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Getting around Phuket

Phuket is an Island that is only 48 kilometers from south to north and 21 kilometers from east to west. That makes it easy to getting around and se the entire island in 1 day if you so wish. There are many free maps that you can get at the airport, tour agents, hotels and shopping centers. Use these maps to navigate around on your own, the size of the island makes this very easy.

Going from Patong to Phuket town only takes about 20 minutes and in less than an hour you can reach just about any point in the island! The main roads in Phuket are generally in good condition. You can find road signs in both English and Thai this to make navigation easy for every body. The roads are limited in Phuket thanks to the High mountains that is stopping the way. Many times you will be required to drive around the mountain in stead of driving over them.

When you travel in Phuket or other parts of Thailand we recommend that you do drive carefully, the Thais are a kind and smiling people until they get out in the traffic.

In the traffic Thais are never willing to let any one else go first, the traffic is more or less with out working rules and regulations. The best thing to do is follow the flow of the traffic and watch your rear mirrors on both sides. The Thais drive pas other cars on both sides and not like the west world on one and same side! The motorbikes they drive on the side that is simplest at the moment to drive on.

If you are passing a road on foot, there is no one that will stop to let you go over the road. Do be very care full even if it is a marked crosswalk. Most of the Thai people do have driving license, but they get it buy going to the police station and asking for one. The knowledge that is needed to get the license is almost non existing! Thanks to this they do not have any trained skills in driving and regulations.

We do not want to scare you, but we like to show you the traffic as it is so that you can handle it when coming here.



Driving Safety

Aside from the fact that here, as in Britain or Japan, we keep to the left lane--meaning that right turns are against traffic, there are other aspects of motor vehicle operation sometimes surprising to the visitor.

Most roads are two-lane and most vehicles are motorcycles displacing 150 cc or less. There are numerous samlors, three-wheeled, modified motorcycles used mainly by small vendors; these drive slowly. Larger vehicles often exceed the speed limit, weaving in and out between slower traffic by entering the oncoming lane. It is also not unusual to find one selfbeing passed on the left shoulder. As a result of these and other factors, serious accidents affect nearly five-percent of Phuket's registered population yearly, and a large percentage of these occur in the tourist areas, frequently involving tourists.

DON'T BECOME ANOTHER STATISTIC!

If you drive in Thailand, try to bear in mind the following:

  • Drive slowly. Most accidents happen to drivers traveling in excess of 65 kph on the highway and 30 kph in built up areas; conditions in Phuket rarely warrant going faster. At low speeds, a driver can cope with sudden changes in the traffic situation. Remember, the faster you go, the harder you crash, and the more serious your injuries. Most insurance policies do not cover injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents.
  • As a matter of practical etiquette, larger vehicles have right-of-way. This means that, if a dump truck pulls into your lane traveling in the opposite direction because he wants to pass slower traffic, you should pull to the left. Also, at intersections with traffic circles, vehicles in the intersection have right-of-way; you must stop and let them enter your lane.
  • Use your rear-view mirrors frequently to monitor the situation behind, and pull to the left for faster vehicles trying to overtake you. Look over your shoulder when changing lanes.
  • Motorcyclists should use the left-shoulder motorcycle lane where available, and always wear crash helmets. Watch out for dogs and other animals--if you hit one on a motorcycle, chances are you'll be hurt more than the dog!
  • It rains here often, making roads slippery. This is especially dangerous for motorcyclists slowing to a stop at intersections. Beware of potholes hiding beneath puddles of water after heavy rains.
  • Drive defensively. Put no faith in stop signs, traffic lights, or the rules of the road; honor them yourself, but don't be surprised when others don't. Fasten your seatbelts where provided.
  • Don't allow yourself to become agitated by rude drivers, it's pointless and it only aggravates an already chaotic situation on the roads.

If you are interested in renting a motorbike or car take a look on this pages to.


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