Pattaya Daily News

27 September 2010 :: 18:09:13 pm 40740

Amazing Thailand from Behind the Wheel

Looking to experience Thailand at your own leisure and off the beaten track, then why not hire a motor vehicle and witness the sprawling cities, majestic temples, simplistic rural regions and sun soaked beaches from behind the wheel of your very own transportation.
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Thailand, as with approximately 1/3 of the world, drive on the left hand side of the road with all international road/transport laws and regulations applicable. Traffic and road signs can be found in both the Thai and English languages, while all internationally recognised symbols are also widely used on Thailand’s roads.

Thailand’s major highways are for the most part dual carriageway and easily navigated along with being developed to a standard similar to what you would expect in your own country. Driving at night time is to be avoided if possible, especially if you are unfamiliar with the conditions, but your own personal ability behind the wheel and individual itinerary should be considered when planning your route.

Although driving around the chaotic streets of the capital, Bangkok, especially on ones holiday, is not advisable or pleasant, motoring in between Thailand’s metropolises is most definitely one of the most enjoyable experiences available to the eager traveller. In a country that offers such a diverse landscape, arguably unsurpassed in the region, driving is the only way to take in the detail that almost all other popular travel/tour methods fail to capture in the one trip.

Whether it’s a mountainous ‘hill tribe’ adventure to the northern regions, a foray round the central Chao Phraya river basin or rural northeastern provinces or just a meander down the southern peninsula to checkout some of the best seaside hotspots in Asia, travelling in Thailand opens a host of opportunities to suit all travellers. These opportunities are inherently broadened and heightened when embracing them from the open road and at your own leisure.

City driving in Thailand on the whole is also quite a pleasant experience with the majority of major centers quite logically mapped out with little local knowledge necessary to feasibly make your way through or around them at ease, although a street map or guide of some sort is advisable.

Vehicle hire companies are abundant in all major localities around the country with the option of large international firms, Hertz and Avis, or locally owned/operated private dealerships at your disposal. International firms are in no doubt more expensive, but provide you with the same service you would expect in your own country. Smaller national and local firms are inherently cheaper and are often able to accommodate your exact requirements more suitably.

As with any hire transaction, especially in a foreign country, certain precautionary measures must be taken to ensure that your time behind the wheel is enjoyable. Checking that the condition of the vehicle matches the ‘damage register’ is strongly advised, while inquiries as to the requirements of the vehicle and conditions of use is a safe way to ensure you are adequately equipped for the journey ahead.

Most companies offer a range of pricing options, from daily, weekly and monthly pricing to suit all types of motorist. Rates of between Bt500-1,000 can be expected for the daily use of a small 4-dour passenger vehicle or pickup, with longer periods of hire significantly decreasing the price. Petrol/Diesel costs remain quite reasonable in Thailand, while maintenance charges and the inevitable oil change on longer trips is done at a considerably lower price than you may be accustomed.

In order to rent a vehicle of any type or size in Thailand a valid international or Thai driver’s license is required in addition to a copy of your passport. Certain companies now request customers provide two passport photos and/or a medical certificate for identification and insurance purposes although this is as yet not common practice.

As with driving in any foreign country, you are advised to always be prepared for the inevitable police confrontation by having your valid license and passport handy at all times. Thailand’s conformation to international road rules and accepted practices will set most international drivers at ease on the road from the get-go, albeit with the unavoidable raised brow from the actions of native motorists on occasions.

Experiencing Thailand from behind the wheel and at your own leisure is truly one of the most unique journeys you are ever likely to undertake. Definitely an option to consider for motoring enthusiasts, journeymen and long-stay visitors who may have experienced what the alternatives have to offer and left unfulfilled.

For a top quality flexible service, offering the latest model vehicles at affordable prices in Pattaya, please
contact: sales@pattayadailynews.com

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Travel

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