Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Day 1 ~Driving from Singapore to thailand

 Before starting this trip, I had many doubts especially the crossing of the Border ( Malaysia to Thailand ) part. And here it goes.


- Planned your itinerary carefully. It take months to do it.

- Use the distance calculator to write down Province to Province, State to State driving distance. So at least you have a rough guide where to stop for a night rest.

- Research the Hotel beforehand but don't booked it, you won't know where you will stop for the night. Before my drive, I intend not to drive more than 500km per day, but long distance drive, 500km means nothing, trust me. I drove 800km - 1000 km easily with a comfortable speed.

- Never drive in the night, VERY important, start early in the day and stop whenever the sky turning dark.

- Print out your LOG card from onemotoring, or if the vehicle doesn't belong to you, get an authorized letter from the owner. I called the bank and they sent me the Certified Original copy.

- Remember to purchased travel insurance or and additional insurance for your car, the third party insurance is compulsory in Thailand.

- Remember, if you intend to stay more than 15 days in Thailand, please go to the Thai embassy and apply a free Visa ( for Singaporeans ), this will let you travel in peace, the Visa is for 60 days.

- I assume you will not be staying in Thailand for more than 30 days, if so, go to the nearest immigration to extend the vehicle permit. Rarely you will get an extension for your vehicle, so you need to go out of Thailand and re-enter.

- Prepare lot's of CD's, the music that you can sing along, this kills the zzzzzz monster.

- Lot's of mineral water in car, chicken essence & Red bull is also advisable.

- A good map from embassy and a good GPS with updated maps.

- Change some Ringgits & Thai Bahts.

- Bring at least two credit cards, and spare car key too.

- A steering lock is recommended.

- Note down all Emergency telephone number like Police station, car breakdown or friends and relatives ( if you have any )

- Bring a spare handphone ( for Msia and Thai prepaid Sim card ) or if not, make sure your hp is Autoroam applicable.

- Take a short break 200km - 300km, either for a toilet pee & poo, washing face or smokers, need to inhale some energy to keep you awake, never filled your stomach to the extreme on the trip, this will only makes you think of your bed.

- 110km can be boring in NSE, but try not to overspeed, this will attracts "Flies" .

- Thailand Highway is superb but nothing compares to NSE, so you can accelerate a little more but bear in mind, they also have some "flies" there.

- Thais are mostly friendly, but on the road with only 2 lanes, this have to test a little skill of yours. If the vehicle in front of you signal left meaning go ahead and overtake me. If they signal right means, wait ! There are cars coming on the other side.

- Bring soap, shampoo or any bathing equipments with you. Most petrol kiosk in Thailand have bathrooms to shower. Once you feel tired, take a shower at the kiosk. Free of charge.


- Change all four tires to new one, trust me, this invest is worth it!

- Sent your vehicle to AA for a pre trip inspection, they will advice what to change or take note.

- If your Battery is more than one year, change it to a new one, peace of mind.

- Check all brake pads, if it's 50%, change all to new one, very very good invest.

- Get your Engine oil change before the trip and all necessary wear & tear check.


- After the Malaysia check point, it's easy.

- Reaching Sadao border, the big building Duty Free is on the left. I recommend you to take a break here, do some shopping, get your third party insurance here, get the white card and filled it here before heading to the custom.

- If you have passengers, let them alight first, tell them to Q and stamp their passport first. You make a left turn to the Big car park, make a fast one and join them the Q.

- After all this done, proceed to the next counter, get your vehicle pass done. Note, the Thai authority don't speak much English, so body language applied if you don't speak Thai.

- Show them your Log card, your insurance. They need to key it in their computer, sign the documentation and ready to go.

- Wait....not done yet, pass the signed documents to the booth that the vehicle passed, they will return you a carbon copy before letting you pass the gantry. REMEMBER very important, safe keep this returned copy, you need to return back to them to proved that your car has left Thailand. If you forget this, TROUBLE awaits you!!!!

- And pass the custom....Welcome to Thailand.


- Never save on Hotel expenses, booked a "good" hotel for a good sleep.

- On the move, try not to eat any "Exotic" food that your stomach cannot take, it will ruin your plan.

- Try to booked a room with internet access, so you can search for additional infos for the following day.

- Prepare the following itinerary on the night in the Hotel, so the next day you just follow the route planned.

- Always look for petrol kiosk if your tank is half, play safe!

Hope this is good enough for Bros planning a self drive to the North. It's nothing complicated, trust me, it's real FUN!!!!

Email to contact me if you need more infos on this trip.

      Planned this road trip for several months already. I make sure all infos that I searched go smoothly. can't wait anymore, initially planning to start the drive at 6am but to excited, leave early in the morning 2am.
   This is the website I seek informations before my drive. Mr Kent gave me many advice and I appreciate!!! Thank you Mr Kent from K.L and his website is http://www.drivetothailand.com/ 

This humble Blog is for brothers and sisters who are planning to drive up North. I know many Singaporeans wanna do this type of trip but don't know where to start, how to start etc............. so I will write more about the procedure, tips, documents and all important notes for you guys, share my humble experience and one day you might drive this trip like me.

As this is just the first leg, I will skip all those unnecessarily post like accommodations, food we eat etc. I will post more on the route itself and what to take note.

Day 1: Drive from Singapore to Penang, stated at local time 2.45am. It's a total of approximately 745km. It's cool to drive at night But make sure you have enough sleep. I did not stop much because the battery in me is still full.

The first stop was at Ayer Keroh R&R as I only stop at the shoulder for 2 minutes, Pee service. And I proceed to 180km of NSH, met a road block . 6-8 policemen in duty and was told that I had over speed. I denied and after some "negotiation" , he warned me and let me off.

When hitting the EXIT 214 Shah Alam-Klang-Ipoh, turn left follow the way to Ipoh. as my GPS did not lead me to the turn, but I exit for good because I had a thorough research before the trip and it went well. When the first light break, I was about to reached Ipoh. Take note, Ipoh stretch is very foggy in the early morning, so do not speed and keep your eye open.

Did a full tank refilled at a station just before Tapah R&R, as upon reaching tapah R&R, feel hungry and this is the only "real" break , we stop there to have breakfast and coffee for about half an hour. After breakfast, proceed our journey, follow the Ipoh sign and after Ipoh, drive all the way following the Alor Setar and you will see Georgetown sign later. At this time, I begin to feel the zzzzzzz monster attacking me soon after the sumptuous breakfast at the R&R.

Drive all the way you will head to Penang bridge, this NSH is very clear cut, very uneventful but the road is fantastic!!! When we reached Penang Georgetown, we proceed to the hotel , have a shower and take a nap. 2.45am ( Tuas ) - 11am ( Penang Georgetown ) . A 8-10 hours is very doable, maintaining at a comfortable 110km/h speed.

- Have a good sleep
- Try to stop every 200km-300km to stretch yourself
- Do not drive too fast as NSH is quite dark at night. MAKE SURE you fill your Touch & Go card, very useful to pass to toll. I filled up 200RM for both legs.
- Blast fast music on the go, sing along and this will makes you alert. Do not play slow music, this will only makes you zzzzzzzzzzzz.
- As the NSH is very uneventful, short stop is only for toilet breaks, smoke breaks and fuel refill.
- Only RON 97 is available for Singapore vehicle.
- Stop only at those Big R&R.
- Chicken essence, Red Bull will be excellent for this long drive.

As the NSH drive is not rare for Singaporeans, I will stop here and proceed to the passing of Malaysia and Thailand part..............

Day 2
We wake up 6.30am and have our breakfast, a quick toilet break and check out the hotel. Proceed to Bukit Kayu Hitam, the Malaysia - Thailand border. The distance to the border is approximately 150km, whereas 11/2 to 2 hours of driving time. Actually after all researched, the procedure is copied in my brain. But the actual situation is totally different. But don't worry, we all learn and we all have our first time.

Let me humbly guide you through this. First of all, get ready a LOG card of your Vehicle ( if the car isn't under your name, get an authorize letter from the owner) , your valid passport, and white cards.

First you will need to exit from Malaysia custom, very clear cut, hand over passport and stamp, it took just a few minutes out of Malaysia. The officer will ask you where you proceeding, and will take a look at your Log card. After the immigration, the left is a Duty free shop and it's big, I did not shop too much as it was a Saturday, I can see the jam is long, VERY IMPORTANT!!! Get the white card, buy the 3rd Party insurance, fill it here because the border itself is very Chaotic, no proper sign board and for first timer, you will get "LOST" here......but don't worry, it's very doable!!!

It will be quite rare if you travel alone, so i assumed that there are passengers with you. Let them alight first, Queue to have passport stamp. the driver turn left in to the Big car park, park your car and join the Queue. As there are 8-9 counters without any instruction, so better ask which lane to Queue before joining. There are lanes for motorcycles, for lorries, for cars etc. My wifey Queue the wrong lane, wasted half an hour in here and rejoined the correct lane after inquiries.We took almost 2 hours to stamped our passport, and from here, go to the next counter to get your Vehicle pass done. The car can be in Thailand for just 30 days.

Bear in mind, after signing the copy, the officer will return you the carbon copy. KEEP THIS and you need to return to the custom when you are back!!!!! VERY IMPORTANT!

After everything's done, go to the car park, get your vehicle, follow the path and get your Vehicle copy.........here we go, WELCOME TO THAILAND! So if you have a map of Thai, get your passengers hold it and a GPS is a very handy tools! Make sure you have your GPS Thailand maps update. I am using a Marbella, have a free I-Go Thailand map and was up to date!!!

So my destination is the Northern Thailand, I could not drive all the way there, it's another 2000km to go, so I need to stop in a province to have a night rest. For me, I do it this way. I will stop driving once the sky going dark........ where ever the nearest province I reached, I will drive in to the Town and search for a hotel. No need to pre booked hotel in Thailand because you will never know which province you will stop at. A nice hotel in a not so touristy area cost around 300 bht - 1200 bht. You can simply get a 4 star rating hotel for as low as 800bht. I emphasized on hotel I stay, must sleep well for the following day ride. You can go for a walk near any hotel, parked your car in the hotel, go get some food, photos or some massage! You can easily find all this in Thailand. I rest my first day in a province call Chum Phon.

Day 3
As we are already in Thailand, we drive as what we plan. No matter how many km we travel, make it a MUST, we sky turns dark, STOP and rest. Never never drive in the dark in Thailand!! The road is not too bad but nothing compares to NHS, a few bad roads or potholes are unavoidable!

So today I drive all the way from Chum Phon to the North, Nakhon Sawan. It's around 800km in total. And I reached N.S at around 6pm, check in a boutique hotel and rest!!!

And the following day we make our trip to Chiang Mai. The HW in Thainad is very clear, very BIG ENGLISH signboard. If you have a GPS, you won't be worrying to much, it will bring you to the destinations set!!!!

If you guys have any questions, please feel free to email me, I will be very happy to answer......... hsunnyor@gmail.com
Day 1
Planned this road trip for several months already. I make sure all infos that I searched go smoothly. can't wait anymore, initially planning to start the drive at 6am but to excited, leave early in the morning 2am.


Kent Ng said...

Bro, enjoy and please take care.


Shor said...

Thank you Kent. Thanks for your earlier assistance too!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant fun Sunny, I hope you 2 guys and dolls are having fun. From an envious UK, happy shooting buddy!

Cheers the man with the yellow hat!

Shor said...

Thanks yellow hat man!!! Happy shooting to you too!!!!

Eskimo Jack said...

bro, i suppose ur still on the way? take care and good luck!

i jus came across this blog, i am also interested to make this trip, alone, however, after i finish my studies next year, but am scared of the procedures in thailand after hearing stories. hope this blog will be useful to me in my planning!

Shor said...

@Eskimo Jack

Don't worry, what stories you heard? It's doable, just email me if you need more infos....I am willing to share!! Cheers!

Dog ( actually like to enter my name as GOD ) said...

I like to make trip up north too, had made numerous trip up till Penang with stay in common places like Malacca, Ipoh, Cameron Highlands, KL, etc:

Always make slow drives to enjoy the time with my family and the driving experience, never rush.

Anonymous said...

just saw this blog, reminds me of the trip i did this May. its a 24hr non-stop drive (except petrol & toilet) from Spore to Bangkok,Muang Thong Thani... alone. great adventure... maybe we can do it? i planning a Laos drive next year.. :)

Shor said...

Thanks for commenting . I would like to do a Laos drive BUT many reasons make me stop thinking about this idea. The documentations are hard to obtained if you drive a Singapore registered Vehicle. We shall work hard on this............. email me friend!

Anonymous said...

sorry... i cant find your email.. my email is " ahbertz@hotmail.com "
my frends whose bikes went to Laos last year, i can check with them. :)
Its hard to find same interest pple on road trip..

Dylan Interior Designer said...

Good trip info, I'm also keen in a Thai border trip if chances are there to do it again...


Dylan Interior Designer said...

Good trip info, I'm also keen in a Thai border trip if chances are there to do it again...


Dylan Interior Designer said...

Good trip info, I'm also keen in a Thai border trip if chances are there to do it again...


MCNB said...

Hi. Very helpful info. Could you email me (I can't find your email). mbaumhackl@yahoo.com. Have a question or two about the insurance part of going into Thailand, also curious what you've read about Singapore cars in Laos or any links you might have.

Malcolm said...

hi, wanna check with u guys is 30days the max they allow our cars in thailand? wat if i'll be staying in bangkok for 3 months? any chance of me getting approval for such a long durations? sorry if i asked stupid questions.. haf absolutely no idea of wat i need to drive into thailand.. thanks..

Shor said...

Hi Malcolm,

as far as I'm concern, there's a will, there's a way. But what I know, Thailand will only let your car stay in their country for 30 days, as for exceeding this days, go to the embassy and inquire. You will need many docs.

Malcolm said...

okie! thanks alot for ur info.. =)

Srihari said...

Thanks for the tips bro...very useful. Planning to go Phuket in the next 6 months...

Shor said...

Enjoy bro, it will sure be a very fantastic drive! Please do a report after you back to share around!

Unknown said...

Pretty informative mate! And it looks like one hell of a trip. Am planning a road trip to Chiang Mai but go all the way along the Mekong river upto Vientienne and driving back via Nakhon si Tammarat and. Kind of a loop, unlike tracing the same route back. How are the road conditions in Thailand??Average speedwise so that I can moderate my plan accordingly?

Unknown said...

Pretty informative mate! And it looks like one hell of a trip. Am planning a road trip to Chiang Mai but go all the way along the Mekong river upto Vientienne and driving back via Nakhon si Tammarat and. Kind of a loop, unlike tracing the same route back. How are the road conditions in Thailand??Average speedwise so that I can moderate my plan accordingly?

Mervin Chan said...

Very informative bro. this give me so much confident to drive up north now :) cheers for the effort and sharing!

Mervin Chan said...

Thanks for sharing so much great info bro shor :) this give me so much confident to drive up thailand now.

Indian Travel said...

I am glad to found such useful post. I really increased my knowledge after read your post which will be beneficial for me.


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Anonymous said...

What rental car company allowed you to take the car to Thailand? I wanna do this trip myself but fond it difficult to rent a car from any company that allows me to croos the borders.

Anonymous said...

Drove to laos (pronounced lao-its a silent s) last month to get some bottles of beerlao. Gd beer you know.

Sphoon said...

Hi, thanks for the details, very informative and and assuring. Can I ask if you happen to know if we can rent a car in Malaysia and drive into Thailand?