We lived in Krabi for 18 years. We’ve driven both car and motorbikes here for 18 years. Please listen to what we’re saying. Keep in mind, things have become slightly better over the last 5 years. There has been an information campaign about driving safer in Thailand and it seems to have worked at least a little bit. Still, there are far too many bad drivers and drivers on drugs.
We wrote an entire GUIDE TO DRIVING/RENTING MOTORBIKES in THAILAND Here >
Krabi Drivers are Scary
Having lived in Krabi Town for over eleven years now, we have seen a lot of what the city and beach areas have to offer and we thought we should alert visitors to the traffic/driving situation here. To put it mildly, it is quite dangerous.
We’ve lived in the city centers (Amphur Muang) of Ubon Ratchathani, Sisaket, Surat Thani, Phuket, and Krabi. We have visited many other cities, sometimes for weeks at a time. We’ve driven in and through hundreds of cities across Thailand, including Bangkok 5 different times.
Krabi is one of the worst places to drive in the country.
Why is this?
I don’t think we have the answer. There are probably many answers. There is little or no planning or forethought is given to traffic flow or property use (zoning) restrictions. There are 7-11’s on the main Maharat Road but there is no parking for customers. What happens then is people “double-park” into the main highway. Cars get blocked in. Vehicles coming down the highway have to brake suddenly, not expecting parked cars in the main traffic lanes.
There are many Thais that drive like they are the only ones on the road. Selfish driving is at its peak in Krabi and the islands for some reason. Maybe some people think they are very important and can do whatever the hell they want. Maybe others can. It’s a small town atmosphere here and those in power can do as they wish. I don’t know if they’re the ones driving like complete idiots on the road, but it wouldn’t surprise me too much.
The traffic situation at MAKRO shopping market is the most dangerous I have seen in Thailand. Those exiting Makro must do a U-turn in the middle of a highway where vehicles – buses, trucks, tractor trailers, other vehicles are all traveling over 100 kph. Stopping in the fast lane to u-turn sometimes takes minutes at a time to wait for oncoming traffic.
Two days ago three people DIED at that intersection. You should know by now that Trucks and buses don’t slow down for ANYTHING. They just beep the horn and swerve out of the way at the last second. There is a reason for all the major bus and truck accidents in this country – the drivers are (many times) completely incompetent and should be in jail, not on the roads.
Today a young girl, first year at the university, was killed when the motorbike her mother was driving was knocked over by a car coming out of a side street without stopping. Both mother and daughter were thrown from the motorbike into the street.
A car behind ran over the young girl and she was killed. This was on the same road I take my daughter to school on every morning. It seemed safe enough in that spot, but I’ve already seen 2 horrible accidents there. Speed is almost always a factor.
White Taxi Vans | Drivers from Hell?
White / silver vans in Krabi? It is absolutely unbelievable that these clowns race back and forth from the airport and tailgate people in the fast or slow lanes. They are reckless and incompetent. They think the road is there only for them, and a good number of them will surely die on the roads – some with their passengers! They’re the worst drivers in the province!
Want to know how you can have a good idea whether the white van you’re about to get into is driven by someone who is going to race down the road? Racing stickers on the back window. Always with many colors – blue, green, yellow, orange – the more colorful, the better, apparently. This is not always a perfect indication that the driver will drive unsafely, as I’ve seen plenty of vans without stickers driving dangerously on Krabi roads.
Update in 2023: The van drivers now very rarely have racing stickers on the back of their vans! I’m not sure what happened but someone got the message that vans in racing clubs taking tourists around is not a good idea. So, any white van may have bad drivers. Don’t be afraid to ask the driver to stop and let you out. There are always other options during the daytime.
I could go on and on about the unsafe roads in Krabi, Koh Samui, Phuket, and other places. Please be careful driving in Krabi. Don’t take anything for granted – even a green light. I’ve seen vehicles blast through red lights that have been red for 10 seconds. Go cautiously through green lights and all intersections.
The only good thing about driving in Krabi is that Koh Samui and Phuket drivers are MORE DANGEROUS than Krabi!