My wife and I are starting a trip round South East Asia in late November.
Idea so far is:
Fly to Bangkok.
A few days at the beach.
Back to B'kok and then up to Chiang Mai and the north.
On to Laos, Luang Prabang and Vientiene.
Fly to Saigon, spend a few days.
Then on to Phu Quok and have Christmas there.
Our preference is to be flexible, to stay longer in places if we like it. (We think this may be especially the case in Laos)
However, we wonder whether it is a good idea to have certain things booked. eg. the flight from Vientiene to Saigon; accommodation in Phu Quoc, sleeper trains in Thailand.
What do you think ? Do flights and accommodation get booked up around Christmas ? Do they get more expensive ? Or can we relax a little ?
I would lean towards booking your accommodation on Phu Quoc -- no real need anywhere else (assuming you're flexible and don't mind checking a couple of places). If you're flying to Phu Quoc, I'd book that too.
To Somtam's response I would add that you should book ahead of time in Vientiane, as well. It gets very busy around that time and places fill-up quickly. That's not just coming from me, but from my friends who have lived there for about 13 years.
If you're arriving in Luang Prabang near Christmas or New Year's (but it seems you're planning to be in Phu Quoc by then) then I'd recommend booking your flight in/out early. This year even though tourist numbers were down compared to previous years, LP still got a nice injection of merry makers for the holidays.
BTW, fyi, those flights between Vientiane and HCMC are quite expensive. so keep an eye out for any new flight routes that might be coming up.
Oh, and Hmong New Year usually falls sometime in early to late December and well worth observing at 2 venues just outside of Luang Prabang. But there are also many Hmong villages in northern Laos where they celebrate too, though not necessarily all during the same time--even sometimes weeks apart. The celebrations just outside of LP's city limits are very localized events and Hmongs throughout the province flock into LP for the festivities which lasts about a week or so.
#4 seagypsy has been a member since 5/2/2009. Posts: 136
Thanks for the responses. We decided it was best to do some booking and have therefore booked the flight from Vientiane to HCMC and another to Phu Quoc. Also, booked accommodation on Phu Quoc.
Got the Vientiane to HCMC for £105, which though not cheap, is OK on what seems to be an expensive route. The flight goes via Phnom Penh . Interestingly, if you only fly to Phnom Penh from Vientiane it costs something like £175. I guess that as the airline is Vietnamese Airlines they don't want you spending your money in Cambodia !