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Rental Car advice

Posted by mtnmichelle on 20/9/2018 at 14:56

My husband and I are planning to travel to Ayutthaya, Khao Yai and then East towards the Laos border and back down again towards Trat and Koh Kut. We want to rent a car for most of this journey and we expect to travel for month or so. Where is the best place to rent a car? Should we do it in Bangkok and simply return it there? If we go to Koh Kut is there a safe place to park a car in Trat? Would people recommend renting cars in multiple destinations and taking buses for the longer portions of the journey? Thank you all for the advice.

#1 mtnmichelle has been a member since 19/3/2017. Posts: 8

Posted by amnicoll on 21/9/2018 at 05:26

If it were me and I was renting a car I would go to one of the major international companies on the basis that if things go wrong then they are likely to respond.

traveling round Thailand using bus is very easy (and cheap)

you would probably get a better rate for a month than shorter hires

but the question is would you need a car in many of the places?

I can not answer that one

#2 amnicoll has been a member since 10/1/2005. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 976

Posted by SBE on 23/9/2018 at 08:23

Agree with Amnicoll, do you really need a car? Thailand has an excellent public transport system that can get you practically anywhere you want and it's very easy to use. There are zillions of English speaking travel agents who can arrange bus, train, minibus and ferry tickets for you and the ticket price often includes a pickup service at your hotel or guesthouse. If you don't want to travel with the hordes, they can usally arrange a private car and driver for you too. Tourists who need their own wheels in more rural areas (islands etc) usually rent motorbikes.

A newbie tourist using a rental car to get around Bangkok would be my idea of hell. It's much easier just to use public transport or a metered taxi there. If you absolutely must rent a car for the whole of your trip then I'd suggest getting one at the airport and returning it there but avoid going into Bangkok with it.

AFAIK there's no car ferry to Ko Kut so you'd have to leave your rental car on the mainland during your stay there.

#3 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,055

Posted by DLuek on 23/9/2018 at 12:27 TF writer

I agree with OP that this is a trip which is very much conducive to a rental car, and I say go for it if you can afford the expense. Most of these are provinces that are not heavily touristed and having a car would give you freedom to check out some of the more obscure (but worthwhile) districts along the way. Khao Yai is next to impossible to explore without some wheels; there's no public transport in the park itself, and there's tons to see outside of the park such as waterfalls and a huge dam down the Nakhon Nayok way to the south, the farm and wine trail around Muak Lek to the west, and the very scenic Wang Nam Kiew area to the east. Moving east to Isaan from there, a car would be extremely helpful if visiting Phanom Rung and related ruins that are rather difficult to reach in Buriram and Surin provinces, such as Ta Muan on the Cambodia border. A car would also be very helpful for hitting Pha Taem NP out of Khong Chiam (since you're going all the way to the Laos border), as well as many other outlying attractions along the way.

The obvious would be to rent one at whichever airport you arrive at in Bangkok and return it to the same place. If heading to Ayutthaya out of Suvarnabhumi you really won't be going through the city too much, since the airport is so far outside to the east and there are motorways looping straight north towards Ayutthaya.

A cheaper option would be to travel between provinces by bus or train and rent cars via local agencies -- I know these are available in Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat), Buriram, Surin and Ubon Ratchathani, and there are contact details for these in our transport pages for each of those places. I believe the one in Khorat can deliver to Pak Chong for those hitting Khao Yai, so maybe you could pick it up there and drop it in Khorat after you're done exploring that province. Of course, it would get a little annoying tracking down little family-run rental car agencies in each of these cities, signing new rental agreements etc.

As for Ko Kut, there should be paid parking at the pier (I've not been to that specific pier in Laem Sok but, generally speaking, parking is available at mainland piers for tourist islands). Alternately you could take the car ferry to Ko Chang and park down in Bang Bao and head to Kut via a ferry from there (high season only).

#4 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,346

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