Enjoy an exotic Thai treat at a price that won't break the bank
With average flight times of 11 hours from the UK to Thailand, you’ve got just enough time to take a nap, read a few chapters of your newest book and watch a film before arriving for a holiday of a lifetime.
Krabi is one of the most popular spots in Thailand, no doubt thanks in part to the fact that it’s idyllic Koh Phi Phi Island was setting for the iconic 2000 film, The Beach. Limestone cliffs, paradise beaches and traditional fishing boats conjure up a picture-postcard setting for envy-inspiring selfies.
For a chilled-out vibe and jaw-dropping natural beauty, Khao Lak holidays are hard to beat. Calm waters make it a great place for families while couples and groups of friends can enjoy a relaxed nightlife, live music venues and mountain-perched Buddhist temples.
Once a mecca for backpackers, Phuket is now one of Thailand’s hottest resorts, mixing lively towns with historic sights. However, with average daily temperatures of 30°C and outstanding beaches many visitors can’t bear to tear themselves away from the dazzling shores.
Affordable holidays are possible throughout the year, though the cheapest months are during the rainy season which falls between March and September, with temperatures of around 29°C despite the chance of the odd shower.
Cheap days out in Thailand
Ao Nang boasts one of Krabi’s most spectacular beaches, and it’s also great for watersports for those wishing to do a spot of underwater exploration.
Try out diving or do it cheaply by donning a snorkel and having a peek at the rainbow of brightly coloured fish below. The scenery is incredible and the Thung Theo Forest Natural Park is the place to go for nature walks – you might even spot some rare plants and birdlife.
Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park, a vast nature reserve, is also top of attractions. Waterfalls and mangroves provide stunning backdrops for exploration and hiking. Less than an hour’s drive away is Ban Niang market. A day here is an event in itself with a kaleidoscope of colourful stalls selling cheap local delicacies, souvenirs and more.
Away from the beaches in Phuket are a wealth of treasures waiting to be explored. The city – with its bars, shops and nightlife – is a must-see. Meanwhile the seaside natural park of Saphan Hin is definitely one to add to your list for the Ton Sai Waterfall – the impressive natural jewel in all its glory.
Other cheap holidays to take a look at
If you’re not decided yet, there are plenty of cheap destinations to mull over.
For somewhere a little closer to home, the Canary Islands may appeal. Or, for sightseeing and beach life Goa offers a good holiday balance. For historic treasures and fascinating cities the Caribbean could be the ideal venue.
But, if Thailand has won your heart, take a look at our travel guide for top tips on a cheap holiday break. Here are a few affordable hotel options to get you started.
Caribbean | Costa Rica
Guests at the Apasari Hotel Krabi can walk to the beach and Ao Nang's main street in just 15 minutes to explore a range of inexpensive cafes and shops.
The hotel has a number of facilities to enjoy including an attractive pool, sunloungers and a restaurant. Free Wi-Fi is available in public areas and there's a small pool for children.
Situated enticingly on Pakarang Beach the Apsaras Beach Resort has a lot to offer.
Two restaurants and beach bar serve food and cocktails. There's a gym for guests who like to keep active as well as a library with books and DVDs. The three pools, one of which is an infinity pool, offer plenty of opportunity for swimming, sunbathing and relaxation.
With its clifftop setting and great views, the Pullman Phuket Arcadia offers a stylish retreat and close proximity to the resort centre. There's a bus stop just a short walk from the hotel so inexpensive days out are on the agenda for adventurous travellers.
Two swimming pools and two pool bars are on-site, plus the beach is close by for those who want to hear the waves lap the shores. Activities are numerous and include yoga, aqua aerobics, Pilates and water Tai Chi.
The Arinara Bangtao Beach Resort, just footsteps from the sands, offers a choice of pools with sunbeds, parasols and loungers.
There are a few bars for refreshments as well as a choice of buffet or a la carte dining. Those who like to take a break from sunbathing can play table tennis, pool or darts. The hotel team provide entertainment day and night, including shows and games.