Ask a Question

Do you have any tips for driving in Thailand?

I think I remember you making references to driving in Thailand. I’m going there shortly, and I’d welcome your views on whether driving in Thailand is a sensible proposition for anyone (like me) who has never driven in this part of the world?

Asked on by

I love driving in Thailand because most Thai drivers get on with it. There is a spirit of co-operation. A horn or a flash of lights is only ever used as a warning, never a rebuke and never a "you first". Constant use of mirrors is essential because Thai drivers overtake both sides, even using the hard shoulder of an Expressway to overtake. If nothing is coming, you can legally turn left at a red traffic light.

In the country, a tug by the cops for speeding is usually to get money and this can usually be bargained down to 200 baht. They are most active just before lunchtime and just before knocking off at 6pm. In the country, beware of farmers pulling out in front of you at 5mph then accelerating slowly to 10mph. In the cities the cops can be heavier than in the country.

There are some spectacularly bad crashes on Thai roads. 12 people were killed in a single pickup that hit a bus on Highway 24 at Buriram. I‘ve been a passenger in a Toyota Commuter minibus with 17 members of the same family cruising at 165kmh. If we'd crashed we'd all have been dead. If hiring, take out the collision damage waiver insurance.
Similar questions
While in Austria earlier this year I was told that on roundabouts, the rule is that one only gives a signal just before exiting. This strikes me as quite sensible, as one assumes the motorist is carrying...
We are visiting Dallas, Texas in three months' time. We've been to Dallas once before and getting around by public transport is impractical and not much fun, because everyone drives. Luckily we were ferried...
I know from past columns you have written that you often visit Thailand and therefore you are familiar with the driving regulations. I have been on holiday there on a number of occasions but never driven....
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car