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Transport (bus and train) on Christmas and New Years Day

  • jamiemcl

    Joined Travelfish
    30th August, 2009
    Posts: 5

    Hi all,

    First of all, I think this site is awesome! It has helped my hours and hours of research to create an itinerary as I will be travelling by myself for two months.
    Originally I booked only for a tour 21 Nov - 20 Dec 2009, but have decided since (largely reading sites like this) to add on an extra three weeks to go off and roam on my own (having saved for months on end, and having a break in the middle of university studies).

    First, I have put together an itinerary I am happy with, though it could be great if anyone has an critiques/suggestions (I have trolled through pages and pages of people asking this question to build my own, so apologies for the repetition)

    My tour trip covers Angko Wat - Siem Reap - Sihanoukville - Chau Doc - Ho Chi Minh City - Nha Trang - Hoi An - Hue - Halong - Hanoi - Lao Sao - Vientiane - Vang Vieng - Luang Prabang - Chiang Khong - Chiang Mai .
    The tour actually finishes in Bangkok, but I requested that I finish in Chiang Mai so I could work my own way down to Bangkok (rather than taking the night bus all the way down just to come back up).

    I have specifically chosen to just travel Thailand, as I think I will be back within a couple years to properly do Cambodia and Vietnam.

    From here: (dates refer to the nights I plan to stay)

    19,20,21 Dec: Chiang Mai

    22, 23,24 Dec: Pai or possible going further up to Soppong

    24th plan to travel down to Sukhothai and spend the nights of 25th and 26th here

    Passing through Lopburi on the 27th(I realy do want to see those infamous monkeys), arrive in Ayutthaya to stay for the 27th and 28th of Dec

    Now here I am debating whether or not to go straight to Kanchanaburi , or to spend New Years in Bangkok. While I don't really care about New Years much, I am 20 year old girl so would like to celebrate somehow (though avoiding the Full Moon Party which most people my age are doing i guess) so would there be any celebrations in Kanchanaburi at all? This doesn't weigh heavily on my plans of where to go, more looking for advice and as an inquiry of what to expect.
    That would make the two options:
    a) Bangkok 29, 30, 31,1 then to Kanchanaburi 2,3,4,5. I would have to come back to Bangkok to fly down to Phuket 6,7,8,9(token tag on of the last few days)
    b) Kanchanaburi 29,30,31,1 to Bangkok 2,3,4,5 to Phuket 6,7,8,9

    Flying back to Bangkok 10th, to fly out 11th Jan.


    Second question: I can't avoid going in the peak season, as work/study means this is the only time I get off.. Thus should I book accomodation in advance? Definately plan to book the night I arrive in Bangkok (before meeting the tour group the next day), and the last night before flying back home, and of course Phuket - but should I also book Chiang Mai/Kanchanaburi 'just in case'??

    And (last question, I promise) does the transport - buses and trains - run as normal Christmas and New Years Day? Just in case I change my mind in the spur of the moment will the buses be running?

    Thanks in advance, sorry for the hugely long message!
    JM

    #1 Posted: 30/8/2009 - 17:37

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  • jamiemcl

    Joined Travelfish
    30th August, 2009
    Posts: 5

    *as I will be travelling by myself for two months
    - sorry, misleading, travelling with a tour for 30 days and then three weeks on my own

    #2 Posted: 30/8/2009 - 17:39

  • somtam2000

    admin
    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7056
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    Welcome to Travelfish jamie -- glad to hear you've found the site useful!

    For New Years -- there will be parties everywhere -- if you're not too fussed about it, I'd be inclined to have it in Kanchanaburi where, given you'll be there a few days before hand, you should be able to meet up with some other travellers and make your own party of it -- you know a few drinks on a floating rafthouse veranda with your feet in the river -- or, well that's what I'd do anyway! If you prefer something big, I'd def head back to Bangkok -- loads of big parties there.

    Booking first and last night is a good idea -- Sukhothai will be busy at Xmas, though perhaps not bursting at the seams, but Kanchanaburi could be very busy. I'd be inclined to not book either, but if you really wanted to be sure of a good room, I'm consider reserving for New Years...

    Yes, transport will be running as normal.

    More questions, ask away!

    #3 Posted: 30/8/2009 - 18:36

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    JM

    You wrote...

    "so would there be any celebrations in Kanchanaburi at all? This doesn't weigh heavily on my plans of where to go, more looking for advice and as an inquiry of what to expect."


    Without having been everywhere and experienced all.. Let me say that where ever there are westerners, there will be some sort of NYE party. That said, Kanchanaburi probably won't be the 1st choice for party central type westerners. The issue probably is more What sort of celebration do YOU want for NYE?.

    My hunch is that at GH's, those that are there will party, but it won't be a mad-cap adventure.

    Again, you wrote...

    "Second question: I can't avoid going in the peak season, as work/study means this is the only time I get off.. Thus should I book accomodation in advance? Definately plan to book the night I arrive in Bangkok (before meeting the tour group the next day), and the last night before flying back home, and of course Phuket - but should I also book Chiang Mai /Kanchanaburi 'just in case'??
    "


    My gut feeling is that booking WILL be necessary for those places that attract end-of-year tourists, like Sthn Thailand, etc. I doubt that Kanchanaburi will be heavily booked, and I'd be surprised if Chiang Mai is under pressure (not because of the season, but because of the GFC).

    I'm hoping your journey doesn't include Phuket as such, but somewhere in that region. You'll pay more over the nest for pre-booking, but will be happy that you've secured accommodation (rather than beg for a bed).

    and "And (last question, I promise) does the transport - buses and trains - run as normal Christmas and New Years Day? Just in case I change my mind in the spur of the moment will the buses be running?.

    Yes. Remember, you will be in SE Asia, where routines generally flow every day/week/year - except when there is a SE Asian holiday (and western NYE isn't part of their holiday agenda).

    Cheers

    #4 Posted: 30/8/2009 - 18:57

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    sorry

    "You'll pay more over the nest for pre-booking, but will be happy that you've secured accommodation (rather than beg for a bed)."

    Should have been...

    You'll pay more over the nest net for pre-booking, but will be happy that you've secured accommodation (rather than beg for a bed).

    Cheers

    #5 Posted: 30/8/2009 - 19:00

  • somtam2000

    admin
    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7056
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    On that last point by BruceMoon, (walk-in being cheaper than booking online), that's often not the case and is very dependent on the standard (price) of accommodation you're looking for.

    This is especially the case on Phuket , where you'll often find walkin rates to be the priciest, followed by the hotel website and with the resellers to have the cheapest rates.

    Example reseller sites include:
    Sawasdee on Phuket(cheapest at bottom of list)
    Wotif
    www.latestays.com
    www.agoda.com

    But there are LOADS of other reseller websites out there.

    Yes there are exceptions to this, especially in the cheapie budget places (most of which don't have an online presence anyway, making it moot), so it is dependent on what you're looking to pay... but personally, Phuket early Jan, I'd definitely be looking at booking online unless you're looking at the very budget end of the market (in which case I'd get into town early!)

    Cheers

    #6 Posted: 30/8/2009 - 19:36

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    somtam2000, who ever you are...

    I wrote...

    "My gut feeling is that booking WILL be necessary for those places that attract end-of-year tourists, like Sthn Thailand

    I didn't say, or infer...

    "On that last point by BruceMoon, (walk-in being cheaper than booking online), that's often not the case and is very dependent on the standard (price) of accommodation you're looking for.

    Please respect what I wrote, not what you want to hope/think/emote/suggest/whatever I wrote.

    :(

    #7 Posted: 30/8/2009 - 19:54

  • somtam2000

    admin
    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7056
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    Bruce,

    You said in #4 above:

    "You'll pay more over the nest for pre-booking, but will be happy that you've secured accommodation (rather than beg for a bed)."

    Then you corrected it in #5 to say:
    "You'll pay more over the net for pre-booking, but will be happy that you've secured accommodation (rather than beg for a bed)."

    I assumed that with the above you meant that prebooking over the internet will cost more. That is what I commented on. But perhaps the "net" you were talking about wasn't the internet but some other net -- in which case I apologise.

    #8 Posted: 30/8/2009 - 20:11

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