A Backpacker’s Wet Dream: Finding the Cheapest Drinks in Phuket
You’re in Phuket, one of Thailand’s party capitals and renowned for chilled beers, flowing cocktails and shots ‘til the sun rises. But the cost of partying can soon mount up. Does that mean you have to stop? Fuck no! Read on to find out where to get cheap drinks in Phuket.
There are options to drink all over Phuket. And why not? You’re on holiday after all. Whether it be enjoying a sundowner looking out over the lapping sea or you’re sinking your eighteenth Leo on Bangla Road, the options are endless. There will (unless you’re one of the lucky ones…), however, come a time when you have to watch your spend and opt for the budget option.
Hit Up the Street
Sure it’s not as classy as lounging on a plush white chaise longue but there are some incredible options out there. Explore the streets and you’ll quickly come across cocktail vendors pushing their wares from “pop-up” carts and stalls. Who can say no to a delicious Mojito for 50 baht?! We certainly can’t! They won’t be made with the highest quality booze nor mixed by an expert but they are damn tasty. At that price, you’ll be back for another before you know it. They also make for an excellent road drink as you travel between bars.
If you’re worried about your stomach then ask about the ice or avoid it altogether. You might not be able to guarantee that the ice used on these stalls is made from fresh and purified water. No one wants the repercussions from dodgy ice at the end of a night…
Happy hours make us happy!
Exploit them, abuse them, use them. Happy hours in Phuket are put on by hotels, hostels and bars for that very reason. They know you want to be in there drinking their cheap drinks and they’re betting on the fact that you’ll end up buying one or two more once happy hour is ended.
Almost all seafront hotels and most of the popular drinking strips have buy one get one free offers during happy hours. Some places will offer a free shot alongside your drink or “bulk” buy offers. Some places will even have a cocktail of the day which will be priced lower than the rest of the menu for the whole damn day.
Drink Where the Locals Drink
This is a classic traveller adage, but if you see the locals drinking there and enjoying themselves then venture in and check the place out. You might have to move away from the traditional tourist trap areas but you’ll find that there are some brilliant places to drink out there. Judge the feeling of the place and say hello to the bar staff and they’ll look after you.
It’s also worth exploring the local eateries and restaurants. You won’t be getting cocktails here but you will be getting cheap Chang, Leo and Singha. At least far cheaper than you will on the made tourist strips.
OTOP market is quickly becoming a favourite of ours here at Bodega. It’s a thriving outdoor market area with tonnes of food stalls, clothes stalls and, most importantly, bars. You’ll find lots of circular bamboo-effect bars which serve all the way around with plastic chairs set up around the outside. Explore the area and find your favourite hangout. The bar staff will do all that they can to hang onto your custom so you can always enquire about their drinks deals.
Our personal favourite is Dizzy Bar. You’ll recognise it thanks to the bright pink seats and excitable staff. Go find it and tell them that Bodega sent you!
Maybe consider a bottle of Sangsom…
Embrace the party atmosphere and go have some drinks. If you really want to save your cash but are full of cheap, local lager then move onto the Thai whiskey on offer. Enjoying a bottle of Sangsom with friends is a Thai rite of passage and one you’ll certainly know about the next day. Plus it’s probably the cheapest way to get blackout drunk in Thailand…just sayin’.