Hotel prices in beach areas are generally lower than what you'd pay in Bangkok (Phuket excluded) but higher than in other parts of the country. There are budget bungalows and guesthouses everywhere, though if you haven’t booked ahead in high season you may end up in a questionable room with just a humble fan. At the other end of the spectrum are upscale resorts that run more than $1,000-plus a night—though they are some of the most luxurious resorts in the world.

Many places combine the two experiences by offering pricey luxury bungalows. Rates fluctuate widely—in holiday periods they can more than double. Always double-check your rate when you book.

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Fodor's Essential Thailand: with Cambodia & Laos

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