In Thailand traffic is left-hand. It is necessary to remember that at the subconscious level.
One has only to relax for a second as the Russian traffic rules will immediately take over and you will be surprised to find yourself on the wrong side towards continuous stream of cars and motorcycles.
Traffic in Thailand. What is important to know when you rent a car or motorbike in Samui
Once at the intersection, you can turn left while the traffic light is red. Passing oncoming traffic, you can safely turn not interfering with anybody. Lanes are marked for turn. This is rational. Why waste time at the intersection?
Seat belt is a thing that can save your life. Despite this, few people drive with it in Chiang Mai. You’d better to wear always. Mainly because “driving without a belt” is favorite cause for police to stop foreigner. Make sure your passenger wears seat belt as well.
Since you are in Thailand, not in Europe, the flashing of headlights has a completely different meaning. Namely: “Let pass”. And if translated literally, it means: “don’t stand on my way when I’m driving, I don’t stop”. Let impatient driver pass, and quietly go on.
If you are caught in the rain, then switch on the headlights. This is due to the peculiarities of the climate. The rain in Thailand is heavy tropical downpour when visibility tends to zero. Therefore, headlights are the only things that will help you to find your presence on the road. Many bike models use enforced constant switching on of low beam light.
They rarely stop for drunk driving in Chiang MAi. However, if you are caught, you will face a choice – either leave 300-400 dollars in favor of the officer or go to prison, where you will have to serve at least two days before the court. Then consecutive court, fine and deportation from the country will seem small troubles to you. In case of situation in which you are responsible for accident in condition of intoxication, please believe it is better not to drink any alcohol before getting into a car.
Thailand has its own insurance, the equivalent of the Obligatory motor insurance. It is a sticker, which must always be with you and prolonged on time. However, only law-abiding citizens do it. If you ride a rented bike, then you do not care. If on your own bike then you can be offered to pay the fine.
Regulations governing the conduct of drivers on the main and side roads are similar to Europe . You give way to drivers following the main road. There is only a small nuance – the “Main road” sign is almost never encountered. Therefore it is better to assume that you move on uncontrolled intersection. Furthermore, local drivers don’t monitor situation on the road closely. If before intersection you see a white line across the road – stop and let others pass.
Overtake only from the right. This does not mean that you’ll not be overtaken from the left, even by several people. So please be vigilant. Overtaking, they can hold your car on both sides and keep you from manoeuvre. Then only caution and composure will save you from accidents.
Who is on the main road.
A hindrance is from the left as the traffic in Thailand is left-hand. Let pass a car driving from the left or one from the right passes you. Except a roundabout. On roundabout all the cars are on the main road. So you should let them pass.