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SEA When to go... it's a complicated question!

Travel Forums Asia SEA When to go... it's a complicated question!

1. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru 516 posts) 8y

Hi All,

Just trying to get my head around some forward planning here. And getting rather confused

I am mapping out the best times in each SEA country based on the cheapest time of the year, and best photo times.

Okay first question is, do all SEA countries have hotel/hostel discounts during off season?

Next gets tricky: Per country I worked out the following based on a country as a whole, and not split up.

Malaysia - April - Oct (dry expensive) Nov - Mar (wet, Cheap)

Indonesia -Oct - Apr (wet, cheap) map - Sept(dry Expensive)

Thailand - Nov - Feb(dry Expensive) - Mar - Oct (mid weather and wet, cheap)

Cambodia - May - Oct (wet, cheap) - Nov - Apr( dry expensive)

Laos - March - Oct (wet, cheap) - Dec Feb (dry expensive)

Vietnam -Wet April -Sept (off season cheap) - Oct-Mar(dry expensive)

So how far out am I here?:)With the weather and cheap season high season?

Much appreciation to those who reply to this thread!

2. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 8y

Outcast,
I am going to vote that you forget prices and go with the best weather. VN, Cam. Laos & Indonesia are cheap enough high or low season to not be a real factor. Thailand does have real price differences between high/low season that you might try to time your visit for Feb-April. I am no Malaysia expert, but I would vote weather over price here as well. It is not that much fun slogging around in the rain/mud to save a few ringgit. Hope this helps.

3. Posted by loubylou (Travel Guru 664 posts) 8y

Quoting outcast

Malaysia - April - Oct (dry expensive) Nov - Mar (wet, Cheap)

This is only for the East coast of Malaysia, not the West coast. The West coast is reversed, so April - Oct is wet and Nov - Mar is dry.

I'd say the rest of your list is pretty accurate though, but there is always room even in high season to haggle for discounts. For example in Cambodia we got an air con room with hot water and cable tv in Phnom Penh for $8 and Sihanoukville for $10, this was in April this year.

Although saying that within the low seasons there are sometimes high seasons. For example in Indonesia, although wet at Christmas time the rates go up, but again I will qualify this by saying in Indonesia at Christmas on the Gilli islands we got a air con room with hot water and breakfast over Christmas for 150,000 Rupiah, which is roughly $15. Other people were paying double this for a fan room and cold water.

Just make sure when you are 'negotiating' there is no-one else around and promise not to tell other people what you are paying...it often works!

4. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 8y

And let's not forget Borneo as part of Malaysia. Although it has a somewhat less wet season, most months see an amount of rain that is way more than average for many other parts of SEA. This applies to Kuala Lumpur a bit as well.

I do agree in general though Outcast, but like Vegasmike pointed out, it is not expensive anywhere, unless you want luxurious hotels and stuff.

5. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1992 posts) 8y

I went to Vietnam last March. The weather was wonderful (not especially hot or cold and very little rain). The prices were excellent all over. I paid as little as $9. for a room in the Mekong Delta and as much as $30. for a super nice hotel in Hanoi. Next year I'm headed to Bangkok and Chiang Mai in mid-February since I hear the heat will take over much later than that and I don't do well in extreme heat. I'll be in Vietnam again in early March too.

If you're planning on doing all of SEA, there is simply no time when you don't run into one problem or another. Generally, the high season will be winter (Nov-Jan). Expensive in SEA means 5* hotels and restaurants - the rest of us don't have to concern ourselves unless we too are dirt poor! (We as Westerners will always appear to be millionaires to the natives!)

6. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru 516 posts) 7y

Thanks for those replies guys, much appreciated. I got caught out a little in Nepal from February going into March with a 40% increase in a lot of places, and wasn't expecting it. You know that feeling if you have been in a place for a while and suddenly the price goes up no matter how cheap it was in the first place Just trying to prevent the same here.

Quoting Daawgon

The prices were excellent all over. I paid as little as $9.

That's good to know about Vietnam, I heard it was expensive again, I shall take another look at the place now!

Quoting Utrecht

And let's not forget Borneo

Very true and it's on the cards ;)

Quoting loubylou

Just make sure when you are 'negotiating' there is no-one else around and promise not to tell other people what you are paying...

Ahhh, the blessings of a prized barterer! My tactics exactly!

Quoting vegasmike6

Thailand does have real price differences between high/low season that you might try to time your visit for Feb-April

Just what I was looking to hear! I have made a note.

Thanks for all that information again folks. My penny pinching ways are needed these days!

7. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 7y

Outcast,
VN was excellent value in every city I visited. I usuallly found rooms under $10/nite w/o much effort. I did splurge in Mui Ne and paid $13 so I could have a double room with a/c, tv. They had $8 rooms, but it was hot and wanted a/c. Most of my dinners were under $3. Many days I spent $5 total on food. That will not break any visitors budget. You could also 'eat street for $1/meal. I have many entries on VN in my blog. Have a great trip.

8. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 7y

I wouldn't worry too much about the rainy seasons as it won't rain all the time anyway. I have just come back from the Philippines and I stayed for a month in the middle of the rainy season and I had the best weather that I have ever had in the Philippines and I go there often. Also there are less tourists and most accomodation is cheaper during rainy season. Just go when you want to go and don't worry about the weather too much.