SE Asia - Travelling by Van

Jan 2nd, 2017, 06:21 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,948
SE Asia - Travelling by Van

A tragic cautionary tale...

Apparently on 31 December, there were 85 folk killed on Thailand's roads.

If you travel by road, the bigger the vehicle you're in the safer you should feel.

And for those that only travel in cars with drivers that have been recommended, it doesn't matter how competent your driver may be, it's the other idiots that cause the problems. You can't legislate for drivers that overtake crossing the middle of the road and hit anything coming the other way head on.
LancasterLad is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2017, 07:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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The most dangerous way to travel in SE Asia is by motorbike. Motorbike accidents are the leading cause of death for both locals and visitors.

And if you are traveling by car or van, you are better off traveling during the day rather than at night. Drivers in Asian countries don't always use their headlights at night.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2017, 11:35 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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Sounds like a horrific incident. Thailand s roads are undoubtedly dangerous. The average fatality rates are approx. 10 x that if the UK. Drivers are lunatics and rules of the road, practically non existent. It is undoubtedly a "dangerous" place to travel but I am not sure being in a larger vehicle, necessarily makes it a whole lot safer. Bus drivers in Thailand are renowned for their use of amphetamines for example. I have witnessed drivers in Vietnam watching movies on iPads whilst driving.

I agree with Kathie re motorcycles and, even though I am an experienced rider, I would think twice and certainly would not do it without the correct protective gear.

However, the reality is that, if you want to see the country, it is going to be necessary to use some form of transport. Personally I would much rather even a car and drive myself and take responsibility for my own safety than hire a driver. Each of us have our own idea of what is an acceptable level of risk and how to minimise that risk.
crellston is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2017, 01:26 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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The headline in today's Bangkok Post is of one horrific accident that killed 25 people. A large passenger van smashed into a pickup truck that probably had a bunch of riders in the back. Thus 25 casualties. It happened south of Bangkok, on a secondary highway, between the city and Pattaya ( around Ban Bueng) where we have been a number of times to visit a friend's country house.

We drove in a rental car from Bangkok to Phuket for a beach holiday over the new year last year. Yes, you must be very concerned with the OTHER guys on the road!!! There are some really bad drivers out there. We broke up our trip in Chumphon, at a very nice Novotel, in both directions, in order to avoid night time driving as much as possible.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2017, 01:29 AM
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Sorry, I just looked at your link. I usually avoid links here on fodors and other forums and the like..... I see you have referenced the same accident.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Jan 4th, 2017, 07:26 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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Crellston, you'd rather hire a car and drive yourself 'round India too? You're braver and/or crazier than I realized from your posts !

LL, thank you for posting this . Tragic and cautionary indeed. You've helped me finalize one last decision r/t trip next month to Gujarat. Book Toyota Etios Sedan...or the bigger/safer/more comfortable/slighlty more $ Toyota Innova SUV? I've been waffling, due to money...but now, it will for sure be the Innova.
CaliNurse is offline  
Jan 5th, 2017, 09:48 AM
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Calinurse - neither crazy nor brave. Just not a very good passenger as my wife will testify!
Never tried India yet. Africa, South America, Asia - no problems - yet.....
crellston is offline  
Jan 5th, 2017, 09:17 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 4,392
Crellston, you've been to Hanoi though, right? The traffic there is quite orderly in comparison, despite the limited use of red lights. LOL--I DARE you to drive yourself in a big city in India!!!! (We can bet a free trip to some exotic destination.)
One of our drivers told the story of a British client who insisted on trying this in Bangalore, and would NOT be talked out of it. So the client got behind the steering wheel, came to her first intersection, sat there not moving for one minute....then broke down in tears.
The "good" thing about the chaos of India is that, at least in my case, all the drivers have been fantastic--they HAVE to be. I've never felt unsafe, and like you, am not a good passenger. You know those discussions about tipping? Well, I'm very generous to the drivers--our lives are in their hands!

I daresay you and Mrs C will LOVE India.
CaliNurse is offline  
Jan 5th, 2017, 10:19 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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You DARE me Calinurse! I really wish you hadn't done that. Now I am going to have to change our plans and go to India
crellston is offline  

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