2018 Singapore-Thailand Drive – Driving in Heavy Rain

Day 12 – Hua Hin to Phuket

My windscreen in the heavy rain… Visibility NIL

Heavy Rain… Visibility NIL…

This day was the longest leg of the entire trip, an 8 hour drive covering 616km. We woke up late…  on the wrong side of the bed. If it wasn’t already the most difficult leg, it certainly became so when it started raining cats and dogs. Visibility became practically NIL, and we had to slow down and be extra cautious. No choice, we couldn’t see nothing…. quite scary indeed.

In such situations, you also have to give ample clearance to the vehicles in front. Never ever tailgate, it is a recipe for disaster. What I find useful is if you can see the brake lights of the two vehicles in front, that will give you ample warning if you need to make a sudden adjustment in speed. 

After the rain dies down, the roads will still be wet. Remain cautious and watch that speed. It is so easy to misjudge and to leave yourself not enough room to brake or to swerve safely. Remember that on these roads, practically anything can come out from the bushes on both sides of the roads. We lost count of the number of animal carcasses we came across on the roads during the trip. 

Nice scenery with the Tenasserim Hills in the background

There were some really picturesque sections of our journey, especially with the Tenasserim Hills in the background. As we turn out from the main AH2 highway, the road shrinks to become a single lane in either direction. Some road widening is in progress. In time, this would become a much smoother drive without having to figure out the best time to overtake the slow moving vehicles in front. 

Road widening in progress

Having driven in Thailand and Cameron Highlands for a number of years, you learn how to time your overtaking moves. You have to remind yourself though, with 3 kids in the back seat, it is better to be safe than sorry. As the driver, you need to be responsible for the 5 lives in the car. 

I still remember that when we first drove to Thailand, the road conditions in these parts were rough, narrow country roads with lots of potholes. As the years go by, these roads have been patched up one by one and the driving conditions have improved considerably. 

The sun begins to set as we approach the island

We reach Phuket as the sun begins to set, thankful to cover good ground despite the many challenges we faced on the road today. It is no fun driving around along country roads in the darkness, so we are immensely grateful to arrive in time. It is also good that our resort is in the north of the island, nearer to the Sarasin bridge which connects the island to the mainland. If we were headed down south to the main tourist areas, it would mean another 45 minutes of driving. 

Greeted by a friendly fake police officer at the checkpoint after Sarasin Bridge

Upon arrival at the Marriott Vacation Club’s Mai Khao Beach Resort, we are promptly greeted by the elephant in our room…

The Elephant in the Room

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This is part 14 of my 2018 Singapore – Thailand Drive Blog Series, please click HERE for the next part where I will share about our enjoyable time in Phuket.

2018 Drive from Singapore to Thailand Blog Series:

  1. 2018 Drive from Singapore to Thailand
  2. Getting a Grip
  3. Taiping Tyrannosaurus
  4. A Completely New Border Crossing
  5. First time in Hatyai
  6. Cantering Towards Chumphon
  7. Passport Panic
  8. Breaking the Bangkok Barrier
  9. A Home Away From Home
  10. Kids Love Kidzania!
  11. Rayong Night Drive
  12. A Rayong Adventure
  13. Time to Head Home
  14. Driving in Heavy Rain
  15. Craft and Japanese
  16. Rock Climbing and Mini Golf
  17. Scenic Drive Through Phang Nga
  18. From Money Changer to Money Taker
  19. Putrajaya Paradise
  20. The Last Leg with my Concluding Thoughts
  21. Route Summary

Blog Series

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