While finding cheap drinks in Phuket, Thailand is no struggle, you can easily fall into the tourist trap of overpriced hotel drinks and their dreaded service charges, and weak, pricey drinks at nightclubs. If you’re planning a trip to Phuket anytime soon (which you should) here are a few, boozy tips I gathered from my time there.
Street Vendors Are EVERYTHING – The cheapest drink I came across during my travels in Phuket was a 50 baht mojito from a street vendor near Karon Beach. 50 baht is roughly $1.50 in American dollars. $1.50 mojitos make me very, very happy, and I am forever indebted to the group of ladies making these tasty concoctions. And yes, the mojitos were very tasty.
If you pay $1.50 for a mojito, you probably expect a cheap rum paired with an even cheaper, pre-made mojito mixer. Well, that’s not how they roll in Phuket. Although there was likely cheap rum involved, they did use fresh mint and lime. There was also lots of muddling involved.
Also, I read a lot of warnings in regards to Phuket street vendors and the quality of ice they use, and how it relates to err…gastrointestinal issues. So, I should share that I didn’t have any problems on that end.
Indulge In Hotel Happy Hours – Out of the three hotels we stayed at in Phuket, two of them had daily Happy Hours. Both hotels had buy one, get one free specials for about two hours each day. One hotel in particular, Hotel Ikon, had an all-day special on Mai Tais, which was right up my alley. I may have had one every day, during our stay. I can’t remember the exact price in baht, but I do know that each Mai Tai was about four dollars and change.
Explore Local Restaurants – If you really want to make your dollar (or in this case, baht) stretch while in Phuket, definitely check out local restaurants. We had the most amazing meals at an Indian/Thai restaurant called Highway Curry. While I didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy a cocktail there, they do have a full bar. And based on prices for meals, I’m sure drinks are a steal.
Oh, and on the other side of the street that leads to Karon Beach is about five to six seafood restaurants. You can’t miss it thanks to the restaurant hosts/hostesses’ who attempt to lure you in from the other side of the street with friendly waves and yells of “free of Wifi!” I ordered a large beer from one of them (about 40 oz.) and it came out to about two to three dollars. Also, there wifi was in fact on point.
Avoid Patong Beach – Unless you’re planning a pretty epic pregame, you’re probably going to want to avoid the party haven that is Patong Beach. Beer and cocktail prices are much more expensive than they are elsewhere on the island. Pricey drinks aside, it boasts a very heavy party atmosphere. So, if that’s not your thing, I’d avoid Patong Beach all together. Luckily, we were able to find a Hip Hop club called Gossip, which was pretty fun. But outside of that, Patong Beach isn’t my cup of tea either.
I hope you enjoyed my tips, and be sure to check out my Cocktails On The Cheap piece on Hong Kong. Cheers!