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Finding hostels or guesthouses in thailand

  • rongney

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd April, 2010
    Posts: 2

    Hi, I've been looking through a few posts which recommends booking of accomodation through online websites. However, I would like to know your views in booking them through the old way of physically walking around and finding suitable accomodations as I do not really want to restrict myself to a particular one I booked without knowing too much about it.
    Your views will be much appreciated. Thanks!

    #1 Posted: 3/4/2010 - 22:46

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  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
    Joined Travelfish
    21st April, 2006
    Location Canada
    Posts: 1425
    Total reviews: 15
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    At least 113

    This depends on when you are going to be in Thailand and when you are going to be arriving in, for example, Bangkok. If you're arriving during peak season time, and late at night, it's probably a good idea to have a place booked in advance.

    Other places that you may want to have a place sorted out in advance are some of the more popular islands and towns during high season and holidays.

    Otherwise, it shouldn't be a problem. This is how I've done things and it's always worked out.

    #2 Posted: 4/4/2010 - 01:05

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6266
    Total reviews: 10

    I agree with Tilapia.

    If you are going to arrive somewhere at O'dark thirty, it's a good idea to have a room reserved. Otherwise, just wing it.

    #3 Posted: 4/4/2010 - 02:42

  • caseyprich

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd March, 2010
    Location China
    Posts: 1218
    Total reviews: 53
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    At least 48

    agreed with above but i'd like to add a caveat : if you research places here and there is something that sounds like just what you want, just book ahead and that way you have no worries. if you just want a bed though, there are plenty almost everywhere, or if you plan a long stay that can help you keep your room/bungalow and not have to be moved around.

    though - i never like to book a long stay at a place i've never been, just in case i find something better and want to pull up stakes.

    #4 Posted: 4/4/2010 - 15:16

  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
    31st December, 2007
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 2087
    Total reviews: 20
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    I agree with the others - walking around is normally an easy way of finding somewhere to stay, although I do like to have somewhere organised if I'm arriving off a plane in one of the major cities, or if later in the day.

    The exception would be during peak travel times. I found it an absolute nightmare trying to find somewhere cheap on Koh Tao when I was there in Feb this year, and it was made worse because it coincided with dates for the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan.

    Often I would pick a place out of the TF guide and phone to secure a room a day or two ahead of my arrival date. Most places that I called ahead of time would take the booking without a deposit. At least that way, I had somewhere to go when I arrived as an option, but if looked particularly dodgey on arrival, I could always change my mind without financial penalty.

    Koh Tao was the only place that I struggled to do this. At peak time, people just told me to phone after 9.30 to see if anyone had checked out. No one would take a booking in advance!

    Buying a simcard on arrival in Thailand made contacting places very easy.

    #5 Posted: 4/4/2010 - 17:14

  • Captain_Bob

    Click here to learn more about Captain_Bob
    Joined Travelfish
    27th May, 2006
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 1583

    If you happen to be the of the lower-budget backpacker variety then there's little reason to book guesthouses (or bungalows down south) in advance. As per above comments it's sometimes nice if you have somewhere pre-arranged after the longhaul flight to Bangkok, especially if arriving late, but in most other cases you will find accommodation in any of the popular desinations with just a bit of searching on arrival. And anyway the majority of budget places don't take pre-bookings or even show up anywhere on the internet. My place in Chiang Mai for example - 100-250 baht rooms in the old city - not much point dealing with onlinebookings, as people simply walk in daily.

    #6 Posted: 5/4/2010 - 00:40

  • ms1892

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd December, 2009
    Posts: 38

    I agree. If arriving late in the day book in advance, either online or over the phone. Only ever book for one night at a time (unless its an uber busy time of year!) because its almost always best to see a room before agreeing to part with cash. Also, in my experience, people who book remotely end up with the worst rooms, so dont be afraid to insist on seeing if you can upgrade or see another after the first night.

    Finally, i have found that places which advertise online ie through hostelworld.com etc are more expensive than the actual prices you are quoted on the ground. This was something i learned from my travels in South America so i cant say for sure if it applies in SE Asia but im assuming that the more technology savvy the place, the higher the mark up.

    #7 Posted: 5/4/2010 - 06:34

  • boleslav

    Joined Travelfish
    30th August, 2009
    Posts: 84
    Total reviews: 5

    the strategy I would probably do is- read up the recommendation from the travelers, reviews on Tripadvisor, Hostelwold and such, make a note of the pre selected hostel names and then visit them in person

    #8 Posted: 7/4/2010 - 21:48

  • rongney

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd April, 2010
    Posts: 2

    thanks guys, i'm surprised everyone did it this way. Yeah, I'll take your suggestions, sounds more spontaneous and fun too. I'm thinking of going in mid May, so it should be considered the lull season, and probably not that difficult to get lodgings? And maybe I could check out places where the hostels congregate so I can pick from there. I'm just not sure if the smaller cities do have these kind of areas

    No, I'm not going to those resorts, maybe just east and north of thailand for now. I want to do some trekking rather than chill out on those beautiful beaches.

    #9 Posted: 8/4/2010 - 22:14

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