Thailand: Where Pavements Are In Fact Roads

Thailand, a country of unparalleled beauty, white sandy beaches, and clear blue seas. Small islands of rugged rocks that spark the imagination of times gone by. A country of delectable cuisine full of spices and heavenly ingredients. The land of smiles where people are disarmingly friendly and respectful. A country I love. My home. Thailand is also a country where the pavements are in fact roads.

Thailand is a country in which I have almost been hit by a motorised vehicle so many times that I’ve stopped counting. You see, the pavements in Thailand aren’t for pedstrians…I mean, they are but…they’re not. By all means use them if you want to walk somewhere but make sure you have a set of eyes firmly placed in the back of your head before arriving here.

Thailands Pavements Are Just Small Roads

It’s not just because drivers use red traffic lights as ‘advice’ rather than a rule but because it’s just a whole lot easier to get around if you drive on the pavement.

Get Out Of My Way, Pedestrian!

This isn’t a criticism of the people who do this despite the fact that technically it’s against the law, but it’s just a warning to anyone wishing to visit here….be aware!

Die Pedestrian! Die!

Now, obviously, the drivers aren’t trying to kill you or even to leave you with a swollen toe but they don’t give any warning that they’re flying up behind you. Somehow, the motorbikes of Bangkok are incredibly loud…until they’re behind you, on a pavement, then they seem to make as much noise as a ninja wearing slippers on a bouncy castle…zero, zilch, nil!

I don’t know how they manage to do that! Many times I’ve jumped out of my skin as a flash of motorbike crashes into my peripheral vision. Call me old-fashioned but I don’t like jumping out of my skin. If I had to make a list of my hobbies, jumping out of my skin wouldn’t be high up there! It wouldn’t be in my top 10, put it that way.

But it’s not just motorbikes…oh no, don’t be so silly! It’s basically anything that will fit on a pavement…

Beep! Beep! Get Out Of The Way, Pedestrian!


This vehicle can be best described as half motorbike half shopping trolley. Useful, suitable for big loads, and convenient for many jobs. It’s also liable to mow you down leaving you flat and lifeless, like a character from a Roland Emmerich movie. I am one hundred percent convinced that if cars could fit on pavements…well, you know how that sentence will finish.

Stay Off The Main Roads For Safety?

Oh and if you think you can get away from all of this danger by slipping down one of the many narrow side streets…think again…

Like Being In A James Bond Movie…Every Day!

I love Thailand and I love this aspect of the culture, nobody bats an eyelid and the drivers are respectful of pedestrians in that they will slow down. Despite the driver’s respectful speed you have to move out-of-the-way for them…not the other way around, so remember to look both ways CONSTANTLY. Then, look both ways again, keep listening for engines at all costs. It may also be advisable to get some eyes surgically attached to the back of your head before you get on a flight here…they’re coming to get you!

Move, You Stupid Pedestrians!

Hope you have enjoyed this safety blog, please spread the word so we can all take to the streets without harm.

Check out more from my blog.

36 Comments Add yours

  1. I was literally JUST talking about how annoying this aspect of Thailand is. It is pretty much the only thing I miss about home. I am sick of looking behind me constantly for an incoming motorist and looking down wherever I walk!

    1. Haha, it can be a bit of a minefield at times. I didn’t think it would be too much of an issue where you are but I guess it’s a countrywide thing and not just in BKK.

      1. It is definitely country wide. 🙈🙈

      2. 😱😱There’s no escape!!

  2. I think the only solution is to hop in that front loaded shopping cart when it flies by. It’s a win win situation. You won’t get run over.. and you’ll arrive at your destination a bit sooner.

    1. …but I like walking…walking on pavements…

      1. Alright.
        Then I suggest strategically placed bumper pads…

      2. I’m hoping that due to the insane amount of sweat on my body (calm down) I should be able to just slide off any bikes that hit me.

      3. *groan*
        If we take up a collection and buy you one of these…

        Will you stop talking about your constantly sweaty body parts?

      4. Haha. I will take your subtle point.

      5. So…. that’s a no on the suit?
        I think you could really rock the look.

  3. Don’t stop with the sweat talk! How will I live?? Besides, despite wearing a sweater over a shirt, I’ve been freezing all day. Oh, and it’s snowing. Again. And the temps for this weekend will be well below average. Again. So as you can see, I NEED to hear about heat, since I can’t actually experience it.

    Oh, and as for the pedestrian stuff, I say you should have practiced in Amsterdam before you moved.

    1. I understand your plight as I live in a snow bound winter state as well… but please! Don’t encourage him to describe anything else that’s sweating. I’m having nightmares as it is.

      1. Maybe I should start a separate blog – one where I’m constantly soaking wet and the other where I am dry as a bone…

      2. If they’re describing the same body parts?
        No. One is more than enough…

      3. Stifled and Silenced (the title of my memior)

      4. I look forward to reading it. Or looking at blank pages…

      5. That depends on what you allow me to write…

      6. Just leave out the sweaty crotches and other assorted wet body parts and we’ll be fine.

      7. Are you sure it’s the sweat references themselves that are causing nightmares, or is it his frequent and laissez-faire use of the word “crotch?” 🙂

      8. I can ease off on the mentions of sweat but don’t try and hold my ‘crotches’ back!! 😂

      9. Now that you mention it…. he is rather free with the crotch descriptions as well.

      10. I feel as though my art is being stifled…

      11. We’re trying to stifle your crotch, not your art.
        And if they’re the same thing? I may have to unfollow you immediately.

      12. *gulp* This is when I find out if my art and my crotch are inexplicably connected…

      13. It’s time.

      14. Upsettingly so.

    2. I’m so conflicted, the topic of sweat is splitting the room; some say ‘stop’ and others like your good self say ‘more’. I’m going to stick with it though! I was only thinking last night though that it would be nice to feel a little bit cold for a (very short) while. It’s a strange thing to think but I’m forgetting how it feels to be wrapped up!

      And I’ve been to Amsterdam but that time I was the one on a bike 😄

      1. DoMoreBeMore says:

        Sweaty crotches are a fact of life in tropical locations and they’re an issue for everyone (even if they don’t want to talk about it ;P ) so I say keep the “sweaty crotches”! I’m actually really curious to see how long it takes you to acclimatise …. there will come a day Rivergirl1211 that he won’t talk about it anymore coz he’ll only be sweating on those days that even the Thai find hot 😉

      2. I’m definitely acclimatising but it seems hard to believe I will ever get to the point where my hair isn’t soaking after walking for 10 minutes 😄

  4. I’ve given it a lot of thought (8 seconds), and I’ve come up with your two new blog names, should you choose to go that route: Sweatandletthai1 and Liveandletdry1.

    1. Blimey! This is nothing short of genius (and more work for me by the sounds of it!)

  5. DoMoreBeMore says:

    Sidewalk driving seems to be a growing thing in Bali too :/ More expats and more rich Balinese meant more cars and bikes too. The traffic jams could’ve given NYC a run for it’s money! So the Balinese took to the sidewalks and scared the everliving shit out of me a couple of times! Now they have upgraded the central city roads to include a big octopus causeway over an estuary, so the traffic jams are definitely better but it seems the Balinese have “adopted” the sidewalk road so you still have to be careful!

    1. It’s a bizarre part of life here – and my attitude towards it is equally bizarre, in the UK I’d be shouting and screaming at people to stop but here I actually quite find it funny (apart from the couple of times someone has been driving at almost full speed behind me!)

      1. DoMoreBeMore says:

        Do they at least toot to let you know they’re there??!

      2. Nope….this would be very helpful…but…no.

Leave a Reply