Saturday, February 2, 2013

Thailand Overview and Means of Transportation


Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia with coasts on the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. It borders Myanmar (Burma) to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Cambodia to the southeast and Malaysia to the south. With great food, tropical climate, fascinating culture and great beaches, Thailand is a magnet for travelers all over the world.


For good reasons. You can find almost anything here, beautiful beaches, greats jungles, good variety of food, fine dinning pubs, clubs, and restaurants, day/night market, etc, there is something for every interest and price bracket, from beach front backpacker bungalows to some of the best luxury hotels in the world. Many travelers come to Thailand and extend their stay well beyond their original plans and others never find a reason to leave. Whatever your cup of tea, they know how to make it in Thailand. This is not to say that Thailand doesn't have its downsides. This of course, range from traffic jam in big city, price exploitation, scamming, and crime.  


Coming to Thailand


The main international airports in Thailand are in Bangkok and Phuket. both are well-served by intercontinental flights. Practically every airline that flies to Asia also flies into Bangkok, this means there are plenty of services and the competition on the routes helps to keep the ticket prices down. International airports are also located at Hat Yai, Krabi, Ko Samui and Chiang Mai, though these largely restricted to flights from other Southeast Asian countries.


Getting around; 

Songthaew 

A Songthaew is a truck-based vehicle with a pair of bench seats in the back. one on each side. It is mostly based on a pick-up truck it has a roof and open sides. Songthaew are operating as local buses generally the most economical way to travel short distances (fare usually starts from 5baht). Take care to always getting on one that has other passengers on, otherwise you might be charged at a much higher rate. Proper Songthaews in operation are always on specific routes, which divided  according to colors. They would go round and round their routes all day long. If you are not in a hurry, try hop on ones you see regularly in operation near your area, study the routes and see where they take you. This way next time you want to go somewhere nearby,  you know which color a Songthaew you would hop in, and since you know where you are going, will pay the same fare as other people on board.  If you stop a Songthaew driver and ask the driver to go to specific place outside the route and the driver agreed to take you, be prepare to pay a much higher fare for your trip. 

Taxi 

Metered taxis are common in Bangkok, while elsewhere in the country, most are only available upon request. They are an excellent mean of transport when available, as long as you always demand the use of the meter and negotiate the fare before hop in. This is for your own peace of mind. Most taxis do their jobs relatively well and honest, but some are also out there looking for foreigners as a means to earn higher fare when possible. 

Motorbike

Motorcycle is one of the most common forms of transport. It can be rented without difficulty in many locations. Rates start at around 125 baht/day up to around 2500 baht/day for the very latest model high capacity sport bikes. Many places will rent to you without requiring a license, though legally speaking, you do have to have a valid license. Helmets are normally included, but are usually ultra-basic models with very flimsy chin-strap fasteners. Always ask for a better one or better yet, buy a good one yourself and bring along.

Apart from transportation, there are numerous other aspects of Thailand waiting to be explored. Get yourself as much information as possible while packing your bags, as it will proof very helpful when you actually arrive here in 'The Land of Smile'.


Stay tuned for the next guide!

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1 comments:

Taxi are the same color of New York City, USA - lol nice!

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