This is my first time travelling to Thailand .My point of interest is to visit Chiang Mai,Chiang Ria,elephant and tiger sanctuary then luang prabang.Is it advisable or cheaper to just fly directly to chiang mai,book a hotel myself and just purchase an individual tour or activities rather than booking through an agency for the tour...Thanks for all the advise and recommendations.
Would recommend booking hotel through one of the online booking sites. I use Agoda but there are several other sites that do the same including Trip Advisor. The same applies to flights. Use either the airline site direct or a booking site on line depending on where you are flying from. If stopping in Bangkok I would recommend Bangkok Airways as they are very good and as cheap as any other airlines to Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai. I have found the best way to see the attractions in both locations is to find a taxi to take you around. This way you can choose where you want to go and also stay as long as you want at each attraction and not be tied to a schedule. Also the there is no waiting for other people on a tour to turn up or return to the bus! If the taxi driver is any good they can also recommend places to visit you may not have considered. Enjoy your trip.
The elephant and tiger sanctuary may sell out as they restrict numbers of people per day, so it is best to cotact them directly to secure a place before your trip to thailand. All flights and hotels are easily bookable your self on travel comparision websites and AirAsia so would 100% recommend you do this yourself. I found looking 3 months in advance for hotels did not help as there was very inflated prices, they know holiday makers will pay anything for piece of mind, so book a hotel 2/3 weeks before at most if it's a busy time you are visiting, (Dec/Jan).
Cheaper to fly direct and book your own hotel. Suggest that you book hotel before departure. Regarding tours, significantly cheaper to do individual tour via the hotel.
I considered booking tours online before leaving for Thailand but am glad I did not. Saved myself a ton of money
Hi, book your hotel and flight on beforehand, any tours or outings you can arrange locally. This can be done through your hotel, safe and far more cheaper than by a tour agent from your home country. You can just rent a car plus driver (taxi) for a whole or half day, very handy and inexpensive!
Enjoy your trip!
it depends on how nice you want to stay. if you intend on staying well I would most certainly book in advance. If you don't care then u can book upon arrival. we booked all of our excursions in advance
Seeing you are asking for costs, I recommend booking airlines and hotel in advance if travelling Dec to Feb (peak). Are you alone?- if so then you need to think about a guide. Talk to the hotel when you get here - dont stay at backpacker or cheapies unless you are fully self sufficient. A good hotel can help you in so many ways - including which guide/bus to take to Chiang Rai. Go in small groups - pick good and big hotel - meet new people and travel with them each day.
Get quick answers from Wat Phra That Doi Kham (Temple of the Golden Mountain) staff and past visitors.