Saturday, 15 March 2014

Money saving tips (3): free drinking water in Thai restaurants

Money saving tips (3): free drinking water in Thai restaurants

Most Thai restaurants have free drinking water for their customers. It's easy to recognize: there are pitchers with water on the table and/or a container for ice and cups and straws are in the restaurant. Sometimes it's just the container with ice water and no pitcher. These are often labelled in Thai: free drinking water, self service. In addition, these places provided other beverage and often bottled water as well (if you feel hi-so, or for tourists they might assume you prefer bottled water). Sometimes it's thin tea (or just tea leaves in cold water?) instead of pure water.

My average meal in a Thai restaurant costs 40 Baht, which means I pay less for the full meal than others pay for drink alone.

(In France it is similar, you can get free tap water with your meal.)

Copyright 2014 ChristianPFC


  1. nothing wrong with drinking water but like in all tropical countries I'd not recommend this tip to newcomers as body needs some time to adjust to bacterial flora of different environment, the same goes with milk products.

    You live in Thailand long enough not to have any side effects.

    My opinion is absolutely unbiased as I don't drink water at all.

    1. At those eating places its often not totally free; you have to order a cup with ice to drink from-thats 1 or 2 bt.
      At foodcourts of TescoLotus or BigC most have also filter water machines-some are icey. Thats free and one often sees people filling up their bottles there.
      In this area most meals are 35 bt now (seafood cost more), but there are still many soupey noodles stands for 30 bt-and there is a very old -midday only, bami soup stand for 10 bt (with meat 20 bt.).
      Some of the fresh meals at 7-11 are quite good-cost from 30-40 bt, microwave heating is free and you also get spoons/forks for free.
      In most local areas of BKK and most Thai cities you see these water machines- 1bt for 1 or 1,5 ltr-you can stop them to fill small bottles and then next. Quality varies.


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