Money Saving Tips

Everyone wants to get the best value from their hard-earned cash while on holiday, and although it can be fun to splurge on some luxury items and experiences, there are many things you can do to reduce unnecessary expenses during your stay. Here are our top ten money saving tips for Koh Tao… 

  1. Use ATMs wisely

There are several banks and ATMs on Koh Tao, but all of them will charge a withdrawal fee in addition to the fee your bank at home imposes for overseas withdrawals. So always be aware of your daily limit and the current exchange rate, and make large withdrawals to avoid unnecessary fees for smaller transactions.

2. Eat street food or at local Thai restaurants

Mae Haad and Sairee both have street stalls that open up in the late afternoon and serve throughout the evening. Street stalls are a great way to eat authentic Thai snacks at a rock bottom price. Alternatively, eat in a local Thai restaurant where you’ll get way more for your money than at western eateries.

3. Visit free attractions

Many of Koh Taos beat beaches and bays are free to visit, and so are some of the viewpoints and viewpoint bars. It’s even free to visit most of the temples and holy sites around Koh Tao, although donations are generally appreciated. 

4. Get free water refills

Being environmentally conscious can save you money as well as giving you the feel-good factor! If you don’t already have your own reusable mug or water bottle, you can buy a metal ‘Trash Hero’ bottle from one of many shops or dive centres on the island. Once you have one of these, you are entitled to free water refills from any participating businesses (which are listed on the side of the bottle).

5. Be economic with transport 

Taxis are readily available on Koh Tao but are not good value. So the best advice is to share a cab or longtail water taxi, walk if it’s possible, or rent a scooter at a fixed daily rate.

6. Rent weekly 

There is much to see and many activities awaiting you on Koh Tao, so filling a week here is not a hardship. Most landlords and accommodation providers will give you a much better deal on weekly rental as opposed to paying nightly. 

7. Max out on happy hours

Many of the bars and restaurants on Koh Tao have happy hour specials for drinks and food, so be sure to take advantage of these whenever you can. 

8. Use free Wi-Fi

Most businesses on Koh Tao have free Wi-Fi for their customers, so whenever you are in a dive centre, shop, restaurant, or bar, be sure to connect to save your data for when you’re not near any shops and services.

9. Be a savvy shopper

This may mean visiting more than one store to meet all of your needs, but it’s worth the effort. For example, Pharmacies are great for over the counter prescription items, but will generally always be more expensive than supermarkets and local stores for common products and first aid supplies. Similarly, some of the supermarkets are excellent value for everyday foodstuffs, but you may need to visit a fresh market to get the best deal on groceries. 

10. Stay In 

Nights out are one of the biggest expenses for tourists visiting Koh Tao. With an excellent party scene including event nights, Koh Tao Pub Crawl, and many late-night bars, Koh Tao nightlife is buzzing. You don’t need to go out every night though. Most hostels and dive schools have an awesome social scene of their own, so you can save quite a bit of money by buying your own alcohol and staying in to socialise a couple of nights a week.

Street Food Koh Tao
Street Food Koh Tao