Passing on Thai Highways

A few weeks ago I needed to do a border run. While I normally do this by flying somewhere, what with higher plane ticket prices I decided to try something I hadn’t done in a long while: the tour bus ride to the Cambordian border. Based on that experience, I think I’ll spend the extra money on a plane ticket in the future.

The story is told here in this two-and-a-half minute video:

Look, I realize that land-based travel is all that most Thais can afford. That’s perfectly understandable. And I don’t want to be one of those foreigners who insists that everything should be just as neat, tidy, and safe as it is back home. But…

Surin Bus Crash - Nation Group
Sample of the type of images that regularly grace Thai news sources. Courtesy The Nation newspaper

…after taking this border run and being reminded of how dangerously Thai bus, van, and truck drivers operate their vehicles, especially when it comes to passing on the road, I think my chances of returning from my border run alive are significantly higher if I fly!


0 thoughts on “Passing on Thai Highways

  1. Having threaded traffic winding up the plateau to the Bogota, I can appreciate conditions on Thai roads. Amazingly, one becomes accustomed to it.

  2. I agree that the driving style of Thais leaves much to be desired. I am always scared taking the taxi from the airport to town and having no seat belts in the back seat.

  3. Hard to tell if flying is safer than driving unless the airlines have frequent safety checks. Australian Air lines had a spat of bad flying incidences and you won’t know about Thai airline until a bunch of accidents occur. So I suppose you are going to be more religious and pray more before travelling?

  4. @Devilzgaysianboi – Thanks for your concern, Kevin. LOL@PPhilip – To every deity available!@marc11864 – Depends on your expectations, right?@NVPhotography – I know, right? What more to say?@nov_way – Very true.@beowulf222 – Have been a few taxis where I’m pretty sure the driver was on drugs.@Fatcat723 – @murisopsis – You can rest assured I’ll be back to flying in the future.@Ricardo98 – Don’t pull over for ambulances or fire trucks. Not sure where they would pull over to, given how crowded the city streets are, but no effort is made.@Inciteful – That’s very true. Some countries have worse driving than Thailand, I’m sure, and over my years here I have become used to this and acually drive myself. But, still, there’s a level where I look at it and have to think that the risks are unnecessary.@CurryPuffy – @slmret – I’ll just count out 90 days and buy my next ticket for then! =D

  5. yeah, fly chris, fly. i too prefer to take the land transportations when i can help it, as you get a more scenic experience, but there are times when one must be wise.

  6. @christao408 –  yes, traveling by train is on my list of to-do-things. i’ve always wondered how great it would be to travel from china to russia on the trans-siberian train route. must be very scenic. i also have enjoyed taking the bullet trains in japan to go to a couple of places and would love to travel all over japan on such train.

  7. They did the same thing in Peru when I visited there, I took a motorcycle out and they did the same exact thing…I felt okay because I didn’t take up much space on the road to make a last ditch maneuver. They lack a standardized system like the U.S…all of those boring lines on the road and Do Not Pass signs…and traffic cops…

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