Overland Thailand Travel

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Visiting Thailand[edit]

Give a brief overview of what it's like to visit. How easy is the border, how safe is the country, are there great things to see and do, etc.

Entering Thailand with a Car or Motorbike[edit]

Correct as of: March 2016

Required Paperwork[edit]

(To check if you need a travel Visa for Thailand, application instructions and fees see: Thailand Visa online application at VisaHQ.com)

  • Passport of registered owner (original and 1 copy)
  • International Drivers License of 1949 *) of registered owner (original and 1 copy)
  • Local Vehicle registration (original and official verified translation into English or Thai and 1 copy of each)
  • Vehicle Insurance for Thailand (local, any international Insurance is not accepted). Your agency will take care about that
  • A Carnet de Passage is NOT mandatory to enter enter Thailand.

 *) If you do not own the one from 1949, you need a verified translation of your local driver license into English or Thai as well. Further information about that can be found in the section Driving license

Remember: Mobile homes or trucks looking like that are NOT allowed to enter Thailand any more!

Process at border[edit]

After stamping passports your guide will take care of the process for the temporary import permit for the vehicle. However, you sign on the temporary import permit, that in case of exceeding the allowed time frame, you have to pay a huge fine. The vehicle is not registered in the passport. Depending on the crossing entry can take up to one hour.

Cost of entry[edit]

The vehicle is free. The entry per person costs ฿200.00 THB at the Tha 2 Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge Checkpoint[1].

Permitted length of stay[edit]

30 days

Extension of stay[edit]

Usually it is not possible to extend your permit. If you have leave your predefined itinerary for special reasons (illness, breakdown, etc), your guide will contact your agency and they will act accordingly.

Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country[edit]

Describe if/how a vehicle can be stored, and for how long.
Also mention if the owner / temporary importer can leave the country while the vehicle is in storage.

Exiting with a vehicle[edit]

On exit, the temporary import document is stamped and the vehicle from the computer (if available) discharged. To be safe and to avoid problems when re-entry, you should ask nicely for a copy of the stamped document. For a new entry, the whole process have to be done again, but it will a bit faster because except for the new itinerary your agency already confirmed all required documents from you.

Driving in Thailand[edit]

Recommended books for Overlanding in Thailand[edit]

Lonely Planet Thailand (travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Thailand (travel Guide)
by Lonely Planet, Mark Beales, Tim Bewer, Joe Bindlos...
From $15.25 on Amazon
Work Less To Live Your Dreams: A Practical Guide To Sa...
Work Less To Live Your Dreams: A Practical Guide To Sa...
by Dan Grec
From $click on Amazon
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route And Planning Gu...
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route And Planning Gu...
by Chris Scott
From $22.49 on Amazon
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Gu...
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Gu...
by Chris Scott
From $click on Amazon
Thailand Handbook, 7th: Travel Guide To Thailand (foot...
Thailand Handbook, 7th: Travel Guide To Thailand (foot...
by Andrew Spooner
From $56.83 on Amazon

Travel insurance for Thailand[edit]

World Nomads offer the most flexible Travel Insurance at the best prices for multi-country / multi-year trips. You can buy, extend and claim online, even after you've left home.

Vehicle insurance requirements[edit]

When you sent your agency all the documents for the permit, they will need no additional papers for the insurance.

Cost of vehicle insurance[edit]

At Checkpoint Tha 2 Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge, you can buy insurance for ฿200.00 THB (30 days).

Where to purchase vehicle insurance[edit]

Due to this is mandatory now, your agency will take care about that process and will hand over the papers when you meet

If you are able to convince them, that you will take care about that yourself, the old information might be helpful:
At Tha 2 Thai - Lao friendship bridge.
At other border crossings, this was not possible.
Long-term insurance (1 year) can be completed in almost any TESCO.

Driving license[edit]

International Driving License from 1949. National Driving License or International Driving License 1929 or 1956 are NOT accepted any more (even though rental shops don't care). If you are from a country, which did not sign the 1949 treaty, then you have to make a temporary Thai Driver License at DLT (valid for 30 days, not extendable).

Driving side of road[edit]

Left side of the road.
No Problems with LHD vehicles.

Mandatory items in vehicle[edit]

State any mandatory items that must be carried in the vehicle. (i.e. safety triangle, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, etc.)


General Road quality[edit]

The road network in Thailand is very good and paved. Even the most minor roads are in good condition. Many four-lane roads pass through the country. The only exception to this is the extreme northeast and northwest of the country. In the mountainous regions of northern Thailand, the streets are narrow and twisted.

Road signs[edit]

Briefly describe the overall quality & existence of road signs for directions and hazards.

Toll roads[edit]

Only in the metropolitan area of Bangkok are toll roads.

Bribery in Thailand[edit]

Only when entering from Laos the officer has tried instead of 200THB entry fee to swindle 500 THB. Among the Thais bribing is spread by officials.


Only in the politically unstable region on the border with Myanmar, there is a chance to get stopped by the military. Usually foreigners can go on immediately.

Traveling with pets[edit]

List the entry requirements and anything else required to travel with a pet.

Gas price in Thailand and Diesel price in Thailand[edit]

Last updated: October 2014

Currency and unit to display:

Modify the table below as required.

Gasoline Grade Price
Regular (87) $0.00 USD per Gallon (US)
Super (88) $0.00 USD per Gallon (US)
Premium (90) $0.00 USD per Gallon (US)
Ultra (95) $0.00 USD per Gallon (US)
Diesel $3.50 USD per Gallon (US)

Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency[edit]

The station network is very well developed.

Gas and Diesel Quality[edit]

Discuss if gasoline / diesel considered "clean" or "dirty", and generally high or low quality.
State the sulfur content of diesel, if known.

Safety and Security Considerations[edit]

Driving at night[edit]

Discuss driving at night and if it should it be avoided. Mention why.

Vehicle parking[edit]

Discuss if vehicles can be parked on the street, if they are considered "safe" at night. If vehicles can not be parked on the street, list the other options that exist. There is a new for 2016 a purpose built overlanders stop with all facilities (example showers toilets and safe parking over night) 100 km south east of Bangkok not fare from Pattaya called Plodd Stop in banglamung Thailand Google overlanders Thailand.com for directions or Plodd stop.

Special driving considerations[edit]

A List of special things to be careful of (i.e. Unsigned speed bumps, abnormal road rules, people or animals on the road, etc.).
List any roads that are not recommended to drive for safety or other security reasons.

Security advisories and information[edit]

Camping in Thailand[edit]

Camping is surprisingly very popular with the Thais. There are official campsites, usually located in national parks, but also wild camping, for example on beaches is common. The Thais have recognized the potential of campgrounds and there are now an increasing number of private campgrounds. The equipment limited to showers and toilets, sometimes there is electricity and sun shelters.

Wild camping and informal camping (at gas stations, parking lots) is not a problem.

Camping guide books[edit]

List and link to books specifically for camping.

Drinking water[edit]

Taps can be found everywhere. However, the water is not drinkable in all of Southeast Asia. For drinking water production a special filter system or the purchase of everywhere available 20 liters water dispenser for little money is recommended.


Paper maps[edit]

Reise Know-How are amoung the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Thailand

by Reise Know-How Verlag
From $6.99 on Amazon
Thailand (national Geographic Adventure Map)
Thailand (national Geographic Adventure Map)
by National Geographic Maps - Adventure
From $8.28 on Amazon
Thailand (national Geographic Adventure Map)
Thailand (national Geographic Adventure Map)
by National Geographic Maps - Adventure
From $8.28 on Amazon
Lonely Planet Bangkok (travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Bangkok (travel Guide)
by Lonely Planet, Austin Bush
From $12.88 on Amazon

GPS Maps of Thailand[edit]

Review different GPS companies, quality and coverage (Tomtom, Garmin, OSM, Tracks4Africa). (with links to each).

GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Thailand[edit]

  • iOverlander is a website and iPhone application designed by Overlanders, for Overlanders. It contains GPS co-ordinates and reviews for camping, hotels, propane, water, mechanics, borders and much more.

Link to sites that have a list of GPS co-ordinates (or directions) for camping locations (including "wild" campsites), propane filling, gas stations, repair shops, places of interest, etc.

Special Overland Travel interests[edit]

List any special items / places that are popular with Overlanders

Vehicle Maintenance[edit]


4x4s / Trucks


Local Garages[edit]

If you are driving a LandRover, get in touch with the LROCT (Land Rover Owners Club Thailand) before you enter Thailand and they will be more than happy to help you with ANYTHING. Their huge network lasts even to Malaysia. Definitely consider to meet those guys! Add known good mechanics here.

Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Thailand[edit]

Describe how a foreigner can buy a vehicle. List any difficulties or limitations on where the vehicle can be driven.

Describe how a foreigner can sell a foreign-plated vehicle, or list not possible.'


Links to the source of any information - blogs or discussion forums, etc.

Contact David Goodchild at Plodd Stop for assistance overlandersthailand.com

Helpful External links[edit]

Add any helpful external links here.