Krabi is a beautiful part of Thailand to visit anytime of the year, but depending on when you go your experience can be very different. Both off season and high season have their pros and cons, as we discovered when we recently stayed in Koh Jum, a beautiful island just off mainland Krabi.
To help you decide what time of year suits you best, I’ve put together this little guide from our own personal experiences of staying at Koh Jum Beach Villas during the change from off season to high season (October 15-22).
Off season or high season? The amenities
As we discovered the hard way, during low season on Koh Jum many places shut down, including the hotels, restaurants and tour companies. This was a bit of a downer to be honest, as it meant we had a much smaller choice of places to eat and our only option for booking tours was via our hotel, where the prices were pretty expensive. I’d also hoped to try out Rim Tang’s cooking school while I was there but sadly it wasn’t set to open until after we left.
However, we still found a few good places to eat, so it wasn’t the end of the world by far! High season began the weekend we were leaving, and so we saw signs for several restaurant ‘grand openings’ etc. I can imagine there’s much more life across the island during the time, but with it comes more people, and I have to say I enjoyed being just one of the few guests at my resort.
Off season or high season? The tranquility
Yes, being one of just a few guests meant you really felt like you had the island to yourself. Our villa was so peaceful, with no guests either side of us and Im not joking when I say we could walk along the beach for half an hour before we bumped into anyone.
It really added to the exclusivity of the experience too – I felt like I’d found somewhere special and secret and wanted to keep it all to myself!
If you’re after total peace and quiet then I would definitely recommend off-season.
Off season or high season? The cost
Off season is much better on your wallet – we stayed in a luxury resort and choosing off season made it much cheaper to stay. As we booked early we managed to get a 40%, something that’s not possible if you want to stay during peak season.
For example, we looked on a well known booking website and for a seven night stay in a one bedroom beachfront villa from 14th October 2019 it was £1,529 but from 18th November 2019 it goes up to £1,988. For a villa with a pool, the price would be £1,988 in October and £2,599 in November. Big difference, huh?
Off season or high season? The weather
During off season in Thailand the weather can be more hit and miss. Also known as rainy season, it’ll always be warm but you may get more rainy days than sunny ones.
We suffered this quite badly during our trip to Langkawi, but at Koh Jum we were pretty lucky. We did have several stormy nights, but during the day there wasn’t a hint of rain, just a bit of wind. I love the heat, but the wind actually made the weather much more comfortable – you can’t beat a warm sea breeze.
So there you have it, the pros and cons of choosing between off season and high season. In the end it all comes down to your preferences – and your budget. I’m interested in returning to Koh Jum to see how different it is when it full comes to life for the tourists, but in my heart I think I’ll love it most when it feels like I have it all to myself!
What’s your take on travelling during low/high season? Do you prefer your destinations when the prices are higher and the weather is better or do you like the idea of taking a risk on the rain in return for a quieter, more peaceful location? I’d love to hear your thoughts!