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Air Travel in Thailand and Viet Nam

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My wife and I are planning our first visit to Southeast Asia (first trip anywhere in Asia, for that matter) in August. We like to put together our trips ourselves and except for a few minor glitches over the years we've done ok. I'm attending to details of the trip right now and I have a question for all you seasoned Fodorite travelers out there. Is it a good idea to wait until we arrive at our initial destination (Bangkok) to book and purchase airline tickets within the region? I have read that by waiting until arrival in-country you save big on the fares. I'm all for saving a buck but it worries me (I'm old now so I tend to worry alot) that we might encounter sold-out flights that would screw up the itinerary we have set for ourselves. Specifically, we wish to travel from Bangkok to Phuket on Aug. 17 and from Hanoi to Bangkok on Aug. 30. I'm tempted to buy the tickets here and now and not leave the availability to chance but I've done some checking and it does appear that I'll be paying double what I would pay if I wait until our arrival in Thailand. Clue me in, please.

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