Please don't think twice about renting an
automobile, car, or motorcycle in Thailand. Think three times!!! I have
considerable experience with cars, driving cars and renting automobiles
back in the UK. I was a driving instructor and ran many driving school
operations back home before I made the move to Bangkok.
Driving in Thailand has many pitfalls as
well as potholes. Then there are the pitfalls of actually renting a car.
There is no doubt that the famous international automobile rental
companies like Avis are above board, if a little expensive. However the
standard of business practices amongst Thailand's auto rental companies
is often described as somewhere between horrendous and a nightmare.
Consider alternative forms of transport.
Some cheap, some expensive. Some pretty ordinary some certainly
Go by plane - Thailand although
not a large country when compared to The States, Canada or some European
countries like Spain or France is long from north to south 2,000
The three main tourist areas of Chiang Mai in the north, Phuket in the south and Bangkok in the middle are interconnected by a
domestic airline service run by Thai airways and nowadays by local low
cost airlines like Nok Air and AirAsia. An internal flight from the
Bangkok hub takes about an hour to most destinations.
Take the train - there is a
limited train service to the north, northeast and to the south. Journeys
are long but choosing an overnight trip can save money for the budget
minded, backpacker type of traveler. Don't forget your Lonely Planet
guide - it can serve as an uncomfortable pillow on a long journey. Come
to think about it this is probably the most useful purpose of the Lonely
Planet guide that I can think of.
Hire an elephant - The only way to
travel around Thailand two or three hundred years ago. The history books
tell us it took about three months and four elephants to travel from
Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Nowadays you can hire an elephant by the hour or
by the day to go elephant trekking in the northern forests. Just fine
for the adventurous traveler. Don't forget to pack a big bucket
Charter a yacht - for you
millionaires out there this has got to be the way to go. Hire a yacht,
sailboat, motorized cruiser or catamaran and sail the southern islands.
I have some breaking news about yacht chartering in Thailand that is
going to bring the cost down to accommodate the budgets of more normal
tourists. Contact me for more details
Captain a Kayak - a low cost
alternative but I think just as pleasurable activity as chartering a
My Choice - Take the bus -
Thailand is blessed by a network of reasonable highways that connect all
the major cities and small towns. Two or three major bus operators ply
these routes transporting millions of passengers a year at very
reasonable costs. A ten hour bus journey in a VIP tour bus, air
conditioned, on board movies, fully reclining seats for less than 10$US.
They even stop once or twice at roadside restauarants and the food is
included in the ticket price.
Still want to rent a car? OK the
choice is yours. Bangkok Companies can put you in touch or arrange your
rental car at prices much cheaper than Avis. With or without a driver.
Oh and arrange the insurance.
Want to rent a motorcycle? - Again
up to you. I want nothing to do with this. Just keep my mobile number 09
884-0014 for reference. I can arrange a good doctor, and emergency
hospital treatment. Please take out a good medical or holiday insurance
that covers you for repatriation by medivac or returning your remains
home for burial. You have been warned!!
If you require any information on this sector please
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