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Tuesday Mar 28

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Getting around Thailand by Road

(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

By Road

by-carThe Kingdom of Thailand has a reasonably good road network of well-maintained highways and roads between all important areas. There is 52,000 km of national and provincial roads, all major roads are paved. Thailand uses the left-hand system. Road signage’s usually are in Thai and English. The maximum speed limit in urban places is 60km/h (35mp/h) and varies between 100-120 km/h (60-72 mp/h) on highways and country roads. There are a four-nation ring road through Thailand, Laos, China and Myanmar.

On the Thai-Malaysian border, the most important road crossings are: Yala, Songkhla and Narathiwat. Between Thailand and Myanmar, there are numerous border crossings open for short trips in the surrounding area. Aranyaprathet is a legal border crossing between Cambodia and Thailand, the border is open from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm daily. The Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge across the Mekong River near Nong Khai, is the link between Thailand and Laos.

A self-drive holiday gives the opportunity for tourists to stop as long as they like and experience the amazing Thai culture. Driving on the most of the major routes outside Bangkok and around areas is an pleasant experience.

Most cars in the country use lead-free petrol, while vans use diesel. Fuel stations are abundant and most of the bigger ones accept international credit cards, in remote locations cash will be required.

Driving at night on the open road is not suggested due to heavy traffic. Motor bikes can also be a risk. Drunk-driving laws apply.

Taxi

taxi-in-bangkokTaxis can be hailed anywhere. If you are going to a place drivers may be unfamiliar with it is a good idea to have someone write down our destination in Thai script. An example of a destination many drivers seem to be unfamiliar with is the Thailand Cultural Center. If you wish to check the location of a destination call Directory Assistance Hot Line 1133. Operators speak English and will be able to give the driver directions in Thai.

Make sure you have change for the fare as taxi and tuk tuk drivers often do not. As in many other countries, taxi drivers change shifts at about 1600 hours. Taxis can be difficult to hail during this time and they may not accept your fare unless your destination is convenient.

Taxi meters the most common type of taxi used are air-conditioned, reasonably comfortable and inexpensive. Open the door and state your desired destination before getting in; the driver may decline your fare if you wish to travel a long distance, to particular streets during peak traffic times, or at the times of a shift change. Insist the driver turns the meter on, especially if you are starting from the airport or from a popular tourist area such as Patpong or Khao San Rd. A journey starts with a set price (flag fall) of 35 baht. If the meter is not turned on the fare may be considerably more.

Call a taxi Hot Line1661. Fluent English is spoken (sometimes). You will be given a cab number so that if any problems arise the driver can be located or any incidents reported. This service costs only 20 baht more than the normal taxi meter fare. It is advisable to book well in advance.

Tuk-Tuk

fast-tuk-tukA noisy version of the samlor the tuk-tuk (called after the high pitched scream that it makes) can be found all over the main cities. Tuk Tuk's should only be used for trips around the city and visitors should be warned about the many scams operated by some of the drivers. Under no circumstances should you arrange a trip to the craft factories with a tuk tuk driver as they will often take you to the shops that proffer the highest commissions, and guess who will be paying extra for the goods. Strong negotiations are crucial before boarding a tuk tuk. Rates start at 20 Baht for a very short trip but you will be lucky to get such a low price.

Songtaew

songtaewConverted Pick up trucks with twin rows of seats in the back ply the main routes looking for passengers. These are the main form of transportation in the cities and countryside. City rates start at an incredible 10 Baht (20 cent) for a local trip and increase to around 20 Baht for longer trips. Before boarding ensure that you are not getting a private vehicle and negotiate the price beforehand. A knowledge of Thai is helpful. Seelor means four wheels whilst songtaew means two rows of seats.

Additional Information :

Expressway and Rapid Transit authority of Thailand - Chatuchak Head Office

Address: 2380, Phahonyothin Rd., Saenanikom, Chatuchak District, Bangkok, 10900

Telephone: +66 (0) 2579 5380-9, +66 (0) 2562 0044, +66 (0) 2940 1199

Bangkok Expressway PCL.

Address: 238/7 Asoke-dindaeng Rd., Bangkapi, Huaykwang, Bangkok 10310

Telephone: +66 (0) 2641 4611

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Poll

Where do you like to go in Thailand?

Chiang Mai - 19.1%
Sukhothai - 4%
Ayutthaya - 3%
Pattaya - 30.2%
Hua Hin - 13.1%
Koh Samui - 9.5%
Koh Phi Phi - 4.5%
Phuket - 16.6%

Total votes: 199
The voting for this poll has ended on: 31 Dec 2011 - 00:00

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