Samui vs Phuket

Samui vs Phuket? This must be the question on your mind if this is your first time visiting on of the infamous beach holiday counties in the world; Thailand. I have been back and forth on the internet looking for information about these two holiday destination, it can get a little confusing that’s for sure especially with the loads of information highlighting the best of both worlds. Now between the two islands, which one is really better than the other?

The thing with trying to choose between Phuket or Samui is its not like making choices between two fruits, say orange and banana. The thing with these two islands is that they are both stunning. So, when it comes to trying to make a choice, then you need to go with your preference. Ask yourself, what you want to experience while on your holiday.

So, Samui Island or Phuket Island where should you really go? Well let’s hope that this article will assist you in making that choice.

The overview of both Samui and Phuket


If you are looking for a more developed holiday destination as you head on to Thailand, then Phuket is your best bet. You will have more things and activities to engage in as well as more spots to visit. If you are looking for a shopping experience, Phuket is the choice. First off, they have several modern malls and shopping options.

Between Samui vs Phuket, you will experience better dining experiences and there is more history and culture to learn a lot about. Let me not forget to mention the Phuket Old Town which is perfect for exploration, despite the age of the visitor.

You can do a lot of island-hoping in Phuket too. There are marinas where you can go there and charter a yacht that can shuttle you from the most popular islands like Similan Island and Phi Phi Island. You can even get your own private charters since there are 4 marinas here.

Tourists watch the very popular sunset cruises. For those who love the party scene, there will be no much confusion about Phuket or Samui because there are over-water all night parties.

Koh Samui

One thing makes Samui different from Phuket is that there are more beach clubs there and lesser bars. If you are one who loves street food, then Samui is lined with them every corner of the island. That said, it means that there are lesser shopping malls. You will find more restaurants on the beach and lesser dining spots in the main parts of towns.

There are no marinas at Samui. Like I said, depending on what you want to experience, the choice between Samui Island or Phuket Island can be quite easy. Now it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to enjoy chartered yacht hare. There are fewer options but there are options alright. You can charter a private yacht and still and move around Samui in style.

Compared to Phuket, Samui has more water-based adventurous activities to partake in with it being popular for having the best diving spots in Thailand. Phuket’s adventurous activities are more land-based.

The islands may differ a bit but if you are still wondering between Samui vs Phuket, one thing I can tell you for sure is that both islands have great places to visit. Seeing as both are surrounded by waters, you will definitely find something to do if you are one that enjoys water sports and other water activities. Hiking and trekking on both islands are options too. As for martial arts fanatics, there are Muay Thai events to keep your self busy with. Both islands offer cooking classes and great Thai cuisine experiences.

So let us analyse these two islands further based on what you can find here and activities…


Phuket or Samui – which island has the best beaches?

There are more beaches in Phuket, with more family friendly options to choose from. Basically, there is something for everyone. The beaches have different atmospheres. For instance, Mai Khao Beach is more secluded compared to the party atmosphere of Patong Beach.

On the other hand, at Koh Samui, there are lesser beaches. But much as they are lesser than Phuket, the beaches at Samui are better in quality with softer and whiter sand and clearer, calmer waters. There are more bars and clubs on beaches. So, if you are traveling with kids, Phuket’s beaches will be much better for you.

Accommodation spots

Between Samui Island or Phuket Island, Phuket has by far the largest and hotel industry. There are more than 1200 properties. Do you want 5-star beachfront resorts or do you prefer simple guesthouses. The variety here is amazing and even if you are traveling on a budget, you will something. Seeing as the hotel industry is booming, there is definitely lots of competition which makes accommodation here pretty affordable even during high season.

The accommodation scene in Samui is that it has more beachfront properties, hence more beachfront resorts. Most of the hotels will be found on beaches.

That said, both islands have plenty of private villas.


Comparing Samui vs Phuket in terms of flavours, there has been lots of multicultural influences over the years in Phuket so the cuisine here is more colourful and more flavourful. But if you prefer travelling like a local, Patong or Kamala will offer you the real tastes of Thai cuisine.

Samui on the other hand offers more convenient eating and dining experience. There is a main street of restaurants behind the beach with restaurants offering foods from all over the world. So, when you are there, even if you don’t fancy the Thai options, you should be able to find more palatable and conventional options without having to look for them too far.


If you are looking for the cultural spots, between Phuket or Samui, Phuket is a better option. As mentioned earlier, there are lots of spots that are rich in history and culture. With places like the Old Town to Big Buddha, you will have a great experience learning the culture of the Thai people by exploring their museums and temples.

Samui on the other has more unique – some you might even call bizarre sites. In Samui has the most unique cultural spots in the whole of Thailand. Places to focus on are Hin Ta and Hin Yai rocks that are surprisingly shaped as genitalia. The other place to check out is the mummified monk of Wat Khunaram,


One thing that you may not have to worry about when deciding which one of these two islands to visit is the weather. Both have warm weather all-year-round. The best ties to visit both islands are the months of April to August.

That said though, Koh Samui gets more monsoon season compared to Phuket. Expect rains between September and November and in Phuket from September to October (not too big a difference though.)

Whichever island you choose, Samui Island or Phuket Island, we hope that this article has assisted you in visiting the best one that will suit your holiday needs. Activity wise, Phuket is better and more family oriented with options for all ages. Samui is more suited for couples with more relaxed taste.

In conclusion, they are both great. The decision relies on you and your taste.