Is Phuket still cheap to travel to Thailand
Phuket is known to be one of the most expensive places (if not the most expensive) in Thailand, and yes it can be expensive here depending on where you go. Phuket hosts some of the world’s top international Hotel brands and other multinational corporations, and it makes sense that the tourist areas where the upmarket restaurants and shops are located will be pricey, this is so all over the world. Hanging around in those tourist areas will take a chunk out of your money but at the same time they are sometimes exciting to see and experience. I have lived in Phuket for quite some time now and my partner and I do like to take time out to go to lunch or dinner in nice restaurants and hotels, and have a cold beer and cocktail in a classy venue somewhere, but like anywhere in the world it does cost quite a bit in comparison to most local places.
So is Phuket still cheap? YES it is, the area we live in is only 10 mins drive West of Patong and our area is only one of many in Phuket where the prices are local normal prices. To give you an idea we usually pay about 120 Baht to 160 Baht Total maximum for the 2 of us, to eat 3 dishes with some rice and a drink of water, so basically about $5 for both of us to be full and eating amazing Thai fresh good quality food in a restaurant. Admittedly some of the Thai restaurants can be a bit rustic, sitting on plastic chairs on the foot path or in a little corner somewhere, and not many people want to visit local places and only prefer to stay in the 5 star hotels and restaurants, but there are the vast majority that seek out “local venues” and look for the Thai experience and on a budget, and your holiday money goes so much further if you find places where you can spend 70% less for food and drink. There are so many lovely Thai Restaurants everywhere and another lovely restaurant in our area is also a household ceramic production gallery, even here we eat amazing food for $5 to $6 total for both of us.
Getting around quickly, if you are alone, don’t be afraid to hail local motorbike taxis, they are always a fast and cheap way to get from A to B, and set a price before you go.
There is also a big debate about food stalls or mobile food vendors and if it is safe or not to eat from them. Like I mentioned in my last post, I can pretty much eat anything and I have eaten from road side food vendors and beach vendors since I arrived and in all my previous trips to Thailand, and I personally have never been ill ever from eating their food. This of course also depends on everyone’s personal situation such as allergies, intolerance to certain foods etc. In general the average price for a Thai dish in local areas can range from 40 Baht to around 70 Baht, or up to around 120 Baht for a seafood style dish. You can also request what the Thais call “Peeset” this means can I upsize this or can I have a larger than normal portion and of course that is a bit extra but not much. The markets in Phuket like the weekend/ night markets and Phuket Town markets on every Sunday afternoon/ evening and various other small
markets around the city are also a wonderful place to experience Thai food at great prices. There are also a lot of local Thai BBQ restaurants around for 199 Baht all you can eat.
If you like your booze, well just like other countries you can just buy some alcohol in 7 Eleven or Family Mart, or any one of the large Super Markets, buy a bag of ice at one of the ice vendors on the road side (picture attached) or at one of the 24 hours stores mentioned above and take a chill bag or ice box to the beach and drink cheaply, and unlike most other countries it is ok to walk around the markets with a beer in your hand or sit on the beach. But having said that it is always good to support local tourism and all of the operators and local vendors and buy from them. One of the pics attached is our breakfast this morning, Roti pancakes with sugar and condensed milk over the top total $2 for both of us, and I had a cup of coffee for 10 Baht too. I highly recommend for everyone to get out of their comfort zones, get off the beaten tourist areas and in to the local areas, there are so many wonderful things to experience. If you are looking for some advice or a plan for your holiday to Phuket or anywhere in Thailand for that matter, get in touch with us, we have direct relationships with the hotels and tour companies, we can make up some great custom holiday packages for you.