Driving in Asia...When you mix pushcarts, bicycles, that travel at maybe 3 miles and hour and then throw in motorcycles and trucks and cars it is a
wonder more do not end up in the morgue..
We just came back from a road trip of 150 kilometers in the car..In some ways I actually feel safer here (North Thailand) than I do in the
states..WHY? Because you always expect someone to drift over in your lane and if they are coming upon a much slower car they will change lanes in a
heart beat..Take that and the occasional motorcycle going the wrong way or every motorcycle weaving in and out of traffic you really have to stay on
I think the only thing I really get heart burn about is on a narrow two lane road in town and both sides are packed with parked motorcycles/scooters
and a car just stops in the lane and the owner goes shopping...It is a real problem when opposite bound traffic decides to stop too and basically
blocks everything except for the motorcycles.
Seeing Mom, Dad, and up to 3 kids on a 125 HP Scooter is something that is seen many times; youngest to oldest are sat with the 2 year old holding on
to the handle bars.... I can only imagine someone trying that in the states... The cops down town have really cracked down on those who do not wear a
helmet, however they get off work at 5 PM so you see allot of helmets before 5 and almost none after...
The scooters are used because that is the only transportation they have.... so when it is a family outing the family goes on the bike..
Interesting side note:
Women going around a corner on a bike (most grew up riding motorcycles/Scooters) really never lean into a corner over about 10 degrees...Anything more
and they just don't do it but slow down..Some of the girls in town are braver than me when it comes to weaving in and out of traffic....
Students drive their scooters by the age of 14 if the family has enough money for the kid...Otherwise a regular small pickup with iron bars and
tailgate down might hold ??20?? or more students hanging on while enroute to school...It works...
I ride a motorcycle at times down town (Udon) or to the Golf course and have been doing it for 40 years...Never had an accident but that is probably
the only reason I am still alive.
Watch the video and you might get an idea of rush hour traffic in a big city in Asia...Bangkok is not as bad as the traffic shown in the video because
it is usually at a complete stand still....not all roads.... but enough to make you try to travel at off peak traffic times. I hate driving in Bangkok
and try to avoid it....But I did ride a motorcycle there for three years. A car from point "A" to "B" would take me one hour and seventeen
minutes...Sold the car and the same point A to B took less than 20 minutes on a motorcycle....no kidding.
Good news; the Skytrain really works great and is expanding in Bangkok...If you can figure out where you are and where you want to go it is quicker
and usually cheaper than a car/Taxi... the scooter taxi's are always a quick option...Scooter taxi's are everywhere as are Tuk Tuks (3 wheel
motorized vehicles) and unbelievable traffic jams..However it all works.... and it really is surprising there are not more accidents.
Be careful watching the video because it can become hypnotic.
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