Thailand Country Guide

Getting Around


By Road

Unlike Thailand's neighbours (except Malaysia), traffic moves on the left side of the road and Thai cars are right-hand drive. All official directional road signs are written in both Thai and English. Drive very defensively at first and watch what the locals do. It helps if you are accustomed to driving on the left side of the road but could be enough to distract some North American or European drivers.

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Highway in Northern Thailand by Love Krittaya
The standard and connectivity of Thailand's roads are above neighbouring Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. Most major roads are marked in both Thai and English.  Traffic on major highways follows 100-120 km per hour, while smaller highways are generally 80 km per hour. Gas stations are common and most Thai are more than willing to give directions in spite of any language barriers.

Road in Pattaya by Khaosaming

Traffic culture in Thailand is not as bad as some might lead you to believe. Nevertheless, driving habits in the country are still quite dangerous. Visitors in Thailand should take extra precaution or be more observant when driving for the first time in the country. Keep a sharp lookout in both mirrors from passing traffic including 18-wheelers and scooters.

The most common encounters are drunk driving, speeding and reckless passing and often with predictable tragic results. It's not uncommon for motorbikes to drive close to the curb on the wrong side of the road. Death tolls on the road peak during the major holidays, especially Songkhran. Some drivers do not use headlights at night, which multiplies the risk and wise to avoid or minimize overnight travel by road.

Traffic in Bangkok by Franz Golhen

Country Guide
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