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Accomodation in Thailand in November - book before trip or on arrival?

  • scythemk

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd September, 2010
    Posts: 23

    I'm also curious about this question in Southeast Asia in general. I will be in Thailand at a minimum from Nov 14th to Nov 21st, and then in Cambodia and Vietnam until December 4th. I know December marks the start of the peak season for most of Thailand, so I was wondering whether I needed to pre-book any accomodations.
    I've never travelled in Asia but in Europe it seemed like it was almost necessary to pre-book rooms travelling during the summer season. On the other hand, people I know that have gone to SE Asia tell me you can just show up and get a room in most places.
    So what's the general opinion on this? I'll be staying in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket (or maybe Ko Phi Phi). I don't have a firm budget, but will be getting doubles since I'm travelling with a friend. Something under 1000B would be nice I suppose, although I am certainly not above trying cheaper accomodations.

    #1 Posted: 15/9/2010 - 22:25

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  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
    Joined Travelfish
    21st April, 2006
    Location Canada
    Posts: 1478
    Total reviews: 15
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    At least 113

    I will book a room for my arrival day in Bangkok and, possibly, for the night before I leave. This is because I usually arrive and leave during the busy time of the year.

    As for in between arrival and departure, it depends on a few things like where you are going, when you are going, when you are arriving, whether-or-not you have your heart set on a particular place, and whether-or-not you are traveling on a firm schedule. For the most part, though, you won't need to book in advance. For Phi Phi, though, you might consider it.

    If you are going back to Bangkok on December 4th or 5th, you should try to have your transportation sorted out well in advance as the 5th is the King's birthday and Bangkok becomes an absolute madhouse.

    #2 Posted: 15/9/2010 - 22:40

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2583
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    At least 98

    i pretty much do it exactly the same way as Tilapia too. book your first night arriving after the long-haul flight, and book ahead for places you really really want to stay. but apart from that, just wander up and pick from what is available. it won't hurt to do a bit of research ahead of time to learn what range of places are available and what you can expect to pay, but given your fairly generous accommodation budget, it sounds like you should be fine. cheers.

    #3 Posted: 16/9/2010 - 04:43

  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1331
    Total reviews: 61

    Your period in Thailand is shoulder season - no need to book except as said on arrival and maybe popular places like PP and Railay IF you are after a specific property.

    #4 Posted: 16/9/2010 - 16:08

  • Sparts

    Joined Travelfish
    5th June, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 167
    Places visited:
    At least 17

    Have I got this right, you are in Thailand for 7 days but are doing Bangkok, Chaing Mai and Phuket?!
    Sounds a bit ambitious to me.
    Never travelled at that time of year, which is clearly the high season. However, When I've been in July we only booked first 2 nights in BKK. Everything else we picked ont he way. Chaing Mai was a bit of a problem though.
    If I was in any place for a short length of time I'd book ahead. I think the benefits of doing that rather than spending potentially hours trying to find accomodation in your price range are far greater than potentially saving a coulpe of hundred bhat. Especially as your time in Thailand is limited and yet you are going to many places.

    #5 Posted: 16/9/2010 - 18:25

  • scythemk

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd September, 2010
    Posts: 23

    Thank you all for the advice.

    #6 Posted: 18/9/2010 - 08:50

  • Captain_Bob

    Click here to learn more about Captain_Bob
    Joined Travelfish
    27th May, 2006
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 1790

    At the under-1000b level I doubt you'd be able to book anything in advance. Anyway November is generally not all that busy and even December is not busy up north. Chiang Mai has been quite dead the last few Decembers in fact. Mostly Thai tourists who tend to stay in the tacky Chinese-style tinted glass hotels. Tons of guesthouse rooms available well under 1000b.

    Thailand at a minimum from Nov 14th to Nov 21st, and then in Cambodia and Vietnam until December 4th

    Wait a sec, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket (and/or Phi Phi) all in 7 days? Yikes!

    #7 Posted: 18/9/2010 - 13:46

  • scythemk

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd September, 2010
    Posts: 23

    Haha, I stretched my vacation a little bit so it's now up to 9 days (still all too aware it's painfully rushed).
    2 nights/1.5 days in Bangkok.
    3 nights/ 4 days in Chiang Mai.
    4 nights/3.5 days in Phuket (or maybe Ko Phi Phi)
    I know it's rushed and I'm especially worried I'm not devoting enough time to see BKK, especially since it's my point of entry for the trip and I'll probably be jetlagged the first day.
    Thanks for the detailed tips, Captain_Bob. I recall reading that you ran a guesthouse in CM with a link on an old forum post, I'll be sure to check it out.

    #8 Posted: 19/9/2010 - 02:38

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