This page contains posts related to the following tags:

#Transport (ground) #Buses, #Cars, #Insurance, #Motorcycles, #Trains

City/Country: Advice: Saving:
Thailand You CAN get a Thai driving licence (car or motorcycle) on a Tourist Visa. This is how:
1) Go to the local immigration office, the place where you extend your visa, and tell them you want a Thai license. They will give you a form to prove your address in Thailand, which you need your landlord to sign. Take the form back to immigration with your passport and 2 passport photos and they will give you a letter declaring you are eligible for a Thai license. 2) Get a Medical stating you are fit to drive/ride from any hospital or clinic. This will cost about 200 baht and takes five minutes.
3) Find the nearest Department of Land Transport (DLT) headquarters, the same place where Thai people do their driving/riding tests the first time. The Immigration office will tell you where it is.
4) Take the Immigration letter, Medical letter, your passport and home driving licence to the DLT. Ideally make at least two photocopies of each before you go, otherwise they will do it for you. Bring a Thai person with you as they are unlikely to speak much English at the DLT.
5) Be polite. Often the DLT people will just look at the license from your home country and allow you to have a Thai license without needing to do the full driving/riding test. Likewise, if you only have a car licence from home they will sometimes let you have a Thai motorcycle licence without doing the bike test.
6) If you don't have to do the full test, it's just an easy color blindness and reaction test to pass. That's it.
7) You'll get your photo taken, then they give you the finished licences.
Because you only have a Tourist Visa the licences are valid for 1 year at a time, but renewing is easier than getting the first licence.
So why bother if only for 1 year? The obvious reason is for travel/health insurance. It may say you are covered to ride a motorcycle up to 125cc on your insurance, but you almost certainly still need to hold a motorcycle licence somewhere.
Car and Motorcycle Licence
Udon Thani - Thailand
This must count as a bargain: One hour each way train journey from Udon Thani to Nong Khai (border town with Laos) - total cost 16 baht! (11 baht out and 6 baht back). The journey was FREE for Thai people. I think it is subsidised by the government. The train was old but the ticket came with an allocated seat and there was even a VIP carriage for those that want more comfort. Nice view of farmland along the way. The train wasn’t exactly on time but at that price who cares. Virtually free train journey
All Be careful of taking buses where they store your luggage out of sight. Thieves working with the bus drivers have been known to hide inside the luggage area and then pick open the suitcase locks during the journey. It usually happens on buses to an airport and because people usually don’t notice until after they have taken their flight they mistakenly think the theft occurred after check-in at the airport. I lost a Playstation portable in this way. Never put anything in your suitcase that you cannot afford to lose. Theft
All of Asia
How to get a travel insurance discount. This works for me. I fill in a quote online, either a comparison website or more usually with the company I want to get insurance from. I include a telephone number as well as email in the contact details. Then I wait 5-7 days............. 90% of the time they call me and offer a discount from the website price. (Keith). Travel Insurance Discount
Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia
Bag snatches from cars are a growing concern here in KL. When there are traffic jams, watch out for motorbike riders going between the cars. If they see a bag on the car seat they can break a window, reach inside and be gone in seconds.
This has happened to a close family member of mine. After speaking to the police the main action to stop it happening again was:
*Put reflective film on the window so thieves cannot see inside the car.
*Put a coating inside the window so even when it is broken the glass doesn’t fall away, so no-one can reach inside. The problem with this is that if you need to get out of the window after an accident it’s difficult so don’t put on all the windows.
Also never leave any computer equipment inside a car, even if it is hidden from view. Thieves carry hand-held scanners that can tell if electronic equipment is inside the car.
Theft protection

Everyone knows to be careful when walking with your bags, but a lot of people (locals and tourists) drop their guard when they are riding motorcycles.
In many places in Asia, including Vietnam and Thailand, a well-known tactic by bag snatch thieves is to ride around (two of them on a bike) looking for victims on other motorcycles.
The person on the back grabs the bag as you are riding. Because your main concern is not to crash the motorcycle it’s easier to get the bag from you. Avoid badly lit roads, put your rucksack on both shoulders and keep handbags hidden when riding. (Kelly Watson).
Bag Snatch Safety
Thailand On the subject of hiring motorbikes in the Land of Smiles, I’d advise to take pics of the rental bike before you use it (same applies to jet skis). This is also to show the people you hire from that you are ‘street smart’ to the scams, where they try to make you pay for previous damage.
Other thing is I would not ever hand over my passport as a deposit, which many places ask you to do. Just say that your hotel insisted on keeping it and hand over a photocopy instead. Also offer to pay a slightly higher deposit if you have to.
Bottom line is without a passport you can't do anything in Thailand - get on a flight (domestic or international), check into a hotel and certainly not leave the country, so if there is a dispute and they have your passport you are pretty much helpless.
For those without motorbike experience, hire an automatic (twist and go), get used to it on a quiet road or car park first, and use the rear brake to do most of the stopping.
Use the front brake only if the bike is fully upright. If you pull the front brake on hard while leant over you will crash.
Scams / Safety

 Thailand Further to your Tweet about motorcycle safety, I'd add that people riding bikes need to check the small print of their travel insurance.
Many companies do not cover motorcycle accidents as standard, you have to select it as an add-on, and if you are riding without a helmet, drunk or without owning a motorcycle license (sometimes a CBT license is enough, other companies will want a full license) then they will not pay out for any hospital fees.
(Chris, Surin Beach).
Motorcycle Insurance
 Thailand There have been a string of motorcycle accident fatalities involving foreigners in Phuket lately - be careful guys and girls...
Here are our top 3 motorcycle safety tips:
1. Do not ride directly behind cars/trucks. If they stop quickly you will hit the back of them. Ride slightly to one side. Can see more too.
2. Wear a helmet. You might not think it's cool but it really could make the difference between walking away and 'game over'.
3. Remember that many of the road accident victims in Thailand did nothing wrong. Expect bad driving and be on the lookout for it.
( via Twitter).
Motorcycle safety
 Thailand In Thailand when a driver flashes his lights they usually mean 'look out I'm coming' or 'stop', unlike in Britain where when you flash your lights it is to tell someone you are letting them out or that they can cross in front of you.
I had a few near misses before I worked that one out :-)
Road safety
 Thailand The absolute cheapest city transport you can get in Thailand is to catch one of the many small bus/trucks that circle around. They are basically converted 4x4 trucks, as you would see builders use, but with an enclosed passenger seating area in the back.
They charge a flat rate and in some northern cities it's as low as 10 baht to go anywhere in a city!
They carry numbers like a bus to tell you where they are going and locals use them all the time to get to school and work.
This is how you use them:
Flag them down as they approach or just get on if they are waiting. You normally pay when you get OFF not when you get on, but you can always ask where they are going before you get on if unsure. Then just press the buzzer inside the passenger area to alert the driver when you want him to stop, Then get out and pay the driver/passenger (usually through the passenger window).
You can save hundreds a day compared with taxis or even tuk tuks and you'll meet lots of locals.
Save around 100-500 baht daily
 Thailand Unlike many other places in Asia, Thai car drivers are general quite careful (barring some boy racers). They usually give motorbikes plenty of space, show patience and drive quite slowly in built up areas. But where they go to pieces is when it rains.
I've seen three cars spin off in one 3 hour road trip. They just don't appreciate you can't go the same speed in the wet. Also beware of motorcycles when it rains. It sounds crazy, but because a lot of young people don't wear helmets they drive like mad when it rains because they are worried about getting wet and ruining their hairstyles. Go figure. (A.P.)
Thailand Taking one of the many cheap buses from Bangkok to the north (Chiang Mai, Laos etc) or south (Phuket, Koh Samui) may seem tempting but its at least an 8-10 hour drive. The drivers are overworked and so often fall asleep or take 'enhancements' (legal or otherwise) to stay awake. Better to take a cheap flight and only 1000-2000 baht more. (Chris, England) Safety
Bangkok - Thailand Use the train to get around. It's cheap and reliable. Also traffic is terrible in the city center.

 Bangkok - Thailand Backpackers and people with luggage, please find first a safe hotel or guesthouse to leave your belongings, especially after flying long distance (Bru - BKK or London - BKK...) Even you think you are in a hurry and do not have time enough to see everything of Thailand, never go around full packed and totally tired of long haul flights, on the moment you arrive on very crowded touristical places with luggage you'll be an easy victim of Tuk tuk drivers who say they know a cheap hotel nearby and who will come over with stories to make you use them.
These days, 20 August 2012, Bangkok has a very good BTS system that reaches directly from Suvarnabhumi to the most city places tourist places (Like Sukhumvit - Phatpong - ...) they are always cheaper then taxi fares and the chance to meet people from western countries is also here bigger.People like me who live in BKK, we know well all the tricks of Tuk TuK drivers and Taxi fares (If you use taxi, look first if the MRT is not possible, discuss first if meter will be used and try to guess the distance, follow well the roadmap, many tricks exist to change the road and to turn around just so that you pay higher prices).
At this moment only the Kaoh San Area, King Palace area is not reachable by MRT, probably in 1 year it will be, because there will be a line of BTS between Charoenkrung to King Palace. Most easy way from Sukhumvit to go Kaoh San seems to me by MRT till Saphan Thaksin (Nearby Chao Praya river) and there you can take a cheap boat to King Palace.
Other possibilities are taking MRT till victory Monument and then a bus, but show well the ticket vender where you want to go and make sure the bus goes there.But this you always do better without luggage and if you are relaxed. I got the experience of a girl who back packed to Kao San, She knows now what I mean. (Van Welde Bruno)
Safety / Getting Around
 Udon Thani - Thailand I've never thought of using the bus from Udon to Bangkok before, as I assumed they'd be the usual local standard buses - old, shoddy and uncomfortable for what would be a 7 hour journey. But I went to the Udon bus station today and inside some of the luxury buses looks better than most planes!
Two stories with big seats, lots of leg room, TV, WiFi, food and drink all provided. Price (one way) 560 baht! That's about 1000 baht cheaper than Air Asia's best deal to BKK. Worth a look if you want to save money. You can also get one of these luxury buses at 10:45pm from Udon so you'd sleep most of the way and wake up in Bangkok.
 1000 baht cheaper than Air Asia
 Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia Have lived in KL for a few years. Here is a complete guide to getting from the airport. You'd think it'd be simple, but it's not. I'll spread it over several posts.
First, as someone has said, the two airport terminals are a fair way apart (several km by road). This is because the LCCT was an 'afterthought' but is now having to be expanded due to popularity of AirAsia. That means you have different options depending on which terminal.
FROM KLIA to KL SENTRAL Most long haul flights got to KLIA, which has a direct rail link to the city. This is the cheapest and quickest way to get into KL. The train goes to KL Sentral which is the main train hub for the city. I'll talk about getting from Sentral to heart of KL city later.
Alternatively you can get a taxi from KLIA. Purchase an official taxi ticket from the terminal (follow signs). Expect between 70-100RM to get to city, depending on which part.
 Cheapest & quickest
 Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia FROM LCCT to KL SENTRAL This is where it gets complicated. As mentioned the planners didn't bargain on AirAsia/cheap flights being so popular so the LCCT terminal has no direct rail link to the city.
Don't be fooled by all the adverts for the train making it sound like it's direct from LCCT to Sentral and vica versa. It's not. It;s direct to KLIA and you have to take a bus for part of the way if you are going to-from LCCT. It's still a viable option but having to change midway through your journey is too much hassle for me. The other option is to get the transit bus (outside front of LCCT terminal) from LCCT to KLIA (a considerable journey) and then get the train from KLIA.
Taxis are an option because there is an official taxi desk in the LCCT terminal so can pay a fixed price (again 70-100RM) and you don't have to deal with the usual rip off taxi prices. Driver gets paper slip and he takes you to the location. Worth considering if in a group and can share cost.
But the cheapest way is to take one of the buses that go from LCCT to Sentral (and vice versa) direct. This is how the locals get to and from LCCT. The cost is only 8RM each way! One of the buses is run by AirAsia so you might hear it plugged on the flight.
Don't worry about buying a ticket beforehand though. Just walk out of the LCCT terminal and walk to the far left and you'll see a line of buses (not the buses right in front of the terminal). Just walk up and guys will ask you if you want a ticket. They put your suitcase under and then you go aboard. The bus goes direct to KL Sentral. No stopping along the way.
 90% cheaper than Taxi
 Kuaala Lumpur - Malaysia So you've got to KL Sentral and now want to get to the city centre (where most of the hotels/hostels are). You have three options.
1) Use official taxi desk inside KL Sentral to buy a ticket for a taxi. Taxi desk is at back of KL Sentral, relative to city centre. Expect to pay 10-20RM. Fixed pricing so no rip offs. If the taxi driver tells you you need to pay more later he's lying.
2) Take the monorail, which runs in a line through the city centre. To catch this you need to walk out of KL Sentral and across the road to the terminal. You cannot catch it from inside KL Sentral (nice planning that) so follow the signs for 'Monorail'.
3) Take a faster underground train from inside KL Sentral itself. Less station options than Monorail for City Centre but much faster and, the big plus for tourists, the 'Commuter' train ('Kelana Jaya' Line) goes direct to the Petronas Towers. There is a station underneath. Just buy a ticket from the machines, using touch screen and cash, to say where you want to go.
Hope that all helps guys.(Matt)
 Best KL Transport
 Vietnam Vietnam borders China and one of the scary things that has found its way over the border is the brutal trend of hit-and-run traffic accidents that then turn fatal when the driver involved returns to finish off the victim.
The reason is that as in China, Vietnamese divers are liable for the medical costs of the injured person for the rest of their life, in the case of a permanent injury.
Most drivers do not have insurance, so sickeningly some decide its better to hit-and-kill as the financial cost is so much lower. Locals have confirmed this happens, especially out of the city centers.
If you are hit by a driver, bear this in mind and don't assume if the driver involved starts reversing he is coming to help...
 Road Safety