Types of Road

Understand the different types of roads in Thailand...

Roads in Thailand range from multi-lane freeways around Bangkok to tiny lanes (soi). Frequently-used roads in the provinces are often four lanes wide.

There is continual investment in upgrading or building new roads throughout Thailand, making roadworks commonplace, although frequent heavy rains mean they can deteriorate quickly. Roadworks are not always clearly marked or lit at night. Some road markings can be badly worn, and care has to be taken.

Road signs may have English translations below the Thai names.

Motorways

Motorways or expressways are restricted to the vicinity of Bangkok.

  • Traffic can be very heavy, especially from 07:00-10:00 and 16:00-19:00
  • Tolls are charged for each section of the motorway, and they vary depending on the distance travelled
  • Speed limits are signposted and are usually 120 Km/h for cars, although in some areas the limit may be reduced to 90 Km/h

An electronic toll payment system began operating in 2015. The M-PASS card allows motorists to make fast payments on some motorways in order to ease congestion at toll booths.

The Thai Motorway network is maintained by the Department of Highways

Highways

The highways that join all the provinces throughout Thailand are usually well-constructed and easy to follow.

The speed limit is signposted, and is usually 90 Km/h for cars. In some areas there will be signposts indicating that the limit is increased to 100 Km/h or 120 Km/h.

Suburban streets

Most suburban streets are similar to those in Europe and the rest of the world. Speed limits, marked by signposts, are between 50 Km/h and 60 Km/h.

Small lanes

Some small lanes have speed bumps to reduce speed and danger to pedestrians. Check all signs for changes to the usual speed limit of 60 Km/h.