Okay, I'll be going to Thailand for the first time in August (Bangkok, Ko Samui, and Chiang Mai) and I seem to be getting some conflicting advice regarding hotel reservations.
I keep reading how people say they never make reservations for hotels/guesthouses but then I read warnings about how if you walk into town w/o a reservation, you'll be screwed over, etc.
So, in short, would it be best for us to plan ahead and make all of our reservations before we leave or would it be okay to walk into town and get a room from there? If the latter, how do you usually do this-start calling the phone numbers from the book, or is there a hotel desk at the train station, etc? These are pretty big places so I don't imagine it's advisable to walk around until you find a place, right?
You'll not be screwed. Only a fraction of places in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam take reservations in advance -- there's a lot of places (particularly cheaper places) that rely on walk-in alone. If you're after mid to upper range places,booking can be more important -- it is down to how picky/flexible you are.
In most towns, the budget acommodation is in one area, eg Bangkok - Khao San Road, CHiang Mai Tha Phae Gate so you just get cab/bus/whatever to there and then walk around to see what you can find.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,789
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just like somtam says, pick a few places ahead of time from the accomodation listings on travelfish that are reasonably close to each other (khao san road, tha phae gate, specific samui beach, etc.), and then have a look when you arrive. that time of year should not be a problem to find a place.
you might want to book your first night in thailand ahead of time - particularly if you are arriving late at night on those northwest or united flights out of tokyo, and maybe your last night too, but you could even save that last night until you'be arrived and find a place you like. what's your price range for accomodation by the way? cheers.
August: no problem.
December to February: Could have difficulty in more popular areas.
Better to look at places before staying as quality is variable, especially at the cheaper end.
Outside Bangkok, when I arrive somewhere, I leave my friend in a restaurant with the bags, and go looking. There's always somewhere. If on your own, there are usually hotel touts around, and you could get anywhere for 1 night, then look around.
In Bangkok, unless you're a backpacker, look around on Sukumvit Rd. There are dozens of nice places for around 1200 bht near the Nana Skytrain station.
#4 thaibeachlovers has been a member since 25/5/2006. Posts: 38