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Thailand forum

Driving a 4 wheeled vehicle in Thailand....

Posted by khunwilco on 20/4/2019 at 15:00

Driving in Thailand - perception versus reality...

“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?”

Foreigners who drive in Thailand frequently turn on the vitriol when it comes to talking about their fellow roads users...automatically excluding themselves from the equation and concomitantly implying that their driving skills are far superior to those of any Thai people.....
Self-perception suggests that they are themselves SUPERB drivers. In reality they don’t realise how, when driving in their home countries, they are totally cossetted by careful government road planning and safety laws. Their own “stupidity” in a vehicle is limited by a sophisticated system of laws, codes enforcements and monitoring accompanied by equally sophisticated physical barriers and layouts all designed to contain the idiot within us all.
Every country has an equal proportion of idiot drivers. – who ALL think they are fine..........When it comes to visiting Thailand everyone’s an expert on how to drive - why?.

Thus, when faced with the raw anarchy of Thai roads they are unable to cope and starting blaming the first thing that comes to hand - the other local drivers.

“The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we all believe that we are above-average drivers.”

Driving in Thailand is probably not for the timorous, indecisive or inexperienced; it is certainly not for the smug and self-congratulatory, they usually end up stressing themselves out or worse inflicting injury on others.

Nobody is suggesting that the roads of Thailand are as “safe” as those of say, UK, which are among the safest in the world - All the same, some of us have to drive and some of us actually enjoy it too.
In fact statistically (and Thai road stats are very unreliable) you about as safe in a 4_wheeled vehicle as you are on the roads of the USA. However, on 2 wheels it’s a different matter – nearly three quarters of all road deaths in Thailand are riders and passengers of 2 wheeled vehicles.

When driving in Thailand, the rewards in terms of independence are great; you make your own schedule/timetable and it opens doors to parts of the country you’d otherwise never see if relying on the navigation of others.

Driving in Thailand is different – there are different habits AND different laws and ways of enforcing them. It is worth remembering that Thai drivers have mostly been driving on Thai roads for years and ae used to the road environment and the behaviour of other drivers – you aren’t!

As the driver it is your responsibility to observe and adapt – and quickly to the Thai way of the roads.... It’s no good blaming others – If you find yourself constantly criticising or shouting at other drivers, maybe you should be asking yourself if you can handle it.

Don’t listen to critics who use racial slurs to denigrate all Thai drivers; they are just hiding their ignorance behind a smokescreen of cynicism and racial abuse.
these people base their opinion on personal observations which are largely just confirmation bias. Once they get an idea, everything they see just reinforces it, whether true or not. There is a tendency to cherry-pick stats and “evidence” that seem to back your own point of view.... however tenuous that may be.
you hear repeated tales of accidents and bizarre driving usually followed with the phrase “Only in Thailand” – this is just not right – you can find lunacy everywhere but this is confirmation bias at its best.

What you hear are the perceptionsrather than the realities.

I’d like to try and redress that a bit in the hope that people will have safer and more enjoyable road trips in Thailand.

Self-drive can be, in my opinion, one of the safest forms of travelling by road in the kingdom. Why leave it to some overworked, underpaid sleep-deprived young man to scare the crap out of you? – do it yourself. Yet many will suggest it is too dangerous to drive yourself but OK to leave it to one of those guys???

If you want to drive ask yourself a few questions........ Are you actually a competent driver? Are you really up to it? This is where a bit of self-analysis and honesty comes in handy.


So how do you see yourself?
Here are some examples from research done by the Centre for Transport and Society - UK....
The public know that driver behaviour is a major contributory factor in the vast majority of road accidents...
(Cauzard, 2003)

But there is a consistent view that OTHERS drive in a more risky manner than individuals themselves do
(King and Parker, 2008)

Not just driving – older children and adolescents think they have good attitude and skills towards road safety but believe that others especially those in their peer group do not
(Tolmie. 2006).


Individuals do not believe they are dangerous on the roads but at the same time fervently believe others are.
I am not likely to be responsible for an accident; others are likely to be responsible. Therefore, little I can do.Hence, less likely to need to “plan to avoid them”Campaigns aimed at dangerous driving are for “other” drivers not themselves. Such campaigns re-emphasise this difference (2CV, 2008 and Flaming Research, 2008)The third-person effect (Davison, 1983). High support for enforcement, engineering solutions and education But not for themselves - for other people.


So how about the road users in Thailand?
Thailand is in love with the car - it has a transitional society; rapidly changing from agricultural to industrial. As far as cars are concerned if you ask a car owner what kind of car his parents had, they will reply – “Motorcycle” or “buffalo”
It now has the 10thlargest motor industry in the world.....

Thais are driving in the region of 7 million cars and 22 million motorcycles on roads that have been rapidly built with scant regard to safety. Wide and fast they are fast and dangerous – there are in fact only about 200 km of REAL motorway spec. roads in Thailand.

Thailand has built quickly to support its own home market of a large motor industry with little more than a nod to road safety or road design. There are virtually NO EMERGENCY services and the police are untrained to handle accidents or traffic in general.

When it comes to actually driving, examples have been given of all sorts of strange behaviour - this is not news and you should be able to adjust quickly to it. Things like flashing lights, horn and hazard lights; they are indeed often used in circumstances that differ from “the West” - however bear in mind that universally they all have a well defined function... these are just additional variations.

Internationally - Horn and flashing lights are to indicate your presence and the hazards are to indicate that your vehicle is stationary in a “hazardous” position.
All other uses, West or East are in fact just implied or inferences that we draw from the particular situation we are in at the time. This isn’t that hard - A driver in any new environment needs to observe and adapt to local idiosyncrasies - this is not a quirk of Thailand it is an international driving skill that is required wherever you are –

Then there are the tales of U-turns, traffic going the wrong way on dual carriageways and all those other “crazy” things that are accepted as everyday driving over here - no lights, no bodywork, no wheels, no looking, whatever... it really doesn’t take that long to work out and adjust to what’s happening or going to happen - if you fail to adjust, “som nam naa” - your journey may well come to an abrupt end, if it were not for the majority of Thai drivers who in turn are able to adjust to your regimented and unimaginative home-country driving habits.

One thing that many drivers don’t realise is the in Thailand there is PRIORITY FROM THE LEFT unless otherwise stated........ and it never is.......signage is in it’s infancy. So when a motorbike pops out of a sideroad in front of you without looking, its because it is his legal right! This used to be t case in France and other msinland European countries (except it was priority from the right, of course)(the exception is roundabouts – which nobody in Thailand has worked out how to use yet) – Thailand drives on the LEFT.

Remember, Thai drivers are quite skilled at driving in their own country.... better at it than a lot of those self-deluded foreign critics who think their own driving is so superior.

Roads develop their own environment, economy and populations and in Thailand this is particularly unregulated.... all this has to mingle with you as a driver. They are there they may look shabby or un-roadworthy but they have entitlement - as much as yourself.
There is also a tendency for foreign drivers to assume that the roads were built solely for them and other like-minded drivers; everyone else - pedestrians, motorcycles, side cars, rot ken, 6 wheelers etc. - are just inconveniences that should be taken off the road. I feel this is a rather limited perspective; roads are currently the main arteries of communication in Thailand, the country’s economy depends on them; all and sundry have to use them, so be aware a lot of them move very slowly and are not always well lit. It appears that many people do not really consider what a “road-user” actually is...you really have to include EVERYONE and everything that uses the roads or the sides of the roads; not just other car drivers but pedestrians, animals, and those wishing to advertise - billboards, snack bars elephants, buffaloes, and of course the range of vehicles involved, from bicycles, hand-pushed carts “rot khen” to slow moving sidecars, “Skylabs” and tuk-tuks, buses, trucks and heavy plant.


So what about actually getting into difficulties? Here’s a checklist of factors to consider that may contribute to a road traffic incident

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On the road...how to drive in Thailand

What SKILLS do you need?

Once you have decided on how you really view the roads in Thailand then perhaps you should decide if you have the skills to deal with it. Take a look at the skills required to drive safely - and actually delineate them.... many people will blithely state they are a “skilled” driver - but if you ask them what skills they have the answer is usually pretty vague. It’s not something we tend to think about in detail.

Driving skills are universal, they do not pertain to any particular country.
In order to drive safely, you need 2 sets of driving skills - physical and mental.
I’ve précised a checklist from the UK police of the kinds of driving skills - If you can’t readily tick ALL of the physical skills then perhaps you shouldn’t bother driving... I have avoided using the expression “defensive driving” as I don’t think it is helpful.... it gets confused with “slow”, “indecisive”, “timid” and “hesitant”, all of which are to be avoided

Physical skills
In terms of the basic physical tasks required, a driver must be able to control direction, acceleration, and deceleration. For motor vehicles, the detailed tasks include:
Starting the vehicle (how about hill starts?)Choosing the correct gearOperating the pedals with one's feet to accelerate, slow, and stop the vehicle, On a manual operating gears and clutchSteering the vehicleGenerally operating other important ancillary devices on the car such as indicators lights wipers etc. etc.Observation skills - looking for hazards and changes in the driving environment.
Mental skills.
Avoiding or successfully handling an emergency driving situation - this is particularly important when driving in Thailand.... and where most foreign drivers fall flat on their face.
The following basic skills are required:
Making good decisions based on factors such as road and traffic conditionsEvasive manoeuvringProper hand placement and seating positionSkid control (usually an acquired skill)Steering and braking techniquesUnderstanding vehicle dynamicsThe key to driving anywhere in the world is observation and anticipation.




Recently a passenger in my vehicle noticed I had slowed down and asked why. My answer was that the car a few vehicles in front - who was making no signal - looked like he was about to turn right, even though he was in the left-hand lane.... I had also positioned myself the driver could most probably see me and flashed my lights. Sure enough, that’s what happened. It was fairly obvious by his sudden reduction in speed and his positioning to a gap in the off side traffic that he was preparing to make a potentially dangerous yet predictable manoeuvre.
This is a manoeuvre that would be not just unlikely but probably impossible in Europe as there would have been no junction designed that could allow this sort of access.


If you expect to drive around Thailand and show others just what a good driver you are and give a lesson on how to drive properly - forget it!

What you do in Thailand is observe and adjust - draw conclusions, don’t make generalisations - see how others drive and be prepared - this is really no different to how you should drive anywhere in the world, it’s just that many Western motorists don’t realise how lazy and sloppy they’ve become at home ...and being thrown into the “real world” can be a bit of a shock.

Here are some observations on the realities of driving in Thailand that may surprise an unwary driver...

Mirrors -
One of the most common statements after a collision is “I just didn’t see him” - WHY??

I notice that many unskilled foreign drivers tend to ignore some or all of their mirrors. Most vehicles these days have good mirrors - in the vehicle and on BOTH SIDES. They are there so you can get a constant image of what is approaching or around your car. it is highly likely that on any road there will be vehicles BOTH THE RIGHT AND LEFT OF YOU, all the time this is quite legal - use your mirrors properly and this is not a problem. Just because it doesn’t happen at home doesn’t mean it won’t happen here...this is your responsibility - You should be checking your rear view every 5 to 10 seconds - regardless of the traffic. Like so many actions you do when driving this should be subliminal ... If you are not up to it don’t complain just don’t drive. In places like Samui, there is a constant stream of motorcycles travelling up on the left-hand side of the traffic.


A note on tinted windows-
Thai people in general like to avoid eye contact and confrontation whenever possible - and avoid loss of face - if a Thai driver makes a mistake it is very unlikely that they will look at you after even to apologise - they will most likely turn and look the other way and drive off.

One factor that seems to escape a lot of visiting drivers here is the Thai love of tinted windows. In bright sunny, hot climates they are mistakenly believed to have a cooling effect (somewhat over estimated by the tint companies) - but I think the main purpose on Thai roads is to avoid eye contact with other road users.
A lot of decisions we make whilst driving in traffic at home are made after looking at other drivers - there face or hands can often communicate a lot - in Thailand however, many cars have excessively tinted windows, so at a junction the chances of communicating visually with another driver are virtually nil - all you will see is a black window - inside someone is looking back but is receiving less than 50% of the light available. This means that many courtesy signals that we are used to giving other drivers are rendered impossible. .... All the more reason to be aware and make your intensions on the road clear to other road users through your vehicle’s positioning.

Using your horn –
Thais seldom if ever make use of their horns, so when someone does it is considered very confrontational. I think that some only use it AFTER they have collided with someone.
BTW – SHOES - if someone waves a shoe at you, it’s best to Wai and clear off, this is the ultimate insult and could be a precursor to violence


Driving and the LAW -
Many foreigners grossly underestimate the extent of corruption in Thailand. From the highest in the land to the lowest, it is not only endemic but also epidemic. Recent surveys suggest that 60% of Thai people believe that corruption is acceptable so long as it oils the wheels of bureaucracy in their favour. Most Thais accept that they must pay police cash on the spot with no receipt.
When driving you will almost certainly have an encounter with the police or sometimes the army. They will either set up roadblocks or just random checks.
The purpose of these “checks” is seldom anything more than a cash raising exercise. For a start most police checks take place in walking distance of a police station.

They DO have speed cameras, but they are not always used when stopping traffic.... how well or regularly they are calibrated is unclear. Police have also started to send out speeding tickets to registered owners of vehicles they have caught on speed cameras. There is no doubt that this practice is getting more commonplace nationwide. It is difficult to see how fines paid this way could end up in the pockets of corrupt officers as the payments are receipted, so perhaps this is a good thing. Renters - Be prepared to get a letter from your car hire company when you get home!

Most Thai motoring “offences” are the “detected” at these police checkpoints. The most common police action is to stop motorcycles. As these vehicles are notoriously outside the law they are the easiest things to stop.
Helmet laws can be unenforced for weeks and then a plethora of “checks” will be set up, usually round the corner from some lights.... hordes of motorcyclists can be seen standing on the curb phoning a friend for the 100 or 200 baht “fine” they have to pay in cash usually without a receipt. (If too much cash is accepted you often see a booth set up so that tickets can be written out presumably to offset the imbalance.)
Most bikes are untaxed, uninsured etc. so they are fruitful pickings for the local police...they also are largely driven by people with low income who are unlikely to have friends in high places.

I think it is safe to assume that top-end (imported) cars are the least likely to be stopped, as they are most likely to have influential friends. Some car-drivers with “connections” will carry the name card of some high-ranking police officer for use in such circumstances. Couple of phone calls and an uppity officer is put in his place and the problem goes away.

On 4 wheels the prime targets are pickups (usually old) and trucks - these are often un-roadworthy or overloaded etc. etc. ... you have probably noticed the “lai Thai” artwork that proliferates on both Trucks and buses in Thailand...these are largely to give protection, good luck and speed...check out the mud-flaps.... you’ll often see Al Pacino who fought against corrupt cops in Serpico - this is to ward (warn?) off the police who are endlessly taking tea money off drivers before they can complete their journey.

So what about run-of-the-mill private road users? You will certainly come across a checkpoint from time to time. Does being a foreigner affect your chances? Well it can work both ways depending on the individual officer. Some may not want the hassle of dealing with a foreigner who doesn’t realise he has to pay a bribe and protests his innocence (Don’t try this). Others may see you as a potential for a larger “fine”.
You can also simply be pulled over - in what seems a highly dangerous practice an officer walks out in front of the car and signs you onto the side of the road - I’ve noticed that some people just seem to drive on and pretend they didn’t see.... not recommended!

Do you need to have committed an offence? ... It helps, but not really; they will pull you over for a “check” - then they may decide what you have done wrong - it can be something like “speeding” - the absence of a speed camera doesn’t seem to have any bearing on this.... or it may be something like “being in the wrong lane”, this observation may well have been made with your vehicle out of the officer’s line of vision. Of course once they have you stopped they may find a few other “infractions”.

I have been stopped several times over the last ten years or so and I have to say that firstly it doesn’t always result in a fine and furthermore has only once became acrimonious and that was between my passenger (a Thai doctor) and the rather bemused officer - it resulted in no payment.

I will sometimes haggle - this is a lot easier without showing a wallet full of money, so that’s why it is best to have a couple of hundred baht lying around.
I once asked one officer if 100 baht would suffice, he said “no” as he “had a friend”. Another asked why I had a boat on the roof - my Thai passenger explained it wouldn’t fit in the car... this explanation seemed to satisfy the officer as no fine was paid that time.

This stoppage usually takes no more than 5 minutes and it’s all done, if you elect not to “pay the fine” then you will probably spend the rest of the day in a local cop-shop filling in forms and the “real” fine may well be higher...so most people elect to assume that what they are paying is “legit” - even though it flies in the face of all reason....but when faced with the alternatives the easy way out is very compelling.

Incidentally - the NATIONAL SPEED LIMIT is 90 kph per hour. On motorways it is 120 kph - however be careful here as many motorways can turn into ordinary highways without any real notice. Bkk Expressways and routes around Pattaya have an 80 kph limit.

I find that I get to pay less often as the years go by. Possibly because my Thai has got better and I can engage in some small talk. ... or maybe the advent of dash-cams makes asking for tea-money less easy?

Security.
A car offers an extra degree of security for both you and your belongings. Car break-ins are relatively rare compared to the west.... I so long as you don’t make your car look like a shop window your belongings can be safer than in a backpack or even your hotel room. A lot of parking has security, which seems to be sufficient to deter the casual thief. Those awful tinted windows also obscure your stuff from prying eyes.

Insurance
When you tax a vehicle it has a roadworthy test (a cursory glance) and you also have to buy the compulsory national 3rdparty insurance.... this is only a few hundred baht - it doesn’t cover damage to property, it only covers death or injury to 3rdparties and then only for a few thousand baht. In short you can legally drive but you really aren’t covered at all. It is quite likely any vehicle you have the misfortune to collide with may only have this cover, so your own insurance is very important here.

For full cover you have to pay; normally about 10 to 20 thousand baht per annum. So, when renting a car it is important to find how much insurance you really have.

One thing that you will find is that most insurance companies include a bail bond in their cover. This is down to the way you need to behave in the event of an incident.. In more serious cases the police have been known to lock everyone up until they can sort out what happens - this is why it is so important to have your bail bond at the ready. (It is also the reason why so many bus drivers lope off into the bush after an incident).

NB – if you have any kind of incident on a Thai road with another party, the first thing to do is CALL THE INSURANCE CONPANY – they will send a man to the scene in minutes and he will act as an intermediary on your behalf. Don’t try to argue the point yourself, don’t raise you voice and make sure you have the phone number readily accessible

Driving licence
I don’t want to get bogged down in minutia here so the comments on documentation insurance etc. are kept brief. It is recommended that you get an International Drivers Permit (IDP) before you come to Thailand. These are valid for about 3 months in the kingdom and are accepted most readily by authorities and roadside police. In fact, Thailand has agreements with several countries to accept their licences, so long as they have a PHOTO and are in English. However the police are not always aware of this.

The foreign licence must either be in English, or be accompanied by an official translation into English or Thai. The licence needs to have been issued by a country that has a treaty with the Thai government allowing the mutual acceptance of driving licences.” - http://thailand.angloinfo.com/transport/driving-licences/
- UK - drivers note you need a PHOTO licence.

Thai “road culture”
Does Thai culture play a part in all this? Well I get weary of people using the expression” Thai culture” as a get-out for all sorts of ills and quirks in Thailand - in fact they are usually just a cover up for someone’s own latent racism. As a cop-out or sidestep I think it’s a waste of time. However, if you have some background knowledge on how certain aspects of Thai cultural or religious life connects to driving you may better understand and so anticipate some of the foibles you are likely to encounter on the road.

I’ve already mentioned the Thai acceptance of corruption in authorities. I’ve also alluded to the superstitions, icons and emblems on trucks etc. but how does this affect everyday driving in a private car?


Why BOATS??
In Western countries we have grown up with the car for almost a century, most of us are 3rd4thor even 5thgeneration drivers; we expect to drive and our “national psyches” are geared to this, as are our road systems and behaviour on them. The systems we drive by date back to those great road-builders the Romans (who it seems probably drove on the left). In Europe before the arrival of the motorcar, we already used a lot of roads and had established some basic highway codes and practices - the roundabout was an C18th British invention, born out of the need to manoeuvre horse and carriages in front of rich housing projects. Driving on the left, which was legally established in the early C19th in the UK, is said to stem from the way we handled horses. In Thailand it stems probably from the Japanese occupation during WW2.

Before this the main form of transport in the Kingdom was by RIVER. There were of course some hand or animal pulled carts but these were very localised and in much smaller numbers than Europe where an elaborate road system had existed for centuries. Many of the roads in Thailand were built or developed in the C20th for military purposes first by the Japanese and then the US in the 60s.

The power and influence of the “river” on daily Thai life cannot be underestimated.

Thailand’s transportation on the other hand was for centuries predominantly by river. Thai water culture influences all aspects of Thai life on land. “Kuaytiao reua” boat noodles usually have a boat for display or shape their counters like boats. Buildings from temples to schools to condominiums to brothels are frequently built in shapes that mimic boats.
The roads are no different - The ornate decorations on buses, trucks and other vehicles have most of their roots in the decor of boats and barges. Taxis and many private vehicles have ornate shrines in the front that are just the same as the boats with offerings to Mae Yanang.................

“Many Thai people believe Mae Yanang to be a female spirit that resides in the body of the boat, it is also said that Mae Yanang is the Goddess of journeys.
By paying respect to Mae Yanang passengers can expect her protection and be assured a safe journey”.

Thailand imports and then “adapts”. Adding bits of tradition and culture to whatever it is they have taken a shine to...the car is no exception. Look inside any truck bus, taxi or car in Thailand and you’ll see evidence of this. The Steering wheel, the roof, dashboard are adorned with symbols and rituals taken from boats - Garlands hag from the “stem” the rear-view mirror - shrines to Mae Yanang

And thus on almost every car...

Many people who “don’t believe” still pay a nodding respect to Mae Yanang and it obviously influences their attitude to driving.. (Note in Europe and the West the saluting of spirits under bridges and the ubiquitous St Christopher medals in cars). At every traffic light you can be offered a garland of flowers to hang of your mirror to show respect to this goddess. (BTW - it’s 20 baht a time and give them the old one for recycling)


Anyone who has owned or moored a boat will recognise the similarities with the double or three deep “mooring“ in car parks and the moorings for boats on a bank or jetty; vehicles are left with no brake on so they can be pushed out of the way like any boat at a mooring.


The proposition that the Thai national psyche is orientated towards river transport is to me particularly appealing. It could indeed account for a lot of road traffic behaviour that seems to show an abundance of those characteristics. In towns it flows much more as if on water than on asphalt. Even out on the open road you can see behaviour that fits more with navigating a boat on a river than the western idea of driving a car. The sweeping lines taken around bend across the lanes of traffic, no sudden halts just gentle drifting out into mainstreams. Swinging into the current from a tributary (side road) - The contraflow traffic moving slowly alongside the bank (i.e. - hard shoulder or central reservation) sheltering from the oncoming current… moving off so slowly so as not to upset the load…and of course parking nose first - putting in the bow and hoping the stern will drift in round behind...all a perfect examples of how to handle a boat on a river. The Thai driver - anthropologically speaking at least - seems to be in a boat.

Needless to say that add to this the speed capability of the motor vehicle and you get a potentially unsettling mixture of fluidity and danger.

…But next time you’re out driving, just keep repeating to yourself “I’m in a boat, I’m in a boat, I’m in a boat” and you may be pleasantly surprised to see how it all comes together!”



so is driving in Thailand OK?

If you do decide to drive, the benefits are many. Make your own schedule, stop where you like - no pissing into your empty water bottle on long bus journeys, trying to get comfortable whilst next to overweight flatulent sleeping strangers who have gorged on garlic,...no timetable to follow and find places that no bus or minivan could ever be booked for. Carry your belongings in the car not on your back or under the floor of a bus where it gets rummaged through by porters.

For me it’s an integral part on my job - between that and touring I’ve covered 500,000 km over the last 20 years.

I think the only proviso is that you need to truly assess your driving abilities. If you aren’t a confident driver at home, then why should you be in Thailand? If a lot of the stuff above is new to you, then I’d suggest that you need to get aware quickly, It’s not really just down to driving in Thailand, it’s down to driving anywhere in the world...

In reality the roads in Thailand are potentially dangerous - particularly for the inexperienced, over-confident and less adaptable and of course motorcyclists, but if you are a competent driver, you should be able to have a safe and enjoyable journey.... and a few experiences to talk about at home. So don’t blame others take control yourself and have a safe trip.

Motorcycles
Here’s a short note about motorcycles
Most foreigners who self drive in Thailand do so on a “small” motorcycle. ...For the most part, they are on holiday and the temptation not to wear a helmet or protective clothing is obvious.

The UK foreign Office released this warning to citizens who are either expats or visitors to Thailand...

“After deaths from natural causes, road collisions are the most common cause of death for British nationals in Thailand and cause a high number of hospitalisations. According to FCO staff in Thailand, the majority of them involve motorcycles and scooters.”

On places like Samui the resulting road rash is called a “Samui Tattoo” or “Samui sunburn” – they’re the lucky ones. It’s also VERY EXPENSIVE – hospitals aren’t free.

*****

#1 khunwilco has been a member since 30/4/2014. Posts: 13






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