and Hotels at Koh Samui vs Phuket
Where Phuket has more than 1600 hotels and resorts Koh Samui has around 600.
Phuket has in recent decades focused on the large expensive resorts where on Koh Samui many small Resorts can be found with an Idyllic character.
#9food at Koh Samui vs Phuket
Both islands have many restaurants. From pizza to the Indian there is something for everyone. But the experts say that if you want to enjoy the Thai cuisine you should stay on Koh Samui.
#10Beaches at Koh Samui vs Phuket
Both islands have beaches that are worthy of a photo. The sea around Koh Samui is much calmer, the beaches whiter and the sand softer.
#11accessibility Koh Samui vs Phuket
Koh Samui can be reached by boat and plane. Phuket, on the other hand, is connected to the mainland by a bridge, making it possible to reach the island by car without a boat.
#12safer Koh Samui vs Phuket
The crime rate in Thailand is low. Especially when it comes to criminality related to tourists.
Based on numbers, Koh Samui is slightly safer than Phuket. Crimiality with regard to tourists is mainly limited to pickpocketing and this then usually in the late hours.
#13KohSamui or Phuket, Which is a better choice?
Opinions on this will vary from person to person. We at Idyllic Samui Resort of course have a love affair with the Island of Koh Samui and have therefore based our opinion in this article purely on the numbers. Perhaps this article will help with your choice and we hope to see you as a guest in one of our Villas with private pool.