Me and three friends are heading to thailand for dec and jan and wanted to know from someone with experience if we should book accomodation on koh samui and phi phi whilst passing through or just find a place to stay when we get there
#1 AndrewE has been a member since 12/9/2010. Posts: 1
Generally you can wing it. Only exception might be if you plan to be on Phi Phi during Christmas or NYE as the island can be almost booked solid. Otherwise you'll find some kind of room or bungalow just about anywhere after a bit of searching on the ground. Anyway the places that even take pre-bookings tend to be in the 2000b+ range whereas there's plenty of cheaper digs relying on daily walk-ins. Ko Lanta and East Railay/Tonsai are slightly cheaper alternatives to Phi Phi in peak season. Scores of lesser-known islands too of course.
the only reason i'd book ahead is if i were arriving very late at night and wanted to have a place i could get to quickly and easily (in which case i'd only book one night anyway and have a look around the next morning) or if there were a specific place i wanted to stay (like Lamai Wanta on Samui or something like that). otherwise, i'd just wing it like Captain Bob says too.
Early-mid Dec no problems. But if I wanted a SPECIFIC place late Dec thru Jan I'd book. Otherwise I'd wing it too. Don't be afraid of using touts at the piers and on the ferries - they can show you pix, you can negotiate them down (esp on ferries where there are heaps of time) and they can often lay on free or cheap transport from the pier.