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I have been driving to Thailand visiting various places from Southern to some northern and eastern Thailand.

If you would like to find out how to drive to Hatyai, Krabi, Songkla, Phuket, Koh Samui, Hua Hin, Bangkok, Chiangmai and etc, please click the location below to find out the detail of my journey or visit the Trip page.

1) Bangkok + Chiangmai

2) Koh Samui

3) Krabi

4) Phuket

5) Songkhla

6) Hua Hin

For more information about driving to Thailand, please check out the FAQ ( Frequent Asked Question ) page.

If you wish to find out my recent activities and planning for my next trip, visit the Blog section.

 

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104 Responses
  1. Pua Meng Terng says:

    if there is any cities more happening to stop by from bukit kayu hitam to koh samui other than hat yai?

  2. admin says:

    Hi Pua,

    You may stop at Songkhla instead of Hatyai as an alternative. It is just about 30 minutes away.

    Further up north, you may stop at Nakhon Si Thammarat. Which is nearer to Donsak Jetty.

    Since the most of the shopping will be done at Hatyai, you might want to consider stop at Hatyai on your way back but stopping Nakhon Si Thammarrat on the way to Koh Samui.

    http://www.drivetothailand.com/drive-to-koh-samui-2008-day-2/

    http://www.drivetothailand.com/drive-to-koh-samui-2008-day-5/

  3. Chan KS says:

    Hi,
    Will be driving to Hatyai/Phuket next week. AIA do not accept coverage to personal vehicle travelling oversea. Any advice or recomendation?

    Thanks

  4. admin says:

    I have tried Kurnia and Oriental, both accept coverage to Thailand.

    You may want to try to call their service centre.

    Please do share your trip journal once you are back.

    Enjoy your trip and safe journey.

    Fr Kent

  5. Shor says:

    Hi,

    your Blog is fantastic. I read it over and over again. Well, as I am planning my drive from Singapore to Chiang Mai, here are a few questions and maybe you can share some valuable experiences of yours.

    I drive to Chiang Mai is for leisure and along the way I will not be like your trip, stop for 1 or 2 days visiting the provinces. My intentions are drive to Chiang Mai, but hopefully not to drive more than 500km per day. Hope that you will spent some of your precious time advice the stop over.

    Here are my plans, SG-IPOH-TRANG-PRACHUAP KIRI KHAN-LOPBURI-SUKHOTHAI-CMAI or SG-IPOH-HATYAI-SURAT THANI-BKK-NAKON SAWAN-CMAI .

    hOPE YOU CAN SUGGEST A BETTER AND EASIER DRIVING DIRECTIONS….HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU!!!

  6. CH says:

    Hi Kent,

    I drove into Thailand during the recent Raya and Merdeka holiday. Drove to Nakhon Si Thammarat. Stayed there for 2 nights and visited the Wat Phra Mahathat, Karom Waterfall at Khoa Luang National Park and also did lots of walking/window shopping in town. I like Nakhon. Very nice place and good food everywhere. We even saw stalls selling Roti Canai and Roti Telur!

    We then cut across from Nakhon Si Thammart on the east coast and drove to Krabi on the west coast. Stayed a night each at the Ao-Nang Beach and Krabi town. Visited the very beautiful Blue Pool and Emerald Pool (the Thais called it Sa Morakot) located at Khlong Thom district. Had a good swim in the shallow pool.

    We also stopped by and had a good lunch at the beautiful Khao Pubpa restaurant on our way from Krabi to Hat Yai via Phattalung.

    Overall, a very good and fun trip. Driving is so much better in Thailand than in Malaysia. The road condition is so much better and we find that the Thais are so much more patient and courtest on the road as compared to our Malaysian drivers! If there’s one thing I learnt and witnessed from my car trip into Thailand, I would definitely say Thailand is a much safer place to drive…

  7. admin says:

    Hi CH,

    Thanks for the information and please do share with us your next trip journal.

    Kent

  8. CH says:

    Hi Kent,

    I really enjoyed reading your experiences driving in Thailand especially your round Thailand trip all the way up to Chiangmai and Issan and back to to Malaysia. I wish I will have the opportunity and also can find the time to drive round Thailand too. I would love to drive to places such as Mae Hong Son in the northwest and Sakhon Nakhon in the east. That would be perfect.

    So do you have any plan to drive into Thailand again this year? I noticed almost all of your trips (except the round Thailand trip) were done in early Sept.

    CH

  9. admin says:

    Dear CH,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I usually plan my trip during Hari Raya where my job required least attention as most customer on leave. All in with both weekend you will get about 9 days holiday which is more then sufficient.

    For northern Thailand, 9 days is achievable.

    Day 1/Friday Night KL – Changlun
    Day 2/Sat Changlun – Huahin
    Day 3/Sun Huahin – Nakhon Sawan
    Day 4/Mon Nakhon Sawan – Chiangmai
    Day 5-7 ChiangMai/MaeHongson/Chiangrai
    Day 8/Fri ChiangMai – Bangkok
    Day 9/Sat Bangkok – Hatyai
    Dat 10/Sun Hatyai – KL

    I actually plan to make a trip to HuaHin during Hari Raya this year but cancel due to family member’s commitment. I will make a short trip 4 days to Songkla next week. Stay tune the update.

  10. reza says:

    May I know when is your next trip to Thailand? Is it possible for us to tag along? Is can, how much it will cost?

    Thanks.

    Waiting for your earliest reply.

    Rgds,
    Reza.

  11. publicway says:

    I plan to go 20nov-4dec this yr drive from johor bahru to phuket and krabi, with some stop over along the way. my friend the similar trip last year even just with his potong wira.

    i am driving my 2005 accord 2.0 hope is less tiring.

    but my wife complaint big time cos to her she though is something very big deal (to drive to thailand) and very dangerous and she think i am mad.

    wonder how can i convince her. perhaps the best solution is to let her reading this blog :-o

  12. admin says:

    hi. let her read this blog and see how fun we are.

    even a kancil can drive to Thailand as the road is well maintain and the road sign is clear, with the GPS you will not get lost.

    enjoy your trip and I am more then happy to put your trip journal in this blog.

  13. admin says:

    Hi Reza.

    I had reply to your email.

  14. publicway says:

    hi admin, thanks for your reply so fast i appreciate it.

    btw, i do not have good stamina in driving. even when driving from johor bahru to kl, i tend to stop a few times at r&r to reflex my muscle, walk around, wash my face etc.

    do you have tips on how to drive so long distance? i estimate i will drive >3000km throughout my 2 wks journey. i plan to go krabi and phuket. will stop over at trang after reading your experience.

    also, i saw from above messages that some insurance company doesnt cover driving to thailand??? i thought we will be buying insurance at thai-msia border and doesnt this insurance cover the trip?

    thanks.
    publicway

  15. admin says:

    Hi Publicway,

    Lets sort the insurance part first.

    The insurance that you purchase at the border is to cover Thailand property if there is an accident. That means your car is not covered.

    That is why you need to purchase an insurance to cover your own car. The most convenient way is to extend the coverage from your existing insurance company. Please check the FAQ section for some insurance premium coverage.

    http://www.drivetothailand.com/faq/

    I guess driving in north south highway give us the impression that travelling by car is boring, we stop when there is a rest area and not allow to do that as and when we wanted to.

    In Thailand, there is no such restriction. You can stop anytime you like. Just like our old trunk road, there are a lot stalls and shops by the road side, you can stop to have a rest or meal or even buying something that you will never seen in your life. Thats make it fun, everything is under your control.

    Lets look at your itenary, you have 14 days to spend.. which is very luxury holiday.

    Day 1 JB to Ipoh/Penang – visit old friends and tell them you are driving to Phuket.
    Day 2 Ipoh/Penang – Hatyai – first taste of Tomyom
    Day 3 Hatyai – Free and easy, or even drive to Songkla, lunch at Koh Yo.
    Day 4 Hatyai – Krabi
    Day 5 Krabi – Free and Easy
    Day 6 Krabi- Free and Easy – may be island hopping
    Day 7 Krabi – Phuket
    Day 8 Phuket – Free and Easy
    Day 9 Phuket – Free and Easy
    Day 10 Phuket – Trang
    Day 11 Trang Hatyai
    Day 12 Hatyai – KL
    Day 13 KL – JB

    I visited Songkhla month ago, but no time to put up the detail yet, but you can have a look at the photo.

  16. publicway says:

    Thank you admin (sorry i cant find your name) for your suggestion thats very kind of you.

    I will find out the insurance coverage from my existing policy company.

    On your suggested itenary, thats very similar to whats in my mind :) perhaps i will alter a little bit to below:

    Day 1 JB to Ipoh/Kangsar – old fren in kangsar. hope not too far from highway
    Day 2 Ipoh/Kangsar – Trang – can i skip hatyai? been there b4. is Ipoh-Trang too far to drive?
    Day 3 Trang – Free and easy, or even drive to Songkla, lunch at Koh Yo.
    Day 4 Trang – Krabi
    Day 5 Krabi – Free and Easy
    Day 6 Krabi- Phuket
    Day 7 Phuket– Free and Easy
    Day 8 Phuket – Free and Easy
    Day 9 Phuket – Free and Easy
    Day 10 Phuket – Free and Easy
    Day 11 Phukket – Trang/Hatyai
    Day 12 Hatyai – KL
    Day 13 KL – JB

    I would like to stay more days in phuket perhaps a week if i can.

    My main concern is: if i would like stay in Trang/Krabi on either way (to or back), how should i plan it?

    can i do like:
    ipoh-trang-phuket, or
    ipoh-krabi-phuket

    phuket-trang-penang,0r
    phuket-krabi-hatyai.

    i wonder if ipoh-trang/krabi too fr to drive and that i must stop a night in betweem e.g. hatyai. i really dont wish to stop at hatyai if i have other choice.

  17. admin says:

    Hi Publicway, just call me Kent will do.

    Ipoh to Trang is about 500KM, it is doable. I am just thinking travel from JB to Hatyai for 2 days , you might want to have a good rest in Hatyai since there are a lot of activities there compare to Trang, a quiet town.

    For your information, Songkhla on the east side of Hatyai, once you are in Trang, you had way passed Songkhla.

    Since you have 2 weeks to spare, I suggest do not fix a firm schedule but a flexible one. For example if you find Krabi is nice, then stay a few more days. If Phuke is boring, then leave earlier or even explore area like Phang-nga or Khao Lak.

    If Hatyai is not your choice, then you may want to consider stop at Songkhla. I just did a shot trip, no story yet but just photo. http://drivetothailand.com/songkhla

  18. publicway says:

    thanks Kent, thanks for your advice.

    Seems like i must stop at hatyai/songkhla since i don think i can drive 500km. ideally i do not wan to drive >200km ;)

    most probably i will prefer songkhla cos i been to hatyai and don really like there.

    i wil take your advice i.e. not to fix a firm plan, just follow our heart and see how it goes :)

    [way]

  19. publicway says:

    Hi Kent,

    On Insurance part again:

    I have ask the auto insurance company in JB they say just buy the insurance at the border. They do not sell from here.

    And i asked a fren he said just buy from the border, for the ‘1st party’ or ‘comprehensive’ type which will cover properties in thailand AND my car as well.

    Not sure if the above is correct.

    Or do you have the exact name of this insurance (in their insurance langauge)?

    Thanks!

  20. admin says:

    I just told my insurance company that I am going to Thailand and I want to extend my coverage. All they need is know when and how many days your car will be in Thailand.

    In my own opinion, it is easier to extend my existing insurance then getting additional one at the border if there is any ( I never ask about the insurance covering my car at the border agent).

  21. admin says:

    Please enjoy your trip and drive safely and also please share your experience with all the readers here.

  22. publicway says:

    Thanks Kent.

    BTW do you still keep that ride/additional-policy? if i can get the name from you i will just tell my insurance agency. I ask them they do not know about this. perhaps i should go to the insurance office rather than just ask the agent.

    I have not decided whether i wanna go on 19nov-4dec or from 17Dec-3Jan12. i be going to china from 8-12dec. most probably will go on 17dec-3jan to enjoy the festive moods there but worry the hotels will be very expensive. anyway this is the cool thing on driving ourself huh i.e. so flexible :)

  23. admin says:

    I don’t think the insurance agency has know ledge about this. Please do check with the insurance company. I deal directly with Insurance company where they will issue a additional policy as an extension to the existing coverage. Please give me some time to dig out the document.

    Year end is super peak for Phuket and Krabi. Expect to pay more for everything. Not only that, all the tourist spot are full with tourist. Be prepare for this and all this should not stop you go ahead with your planning.

    Ya… it is very excited to do all this.

    My excitement started when I start planning which destination to go, doing the research on places to visit and where to stay. The enjoyment last several months as I enjoy the process as well as the journey.

  24. publicway says:

    Agreed :)

    After all, is Excitement and Anticipation that keep our life going on, isnt it.

  25. admin says:

    ya…. please do keep us posted your trip…. may be you can write something and share with us.

  26. admin says:

    Hi Publicway,

    Please find the attached policy for coverage extension to Thailand.

    http://www.drivetothailand.com/what-insurance-do-you-need-to-drive-to-thailand/

  27. Quek says:

    Hi Publicway,

    I faced the same problem before, but after the branch insurance company call their HQ then OK. If you need an copy of my extended pplicy please let me know , I will fax or scan it to you. My email taiseong.quek@gmail.com . My car insurrance is AM INSURRANCE…. 7 days extended to Thailand is about RM50

  28. Quek says:

    Kent,

    Look ! our friend Publiway having a long long holiday trip 13 days, I am so jealous…hahaha…but for sure he will enjoy the driving…

  29. publicway says:

    hi Quek&Kent,

    Thanks for your valuable advice. Quek, your insurance sample is same type with that (MISG) posted by Kent in the insurance-page? if similar i will use his to as sample to show the insurance company first.

    aiyo, with those public holidays around and weekend, i just take ard 8-10days annual leave and can have 2weeks holiday(3 weekends). i intend to go on (17dec-2jan 17days :) ). will bring notebook along can always work on email etc to clear work commitment as well.

    btw i just check booking.com many hotel in phuket are almost sold out already. and the price is so high! the ‘cheap’ hotel cost rm200! and only abt 10% of the hotels are of this price. majority are >rm300/night…. so expensive.

  30. Quek says:

    Publicway,

    During that time is super peak in phuket and almost all thailand hotspot (mat salleh holiday mar) , phuket have so many hotel to choose lol, but I prefer to stay in patong (happening lol) ..pls try booking direct to hotel, like what i did for Patong Resort (best and convenience hotel) back gate is bangla road already ! But dun worry, banyak hotel in patong also lah. I stayed before at ARMATA Patong…small size hotel but not bad ! If you need thr local tour arrangement (phuket fantasea, island hoping….) i recomend you book from road side agent, they are much more cheaper! The one at bangla road COCONUT TRAVEL (pink colour kiosk near to a pizza fastfood) very good ! Hope this help u, btw may I know your name ?

  31. publicway says:

    hi Quek.

    My frens call me Way.

    BTW i just chk the web. Amata Patong and Patong Resort cost >RM300 thats beyong my budget. i gonna stay >14nights in hotel i try to budget it the most at rm150/night. i will stay ave 4nights in phuket town, 2nights in patong, 2night in bangtao, if still have more day then will stay some nights in kata/karon and kamala. christmas eve will spend in patong. new yr eve will stay bangtao(cherngtalay) i wanna recap sweet memory at lagunaphuket’s fireworks play :)

  32. admin says:

    Hi Way,

    Don’t worry too much lar, you are not going to do it every year and not many has the privilege like you having 2 weeks year end holiday at Phuket. ;)

    May I invite you to post your trip at the blog section so that others can share your joy ?

    Likewise, I would like to invite Quek to share about his trip as well, what do you say Quek ?

    Thanks
    Kent

  33. admin says:

    Hi Way,

    Please time your border crossing, try not to join the crowd or you will be in a nightmare at the custom.

    There is a very nice restaurant call Waterview at Danok near the border, you can have your lunch here before heading back to Malaysia. No story yet, just photo at the moment .. ha ahaa

    http://www.drivetothailand.com/drive-to-songkhla-day-4/

    Kent

  34. publicway says:

    haha… can can but i dont know how to post in blog (never tried). maybe what i can do is to email you some of the pics + comments in mwords form. or you got to teach me how to post in the blog (i do not have a blog as well).

    hey who know i am not doing this every year? if i like the experience ( i dont know yet) i might do it twice a year! :)

    btw since i gonna spend so many days in phuket in particular. i wonder if i should fly to phuket then rent a car for short trip to krabi and surrounding. but the cost is much higher. air ticket alone for 2 is already rm700-900, + car rental (rm100/day x 5days already rm500) + petrol –> easily rm2000 for tranportation already. if i drive i estimate petrol cost abt rm1000 (coverage of 3000km. base on thai petrol price on 300L of ron95) that i can save >rm1000.

  35. admin says:

    no worry Way, just write it in word format and I will do the rest.

    Of course I am sure you will do it more often after this… enjoy our life….

    If you happen to come to KL, drop me a message.

    Kent

  36. Quek says:

    Kent,

    I rather share my trip thru FB , blogging wahlau er…no time lar….I FB most of the time…, Nightmare at the custom…I kena during raya that time, almost 2 hours there, not malaysian custom but Thailand imigresen & custom…

    Way,

    Just do it….drive to Thailand…pls try the Condom restaurant at Krabi as well…food so so only but very clean and can rest there after long drive and buy some condom key chain… toilet very clean as well…

    I learnt lot from Kent blog…. thanks you my dear Kent …haha

  37. admin says:

    don’t mentioned that bro,

    I am not expert at all, just sharing information.

  38. publicway says:

    thanks for sharing the condom. will definitely give it a try.

  39. publicway says:

    am wondering if the flood might come to the south….

  40. admin says:

    year end is usually rainy day for country like Malaysia and Sough Thailand due to Monsoon.

    Life is full of uncertainty and flood should not deter your plan … ; )

  41. Quek says:

    Kent is rite, so far south thailand nothing happen, it will be ok I think

  42. publicway says:

    Thanks guy.

    my fren has booked 2 nights in hatyai. after that he will come back to msia and i will proceed to trang/krabi & phuket.

    hotels in bangtao phuket is so expensive. booked “dinarlodge.com” this hotel from 29-31dec for 1300baht so far the cheapest i can get in bangtao. others are asking >rm280 very high price for super peak season. i will leave phuket on 1jan to trang/hatyai/songkhla stop a night then come back to msia.

  43. publicway says:

    Hi Kent,

    I went to MSIG ask about the insurance and they said they have stop covering Thailand since the flood happened.

    I then went to Uni-Asia (where i bought my car insurance from), initially the JB branch took ages to understand why i wanted (in the end they still didnt understand after numerous trial), they keep telling me to buy the insurance at the thai-msia border, and say that will cover my car in Thailand also :(

    I then call their HQ in KL and then ask the KL ppl to explain to the JB branch. But then when i wanted to buy they say this insurance (endorsement for extension to Thailand) cover 3rd party properties in thailand, and doesnt cover my car.. i was like ‘???’. Does this mean that if i buy from them this one (cost abt RM2xx) and then i do not need to buy at the border anynore?

    Thanks for your advice.

    way

  44. admin says:

    Hi Way,

    I had not experience that as well.

    If you cannot cover your car 1st party here in Malaysia, then you have several options

    1) Do not drive a car, instead rent a Thai register car
    2) Drive your car without insurance cover 1st party, that means if anything happen to your car like accident or lost, you will not be compensate.
    3) Do drive but fly… I dont think you will like this idea… ah ahaa

    May be you can check with UniAsia HQ again and see if it is cover your car while you are in Thailand, that is more important as the insurance to cover 3rd in Thailand can get it cheap at border at less then RM20.00.

    Check with others insurance company, the focus is 1st party.

    Worst come to worst, check if the insurance purchase at the border can upgrade to 1st party or not.

    Please update us the latest development.

    Kent

  45. publicway says:

    I happened to read in someone’s msg(below) that we can also buy the comprehensive coverage at Thai insurance company “Viriyah”. but i have yet to call/email them.

    http://www.expatsingapore.com/content/view/1472
    http://www.viriyah.co.th/english/Ecustomer/Ecust_product_motor.asp

    other read-up on similar topic:
    http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g297921-i9790-k3746715-Driving_from_Msia_into_Hat_Yai-Hat_Yai_Songkhla_Province.html

  46. admin says:

    I contacted UniAsia Insurance. They confirmed that they do not provide any insurance coverage for Thailand temporary due to the flood. This also apply to travel insurance as well.

    Please take note that you can only buy the extension coverage from your existing insurance company, if you are currently insured under MSIG, then you have to purchase the additional coverage from MSIG.

    Good to know that there are others alternative, please keep us posted.

    Thanks
    Kent

  47. publicway says:

    Till now i still cant find anyone can sell me this product.

    So i have to seriously considering if i shall drive there :( though i do wish to do it very much.

    Wonder if i am being irresponsible to both my car, myself and my passenger if i do it without this 1st party insurance….

  48. admin says:

    Well. take it easy my friend.

    You still can go without 1st party insurance as long as you feel comfortable with it.

    How about getting the 1st party insurance from border ? any update ?

    I had reply your previous message about the 1st party insurance from MSIG and UniAsia, apparently they stop the insurance coverage temporary because of the flood.

    Kent

  49. publicway says:

    Hi Kent,

    Thank you for helping in contact MSIG and UniAsia HQ on this matter as well. Appreciate your initiative taken.

    I am not sure if they sell 1st party insurance at the border cos i do not know any contact there. Do you have the phone number of any agent there? Thanks.

    Way

  50. lyhong says:

    Kent,
    Is it possible that you can tell us either at the Thai custom checkpoint, any taxes charges over the goods that you brought?

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