Want to find cheap things to do in Thailand that will make your holiday perfect? Then look no further.

Finding cheap things to do in Thailand can be trickier than it sounds. If you’re a student then you’ll definitely want to have fun, but you’ll want to do so on a budget! Here’s our guide to the best fun things you can do in Thailand without breaking the bank.

1. Head to the markets

cheap things to do in Thailand - markets

If you’re looking to experience a shopping culture that’s very different from what you’re used to here in the UK (queuing, unexpected items in the bagging area, that sort of thing) then head to the markets of Phuket or Bangkok. There are a ridiculous amount of markets, from streets packed with stalls to huge hangars filled with everything under the sun, to the infamous and brightly coloured night markets. Bangkok’s Chinatown is particularly renowned - check out Old Siam Plaza and Itsaraphap Lane.

2. Have a nose around the museums

cheap things to do in Thailand - museums

Thailand’s rich history and cultural heritage means that there are lots of museums to check out. Most museums are pretty affordable, and there’s a huge range to choose from. Take a peek at the Jim Thompson House, once owned by James H.W. Thompson, an American entrepreneur who lived in Bangkok for 25 years until his disappearance in 1967. If you’re interested in traditional Thai history, then head to the Kamthieng House museum. This 1848 Thai house has been painstakingly restored and relocated by the Siam Society, who aim to preserve traditional Thai culture in the face of Westernisation and the threats that tourism brings with it.

3. Embrace the street food

cheap things to do in Thailand - street food

Instead of spending money in expensive tourist-trap restaurants, head away from the more popular areas of any town or city and look for authentic street food instead. Have a look at what the locals are eating, or ask them for recommendations, and you’ll be bound to find some delicious meals that are well within your price range whilst being delicious at the same time. See if you can pick up some cooking tips while you’re at it, then impress your housemates with an authentic Thai green curry when you get back. Also, if you plump for veggie options over meat then you’ll be sure to save a few baht.

4. Booze buckets

cheap things to do in Thailand - booze buckets   

It wouldn’t be a holiday without a few drinks. And by drinks, we mean enough alcohol to sail a small yacht on. One of Thailand's most recognisable features is the alcohol buckets full of red bull and spirits that you can buy near any major party beach. If you’re planning on going to a full moon party then you’ll definitely want to pick up one of these - although I can’t promise you that what you’ll be drinking will be the same as it says on the label (stay safe, kids).

5. Travel smart

cheap things to do in Thailand

There are numerous ways to travel around Thailand, and you’ll be sure to be harassed by many tuk-tuk drivers, each eager to overcharge you for a short journey because, hey, you’re a tourist, so what do you know about local prices? For longer distances, travel 3rd class on trains. For shorter distances you can either hire a motorbike (bit risky) or squeeze yourself and your rucksack onto a bus. Cosy!

6. Visit temples

cheap things to do in Thailand - temples

Most temples in Thailand are working temples - that’s to say that they have practicing Buddhist monks and monasteries attached. These temples are often free to look around, but it's polite (and nice) to leave a donation. So strap on those walking sandals, don a few respectful layers and have a wander around some of the most ornate and beautiful structures in the world.

7. Go snorkeling

cheap things to do in Thailand - snorkelling

If you plan in advance, then you could bring a snorkel and mask set with you. Or, if you don’t fancy lugging that halfway across the world, pick one up in one of the many markets. The sea is free, people! And if you head away from the busiest tourist spots and find yourself a nice secluded beach or two, then you’ll be sure to have an amazing snorkeling experience in the crystal-clear Thai waters. Hopefully you won’t have an experience like ‘The Beach’, which was actually filmed on Phi Phi Leh Island.

8. Get a blind massage

cheap things to do in Thailand - blind massage

OK, so this one sounds a little odd, but bear with me. Thailand is famous for its massages, but lots of the parlours you’ll find are a little out of the price range for your common or garden student. So why not head to a blind massage parlour? These professional masseuses offer excellent massages to suit a tight budget (and tight shoulders) and many people swear that they are more intuitive and therefore more highly skilled than sighted masseuses. Why not give it a go?

9. Lumpini Park

cheap things to do in Thailand - lumpini park

Get away from the hustle and bustle of the cities and markets in Lumpini Park in Bangkok. A peaceful, green haven popular with city workers, tai chi fans, local water monitor lizards and a vast variety of flora and fauna, it’s the perfect place to unwind after that massage. So pack a snack, find a quiet corner to yourself and watch the sun set.

Starting to feel that wanderlust? Then you’re in wander-luck because we’ve teamed up with budget travel gurus StudentUniverse to bring you the competition of a lifetime - you can win two return flights to Bangkok! So grab a mate (get them to enter too) and start packing those bags for the summer of a lifetime.

Find out how to enter here.

So, there you have it! The best cheap things to do in Thailand.

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