Phuket with a small budget is not as difficult as it may seem. Of course it’s not easy as in general Phuket is more expensive than anywhere else in Thailand. But if you start with these few suggestions you will be able to make the best of your holiday without spending a fortune. You might find the experience a lot more enlightening too!
One of the requirement to stay within budget is to rent a bike, as taxis and tuk tuks will increase your cost dramatically. Of course, driving a bike in Phuket is a tricky thing and you will have to drive carefully, but many people do it without problems. All you have to do is keep your eyes on the road at all times, and you will need a driving license for the occasional controls (see driving in Phuket). Worst case, even though there are no beach to beach local buses, there are ‘Beach to Town’ local buses. Local buses are cheap but a great waste of precious time, it is still better take a tuk tuk but agree on price before stepping in!
Always fun to discover the colorful and vibrant Local Fresh Markets, if it is your first time in Asia, you will learn a lot more about Thais people’s life than in any tour! Then great for budget shopping is the very popular Phuket Week End Market, in Phuket Town, not far from Central Festival Shopping Mall. Lately we have another new, fun and very cool night bazaar in Town is the Indy Market, young and more creative.
A great way to spend the day for free as Phuket has more than 36 beaches, but not all are good for snorkeling. Here are some with nice rocky ends and warm blue clear waters, often sheltering colorful fishes and corals. You should bring your own gear, it’s not easy to rent one, but buying mask and snorkel is affordable. Laem Singh Beach, Ao Sane, Ya Nui Beach, Banana Beach, Surin Beach, Nai Harn, Nai Thon and Kata Noi Beach.
Also an obvious recommendation, but some of many temples and shrines around the island are really beautiful, and isn’t it time to pay respect to your ancestors and bring yourself some good luck? Of course, Wat Chalong is the most popular, but there are many Thai Temples and Chinese Shrines to enjoy. Read more about Phuket Temples
Sounds obvious? Some are a lot better than others! Listing them all would be impossible, so we picked 10 of them in town: Best Local Restaurant in Phuket Town. Eating in the streets is always cheaper but beach front streets and seafood centers with touts trying to convince you to sit down are not. In the back streets you will always find cheaper, especially if all the seated guests are all Thais! Almost every shop can understand a simple order… lots of fun! Read more
One of the great ways to explore Phuket is to go from point to viewpoints. As they are here and there on the island, they will give you an unique free overview of the island, and will be a perfect opportunity to see a lot and a chance to stop whenever you spot something interesting (or something appetizing!). See here all 10 Phuket Viewpoints.
Hard to resist those old Sino Portuguese streets with their beautiful shop houses and magnificent mansions. With many small cafes, bakeries and eateries along the way… it is perfect for a half day. Visit also the local markets near the bus station and explore the tiny streets here and there to discover some incredible abandoned mansions. Read more…
The Phuket Walking Street is most popular attraction in Phuket Town. Starting from Thepkasattri Road and stretching all the way to Phuket Road, all the Sino Portuguese houses along Thalang road are illuminated with changing colors adding to the festive mood. On each side and in the middle of the now busy street you’ll find food, ice creams, drinks, tee shirts, stuffed animals and printed fabrics… Read more
Phi Phi is a wonderful island and going for a cheap day trip is possible. The cheapest is to go by bike and hop in the ferry at Bang Rong Pier for only 550 baht! You also chose the option with hotel transfer + lunch + National Park fee included for 1,100 baht. Better is you are not sure yo will find the pier near Phuket Town (There is an extra charge if your hotel is far from town). Make sure you don’t miss the ferry back.
Phang Nga Bay for 1,100 Baht per person is the cheapest and most reliable we could find, and we tried it: see here. On the way, stop at the reclining Buddha inside Suwannakuha Cave and its monkeys. Cruise around Phang Nga Bay and visit a renowned water cave. Get a glimpse of daily life in Koh Panyee, the village on stilts and reach James Bond Island. This tour includes lunch and hotel transfer! Read about Phang Nga Bay.
Everyone should see it at least once, unlike what most people believe, Bangla is not ‘Sin City for Single Men’. It’s more of a colorful street full of life, restaurants, shops and bars and of course girls. Now if you want to know more, enter these famous Go Go bars and see for yourself what is this all about. Patong is a lot more easy going than Bangkok or Pattaya and all the many beer bars sell beers from 80 baht. Read more...
Other Top 10 you might want to look at are: ‘10 Classic Thai Food for Beginners‘, 10 Girly Things to do in Phuket, and 10 Things to Do in Phuket when it rains, and 10 Ways to Party Wild in Phuket, read also about ‘10 Great Seafood Restaurants in Phuket‘, ‘10 Best Really Local Restaurants‘