Hi, my family is coming to Khao Lak for the first time the last week of December and we are very excited. I have spent my free time reading the forums, and have decided to do a one day jungle (river and elephant trek) tour at Khao Sak and a one day snorkeling Similian Islands tour. Some specific questions that I haven't been able to figure out:
1. The general advice seems to be to wait until we get there to book the tours, but if I am inclined to do a specific tour (like Khao Lak Land discovery tour), is the price for that specific tour company prone to be lower if we wait til we get there, or are the hopefully lower priced tours for different tour companies? I will be with 2 small children, so I would prefer to be with a more reputable company that I've at least read a review about, than a no-name tour operator, especially for the Similian island tour. The older one can snorkel, the younger one can't swim but will put her head in the water to look at fish with flotation. So if the price for the Khao Lak land discovery tour will be the same, I am inclined to just book it.
2. Given that it is the most popular week of the year, is it advisable to book ahead of time for fear of not getting on and/or is it unlikely that there will be any discounts given the crowds?
3. For the Khao Sak day tour, we are deciding between Siam Safari and Khao Lak land safari. Are these day tours generally the same such that it doesn't really matter?
4. Same question for the Similian island tour. Khao lak land safari says they will switch locations based on their expertise on where the fish are that day. - any difference you've seen re: where the boat goes, and/or the food they serve for lunch? I ask b/c the forums also recommend fantastic similian travel.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!