Tips for riding a motorcycle in Thailand

Traveling by motorcycle around a friendly country like Thailand can be really enjoyable. There are so many motorcyclists here that they are a permanent element of the landscape and are recognized as equal participants in traffic, not as a bad seed. In this article you will find useful tips for riding a motorcycle in Thailand

Roads in Thailand are very well maintained, and the main routes are clearly marked in English and using international symbols. Although at first glance, the traffic seems chaotic and completely without rules, in reality, it has its own rhythm and certain principles. In order to make your trip as comfortable and safe as possible, it is worth to learn a few basic rules existing on Thai roads.

Driving license

To drive a vehicle legally in Thailand, you must have an International Driving Permit (IDP) or Thai driving license. Be aware that if you are involved in an accident and the Thai police or Insurance Company discover that your permit documents are not in order, you may feel the full force of the law, and may have any insurance cover invalidated. Here you will find more information about legal and responsible riding in Thailand.

Another thing is that it’s easy to get a ticket during an accidental police control. Penalties for not having a driving license are not high, but the problem is the time that you have to sacrifice. In order to continue your journey, you must pay a fine at the nearest police station, which may be far away from the place where you were stopped … The ticket must be paid in cash, so if you do not have it, you will have to take an extra trip to the ATM.

Basic rule on the roads

Left-hand traffic

In Thailand there is left-hand traffic, so for travelers from countries where the traffic is right-handed, it may be initially troublesome. Over time, it will become natural and easy. A useful hint may be to observe the behavior of other drivers, especially at intersections. In the case of large intersections, we can try to “stick” to a car and drive like him. This makes it easier to avoid going the wrong way and dangerous situations. Another thing is that the drivers’ natural reaction from countries with right-hand traffic is to look left when joining traffic. Due to left-hand traffic in Thailand, joining traffic you should first of all check if someone is coming up from the right.

Always wear a helmet

While riding a motorcycle in Thailand, always wear a helmet, not only because of legal consequences but for your safety. When renting a scooter, ask for a helmet for yourself and the passenger. Unfortunately, they often do not differ much from bicycle helmets, so while staying longer in Thailand it is worth buying your own helmet. The regulation of compulsory riding in a helmet is quite scrupulously respected by Thai policemen, especially in larger cities. Apart from that, the helmet is not only safety but also driving comfort. When driving along country roads, one must remember about insects and dust.

Gently change the lane and be predictable for other drivers

Thai drivers are rather cautious and reasonable, nevertheless, some of them do not look around and have lanes for nothing. Therefore, be careful when changing the lane to another one and do not make sudden maneuvers. This is especially important because of truck and bus drivers who may not notice you or not be able to react. Thai traffic is fluid, flexible and free of aggression. Become part of it and be predictable for other drivers.

Use the horn

The horn in Thailand is treated for information purposes and as a warning at every turn and overtaking, and most drivers respond to it with a smile. Do not use it in an aggressive way, because Thai people do not like it very much. The basic principle of security in Thailand is – do not fuss about.

Be careful at intersections

It is worth remembering the habits of the Thai people about driving. One of other useful tips for riding a motorcycle in Thailand is to remember that if the driver is going to enter the intersection first, he will blink at you. This is a clear sign that should not be underestimated and you should be especially cautious in this situation. Moreover, the lack of green arrows at intersections is not an obstacle for the Thai people to turn right. The stop signs before the intersection are often a suggestion that you should stop and do not assume that every driver adheres to them.

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