10 Tips for Saving Money in Phuket

Holiday in Phuket on a Budget

Although there is no denying that Phuket is one of the pricier destinations in Thailand, it is perfectly possible to save money... if you know how. You don’t need to sacrifice your enjoyment of the island’s beautiful beaches, exciting nightlife and vibrant culture just because you’re on a tight budget, either. With a little bit of knowledge, you can get more bang for your buck and enjoy a fantastic time in Phuket on a shoestring.

Our list of tips for saving money in Phuket demonstrates the cheapest alternatives when finding a hotel, getting around, eating, shopping, partying and more. Some of the advice below will save you a lot more than others, but all will reduce the overall cost of your time in Thailand, making a holiday in this tropical paradise easier to attain on a limited budget.

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Those restaurants which cater to tourists will always charge more than those mainly catering to locals, and those serving foreign foods will be even more expensive still. To save money, look out for street vendors and small local restaurants. Aside from saving you a lot of money, you also get to experience wonderful Thai cuisine as Thai people enjoy it, not softened up for foreign palates. Remember to pick your vendors and restaurants with care, though. Read More...

Shop at Supercheap Phuket

If you’re visiting Phuket on a self-catering holiday or you’re looking for souvenirs at rock-bottom prices, you should definitely check out Supercheap in Phuket Town. The warehouse-like store has every product you could possibly need, and quite a few that you couldn’t find a use for if you tried, all at the titular “super-cheap” prices. It may not be the most exotic experience, but it will certainly save you money. Read More...

Shopping at markets is already very cheap, but skilful haggling can make it even cheaper. Learning a little bit of Thai (even just basic numbers) is a good way to impress the stallholder. Start bargaining from around 30% to 40% below the asking price, don’t seem overly keen on what you’re buying and be prepared to shop around and you should see the cost lowering significantly. You might also get more of a discount by buying more items and making a deal on the total cost. Remember to be polite and civilised about it – anger and rudeness will get you nowhere fast. Read More...

Rent a Motorbike

With fairly long distances between the major points of interest in Phuket, the amount of money you spend on transport can quickly add up. While the songtheaw buses do offer an extremely cheap option, they are not particularly quick or convenient. Among the best options is to rent a motorbike from as little as about 200 baht per day (plus petrol, which is very cheap at around 30 baht per litre). It is very important to note, however, that getting caught driving without an international license or a crash helmet will be very expensive in fines, and having an accident could cost you a lot more, so drive with extreme care and caution. Read More...

Patong is Phuket’s party central, but has the most expensive nightlife on the island, with drinks being especially pricy in the nightclubs and go-go bars. While the nearby beaches like Karon and Kamala both offer much cheaper alternatives, they are nothing like as lively and fun. Phuket Town is where the locals go to party and is home to a modest selection of cool bars and clubs, where the prices are significantly lower. Read More...

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Withdraw Large Amounts from ATMs
Withdraw Large Amounts from ATMs

There’s no especially cheap way of converting currency to Thai baht – no method gives you a better rate than any other. Easily the most convenient option is to withdraw cash from an ATM with a bank card from your home country, but you’ll get hit with a 200 baht transaction fee in the process. To save money, make fewer but larger withdrawals, then lock the excess money in your room for safety. Also, purchases made with a bank card get charged an additional percentage in fees, so it is best to take the money out from an ATM and pay with cash.

Everywhere in the world has its scammers, and they are successful only because visitors don’t know their tricks. Check out our information on the most common scams so that you can avoid getting stung. In general, just remember that anything which seems too good to be true usually is. Read More...

The low season in Phuket is from May to November and sees much wetter weather, particularly in the evenings, making this the least popular time to visit. However, with fewer other visitors around, the queues at attractions are shorter and the prices for hotel rooms and flights are generally lower, which can save you a lot of money, if you’re willing to risk a few rainy days. Read More...

Patong Beach is the best known and most popular of the resort destinations in Phuket but, as a result of that popularity, it is also one of the more expensive places. Some of the less well-known areas of Phuket offer much better rates on shopping, dining, nightlife and accommodation while still offering the same beautiful beaches and scenery. Karon and Kamala Beaches, respectively immediately south and north of Patong, are both significantly cheaper, as is Rawai Beach in the far south of the island. Staying in Phuket Town offers excellent discounts, but you do then have to travel further to reach the beach. Read More...

With hundreds of hotels to choose from around Phuket, it is possible to find a great place to stay for virtually any budget. We’ve picked out the very best of the money-saving options around the island in our list of the 10 Best Cheap Hotels in Phuket. Don’t let the title make you think that means you have to stay in some second-rate hostel or guesthouse, either – it’s perfectly possible to find fabulous beachfront hotels for less than US$100 per night in Phuket! Read More...

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