Mr Mechanic’s rental shops are prominently located within Chiang Mai’s “Old City” and not far from Thapae Gate. See the Location Map for details. Almost every taxi, tuktuk and songthiew driver knows how to find our shops!
Driving in Thailand
Thailand’s road rules conform to most international standards, although “local” interpretations of them can be hair-raising to say the least!
Two of the biggest differences are;
- Vehicles are right-hand drive, and traffic drives on the left side of the roads/streets – exactly as in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. If you’re from the USA, you’ll have to make some significant mental adjustments.
- The traffic diversity – masses of different vehicle types, traveling at different velocities. Its not unusual to see hand-carts and ox-carts, tuktuks, and streams of scooters splitting lanes with 3-5 people on board… and the pick-up taxis are extremely dangerous as they cruise the streets in search of their next fare.
Road conditions are surprisingly good, and traffic eases the moment you get a few kms out of the city.
Road signage is also surprisingly good, with all main highways and roads signposted in both Thai and English.
- Word substitution will sometimes provide a smile, as in the illustration above – Doi Phu Kha is only a NATIONAL Park as yet…
- Variable phonetic spelling of English word is another minor issue that can bewilder you when trying to find a specific place! Chaeson National Park is also seen as; Chae Son, Jae Son, Jason, Jaeson etc – its all the same place though!
There are good English language road maps available from Mr Mechanic’s shops. These are produced by the GT-Rider, a local mapping specialist. The www.GT-Rider.com website has vast amounts of information on touring. Whilst its orientated towards motorcycle touring, the information is equally relevant to traveling by car.