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Driving in Thailand: Foreign tourists face strict controls

A motor home and a van from China parked on a road in Phuket. Photo from Mint Idea-Tv Facebook page. Inset: Person living in motor home on public sidewalk wearing underpants or bathing suit, wreckage of Chinese after fatal collision with Thai motorcycles.

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Many Chinese tourists like to drive their cars into Thailand. Now limited to province they enter, 30 days per trip & request 10 days before entering Thailand.


Driving in Thailand: Foreign tourists face strict controls

Post Reporters

Foreign tourists will be banned from driving motorcycles and motor homes into Thailand as part of measures to control an influx of foreign vehicles onto Thai roads, particularly in northern Thailand.

Frequent accidents and ecological harm are problems that the influx of vehicles has caused. 

For example, in March, 2015 a speeding Chinese tourist in Chiang Rai killed a motorcyclist with a car that he drove into Thailand from China (See photo of wreckage above). The car approached at high speed, hit one motorcycle which then crashed into another motorcycle killing a 41-year-old woman who worked at a Chiang Rai hospital. Read full story here, here & here.


Many Chinese tourists like to drive their cars into Thailand but that will not happen in the future, Land Transport Department chief Sanit Phromwong said.

The order will prohibit people who have not made prior agreements on car usage abroad from driving cars into Thailand from China, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.

The regulations will not be applied to vehicles from Laos, Malaysia and Singapore with which Thailand has pacts on international car usage.


The ban is meant to enforce order and allow only some types of vehicles to travel in certain areas for particular periods of time.

Only vehicles with a total of nine seats and pickup trucks with a maximum weight of 3,500kg will be allowed to travel in Thailand.


Drivers are required to make requests to drive in Thailand through Thai tourism operators at least 10 days prior to their their trips and have their vehicles checked by authorities.

Transport officials overseeing provinces bordering their countries will consider whether to grant them permission cards.

The 500-baht permission card must be displayed inside the vehicle where they can easily be spotted by Thai officials.

Vehicles will be allowed to travel only in those provinces through which they enter and they will be allowed on Thai roads for 30 days each trip. The total permitted period cannot exceed 60 days in one year.


Information on foreign vehicles and drivers will be shared between state agencies through a computer network to monitor vehicles, to determine whether the drivers overstay the permitted driving period and possibly prevent re-entry if they do break the rules.



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abroad : in or to a foreign country - ในต่างประเทศ

accident (noun): an unpleasant event that happens unexpectedly and causes injury or damage - อุปัทวเหตุ, เหตุบังเอิญ

agency (noun): a government department that provides a particular service - หน่วยงานราชการ

approach : moving or coming closer - การเข้าใกล้

authority (noun): a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ

ban : an official statement ordering people not to do, sell or use something - การห้าม

bordering : very near, next to, or touching - ติดกัน

consider : to give careful thought to something before making a decision - พิจารณา

control : To exercise restraining or governing influence over; to check; to counteract; to restrain; to regulate; to govern; to overpower - จัดการ, ควบคุม

crash (verb): to collide, to hit something else with force - ชน

determine : to discover something by examining evidence to or calculate something - กำหนด, ระบุ, แสดงผล

display : to put something in a particular place so that people can see it easily - โชว์, แสดง

ecological : of the system of relationships between the air, land, water, animals, plants, etc., usually of a particular area - เกี่ยวกับความสัมพันธ์ระหว่างสิ่งมีชีวิตในระบบนิเวศน์

enforce  : to make sure laws are obeyed - บังคับให้ใช้, บังคับให้ทำ, ใช้กำลังบังคับให้ปฏิบัติตาม

exceed : to be more than something; to go beyond a limit - เกินกว่าที่กำหนด

frequent : happening often - เกิดขึ้นบ่อย

grant : to officially give something - ให้

harm : damage - ความเสียหาย

influx : a large number of people or things coming in to a place - การหลั่งไหล การไหลบ่า  (เข้าไปยังที่ใดที่หนึ่ง)

international : connected with or involving two or more countries - นานาชาติ, สากล, ระหว่างประเทศ

maximum : the most possible - ที่สูงสุด ที่มากที่สุด

measure : a firm action taken to solve a problem or stop a dangerous unpleasant situation - มาตราการ

monitor : keep track of - ตรวจ, ติดตาม, เฝ้าสังเกต

network : telecommunications network, a telephone or cable TV network -

officials : people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ

operator (noun): a person or company that runs a business - ผู้ดำเนินกิจการทางธุรกิจ, ผู้ประกอบธุรกิจ

order : a situation in which everything is well organized or arranged - ความเป็นระเบียบเรียบร้อย

oversee : to watch something in order to check that it works or happens in the way that it should - ตรวจตรา

overstay : stay in a country for longer than you are allowed to stay, not leaving when your visa to stay in the country ends -

pact : an agreement between two or more people or organisations in which they promise to do something - ข้อสัญญา, ข้อตกลง

particular : specific - เฉพาะ, จำเพาะ, โดยเฉพาะ

particularly : especially, or more than usual - โดยเฉพาะ

permission : allowing someone to do something - การอนุญาต,การอนุมัติ,การยินยอม

permit (verb): to allow someone to do something - อนุญาต, อนุมัติ, ยินยอม

pickup truck (noun): a vehicle with low sides and no roof at the back used, for example, by farmers - รถพิกอัป, รถกระบะ

prevent (verb): to stop somebody from doing something; to stop something from happening - ขัดขวาง, ป้องกัน, กัน, กีดขวาง

prior : before - ก่อนหน้า

prohibit : to not allow; to ban - ห้าม

province : one of many divisions of the government of a country into smaller parts - จังหวัด

re-entry (noun): leaving a country and then returning to it - การกลับเข้าเมือง

regulation : an official rule that controls the way that things are done - กฎระเบียบ

spotted : seen; noticed - ปรากฏให้เห็น

state : government - รัฐบาล

transport : moving people or things from one place to another - การขนส่ง

usage (noun): how much someone uses a service, measured in minutes, for example - การใช้

vehicle : a machine that you travel in or on, especially one with an engine that travels on roads, e.g., a car, bus, van, truck, etc. - ยานพาหนะ

wreckage : the parts of a vehicle or building that remain after it has been severely damaged - ซากตึกบ้านเรือนที่ถูกทำลาย


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