Accommodation Cost on Koh Tao
Accommodation cost on Koh Tao will depend on what is available and what kind of luxuries you need. The cheapest per night rate you can find is about 400 baht (excluding dorms). If you are planning to stay longer, there are quite a lot of “long term” accommodation options available. They are usually charged to you on a monthly basis. The basic accommodation in the form of a bungalow starts from about 7000 baht per month which will most likely have a cold water shower and fan only. If you would like a hot water shower, air conditioning and a fridge, you would be looking at places starting from about 10000 baht per month. It is generally cheaper to live in Mae Haad and Chalok compared to Sairee. Sairee is where most of the partying happens with its array of restaurants and bars. There are cheaper places further away from Sairee beach, however you will either need a bike or be willing to walk quite a bit…up-hill.
Another important factor to consider when choosing accommodation, is whether utilities are included in the monthly price or not. Make sure you clarify this with the owner. Some places will charge you for water and electricity at the end of the month depending on usage. Some places will offer WiFi included in the rent price, others will offer internet for a monthly charge. If you want reliable internet, I would suggest you get Koh Tao WiFi, which is available on most parts of the island and costs 1000 baht per month. Make sure you check that you can get a strong signal at your place first.
Food and Drink Cost on Koh Tao
In terms of food and drink, prices are higher on the island than on the mainland. You will not be able to find a noodle soup here for 25 baht. Expect to pay over 60 baht for a dish, and another 15 baht for rice. Surprisingly, there is a lot of “Western food” on the island that caters to tourists, some good, some not so good, and these will set you back around 150-250 baht a dish.
Beer is around 60-80 baht for a standard bottle at a restaurant or bar. Grocery stores, 7-Elevens and mini-marts will sell longnecks (nearly double the beer) for around the same price.
7-Elevens are everywhere in Thailand, and unsurprisingly, the cost of goods is higher on Koh Tao than on the mainland. A 1.5L bottle of water is 14 baht on the mainland, but 20 baht on Koh Tao. This makes a difference when you drink at least two of these bottles a day, so we bulk-buy water.
To live comfortably, we budget about 500 baht per person per day for food and drink.