Am I more likely to get a better deal if I just turn up a guesthouse rather than booking off somewhere like hostelbookers?
#1 dannywh89 has been a member since 8/3/2013. Posts: 1
here we go again:
1. the tipical real guesthse is NOT on h-bookers/world or whatever. Why should they anyway?
2.they have fixed prices (vary per type of room) so low that any possible discount is worth cents- no need to wriggle about that at all
3.tipically the unknown newbie (and there are 1000s this time more here in BKK as last year- its nearly every day now ''town full''-like many years ago) tends to think s/he has to reserve-ignorant of rule . Thus they choose-in their firm ignorant belief- those places from HW that offer dormbeds at prices 3/4 times as much as your own prison-cell lookalike room in the tipical old-style guesthse.
4.another interesting feature of this is, that the old way ''just go to KhaoSarn and youll find something'' is now for many history. All over this traffic-jammed enormous town are hoStels springing up (like a giant new one on the Vict.Monument-busfumes 24 hrs garanteed!) with those newbees, not knowing anything about how TH works- bewildered-as are the usual foodstands etc around it at those half naked (they do not even have enough money to get properly dressed?) youngsters. Plus the problems in getting there-hided in some sidesubsoi, not easy for a taxi to find. But there is now googleplusmaps-indispensible to even find those places.
#2 captainbkk has been a member since 16/2/2012. Posts: 472
Depends on (in no particular order):
1) The location
2) The season
3) The guesthouse
4) How desirable you are as a guest (I don't mean does the receptionist think you are hot, but if they want a person like you to stay)
5) Your bargaining ability
The fact that the vast majority of the cheapest places in Southeast Asia cannot be booked online.
So, in answer to your question, it is a crapshoot.
Though generally speaking, at the budget end you're never going to save all that much even if the cheaper price is online. (I've written about this before here).
Booking online is handy if you are set on a particular property or are heading somewhere in super peak season (eg Ko Phi Phi or Haad Rin Beach) and don't want to spend half the day shlepping it to find a room, but if your primary goal is to get the cheapest rooms available at the budget backpacker end of the market, you mostly won't find them online.
At the midrange and up market, it's a different story, but as you sound to be aimed at cheapies, I've tailored the answer to that.
I noticed recently that when booking ahead for mid-range in Cambodia the Agoda price was cheaper than the one you'd pay on arrival. Also, like Somtam says, if you've got your heart set on a place, you might as well book ahead if you know you'll be there on that day.
I don't and never will pay in advance for a place I have never seen. Showing up gets me the best deals. Although I do often call the guesthouse the day before, say I'm showing up & they save me a room, like today at BLISSFUL in Kampot, when I arrived it was full, but I had a room for $6 w/private bathroom.