Second Day Report (Boxing Day) From Our Retirement Home In Pakchong (Pak Chong) Thailand

First The Good News About Our Retirement House in Thailand (Later to Be Followed By The “Bombshell”

(It’s actually taken me 7 days to get this post written and published. busy with the house and my workshop and Internet connection problems which you can learn about on the “Mobile Broadband Internet In Thailand” page.

This trip to our retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand, is the first for me since the house was completed just a few weeks ago.

I see the visit as a ‘test’ or perhaps a research project to see if I really can commit to retiring in Thailand. One thing I have been told (AKA the “Bombshell”)  has really put me off but lets put that to the side for a minute and look at the good things I have found so far.

The House Is Really Fantastic

The house really has a big ‘airy’ feel to it, especially the outside concrete area (I’ll call it the Patio) and the huge Utility block both of which I have complained about as being a waste of money. Maybe they are but it’s still a great feeling to be sitting there and enjoying the space and the amenities.


(Having great difficulty getting videos uploaded to YouTube. Could be the G3 mobile broadbandI’m using.

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Kanyah had been telling me for weeks before I came to see our completed retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand, that it was very windy and cold. I believed her but when I arrived I was no quite prepared to find out exactly how cold and windy – and dusty – it was. The wind howled through the wooden house and literally whistled as it blew through the gaps between the windows. That made it very noisy and cold in the house but there was another downside… the dust.

The dust was everywhere, and we know about dust from our days in Saudi Arabia. Little did we know that it would follow us here to Pakchong (Pak Chong)!

So the days start cold and very windy but after around 1000 am the sun breaks through and we get a hot (by U.K. standards) day. The windy mornings are quite spectacular. Here is a video on a windy morning showing the views from different positions aound the house. Make sure you wait until the end to get a glimpse of Kanyah’s Thai humour.

How To Quickly And Easily Get Online In Thailand With Mobile Broadband Internet

When I asked my readers and posted the question “What is the best option for mobile broadband Internet in Thailand?” on the Mobile Broadband Internet In Thailand page there was a mixed response.  Some people had a “work-around” linking their lap-top to the Internet via a mobile phone and others suggested a landline connection.

The solution was so easy I almost couldn’t believe it.

I walked into Tesco Lotus in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand, and spotting the “Mobile Phone and Internet” counter made a simple enquiry.  “How do I get mobile Internet in Thailand?”.

Minutes later I walked out with a device and when I got home plugged it into my laptop and was online in less than a minute!

I’m still using it now! Go to the Mobile Broadband Internet In Thailand page to see how easy it is to get mobile broadband in Thailand.

So much for the good things going on with our retiring in Thailand project. Now for the “bombshell” I have mentioned before…

The “Bombshell” That Rocked Me To The Core And Dashed My Retiring In Thailand Plans

I don’t remember how this came up in conversation but Kanyah mentioned that once you reach 60 years old you are no longer allowed to drive in Thailand.

That was like a bombshell to me.

“The maximum legal age to drive in Thailand is 60 years old” – was it true?

Apparently our neighbour had told Kanyah that you can’t drive in Thailand if you are 60 years old or over.

If true, this was a major blow to our retirement plans. Although we don’t live deep in the country, our retirement home in Pakchong (Pak Chong) is about 10 minutes drive from the nearest shops of anything but the daily needs kind. We simply could not survive without a car.

Kanyah is not 60 yet (officially anyway but that’s another story) so she can still drive, this would mean that I would never be able to drive in Thailand.

And another thought struck me – it’s a recurring thought actually – what would happen should die before me? How could I get around?

You can understand that this was a terrible blow to me. Kanyah seemed not to worry too much, she doesn’t seem to care too much about dealing with the police. So long as she has ready access to cash I suspect…

Anyway that is not my way so I immediately start looking on the net for any upper age limit on driving in Thailand.

I tried all the usual keywords in major search engines. Key phrases like “age restrictions driving Thailand”, “upper age limit driving Thailand”, “can’t drive over 60 Thailand”, etc.

These two websites said there was no maximum age for driving in Thailand:-

http://www.sawadee.com/hotel/service/selfdrive

http://www.budget.co.th/tips_driving.aspx

This website tells you how to get a Thai driving license but doesn’t mention an upper age limit to be allowed to drive in Thailand:-

http://driving.information.in.th

So Was I Told A Bummer – And There Is No 60 Years Old Upper Limit On Driving In Thailand?

I have spent a couple of hours on the Internet searching to see if there is an upper age limit (e.g. 60 years) on driving in Thailand and have not found any mention of it.

Quite the reverse, several websites say that there in no upper age limit to driving in Thailand.

So maybe there is no “can’t drive over 60″ law in Thailand? Maybe it’s OK?

As far as I can tell from my Internet research there is no upper age limit for driving in Thailand. but to be sure i want to hear from people who know.

Most of the readers of this website have more experience than myself about retiring in Thailand and have more knowledge about the driving laws in Thailand and the age limits.

So please, if you have any actual experience on this subject I would be most grateful if you could take a moment to leave a comment on your experience below.

It will only take a few minutes of your time and could influence the decisions by many whether it’s a good idea to retire in Thailand or not.

Thank you very much.

Update: From “The Source” About The Upper Age Limit For Driving In Thailand

Last night our Thai neighbour. Noi, came round and we shared a few beers together. I raised the question with Noi about the law relating to a maximum driving over age in Thailand, since it was Noi who made the statement in the first place.

Noi “clarified” as follows:-

After you are 60 years old in Thailand you can still drive a car.

But after you reach 60 years old the officials will not issue you with a new driving licence in Thailand.

I’m trying to grasp the concept he explained. That up to the age of 60 if you drive you must have a driving license. but when you are over 60 you don’t need a driving license to drive a car.

So I posed the question “I am over 60 years old and I do not have a driving license. Is it OK to drive a car?”

Noi answered “Yes, no problem, just make sure you have 200 Baht in your pocket.”

Add a zero for farangs I guess…


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13 Responses to “Pakchong Retirement House – Day 2 Report From Thailand”

  • steve:

    did you notice in tesco you can get castle rock harvest pale ale – well you can in hucknall anyway !!
    as a fully made up FARANG you just need a grand in baht in your pocket or set up a direct debit to the local thai police benevolent fund no liscence no worries
    HAPPY NEW YEAR ALAN & KANYAH
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
     

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the comment Steve and happy new year to you and Sandra and everyone at The Plough.

    I’m think to bring a few HB kits with me next time. I’ll do some homework – I know you can get light ones i.e. no heavy malty stuff. Wonder if you can get malt here?

    I just noticed the wording you used. “A Grand in Baht”. You obviously mean £1,000 in Baht since 1,000 Baht won’t buy owt ere!

    Cheers,

    Alan

    [Reply]

  • Hi Alan,

    Happy New Year. I’m glad you brought this to light, especially as I plan to buy a new car in Thailand soon.

    I think the answer to be on the safe side is to always carry an INTERNATIONAL licence, which I have been using there for the last 10 years and have only got stopped once !! No problem…

    [Reply]

  • Len:

     Never heard of it. I am 63 years old and got my first Thai drivers license
    in June. My wife – a Thai – was 61 when she got her first drivers license. In
    Thailand different locations can have different rules but this is one I have
    never heard. Best to have an International Drivers lecense when you go
    it will meke all easier. They will issue a drivers license for 1 year. You MUST
    let it expire by at least a day (but not more than 30 days I believe) and then
    return and they will issue a license for 5 years. If you try to renew before
    the year is up they will only re-issue a license for 1 year – go figure. Most
    or the retirees are over 60 – if it was an issue it would have come up. You might
    get away with no license but I wouldn’t try – yes 200 baht may get you out of
    trouble with the police but in an accident you will be in real trouble.
    Don’t know what you can do about the wind – but they sell lots of silicon
    sealants here – some caulking may help. This is winter here so the mornings
    are cold but they will continue to get warmer but for the most part are usually cool around 2 AM and warmer by 7 AM. 
      Last thought on your car – make absolutely certain that you have Class 1
    insurance. The first rule of the road here is : he who has more money pays
    no matter who is responsible and the insurance companies know this.
       Enjoy your time here - Sawadee Bpee My 2555.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Len,

    Thanks for the information about the upper driving limit for people in Thailand. i.e. There is no upper age limit!

    That’s a great relief to me – now I can get on with the thing to worry about on my retiring in Thailand project!

    Thanks also to the tip off about Class 1 insurance. The insurance renewal is due soon on the Toyota Hilux Vigo pickup we bought in Bangkok and Kanyah mentioned that she would downgrade to Class 2. I must tell her to get Class 1.

    As to the wind whistling through the house it adds quite a bit of character to it and the noise comes mostley from the gap between the window panes. I bought some decorating masking tape to put over the joints but then the wind died down and it didn’t seem worth doing.

    Thanks again for your valuable information on the driving age in Thailand.

    Alan

    [Reply]

  • Len:

    Second thought – it could be that if you never had a license and never drove they may be reluctant to issue you a license after 60.

    While very few actually know how to drive in this country it is probably even harder to learn after 60. The driver’s test is to drive a car forward about 20 feet and then back it up – don’t do it right the first time do it again. When you finally do it – you pass. Just get yourself an International Driver’s license – it gives you a year to drive around legally and usually by-passes several tests at the test location.

    I mentioned previously about Thaivisa – the answer to almost any question is available from them – rules, regulations, immigration, travel, where to get a good steak. There are about 50,000 members and someone is sure to know.

    You can often find you answer by searching their site for previous questions. They have helped me a few times – saved me money also when I went for my one year extension – I didn’t realize you had to do the 90 day report also I thought it was all taken care of with the extension but it isn’t and a few guys have been fined for not doing their 90 day extension.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Len, thank you another informative comment on the upper age limit for being issued with a driving license in Thailand.

    It was interesting to hear about the driving test in Thailand. I diidn’t know a ofreigner could take a driving test in Thailand and then receive a Thai driving license.

    Presumably you need a Non-Immigrant Visa “O” visa to be eligable to take the Thai driving test?

    Regards

    Alan

    [Reply]

  • Terence:

    Hi all,
     
    A Fabulous & Happy New Year greetings to everyone here,

    As far as I know, never heard anything about age restriction on driving or licence here.
     
    But think likewise in most countries like mine, where one reaches certain age limit which set by the local transport or traffic authories, required to pass yearly medical examination (especially eyesight, certified by doctor) to renew one’s driving licence.

    So don’t let it worry you too much. Be happy and enjoy your retirement here in Thailand. 

    Best Regards,

    Terence

    [Reply]

  • David Todd:

    Dear Alan,

    As far as I am aware there is no upper limit to driving in Thailand. I have not heard that they will not issue with a licence if you are already 60. Just show your current UK licence and they should provide a Thai one.

    I have a Thai licence and intend to renew it when it expires in 2013 and get a new 5 year one. I am not anywhere near 60 yet, however. My Father in Law is over 60 and has a Thai licence. I presume that he held one before he turned 60, however.

    Chok dee kap.

    David

    [Reply]

  • David Todd:

    Dear Alan,

    You will be able to get a Thai driving licence no bother at all. Check out the following site: Korat-Farang.com

    Look at the thread under Motors and Motoring – Thai Driving Licence. I think that you will be pleasantly surprised.

    All the best,

    David 

    [Reply]

  • john:

    Hello Alan,

    As perhaps your newest signed-up follower, I’d like to say thank you for sharing your experiences (good and bad).  It makes for interesting reading.  As I am embarking on a major remodel of a house in Chiang Rai at present, your site is a welcome assist.   I’ve lived in Thailand on and off since 2000 but always learning something new.   Even though I speak Thai and have a background in the construction business, rarely does a day go by without some challenge or other.  

    Regarding your “Bombshell” about driving age limit, which seems to hang unsatisfactorily unresolved on your website.  I’m certain there’s no such limitation in law.  My current 5-year Thai drivers license issued just last week will take me through till I’m 63.   Nor would the legal eagles at Budget Rent-A-Car would never allow this statement included on their website if there was such a limit…
    http://www.budget.co.th/tips_driving.aspx 

    All the best with your retirement plans and keep up the good work with the site.

    Thanks,

    John 

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Hi John and welcome to the website.

    Your comment on the upper driving age limit in Thailand (i.e. there is none) is very welcome. One or two more people have also responded to say they are over 60 and still driving legally in Thailand.

    Thankfully it seems I was given misleading information.

    Anything to want to write about your house remodel in Chaing Rai I would be delighted to put on the website – particularly if you have any photos or cost information.

    Thanks again for your post on the Retiring In Thailand website.

    Alan

    [Reply]

  • Andrew:

    Alan,
    You can get a Thai driving licence here even if you are over 60. My boss is in his 70’s and he has one.
    I will ask my secretary tomorrow to check with the transport department.
    My own licence does not expire until I am 61, then I have to get a 5-year extension.
    There are even websites here for motorbike rentals which allow renting up to age 69, and that is for motorbikes, so the age restriction is understandable.
    I’ll give you some feed back tomorrow.
    Regards
    Andrew

    [Reply]

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