Road Rules in Bangkok, Thailand

Discussion in 'Asia' started by Lingmayoma, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. Lingmayoma

    Lingmayoma Ho hum

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
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    53
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    Dear All

    Thought I would start a thread about road rules in Bangkok. I just got a GS Advenbture (my first bike in Thailand) and want to avoid as much as possible getting caught out.

    So far it seems:
    • Toll roads are off limits to bikes as well it seem most motorways/highways around Bangkok.
    • On main city roads bikes can only use the leftmost two lanes. When there is a third lane keep off. Got caught yesterday on this one! :mad?
    • Carry your licence around with you and bike documents
    Not much to go on but hopefully we can get some more from those more experienced than I on the roads of Bangkok.

    Will try and post more as I find them out and post some trips reports when I break out from Bangkok!
    #1
  2. Pilbara

    Pilbara In the flow...

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    I did not think there were any roadrules in Bangkok? I used to use the bike taxi type guys to get around a bit there and they always surprised me as too where they would ride and how:eek1

    I specifically remember one day when we went up the footpath the opposite way down a one way 4 lane road (for over a km), past a policeman on the way, actually nearly bowled him over as he was standing on the footpath then turned into the oncoming traffic and rode against it while on the white line between two lanes:eek1 Yeh they were going the other way.

    Very efficient way of getting around, if you can handle the risk taking...

    Cheers
    Pilbara
    #2
  3. Lingmayoma

    Lingmayoma Ho hum

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    No rules? :rofl


    It certainly feels that way sometimes and the yesterday I thought the rozzer would give me a ticket for not wearing flip flops! In fact maybe you can ride a bike on the highway as long as it is the opposite direction to the traffic!

    At the end of day he was going to get me for something but be good to know roughly what you can and can't do...
    #3
  4. Pilbara

    Pilbara In the flow...

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    ...fixes everything....:evil :deal

    Cheers
    Pilbara
    #4
  5. OBR650

    OBR650 Been here awhile

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    I spent a few weeks in Thailand in 06, mostly touring the norhern area's. After you get used to the organised chaos its not too bad. I made a habit of leaving early in the morning to avoid the traffic and also the heat.

    In most situations the cops can be bought if its a minor offence. If your riding anything other than a scooter your a target and the GS will stand out like dogs balls. If your travelling down the road and a vehicle is coming towards you on your side of the road, as happened to me a few times the only road rule is "might has right" get out of the way.

    Head north A.S.A.P and get out of the more populated areas. I toured the northern provinces and the people and general atmosphere a lot more relaxed. Make sure you visit Pai and Mai Hong Sai, Mai Sai is also worth a look on the border with Burma as is the Golden Triangle.

    You'll have an great time. Watch out for Water Buffalo sleeping in the middle of the road, there're heaps bigger and harder than Wallabies.

    Cheers
    OBR
    #5
  6. Duffman

    Duffman Been here awhile

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    Wow, I cant imagine riding a bike the size of a GS through all the traffic and chaos of Thailand, or any Asian country for that matter!

    Your braver than me, thats for sure! :clap
    #6
  7. GTinAus

    GTinAus nutsplitter

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    I spent some time in Malasia, Thailand and Laos in 1995, as a consultant for the flegling (and it only ran once) South East Asia Cross Country Rally.

    This was to be based on the concept of the Australian Safari (without the motorbikes). It was organised jointly between some Chinese Malasians and some Thais. The joint co-operation between the two was hilarious. Although we didnt get paid for it, 100% of our expenses were covered, including several airfares to and fro over the months.

    The best part, was the surveys through the three countries, I got to see places very few tourists get to go (including being detained at gunpoint for a few hours as a suspected drug smuggler when we stumbled into a Thai army anti drug operation, and being at a Thai border post up in the mountains near the Burmese border, where the soldiers walked around with FN's pointed upwards, finger beside the trigger, and the safety OFF.

    I would love to go back to Thailand, and retrace some roads we used on a bike, particulary near the Burmese border (I cant remember the names of the towns or provinces).

    I did very little driving, especially in Thailand, as it was explained to me, if someone in a car, truck or on a bike or scootere, cut across 5 lanes of traffic, did a double u turn in front of me, then run into me, guess who will be wearing the blame, the foreigner.

    It was mentioned, that in Thailand, cops can be bought, for a minor offence is something you may get away with in Malasia, or Laos, but I WOULD NOT try it in Thailand. The Thai police take their job seriously. That was told to me by a Malasian police Inspector, who was one of the organisers.

    The traffic rules are similar to Australia, with local exceptions, which you need to know about before driving, but you will find the other drivers MUCH more courteous than Australian drivers.

    In the northern provinces, much care is needed on dusk, as the farmers leave their fields, and head back home to their villages...with trailers piled high with produce, pulled by their rotary hoes, at about 15KpH....and up to 10 people on the trailers also.

    At that point at night, when its too dark to see clearly by natural light, and too light to see by headlight, coming up on these at speed is a bit heart stopping.

    One of the main disadvantages of Thailand, is once you clear the major cities and highways, all the signs are in Thai, and nobody speaks english, unlike Malasia. And the Crylic style script is very difficult to decipher, or compare with names on maps.

    One last thing, it was pointed out to me, although Thais smile all the time, and the traditional greeting is hands together, fingers pointing up, with a bowed head, and their religion is Buddism, which teaches peace, unlike all the other South East Asian countries, Thailand has never been colonised by a foriegn power (English, Dutch, Portugese etc). Ask yourself why? Its not because nobody wanted it.

    But to ride a bike, of any description in Bankok, would be a very heart pounding, adrenalin producing adventure in itself. (I sat in the back of a rally car...full roll cage, no back seat...no rear seatbelt, being driven by a native of Bankok, who seemed to have something to prove, basically across Bankok for a meeting, and I believe I left finger indentations in the alloy roll cage, where I was hanging on).
    #7
  8. AusStealth

    AusStealth Bohican

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    One point to be aware of is that if you are involved in a road accident, as a foreign tourist you will be at a disadvantage. The view seems to be that if you hadn't come to Thailand, you would not have been there at the time the accident occured, and therefore its your fault. No joke!
    #8
  9. OBR650

    OBR650 Been here awhile

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    I have to agree with the liability thing here. A mate I was riding with at the time in Chang Mai was clipped by a taxi, he in turn clipped a scooter with three school girls on it. They bit the dust and went sliding down the tar while the taxi continued.

    It was a complete mess, one girl had abrasions from her face to her toes. Guess who got hauled into the police station, the foreinger. If it wasn't for some locals and expats we knew the result might may be been a lot worse. In the end my mate hate to pay all the hospital bill's and repairs to the bike.

    They see a foreigner and $$$. My mate did the right thing by our standards and hung around and attempted to comfort the injured girls. Because there is no insurance a local would have just left the seen. We were told we should have done the same thing but its just not the way Aussies behave in that situation.

    Be careful.
    #9
  10. Lightemup

    Lightemup Adventurer

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    I just drove a F650GS through Bangkok two days ago, coming in from the north for Chang Mai.
    I got turned away at a toll booth in the middle of Bangkok, I missed the last off exit
    So had to go against traffic, until I reached it, and then just followed other motorbikes.

    At one point when I was truely lost I just hired a motorbike taxi rider to take me to my hotel, payed him when I got there.

    I did get fined for ending up in the right hand lane at a stoplight, got pulled over and had to bribe the Police to get my license back. He said "Pay 500 baht", I said "What 500 Baht??? 300 is normal" so we met at 400 baht...Great to haggle about bribes with the police.
    I did get him to draw a map for me to get me out of Bangkok again, nice guy..TIT :D
    #10
  11. Lingmayoma

    Lingmayoma Ho hum

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    Well done! Keep out of the right hand lane if there are 3 lanes unless you are turning right! I got caught on that one.

    I was out for ride today but just around home out near airport. You still in Bangkok next weekend, I was going to go up to Koh Yai National Park (2/3 hours out of Bangkok) if you wanted a nice day trip? PM me.

    Where you heading?
    #11
  12. Lightemup

    Lightemup Adventurer

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    Sorry for not keeping up with this thread.
    I live in Phuket, and bought a bike in Chang Mai and passed through Bangkok then Ranong going down to Phuket.
    #12
  13. Lingmayoma

    Lingmayoma Ho hum

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    No worries!

    Safe riding..
    #13
  14. farqhuar

    farqhuar Human guinea pig

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    That's been a rule for a long time - I got stopped for riding in the outer lanes of Sukhumvit Road, way back in 1977.

    Garry from Oz.
    #14