I've just booked my plane tickets to fly into Phuket on 21st December and to fly out of Bangkok on 4th January. We havent planned too much yet but our rough itinerary will look something like this...
21/22/23 Dec - Phuket
24/25/26 Dec - Phan Nga or Krabi and surrounding islands
27/28/29 Dec - Khao Sok
30/31/1/2 Dec/Jan - Koh Pha Ngan
3/4 Jan - Bangkok
I really dont want to book everything in advance but I realise I may have to book as much as possible seeing as its over the busiest period. Obviously Phuket and Koh Pha Ngan I will have to over those dates.
To give us more freedom and based on this itinerary is there any time over our holiday that we wont really need to book in advance? Are there any places in Southern Thailand that we wont have to worry about finding accommodation if we were to just rock up over these dates ?
Any advice would be helpful.
#1 psychiq has been a member since 11/7/2007. Posts: 11
You've picked probably the peakest of peak times to go to some of Thailand's most popular destinations!
What you may want to consider is cutting either Phang Nga/Krabi or Ko Pha Ngan and spending a longer period in one place. That may make it easier to reserve rooms, as you'll find many (not all) places will require a minimum stay (eg 3 nights, through some ask for seven) for a reservation.
If that's not an option, read on:
It comes down to how picky you are with your accommodation. If you're happy to wander up and down beaches for a few hours looking for lodgings, then I'd book very little -- you'll ALWAYS find a "room" somewhere -- it may just be your 17th or 27th choice, rather than your third.
Ko Pha Ngan for New Years and Krabi for Christmas will be your trouble tickets. If you arrive on Ko Pha Ngan on the 30th looking for a room without a reservation, be prepared for some walking! same goes for Phi Phi.
There's still a lot of availability at the moment, so see if you can find places that tickle your fancy -- your itinerary is pretty short, so you can't be all that flexible about what dates you'd be needing a room...
Thanks Somtam, Well we really want to go Koh Phangan for new years eve.
So if we were to cut out one part of our trip, which would you recommend we go to? out of Phuket, Krabi & Ko Lanta or Phang Nga's coast?
I havent been to either of these three places so I dont know what theyre like. Obviously I've heard what patong is like and I think we will stay well away from there!! We want somewhere a bit obscure but still has a few nice places surrounding.
#3 psychiq has been a member since 11/7/2007. Posts: 11
I would cut Phang Nga -- it's out of the way compared to the other places you're going, and doesn't offer anything you won't be able to experience elsewhere.
If by Krabi you just mean Krabi town, it's little more than a transit point to Ko Lanta -- many just pass through.
Don't forget it's a full day of travel from Ko Lanta to Ko Pha Ngan.
Have a fun New Years!
Thanks :) I'm so looking forward to this trip and I just want it to be perfect.
I want to break up Southern Thailand to Koh Phangan by going to Kao Sok in between that! And I've also heard wonderful things about Kao Sok National Park too.
Ok I'll cut out Phang Nga and Krabi... I'll have a look into the islands a little more and see what Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi can offer!
#5 psychiq has been a member since 11/7/2007. Posts: 11
While we don't cover it on Travelfish (just haven't got around to returning there to write about it), Khao Sok National Park is stunning. There's two parts to the park -- one the lake and another in the forest -- the lake side stuff wins out in my opinion.
Check out the Jungle Yoga website for some terrific pics of the lake area.
Sorry for all the questions.. but do you think that Kao Sok is easy to do by yourself? Or would you recommend I do a 4 day tour with all expenses include?
#7 psychiq has been a member since 11/7/2007. Posts: 11
Personally I'd say do it yourself -- it's pretty straightforward once you're there, and nothing is very expensive. That said, with your tight schedule, a tour may be the way to go.
There are mini-buses running from Surat Thani to Khao Sok every hour and cost less than 100B. Not exactly sure about the price as I've got my own wheels, but I see the mini-buses drive past all day and they're full of tourists too. Getting to and from Khao Sok couldn't be easier these days.
#9 Guernseystu has been a member since 10/7/2007. Posts: 108
We did Koh Sok last year, and loved it. Stayed at Arts river view lodge and they arranged a trip out to the lake - we only did 1 night on the floating raft huts, but wish we did more! In that time we managed to trek up the mountain, through the batcaves and a night safari as well.
Arts is great, makes everything easy for you and there's a public bus you can take from the Phuket bus station that will drop you outside, where there are utes waiting to pick you up.
#10 lling has been a member since 17/11/2005. Posts: 1
Thanks for your advice guys. I've actually decided to go through Limestone Lake Tours only because I dont want to be stressed over Xmas and New Years and I'd prefer to let someone else take care of the organisation.
I do have another question though.
Everyone is telling me I have to book accommodation ASAP before everything gets booked up. I've been trying to book for New Years in Koh Phangan but no one will take my booking because they are saying its too far away and to call back in Nov/December. I'm confused about this... I'm worried that if I call back then they may already be booked out.
Specifically I'm looking to book in Haad Yao over new years. Am I going to be ok booking a bungalow on the beach in by early December ?
#11 psychiq has been a member since 11/7/2007. Posts: 11
We're seeing a lot of booking requests for guesthouses that take online reservations on Ko Pha Ngan over the silly season (X-mas - New Year's) coming back UNAVAILABLE -- a lot.
That said, bear in mind the bulk of places on Ko Pha Ngan cannot be booked online, so assuming you're getting there with some lead time, you should be fine in getting a hut.
Sorry, go ahead of myself -- I meant to post a link to this story which, while talking about the Full Moon Parties in particular, is also relevant to when you'll be there.
Thanks for the link to that article. Its made me worried more now because we wont be arriving in Koh Phangan until late afternoon on 29th December.
#14 psychiq has been a member since 11/7/2007. Posts: 11
Hmmm, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Haad Yao is a very popular beach on Ko Pha Ngan and I'd say your chances of showing up on the afternoon of the 29th December and getting a bungalow would be slim -- not impossible of course, but very slim.
I've just added a new post about this (and Ko Phi Phi, the other very popular spot) -- may be of use as it has some links for more reservation places you could try.