The last time we visited Thailand it was mid-June to end of July, the time before that it was mid May-mid July. So essentially both times pretty much 'low' season. We were paying 500b-700b per night for private a/c double rooms with own bathroom.
When we go back to SE Asia we will probably be there end of feb/start of March to end of May/start of June, and will be in Thailand at some point during these months. My question is how much more should we expect to pay for things in Thailand if we're there before the low season begins (which is in April I think...)? And is it just accomodation and souveniers from the market that go up in price, or also food, transport etc?
It totally depends on where you go. I have never noticed much difference in Bangkok but I went down to Phuket for a couple of months last year to learn Muay Thai and the difference was huge. I had already sorted out my accomm for two months so it did not affect me, but some of the people staying shorter term were complaining about their bungalow owners asking for forty or fifty percent more money on the first day of high season. Most of the owners would not bargain either. My friends had to move else where to get a cheaper deal.
#2 theChosenOne has been a member since 26/3/2012. Posts: 12
Generally speaking there are little or no price changes in Bangkok or inland Thailand during rainy season, but as Chosen One pointed out, the difference in the islands and along the coasts is significant. This is usually only for accommodation -- food and transport costs generally remain the same. However, in low season a lot of boats stop running to the islands so getting to them can be more expensive because the only way is often to charter a private boat (depends on the island).
As a rule it's usually a 50% mark up on accommodation on most islands -- and some spots along the coast -- during high season, and often a 75% mark up in peak season (late Dec. to early Jan.). A lot of places have a definite rule that high season starts on Nov. 1 and ends April 1 while others will hold off or be negotiable through November and in March. Some try to charge high season rates in October or April so there's no definite rule on this.
You'll be there from shoulder season in to low season, so if you're heading to the islands you'll probably have to pay more in March but should definitely look for cheaper prices starting April 1. By June a lot of islands (especially west coast ones) will be deserted anyway. You'll be able to get to most islands but just finding an open restaurant can be a challenge on the quieter ones at that time.
Dluek has it right. Only one more: around Songkran=14/4 it is often high season for Thai and in places aiming at Thai holidaymakers. Plus that most transport is mobbed out. These seasonal prices only apply to accomodation and only in the mid/high end-at the low end (but that is by now nearly absent from populair beachside places) there is not much room for further discount on what is already very low anyway. Often discounts-if given-only apply for longer stays, not just 1 night. You can mostly gain much higher discount by not being not so scary to prebook all places in advance-the cheap places are not online and do not such strange farang habits.
#4 captainbkk has been a member since 16/2/2012. Posts: 472
When travelling on the cusp of low season, it's always worth asking for a discount. The worst that they can do is say no.
I always ask the rate for one night, then I will ask things like:
- can you offer low season rate?
- can you discount if I don't have breakfast included?
- can you discount since it's just for a single person? (esp good if breakfast is normally included - why pay for two if it's just you?)
- can you offer discount if I stay for 3 nights?
You'd be surprised how many times how many times a little bit will get knocked off the price. Not always, but sometimes.
Actually good hotels drop their prices by a good 30-40% in Bangkok. I'm talking 3,4,5 star hotels not budget guesthouses who might only drop by 100-200 baht.
#6 longbeach has been a member since 28/3/2012. Posts: 307