In hot climates, a cold beer is a wonderful thing and Thailand is no exception. Drinking in Thailand is typically an enjoyable experience filled with old and new friends, laughter, and most importantly food.
But before hitting the bars or stocking up the fridge, here are a few things you should know.
Local Thai Beer
There are three main local Thai beers; Leo, Chang, and Singha, all available in small and large cans or bottles (330ml & 640ml). None of them prize-winners but are perfect after an afternoon at the beach or to cool down a spicy Thai dish.
Other commonly found beers in Thailand are San Miguel, Tiger, Heineken, and my personal favorite, Beer Lao. All can be found in most supermarkets and convenience stores.
Some examples of supermarket prices: 45 THB for a small 330ml bottle of Asahi or Budweiser and 219 THB for a large 650ml bottle of Hoegaarden Beer.
As Phuket’s popularity has grown so has it’s supply and variety of imported wine.
Though be prepared to pay a premium as Thailand’s import tax can be as high as 60% for wine and alcohol.
For the harder stuff, great selections of imported whiskey, vodka, and rum can be found at Villa Market and Tops Central Festival. But as previously mentioned, due to the heavy import tax, imported alcohol does come at a steep price in Thailand.
Smaller selections can also be found at all supermarkets and convenience stores such as Big C, Tesco Lotus, and 7/11’s. You will typically find brands such as Johnnie Walker, Bacardi, Absolut, and local brands including Sangsom rum and Hong Thong whiskey.
Typical Drink Prices
Like every tourist area, you will be paying more for your surroundings and there is a huge variation in prices depending on where you are on the island. Expect to pay more in developed areas like Patong, upscale restaurants, hotels, and beach clubs, less at independent restaurants and bars, and less still at small Thai roadside restaurants.
Use below as a rough idea of Phuket’s drink prices;
At a casual beach restaurant or bar expect to pay between 80 – 120 THB for a small bottle of local beer (Singha, Chang, or Leo) and approximately 40 THB at a 7/11.
For cocktails, prices vary greatly but expect to pay anywhere between 180 – 250 THB at casual bars and at upscale hotels or beach clubs, plan to pay 350 THB and up.
A great option during lunch at the beach with most restaurants having a few options to choose from. A fruit shake will usually cost between 80 – 100 THB. Coconut, watermelon, and banana are our favorites.
Supermarket Drinks Prices
|Drink||Brand / Size||THB||USD||Euro|
|1.5 litre bottle|
|Soda Water||325ml bottle||8||0.25||0.21|
|Beer (Bottle)||Leo / 330ml||35||1.15||0.95|
|Tiger / 330ml||37||1.20||1|
|Chang / 320ml||40||1.30||1.1|
|Rum||Sangsom / 700ml||309||10||8.4|
|Bacardi White Rum / 750ml||769||25||20.95|
|Captain Morgan / 700ml||399||12.95||10.9|
|Vodka||Absolut / 700ml||779||25.3||21.2|
|Smirnoff / 700ml||599||19.4||16.3|
|Gilby’s / 700ml||366||11.9||10|
|Ciroc / 700ml||1,949||63.35||53.1|
|Whiskey||Mekhong / 700ml||445||14.45||12.1|
|100 Pipers / 700ml||399||12.95||10.9|
|Jim Beam / 750ml||659||21.40||17.95|
|Gentleman Jack / 750||1,559||50.60||42.5|
|Red Wine||Jacob’s Creek Shiraz / 750ml||595||19.3||16.2|
|White Wine||Wolf Bass Chardonnay / 750ml||899||29.2||24.5|
|Rosé||Jacob’s Creek Le Petit Rose / 750ml||675||21.9||18.4|
Frequently Asked Questions
When can you buy alcohol in Thailand?
In supermarkets and convenience stores you can only buy alcohol between the hours of 11 am – 2 pm & 5 pm – 12 am (midnight). These include; Big C, Tesco, Villa Market, and 7-11’s.
This rule doesn’t apply to buying and drinking in bars and restaurants.
Alcohol is also not permitted to be sold during Thai national holidays, religious days, and general elections. These bans are usually between 1 – 2 days.
How much alcohol can I bring in to Thailand?
Each person is limited to 1 liter of any alcoholic beverage, including beer and wine. Anything over will be confiscated at customs.
You can also buy alcohol from duty free but you are also limited to 1 bottle per person.
Can you drink in public in Thailand?
Yes, it is legal to drink in public places such as the street or on a beach. However, under Thai law, it is forbidden to consume alcohol in places such as; public parks, temples, hospitals, gas stations, and educational institutions.
What is the legal drinking age in Thailand?
The legal drinking age in Thailand is 20 years old. Though bars and nightclubs rarely check tourists I.D.