So after searching for some airfare and looking at work schedules it looks like I've got a decision to make. I was originally planning to visit for approx 5 weeks in mid July - mid Aug... Now considering April 19-May 22 as well.
Can anyone think of any advantages/disadvantages to either time? Weather, prices, festivals, etc?
Was looking to visit some beaches and islands on the gulf side (possibly Phuket, etc to the west dependant on weather of course), then back up to Angkor Wat, through to Saigon and fly back to bangkok a day or two before departure.
#1 Drew84 has been a member since 6/7/2011. Posts: 36
Can't tell you about Saigon and Ankor weather.
Southern Gulf: mid July - mid August excellent.
Late April - late May, pretty good (check travelfish's excellent interactive weather map, I think there might be a slight spike in rainfall in that period - not that that would worry me, a person travels a lot in full wet season and has always got enough sun for a good beach holiday).
Andaman: mid July - mid August is wet season but note my comments re wet season trips above. You mention prices - get some pretty good discounts this time of year in the Andaman, particularly in the midrange and better. You can end up with a real nice aircon room, pool, inclusive breakfast etc for the price of a backpacker joint in high season.
Late April - late May: this is shoulder season in the Andaman. Recent shoulder seasons have been iffy weather wise, but from what I understand we are entering a new El Nino dry phase - I'm a weather nerd and genuinely believe the next few seasons will be drier than normal: certainly the early shoulder season trip I did in 2012 was better than immediate previous years.
PRICES? - well April May is not regarded as high season in the southern Gulf whereas July-August is. And in the Andaman April-May usually sees places discounting.
Okay, so what's the bottom line? I favour April-May slightly, but would not worry about a July-August trip. Once again this is for Thailand only.
I'm not a festival person so can't help you there.
by 19/4 the mayhem after Songkran should have finished-anyway its not very big in the sotuh.
AIRfare (but you did not say from where!!) should be much less in april may-thats dead low season and near high (at least from EUR and US) in july.
Local prices for sleep and eat low-budget are so cheap that they do not really differ much between low/hi seasons.
#3 captainbkk has been a member since 16/2/2012. Posts: 472