When driving in Pattaya, you will be using a system loosely based on the British highway code, but remember it is very loosely based, driving in Pattaya can be very frustrating, especially on holiday weekends, don’t expect to be anywhere fast, tailbacks can be hundreds of meters long. Another problem is parking, unless you are going to a large shopping mall or other complex you will struggle to find a parking space. Driving in Pattaya, or any large city in Thailand, is best done defensively, remember that the standard required to obtain a driving license in Thailand is not as high as most western countries, besides this, many drivers don’t even have a license. Below is a list of things to watch out for when you are driving in Pattaya, for more concise information on the Thai highway code, including Thai road signs and road markings, traffic police hand signals etc, use this link, it’s well worth a look and will be big help when you are driving in Pattaya. http://freebeerforyorky.com/drivingentry.html
Things to watch out for when driving in Pattaya
- Motorbikes cutting in front of you as they weave through traffic.
- Motorbikes passing on the same side you are indicating to turn..
- Large vehicles generally assume right of way.
- Motorbikes emerging from junctions ‘usually from a smaller road or street’ without looking.
- If an oncoming vehicle flashes their lights at you, it usually means ‘I am not stopping’
- Motorbikes coming towards you on the wrong side of the road
- Be wary of drivers who disregard stop signs.
- Large potholes and uncovered manholes
- Drivers using their hazard lights to indicate they are going straight on at a junction
- Baht buses stopping in the middle of the road without indication
- Baht buses pulling in and out without indication
- Trucks with billboards and P.A. system, traveling slowly and causing traffic jams.
- Random police checkpoints as you head out of town ‘usually collecting tea money.’
Before driving in Pattaya be sure you have either an international driving license or a Thai drivers license, if you are allowed to hire a car on your original license from your home country be sure that the insurance covers you.