Thailand is a beautiful country with many beautiful sights to take in and one of the best ways of doing so is by road trip. Thailand is not famous for its roads and there are some who believe it is not a good place to drive. The roads are, however, often surprisingly good and they are well signed. Coupled with the climate and wonderful scenery this makes Thailand a great place for a road trip, and here are some reasons why:
It is no secret that Thailand is a beautiful country with a central plain, mountains, and plateaus. Thailand’s coast has tropical beaches. There are also magnificent ancient temples, royal palaces, and ruins. The landscape has many wonderful features to explore including lush jungles.
Thai cuisine is subtle, exotic and also varied and the culture quite different to anywhere else.
In one word, Freedom. Making the most of what Thailand has to offer means having the freedom to do so. This does not come with public transport, making a road trip the best way to enjoy Thailand. The trip can be broken into a series of segments, and unscheduled stops can be taken whenever the traveler wants them. Forays into the inner parts of Thailand away from the roads can be made. Parking is usually never a problem, making it a pleasure to drive in the country.
A road trip is a much more laid-back way of exploring a country. It can be taken at the traveler’s pace, involves only self-imposed timetables and can take whatever direction the traveler wants.
An ultimate destination may be in sight but the way there can include as many excursions, detours, and explorations as desired.
Thailand’s roads and highways are improving all the time and most are well signed. Although driving in some of the more densely populated areas can require some patience and additional caution, Thai drivers are generally as respectful in their driving as they are about everything else.
As with driving in any foreign country, it is important to ensure that the correct documentation is always carried. Car hire excess insurance should be checked if appropriate as with any other form of insurance.
Driving the 200 kilometers from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai through the mountains of Northern Thailand offers a unique experience. The scenery is stunning. Highway 107 takes the traveler to Chiang Dao where hot springs, elephant camps, caves and waterfalls are to be found. The highway takes the driver to Fang, an old town that has taken on a multicultural character offering much to the visitor. Rice fields and rolling countryside offer a real taste of traditional Thai culture.
Further along Highway 107 is Thaton, populated with mountains and forests and where the river Mae Kok enters the country from Myanmar. The scenery is also home to a temple with four gigantic statues of Budha.