I'm looking for some advice about South Thailand in December this year. Me and my girlfriend are visiting Southeast Asia for 10 weeks and we're currently trying to work out our itinerary. We're flying to Bangkok on December 1 and between then and February 15 we're planning to travel around Thailand and visit Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Right now, at the start of our planning, we're thinking about spending the first few nights in Bangkok then travelling down to South Thailand (possibly Krabi or Phuket). From there, we're considering spending the next few weeks (and Christmas/New Year). I was under the impression that places were much cheaper down there but I guess tourism is driving prices up. We've found a few 'beach huts' for relatively cheap but the majority of places are more expensive than we were led to believe. Anyway, the places we're interested in are:
Ko Phi Phi
We're not looking to be staying in expensive hotels, quite the opposite. We're more than happy to be in lower class accommodation, especially things like beach huts.
We also looked into Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao on the East coast but we were kind of put off by things we read about weather there in December. I guess this is why we managed to find some really cheap accommodation.
Anyway, that's the basic information about part of our trip so if anyone has any advice or experience with a similar trip then please let me know as we're looking to get this itinerary sorted and book some accommodation soon. The general thing we're thinking for December is that we want to see some beautiful beaches and do some island hopping. We'll stay in as many different places as possible but, if we find something nice in advance, we'll probably stay in the same place for Christmas and New Year.
Do you think that for our trip (December 1 to February 15) that it's best to go straight down to South Thailand from Bangkok or would you recommend doing Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia first then hitting south Thailand in January?
Thanks in advance, we really appreciate it!
#1 darryl_young has been a member since 31/8/2011. Posts: 1
"I was under the impression that places were much cheaper down there but I guess tourism is driving prices up"
Southern Thailand is getting more and more expensive every year, especially the increasingly developed spots on Phuket, Phi Phi, Railay, Lanta, and Lipe. You can still find some cheaper basic huts on Lanta and Ton Sai near Railay but they are quickly disappearing in favor of re-built concrete and glass aircon units going for well over 1000 baht or more like 2-3000+ during peak season. You won't find the remaining cheap places advertised on the internet very much and no able to book in advance so you're best plan is just show up on the cheaper beaches and take time to look around and don't be picky. Ko Lanta is pretty good for that - I've just shown up right before Christmas and found a decent bungalow by following touts from the arrival pier.
You're correct the east coast islands tend to be rainy this time of year so stick with the Andaman side for better chance of sun. Check out some of the smaller less developed islands like Ko Phayam, Ko Chang (small), Ko Jum (Ko Pu) or down the Trang coast Ko Kradan, Ko Libong and maybe the Tarutao national park islands. It's just very crowded and competetive during Xmas/NY in these parts. Meanwhile up north is relatively chilled out. You might therefore go up to Chiang Mai and north Laos etc first and do the islands after the holiday season mobs have tapered off (mid-Jan)