Today, Jeff is sharing with us top budget travel tips on how to survive in Phuket, Thailand for less than $25 a day. Jeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to remember them all. A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary film-making, Thai food and a good laugh. Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. You can follow them on Twitter, Facebook , YouTube & Instagram.
Phuket is easily one of the most sought out dream destinations in the world, and while Thailand is also known as a cheap destination the tourist industry has driven Phuket to be the most expensive city in all of Thailand. While Phuket might still be cheaper than Los Angeles or London, you are sure to be caught off guard by some of the prices and it is amazing how quickly they add up. There are a few tips and tricks to make sure you save your hard earned pennies which can help you visit Phuket for as little as $25 a day. So grab a pen and paper and plan out your perfect Thailand holiday without having to worry about breaking the bank!
First off and most importantly you’ll need a comfy place to lay your head. While Phuket boasts some of the most expensive hotels in the entire world, there are loads and loads of budget accommodations as well, and don’t think you have to stay in a hostel either.
Phuket has 1,000’s of hotels, including many rooms for as little as $8 a day, and they can comfortable sleep two people! While you might have to search them out, we regularly see amazingly cheap deals on basic hotel rooms – and not the horrific ones you’ve seen in “The Beach”. In Patong, the party spot in Phuket, a budget hotel with aircon, wifi and two single beds can easily cost under $15. So find a friend, make a friend, grab a stranger and throw your stuff in a cheap room, shell out the $7 each and head out to explore.
Now armed with $17 let’s see how far it will take you. If you are anywhere on the west coast of the island a beach won’t be far, and chances are you are walking distance from one. While Patong is easily the most popular beach you can easily head north to Kamala, Surin or Bangtao and if you hop down south you’ll find beautiful Karon and Kata. These beaches are not exactly walking distance but if you split a tuk-tuk with your new found friend, it should only cost you $3 each. After spending a day at the beach you will be hungry and ready for a bite to eat. Street food and markets are huge in Phuket and there is one to be found somewhere on the island every night. A simply meal of Pad Thai from the market won’t cost you more and $1-2 so go crazy and eat all you want.
If you are feeling extra adventurous search out the insect stand and for another $3 grab a bag of fried crickets, maggots and grasshoppers. While not as disgusting as you might think, they aren’t the most delicious snack, tasting simply like that one burnt french fry you always get. After all, much of the world eat bugs as a normal part of their diet.
Now that the sun is setting you’ll want to turn up the fun, right? You should have at least $10 left for the night which will be plenty to have a little fun. Thai beers are brewed stronger because many Thais add ice to make up for the extreme heat, so watch yourself as a 6.4% beer will hit you a lot harder after a day in the sun than a Miller Lite ever did. You should have enough to buy 4-6 bottles of beer at a convenient store or 3-4 in a bar, both on nearly every corner.
By now you realize it is nearly 2am and somehow the night has flown by (especially if your friend bought a bottle of Sangsom Thai Whiskey with his $10) and you are probably ready for some good drunk food. Never fear, there is bound to be either a noodle soup or kebab store open somewhere right in your blurry line of sight. Spend your last couple bucks on a bite to eat and then stumble back to your hotel room, pump up the AC and pass out – then repeat!
Now you know the steps, the tips and what you pay where and for what. Other cheap activities include visiting one of the many local Buddhist temples (free), renting a motorbike for the day ($10), taking a traditional Thai long tail boat out for a spin and a snorkel ($6) each if you have a small group and renting either a surfboard or body board on the beach ($5 per hour). While not technically Phuket, the close by Phi Phi Islands provide nonstop fun and a roundtrip ferry ticket is just $6. Phuket really is an exciting and adventurous place and while many easily spend way more than they need or intend to, a good time can be had in Phuket for $25 a day.