How do Thais drive in Pattaya?
( Driving license in Pattaya)
Driving in Thailand is challenging and dangerous. Due to the mad volume of traffic and the fact that its roadways are not well maintained and rather confusing.
People who have the need for speed on their motorbikes or in their cars may want to consider that sometimes there are vehicles on the road that carry a whole family. Police will pull you over and find you. Police set up checkpoints from time to time and fine Thai and Foreign violators alike. In fact, some Police have proper hang out spots at these checkpoints. Either they set up camping chairs or have a little restaurant that serves coffee. It should go without saying, but in a country, like Thailand, it’s important to ensure that you’re always wearing your seat belt. Whilst Thai law only mandates that front-seat passengers wear a seat belt, given the state of the roads and the often awful driving abilities of those using them, it’s better to wear a belt wherever you’re sat to protect you in the event of an accident. On top of this, there are several other laws you’ll need to be aware of, from turning left on red to the speed limits on different roads. By familiarising yourself with the rules before using them you can mitigate any chance of having an accident.
There are many cars, motorbike, and jeep rental firms, including many international firms. While it is legal to drive in Thailand with a valid licence from most countries, it’s worth noting that most companies will not give you a car or provide you with insurance without an international driver’s licence. This licence and a valid passport must be carried at all times while driving.
Thai people are peaceful, respectful and polite, right?
here’s seemingly no lack of them. Many Thais have no awareness of road rules and probably don’t even have a driver’s license. It is extremely easy to pass a driving test in Thailand.
You also have:- drunk drivers.
– Baht bus drivers on energy drinks (and that’s IF it’s an energy drink).
– tourists with no Thai driving experience.
– drunk pedestrians.
That’s driving in Pattaya: People will- pull out in front of you without looking.
– stop for no apparent reason.
– ride their motorbike at 50 KM an hour with one hand while talking on the mobile phone.
– ride the wrong way up the road into oncoming traffic.
– pass you on either side at full speed.
– weave through traffic like immortals.
– and much more impressive.
You also must know that in Thailand people drive on the left side of the road. On many rural roads, you’ll occasionally happen upon motorcycles, cars and even 12-wheel trucks maneuvering against one-way traffic.
If you ask a Thai why he prefers to drive on the wrong side of the road, against the traffic on the “emergency” lane, rather than take the next U-turn which is 2 kilometers away, his answer will probably be somewhere along the line of “ki kiaet pai U-turn”. If you ask this Thai girl why she doesn’t wear a helmet, maybe she will reply “ki kiaet sai”. Now ask this truck driver why he didn’t put on his turn signal before he turned and he may reply “ki kiaet peut”.
”Ki kiaet” means lazy in Thai and it is a derogatory word, like most words beginning by ki-. I’m not saying Thai people are lazy, but we can safely say that, generally speaking, they drive in a lazy way. It means that they choose the easiest, smoothest way to do things, not the safest, or not the most considerate. So I think that the “ki kiaet” attitude, whether you choose to translate it as lazy, or easy, or just “ki kiaet”, is a good way to understand the way Thai people drive. They are not lazy people, but they drive lazily, they choose the easy way to do things. That’s why you see them drive on the wrong side of the road instead of driving 2 kilometers to the next U-turn, that’s why they can enter a gas station through the exit or exit through the entrance, and that’s why they do all the crazy and dangerous things you see them doing.
(Drivers license requirements)
(Assistance Fee: 3,500 Baht)
Expats planning to drive a car in Thailand should apply for a Thai driving license. This is the only way to ensure that you can drive legally in the country and are fully covered by a car insurance policy. It can also serve as an ID card issued by the government.
If you can not read and/nor understand the Thai language, you are allowed to bring an interpreter to fill the forms and translate the possible instruction class and tests.
Valid Passport with Valid Non-immigrant Visa
Signed copies of the passport’s first page, the page with the current non-immigrant visa, the page with the last entry stamp and the TM-card.
A certified letter of address from the applicant’s embassy, or from the Immigration Bureau (the document can not be older than 30 days).
Tip: The letter from the embassy is the fastest option, but the immigration office will provide this service for free. However, it will take them 3-6 weeks to complete and an officer from your local police station will visit your place of residence for verification. If you are working in Thailand: the blue workbook, better known as your work permit, can replace either of these documents and serve as address verification.
– A doctor’s certificate stating that the applicant is in good health, both physically and mentally (standard forms are available from most clinics and should not be more than 30 days old).
– 2 photos, 1 x 1 inch and not older than 6 months (photo service is available on the premises).
– Valid international driver’s license plus signed photocopy or translated regular driving licence from the applicant’s home country, certified by Embassy or consulate. (if available).
– Note that 1 set of these documents is required per licence applications. However, when applying for both a car and a motorcycle license, an extra copy of the doctor’s certificate and the letter of the address will suffice for the second application.
You need to have these documents signed.