Close

Traffic in Thailand

Hello everyone,

Which city or area do you live in in Thailand, and how do you find the traffic?

How long does it take to commute to work or run errands?

Is there a rush hour in your city? What times of the day would you recommend people to avoid driving if they can?

Are there any ways to avoid spending too much time in traffic in Thailand?

What is parking availability and cost like?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

I live roughly 55 kilometers east of Chiang Rai in a lovely rural environment.  I quite like my drive to town and if I want a change of pace there is more than one route to choose from.  Driving time for me here is about the same as when I lived in Bangkok, only the distance is measured in kilometers rather than city blocks or sometimes inches.

After they built the Skytrain I gave up driving in Bangkok because it was easier to get around without the car.  It was also one less thing to worry about when we went away on long trips abroad.  Now we have two cars because personal transportation is required to get the most out of living in a rural environment.  Riding a Big Bike on the amazing roads up here in the north of Thailand was fun for a few years but I now prefer the comfort and convenience of a car.

I live in Chiang Mai. The traffic situation is somewhat debatable, but getting more and more progressively challenging.

The area that I live in has extensive road construction and expansion. Of course this creates problems, more so during commuter time. Plus schools let out around 3 or 4 pm, which also creates significant congestion. That particular congestion typically dissipates quickly. The commuter traffic takes much longer to dissipate. Driving outside of the traditional congestion time is not all that bad.

Driving a motor bike has it's pluses and minus's. A motor bike makes it much easier to navigate the traffic. On the other side, driving a bike is potentially very dangerous  because of the lack of responsible driving habits. (I was knocked down last January because the Sungtao driver did not bother to use the rear view mirror.) I have been a snow skier before. I believe some of the strategies of snow skiing have helped me to avoid many very harmful situations.

Driving a car is much safer, in terms of the body of the car protecting you. It becomes more time consuming, but is safer. Aside from either vehicle you still have some very irresponsible drivers on the road. Where I come from double parking is not allowed because it is very dangerous. According to the Thai driving test double parking is an acceptable practice, even in Bangkok where it should not be so. Another problem arises and that is that traffic laws are suggestions, not laws. If the traffic suggestions were enforced as laws there might be more responsible drivers.

My first trip to Chaing Mai was in 2012. I noticed the congestion during the commuter time and the time when the schools let out. Beyond that the traffic was reasonably mild.

Back then the political situation was to promote more affordability of cars, and more cars on the road. Looking at the degree of repossessed cars it looks like this idea didn't work. Even so Chiang Mai continues to grow and as such traffic increases and increases the challenges of traffic management.

As I understand it the official numbers are that there are 50 deaths a month from accidents. Officially those are deaths that occur at the scene of the accident only. Also, officially there are 100 reported accidents a month reported. This too is a misnomer because many accidents are not reported.

For the most part I have been enjoying driving a motor bike. I will continue to do so. On the other hand I will be buying a car soon. I will use both relative to appropriate circumstances. Going on short trips to shops will be fine with the bike. But cross town trips or such will be by car.

Presently, without having to be dictated by commuter time, traffic is not overly bad. But with the increase of the population it will become more challenging.

I start out in Nonthaburi, Then Bangkok, Back to Nonthaburi and little over 2 years ago we move to Bang Saen.

I Love public transport here in Thailand, Love motorbike taxi, Tuk Tuk, Songthaew (PiggyCar), Mini Van, Open window Bus with no air con, Air con bus for longer trip.
Train, Rent a car with a driver and so on.

I love that you can talk to the locals, Enjoy a few minute / hours together, Have some fun, For me on a daily basic.
For long trips like in Train, All ways second class for us, I love to share with local thai, hear a life story or 2, share some food, Share some good fun and enjoyment.
And i hate first class where the wife and i get room for 2 people, So boring (imo)

Traffic Jam in Nonthaburi and Bangkok "normal" morning when work / school start, And same when work / school is over, But not to bad imo.
Sure we being in some long traffic jam over the years, But never upset me, Relax and time fly by. :-)

Bang Saen Week Days not that must, But Friday evening to Sunday evening we have a lot of traffic here, Because people come for the week end here.
But again, I don´t think it is that bad.

For the time we use public transport and i bicycles a lot.
But we talk about buying a car in 2020, And i do understand it is going to help out a lot, Special for shopping, Trips to go se our Family in Nonthaburi.
Easy when i have to go Bangkok for treatment of back pain.
But right here and now, I love public transport, So i told my wife, Okay 2020 we buy a car. And she happy about that, No "Rush" about it. he he

I don´t think about people getting kill in traffic here in Thailand.
My thinking is same as many Thai, If it is time to leave this world, it is time.
Thai do say it is up to Buddha. he he

I forgot to mention one point. Parking for a car can be very challenging, at least in Chiang Mai. Parking with a motor bike is not so much the case.

As far as the Buddha style of dieing I completely disagree. The idea of relinquishing your responsibility of killing yourself or anyone else with a motor vehicle doesn't sound exactly like the loving way of a Buddha. I thinks that's why they have something called laws and courts.  The idea that it's okay to kill someone with a motor vehicle because Buddha says it's okay just doesn't sound right.

I travel 13km from the suburbs of Bangkok to the CBD daily and have changed my working hours to avoid traffic. I leave at 5.45am and return at 3.00pm. This saves me 1.5-2 hours each day.

bkk: morning 7 am - 10 am and evening after 4 pm - 7 pm is most often rush hour. though there are no real patterns. there can be traffic jams anywhere anytime for any reason.
pattaya: weekends: don't go downtown. u get into traffic jam anytime.
other days no pattern. traffic jams can occur anytime. but usually after 5 pm is rush hour.

I live in Chiang Mai near CMU. The traffic is very bad. I travel to Lanna School  several times a week,often the trip is about twenty minutes, but then again it could take forty minutes, I leave at the same time on the same days of the week. The traffic is simply unpredictable. I am traveling in a car or on a motor bike, the motor bike is faster, the car is safer. I was not prepared for the amount of traffic in Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai desperately needs alternative transportation, light rail,sky train etc. Public transportation,Red Truck,Uber , bus etc. is really no help. Chiang Mai has outgrown it's roads. The drivers in Chiang Mai, use more than one lane, rarely use a turn signal and often turn from the wrong lane. I rarely leave the house without seeing at least one vehichle,car or motor bike driving on the wrong side of the street. Trffic laws are not enforced. I will not even get started on the amount of pollution that many vehichles produce, again no enforcement. I have been in Chiang Mai about 5yrs. and have watched traffic go from bad to worse.

I live in Bangkok. I am lucky that I dont keep office hours.  If I have to travel at morning rush hour, then i take the train. otherwise i usually leave home at about 10am.  There are lots of places with 2 hours to 3 hours free parking downtown.  enough time to take care of what needs to be done.  I try to leave the down town area before the start of the rush hour and if i find myself in rush hour traffic, i listen to audio books or music on the way home.

Where I live and work in Bangkok are both close enough to a BTS stop that traffic isn't an issue for commuting, but the traffic jams can get a bit rough otherwise.  This weekend we went to pick up our son from Chinese language lessons at a school not so far from our house (maybe 4-5 km), which would normally be a 15 to 20 minute drive, and with traffic it was well over half an hour per trip.  He forgot something at the school and swinging back to get it added nearly an extra hour.

It's nice if it works out to take the Express river boat when going anywhere here, although it doesn't come up often.  A one-way fare is 15 baht (50 cents) and it's not possible to run into traffic delays on the river.  Khlong (canal) boats are a comparable option but I've never taken one; somehow the routes just don't match my plans.  This Bangkok transit map covers all the main mass transit systems and even  tries to help you sort out bus routes, to suggest how to get from one place to another using one, but sorting out the routes can be tricky, in part complicated by there being lots of competing bus lines.

https://www.transitbangkok.com/

Hello Pricilla , 
Always pleasant to respond to your questions and comments :)

Living in Nakhon Ratchasima Thailand I find it to be just like a City back home in the USA , During the week in the am from 6:00 - 9:00 am  school , Work and Buisness start up at night the reverse from 4:00 - 8:00 pm.
The weekends seem to be constantly busy with traffic Friday night through Sunday evening , The Holidays The streets are empty.

Best Regards
To Pricilla and All :)

Which city or area do you live in in Thailand, and how do you find the traffic?
I live in Amphoe Hang Dong, about 10 km south of Muang Chiang Mai, just off hwy 108 (Chiang Mai-Hang Dong Rd).  Traffic is generally moderately heavy with a number of malls and large markets along the way.

How long does it take to commute to work or run errands?
At least an hour, usually (depends on direction traveled and time of day).

Is there a rush hour in your city? What times of the day would you recommend people to avoid driving if they can?  Rush hour traffic starts getting heavy during 08:00-10:00 and 16:30-18:30 most days.

Are there any ways to avoid spending too much time in traffic in Thailand?  Chose shops close to home whenever possible and avoid rush hour.  Understand the general flow in the city and go with it on the narrow streets and alleys.  Ride a scooter for most errands if / when possible.

What is parking availability and cost like?  Parking in the old city of Chiang Mai is limited but some areas have parking lots or parking garages.  If there is a fee charged, it generally runs about 20 baht.

Phuket traffic sucks and the further south you go, the more it sucks. if you want to go somewhere, ride a bike

Udon Thani, barely out of his joints! Throughout the years, with a wrong policy ', little or no attention has been paid to traffic and roadwork. Only attention has been paid in recent years. In spite of huge pressure! Waiting for the second ring road, to Udon Thani where they are slowly busy. In the Netherlands, this was done within a year, and sometimes I'm getting worse on that slowdown. With us (just outside the city 4 kilometers) they have been busy with some roadworks for years. Every time, heavy material is brought and everything is gone again? Here's a lot of time 'and effort to get ready, all at once! Many entrepreneurs therefore have a lot of nuisance daily, and customers stay away from restaurants because of dust and junk. Everything is going so slowly that it will take years to complete this simple road? Okay "..... you have to forget Europe" but here they can learn a lot!

Peter,

In Chiang Mai it appears that there are vested interests to dissuade any improvement of traffic control in the city. It is thought that any such improvements might water down or compete with the present transportation interests. When Uber came to town the Sungtao organization fought tooth and nail to stop the service, specifically they didn't want the competition or the quality of the service.

What do you want , Phuket the International vacation destination of Thailand !! :)

Make sure you have your life and accident insurance up to date, drivers in cars and on motor bike will also happily run you over as a pedestrian, they also drive motorbikes on sidewalks and tourists on 'crouch rockets' drive 60 mph thru cross walks without blinking an eye in Pattaya: Thailand's roads second-deadliest in world, UN agency finds https://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/work/738124/thailand-roads-second-deadliest-in-world-un-agency-finds

Anywhere in Thailand insurance is a good point. Since all of the "laws" are suggestions the aspect of responsibility becomes a little dubious, at best. With a Farang involved that Farang is involved and responsible  because they are Farang.

Back in late January 2017 I had an accident with a Sungtao. The Sungtao driver completely did not use his rear view mirror, pulled in from of me, and knocked me down. Thereafter, like the irresponsible cowards that some of them, are he drove off, even after looking at the damage he caused, My motor bike issuance covered the entire bill, which was shy of 30,000 baht. I was pleasantly surprised.

hi . I stay in Bangkok city , Traffic  problem is all around world . Morning and Evening pick hour traffic issues are there other wise its ok ... Moving ... I  prefer all sorts of mode from Sky train to underground train to driving a car in weekends .. All are effective as per situation . you are from which country ? Are you staying in Bangkok or planning to come to Bangkok ? if you need more information you can connect to whatsapp 0066952427907 thx have a great day evening night ... byeee

Thanks for your message. i would like to inform you that traffic situation in Bangkok so bad, morning and evening time too much jam and diring rain or after raining.so bad flood and  don't have proper sewerage system.after i like Bangkok. 😍😍😍

Hi the traffic is really bad in bangkok especially during evening time and on friday evenings. But only some areas...rest are still better...depends where is ur office and house....traffic near asoke and petchaburi are really bad....best solution is u drive ur own bike or take bike taxi....also if ur staying near any bts or mrt station then taking train is also a good solution...its fast and safe also as compared to other mode of transports....

I've lived in downtown Bangkok for three years, and I use public transport (rail, moto cy, canal boat) as much as possible because of the bad traffic.  As one other poster mentioned, there can be traffic jams at a time and location not customary.  You either should avoid driving, or if you have to, compensate by doing so during the non rush hours.  Bkk tends to be a late city....meaning you can beat traffic at 0600 in the morning, but it's still going to be rush hour at 2000.

Phuket Island is worse-than-bad.!
9 motorcycle accidents in 9 years.  One requiring 2 foot-operations.
I rented a small Toyota foe 6 months,  but there is NO PUBLIC PARKING and I refuse to park on the sidewalk - or - triple park..... So back on a motorcycle.

Hi everyone,

Just a few things about Hua Hin,Cha am area,

Driving/riding is pretty easy here, how ever, weekends are different, as this is a Thai tourist area, so many people from BKK come here weekends,
And i am afraid that their driving skills are very limited, they pay no attention to other road users, bike or car, as i have both.
The main road between Hua Hin and Cha am, is nothing better than a battle ground from Friday afternoon until Monday morning.
Both bike riders and car drivers do not pay attention at all.

But having said that, it is a small price to pay for the serenity that you get here, i have been here working for the past 7 months, and those lows are far out weighed by the highs of here,
Lovely people, fantastic food, great way of life,
Having worked many places in the world, Asia wins my vote every time.

bill kip :

As far as the Buddha style of dieing I completely disagree. The idea of relinquishing your responsibility of killing yourself or anyone else with a motor vehicle doesn't sound exactly like the loving way of a Buddha. I thinks that's why they have something called laws and courts.  The idea that it's okay to kill someone with a motor vehicle because Buddha says it's okay just doesn't sound right.

:top:

Amen Lee !!!

I’m retired here in Nakhon Ratchasima Thailand with my Thai Wife , I LOVE IT !!!! Everyone is friendly and most ALL !!! Smile.
It is a simple life :) The title Land Of Smiles fits well with Thailand :)


Cheers
Best Regards
Bob T.  American Citizen/ Retired Resident
In Nakhon Ratchasima Thailand :)

Road deaths rocket by 3,000 as Thailand set to be named world number one in carnage, say academics

image.jpg

Hi, I moved about a month ago and live on Sukhumvit Soi 39. My office is located on rajadamnern nok avenue. The commute is anything between 45 minutes to 1 hour if I take BTS and anything between 40 minutes to 1 hour if I take a taxi if there is normal traffic. On occasions the traffic is bad and it may take much longer than 1 hour to commute.

So far I am loving Bangkok, my neighborhood (Prong Phong)  is great with plenty of high quality entertainment options. I have to say, I am still getting used to the traffic situation which is the single most thing that I do not like so far in Bangkok.

Adnan

Hi Priscilla!
Traffic is a bit of a nightmare at first, however once you get the swing of it...it's all good. So what I noticed is rush hour occurs in the am about 10 and the pm around 8.  I personally prefer motor taxis..they can go around traffic ( wear your helmet always). The best way to naivgate the traffic w/o losing your mind is to get lost a little, explore, and before you know it you'll be a pro. Each side of town has its own different peak hours. Hope this helps!

bill kip :

In Chiang Mai it appears that there are vested interests to dissuade any improvement of traffic control in the city. It is thought that any such improvements might water down or compete with the present transportation interests. When Uber came to town the Sungtao organization fought tooth and nail to stop the service, specifically they didn't want the competition or the quality of the service.

Looks like Chiang Mai has some concrete plans for a light-rail system in the near (but not near enough) future:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthrea … highlight=
I imagine it's going to be fun navigating the works projects in the coming years...

Ruffian Dick :
bill kip :

In Chiang Mai it appears that there are vested interests to dissuade any improvement of traffic control in the city. It is thought that any such improvements might water down or compete with the present transportation interests. When Uber came to town the Sungtao organization fought tooth and nail to stop the service, specifically they didn't want the competition or the quality of the service.

Looks like Chiang Mai has some concrete plans for a light-rail system in the near (but not near enough) future:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthrea … highlight=
I imagine it's going to be fun navigating the works projects in the coming years...

Indeed, they'll probably spend the next 10-years, just talking about that project. :whistle:

Klingon63 :

Amen Lee !!!

I’m retired here in Nakhon Ratchasima Thailand with my Thai Wife , I LOVE IT !!!! Everyone is friendly and most ALL !!! Smile.
It is a simple life :) The title Land Of Smiles fits well with Thailand :)


Cheers
Best Regards
Bob T.  American Citizen/ Retired Resident
In Nakhon Ratchasima Thailand :)

This is far off-topic, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to state a "given" reality!

Indeed, we're very happy for you both there, American Dream Lovers. ~ https://youtu.be/Jo0KWXsPRbM

Just keep the Bahts flowing, from your American bank accounts, into those local Thai pockets, and the "smiles" will always be forthcoming. :cool:

Yeah slightly off topic !!!

Thai’s  are poor but happy , Besides I don’t mind sharing my money with them especially when it helps them a little bit :)

Secondly my Wife NEVER !!! Married for money , There are MANY !! Thai Woman who marry from the heart :)
Her Family taught her well and thus far all the woman she associates with including  Family and Friends  have the same qualities and values.

Cheers to You :)
Mr. Off Topic :)

Hello Priscilla,

Which city or area do you live in in Thailand, and how do you find the traffic?

I'm living in the lower northeast in a city called Sisaket ( next bigger city and province is Ubon Ratchathani) and I'm living here now for 15 years. The traffic is terrible and many people here should not drive a vehicle. I was involved in two accidents, without doing anything wrong.

There are no clear laws or regulations at a crossing who can drive first. The bigger vehicle is usually the "stronger" one and may drive. Thailand just received the bad number one statistic for being the number one in accidents with deaths.

How long does it take to commute to work or run errands?

Even in my hometown sometimes too long at rush hour. So more schools you find in a city, so more vehicles are on the road. I'm only about 2.5 km away from my school where I work, but I sometimes need up to 25 minutes. People just drive crazy here, be aware.

When I first saw Bangkok's traffic, I thought, no that's not for me. But when you've done that a few times, you'll get used to it. But it's still a dangerous and difficult task, especially when you are used to driving on the right lane in your home country.

Is there a rush hour in your city? What times of the day would you recommend people to avoid driving if they can?

The best time is before 7 am , or after 8.30, in the afternoon/evening try not to drive around between 4 pm and 5.45, better 6 pm.

Bangkok can be stopped and go at any time of the day. Best time to drive is at night, to be honest.

Are there any ways to avoid spending too much time in traffic in Thailand?

Yes, there's a BTS and MRT train in Bangkok, where you can easily get from point A to point B. I'll buy a second motorbike and drive to work on a motorbike, much faster than in a car.

What is parking availability and cost like?

Parking in Bangkok can const you a fortune, parking in other places is quite affordable. It's basically all places where a lot of tourists are, seem to be a sort of expensive. A day in Bangkok can easily be $30, or more. But you can park your car somewhere at a bigger mall and pay nothing.

  Or you leave your car on the outskirts and take a cab to the city, taxis are dirt cheap here. Please do not hesitate if you need more information. Have a great one.

Kind regards,

  Mike, Sisaket

Priscilla doesn't live in Thailand; she lives in Mauritius.
http://www.expat.com/forum/profile.php? … mp;lang=en

ARB360 :
Ruffian Dick :
bill kip :

In Chiang Mai it appears that there are vested interests to dissuade any improvement of traffic control in the city. It is thought that any such improvements might water down or compete with the present transportation interests. When Uber came to town the Sungtao organization fought tooth and nail to stop the service, specifically they didn't want the competition or the quality of the service.

Looks like Chiang Mai has some concrete plans for a light-rail system in the near (but not near enough) future:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthrea … highlight=
I imagine it's going to be fun navigating the works projects in the coming years...

Indeed, they'll probably spend the next 10-years, just talking about that project. :whistle:

On par with Istanbul's mass transit projects perhaps?

Ruffian Dick :
ARB360 :
Ruffian Dick :

Looks like Chiang Mai has some concrete plans for a light-rail system in the near (but not near enough) future:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthrea … highlight=
I imagine it's going to be fun navigating the works projects in the coming years...

Indeed, they'll probably spend the next 10-years, just talking about that project. :whistle:

On par with Istanbul's mass transit projects perhaps?

RD,  surely, you sarcastically jest, right? :D

Klingon63 :

Yeah slightly off topic !!!

Thai’s  are poor but happy , Besides I don’t mind sharing my money with them especially when it helps them a little bit :)

Secondly my Wife NEVER !!! Married for money , There are MANY !! Thai Woman who marry from the heart :)
Her Family taught her well and thus far all the woman she associates with including  Family and Friends  have the same qualities and values.

Cheers to You :)
Mr. Off Topic :)

Cancelled

adnan7933 :

Hi, I moved about a month ago and live on Sukhumvit Soi 39. My office is located on rajadamnern nok avenue. The commute is anything between 45 minutes to 1 hour if I take BTS and anything between 40 minutes to 1 hour if I take a taxi if there is normal traffic. On occasions the traffic is bad and it may take much longer than 1 hour to commute.

So far I am loving Bangkok, my neighborhood (Prong Phong)  is great with plenty of high quality entertainment options. I have to say, I am still getting used to the traffic situation which is the single most thing that I do not like so far in Bangkok.

Adnan

Rest assured that Bangkok traffic, at it's worst, is far better than most other Asian cities of the same size, and population density. :cheers:

ARB360 :
Ruffian Dick :
ARB360 :


Indeed, they'll probably spend the next 10-years, just talking about that project. :whistle:

On par with Istanbul's mass transit projects perhaps?

RD,  surely, you sarcastically jest, right? :D

I just get SO TIRED of the cynicism people express toward Thailand. It's not clever and it's not inventive.
There are plenty of other countries to go to, if they don't like Thailand as it is.
No offense intended toward you (or Istanbul for that matter).

New topic

Expatriate health insurance in Thailand

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Thailand

Moving to Thailand

Find tips from professionals about moving to Thailand

Travel insurance in Thailand

Enjoy stress-free travel to Thailand