Thailand

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Flag of Thailand Thailand
Information
Language: Thai
Capital: Bangkok
Population: 63,038,247
Currency: Baht (THB)
Hitchability: <rating country='th' />
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Amylin riding in the back of a hitched pick-up truck from Chiang Rai to the Laos border in Thailand.

Thailand is a wonderful hitchhiking country - but you have to be persistent. People are not familiar with the concept of hitchhiking and they always want to drop you off at a bus station.

Hitchhiking in Thailand

Hitchhiking in Thailand is relatively simple and safe, on the contrary to what some people might tell you. Using the usual protocol of standing with your thumb out, where traffic is slow and leaving enough room for drivers to pull over is all you need to do. Prepare to spend a lot of time in the back of pick up trucks. By this I mean; bring a rain coat, some warm clothes (especially if hitching at night), a waterproof cover for your rucksack, even in the summer! There are wonderful experiences to be had hitch hiking in Thailand. In several cases, user haggismn was asked if he wanted a ride when simply walking on the path to a place to hitch from. Some people will also invite you to stay at their homes. Whilst people do not recommend it, sleeping outdoors is safe, especially where people do not often walk.

There are lots of motorbikes in Thailand, who are happy to pick up hitchikers. Remember it can be difficult if you're wearing a backpack and always ask/signal/mime if they have a spare helmet. Hitching you don't have to freeze in the buses and you can get acquainted with locals and some foreigners too. They don't ask money for the rides but if a someone not so rich offers you a long ride, it would be polite to offer him a lunch if you can afford it.

The nature of the Thai people makes Thailand a really good country to use a hitchhiking letter if you can't speak thai. You will often find yourself surrounded by locals who are willing to help you, but who are not familiarized with hitchhiking and cannot speak any English, which may lead to you being dropped at police offices or bus stations. The letter makes these situations much easier, and the hitchhiking in Thailand drastically faster.

Getting In

File:Malaysiathailandborder.jpg
Craig tries thumbing up lifts at Bukit Ayer Hitam border (Malaysia).

Thailand borders Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia.

Malaysia

Entering & Leaving Malaysia is swift and easy. Because of traffic volume choose Bukit Ayer Hitam over Padang Besar for the western Side. There are two more border crossings at Betong and Sungai Kolok in the center and on the eastern side respectively. On the Malaysian side of Bukit Ayer Hitam border Craig found it easy to get a lift near immigration and parking [1].

National Parks

Cities

Public transportation

In Thailand, 1st & second class buses often have air conditioning - way too cold and you have to watch B-class movies on the video screen. On the other hand, local buses are often great value in order to exit big cities - and exciting if you're packed in with animals, bags & anything that will fit. In some instances, you may as a white person be denied access to local transit when there are more tourist-oriented buses available.

Another good option are 3rd class trains, which are really cheap (48 THB from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet, which is 6 km from the Cambodian border). They might also be convenient to get to a good hitching spot when you're leaving Bangkok.

In addition, there are certain trains in Thailand that are free for Thai passengers (for example, the trains going from Udon Thani to Bangkok, and from Surat Thani to Hat Yai), and it is also possible to get onto them for free as a tourist. If you attract the attention of the train station officers, they might insist that you pay the tourist price for the ticket, but if you just get into the train no-one should bother you there. The hardest part is finding out which are these trains exactly and when they come without asking the train station officers, but the locals can probably help you with that.

Language

Thai is a language with 6 tones.-->


Experiences

  • User Craig hitched along the Silk Road from Istanbul to Malaysia and wrote about his experiences here: Thumbing Asia From West to East getting out of Bangkok isn't easy ... but the rest of Thailand is endless fun to hitch-hike. Sometimes you'll get a lift with a police car yay!