2019 Thailand Fly and Drive

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Thailand Fly and Drive Blog Series – Part 1

After driving from Singapore to Bangkok and Rayong with my family last June, my thirst to explore more of Thailand increased exponentially. I wanted to go further North, where I have never been before. We have heard so much about how beautiful Chiang Mai is, so full of culture and things to experience. Our friends have raved about conquering the Mae Hong Son loop and its 1864 crazy curves up from Pai. This December was supposed to be when we were to execute our grand plan, to drive from Singapore all the way to Chiang Mai in our trusty Peugeot 5008.

Then I started thinking, thinking again, considering the pros and cons. I flipped back and forth in my mind considering the following factors:

  1. Difficulty in extending our Singapore car insurance all the way to North Thailand. This is a big headache for many of us driving our Singapore cars to Thailand. AXA car insurance is supposed to cover Peninsular Thailand, but I need to verify what that exactly that means in black and white from the insurer.
  2. Malaysia VEP issues were hanging like a cloud over our heads. Thankfully now the enforcement has been delayed indefinitely, but when I was planning the trip, it was so unclear what would happen, and I didn’t want to risk doing the trip and getting into trouble because I haven’t installed my VEP.
  3. Difficulty in finding a workshop and parts for my Eurodiesel Peugeot should there be an unexpected breakdown.
  4. Unfamiliarity with the route and driving conditions beyond Bangkok. I’ve been driving in South Thailand for many years, but I know next to nothing about what it is like to drive in the Northern Thai highlands.

After brooding over these for some time, I admit, I chickened out. I didn’t want to get stuck so far from Singapore in unknown territory as a solo driver with my wife and 3 young kids in tow.

So, instead, I decided on the compromise solution… we would do a fly and rent. We were grateful to get a good price for our return air tickets from Singapore Airlines, 2 adults and 3 children at S$1375 (about US$1006). Our car rental was also an awesome deal… US$334 for 21 days rental from http://www.holidayautos.com !! On top of that, because of my lifestyle membership programme, I get an extra 4% rebate! Awesome value!

With such great deals on our flights and rental, it made the decision not to drive our own car a much easier pill to swallow!

The great thing about renting is:

  • Having the Peace of Mind – everything is covered by insurance.
  • We save the initial part of the journey from Singapore to Bangkok, which means we have more time to explore the North and we can go to more places we have never been before!
  • Our car doesn’t stand out so much in the crowd… less risk of being targeted by people with evil intent.
  • We save running up a probable mileage of 10000 km for the trip and having to pay for the extra service plus maintenance costs, which can be quite expensive for my Peugeot.
  • We get to experience a different ride for a change!

And so, here we go…. our 25 day adventure begins! An epic trip which will take us from Bangkok, to Khao Kho, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Doi Inthanon, Chiang Khan, Khon Kaen, Khao Yai, Pattaya, and back to Bangkok again. So many new places, new sights and sounds await the Lion family!

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