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Car Hire or Organised Tour ?

Burnley, United...
Level Contributor
9 posts
17 reviews
Car Hire or Organised Tour ?

Hi Arandora, Visiting Khao Lak in July and just wanted your thoughts on car hire and driving in the area against the cost of taxi's and sight seeing tours. I have read that the locals have a tendancy to drive very fast. Would you suggest for the sake of safety to avoid the car hire option.

Cheers

Steve

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
1. Re: Car Hire or Organised Tour ?

Hi Steve,

Thanks for creating a new topic.

For land based sight seeing car hire offers a viable alternative against inclusive tours or hiring a taxi and paying for tour separately but not if that is the sole intention of car hire. Having your own car gives the flexibility of doing what you want when you want and accessibility to places tours don't take you, seeing some of the Real Thailand, not just Tourist Thailand.

Having been crashed into earlier this year by a truck full of drunken Thais I am hardly the one to ignore the safety aspect but thankfully everyone was OK and all covered by insurance and plenty of witnesses, so no danger of the "if it's an accident involving a farang, it's the farang's fault!" scenario.

Thais do drive fast and aggressively, some would say, recklessly, so you have to be alert to them and, as importantly to the ever present scooters where you learn to expect the unexpected with Thais but farangs are worse IMO as they are often used to driving on the wrong side of the road, try to copy the Thais and just regard a scooter as "a bit of fun" until something goes wrong - often with tragic consequences!

However, the roads away from Phuket and in and around Khao Lak are generally very enjoyable to drive with care and eyes in the back of your head at all times.

If you do decide to hire a car or consider you might do so after you drive please read the Top Question FAQ on the right "DRIVING LICENCE Requirements" and get yourself an International Driving Permit before you leave the UK.

I would wait until you get to Khao Lak and observe the traffic and driving mannerisms yourself then decide. Just take extra care in the Wet Season when sudden downpours very quickly flood the road and make driving conditions very hazardous. Just pull over off the road and wait for the heavy rain to pass and visibility safe to drive again.

There are other FAQs about self-drive and tips for self-drive tours that may help you to decide.

Enjoy!

Melbourne Australia
Level Contributor
1,196 posts
44 reviews
2. Re: Car Hire or Organised Tour ?

"Some, would say, recklessly". Yes, I'm one of those that agrees with the adjective "recklessly" when it is applied to Thai driving mannerisms. As Arandora says, you need to keep all of your radar devices in your brain, ears and eyes on full alert all of the time. Having said that, if you exercise care, skill and restraint and providing your are an experienced and confident driver, you should be OK.

Burnley, United...
Level Contributor
9 posts
17 reviews
3. Re: Car Hire or Organised Tour ?

Thanks for that guys,

Do you have any idea of how the costs would compare between car hire and organised tours?

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
4. Re: Car Hire or Organised Tour ?

In July I would expect to pay upwards of about 1200 baht per day for a small car (Hinda Jazz, Brio, Automatic, for instance) including Full Insurance. The longer the hire, the cheaper the price. Budget and Hertz have offices in Khao Lak. You can hire cheaper from local outfits near Phuket Airport but if you want the car delivered to your hotel and returned to Phuket there is a charge. Here's a link to an index of Car Hire outfits on Phuket to look at and contact for quotes http://phuketindex.com/vehicle/carrental/ When you contact them always ask for their best price. Friends of ours are picking up a car from Airport Car Rent (I've used and can recommend) in a few days then driving to Krabi then to here for 800 baht a day.

A day tour to Phang Nga Bay would cost about 2000 - 2500 baht per person, probably about the same to Khao Sok. Have a look at Green Andaman Travel at http://www.greenandamantravel.com/tours/ and contact them for quotes.

Burnley, United...
Level Contributor
9 posts
17 reviews
5. Re: Car Hire or Organised Tour ?

Cheers for that Arandora, much appreciated. I'll buy you a pint in July

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
6. Re: Car Hire or Organised Tour ?

When you come over to Blackpool after you get home you mean? :-)

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
1,277 posts
545 reviews
7. Re: Car Hire or Organised Tour ?

Notwithstanding Arandora being wiped-out by a truck full of "drunken Thais", I must say that I have never experienced "road-rage" in Thailand.

You do have to pay close attention as to who is passing you on the inside, or the outside (and in some cases, who is approaching you head on, on the wrong side of the road), but ... whilst I have experienced "recklessness", I have never been abused, chased, or threatened for an innocent road deviation as can sometimes happen at home (i.e. Sydney or Melbourne, etc).

Drive carefully, watch your rear-view and side mirrors, and you "should" enjoy a self-drive excursion.

Edited: 28 March 2013, 13:46
Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
8. Re: Car Hire or Organised Tour ?

True, Thais never exhibit road rage but their antics don't half make my blood boil at times!!!

9. Re: Car Hire or Organised Tour ?

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