It was time for our border run and we decided to go North of Chiang Mai to the Mae Sai (Thai/Myanmar) border. This is a well-traveled border run route and there are plenty of tour agencies that provide same day, round trip transportation for about $22 per person. Knowing this was about a 4-5 hour drive each way, that option didn’t sound appealing to our family of 4. After loads of research, we opted to rent a car from Avis Thailand and made a week-long road trip out of our border run.
The Avis Thailand Rental Process Experience
We took a songthaew from our apartment directly to the airport. Once inside the terminal, we made our way to the north end of the building (Domestic Arrivals, near door number 1).
Once at the desk, they pulled up our reservation, we signed some paperwork and within 5 minutes we were out the door to the car.
Once outside, they walked around the car with us and we all hopped in and started on our journey.
We have rented many cars over the years and this was a very smooth and quick process. We liked that the pick up was actually in the terminal too. A few weeks ago, we rented from another company for a few days and it wasn’t located in the terminal. It just made it more of a hassle to get transportation to/from the rental office.
We were so excited with our car! We had a Toyota Innova and we were very impressed. The car was very clean and spacious. Compared to others we have rented recently, it was like having a luxury car and we loved it. We could easily fit 7 people in the car and the kids had all of the space they needed to avoid any of those “Stop touching me!” fights, while driving.
During our 7 days with our Avis Thailand rental, we drove about 700 km (435 miles). It was funny because we often mentioned how quiet the car was while driving and it was a smooth ride as well. Of course we took pictures along the way, as we do love a good road trip.
Okay, I know what you are thinking, because you have asked us!
“Why would you rent a car in Thailand when public transportation is so inexpensive?”
Wouldn’t you know, I have the answer to that question!
You know me and numbers, so of course I did a full analysis before renting a car from Avis Thailand. Yes, public transportation is inexpensive in Thailand, but as a family of 4, it can really add up. When we just need to get from point A to point B, public transportation is the best choice. When we are in the mood to explore, public transportation doesn’t always allow for that. Let me show you a little on my thought process.
Comparison of Costs – Avis Thailand Rental Car vs. Public Transportation.
$344 Public Transportation – For us to cover roughly the same route, for 7 days, via public transportation.
$250 Avis Thailand Rental Car – 7 days rental, including our fuel. Of course this price would vary based on your selected car, dates and options. They do run some great car rental specials and of course we took advantage of that. They also offer a very low rate for long-term rentals of 1 month – 5 years!
Not only was it less expensive for us to rent a car, we had freedom! That is huge when you are traveling as a family. You can arrive and depart on your own schedule! Not to mention all of the little side exploration trips we did that were off the beaten path. We can’t wait to tell you all about it, but the White Temple and Black Temple were something pretty incredible.
But drivers in Thailand are crazy! How can you drive in that madness?
Alan did 90% of the driving, as usual, and he made it look easy-peasy! His best tip is to just go with the flow. I drove the last hour home and it wasn’t bad at all. The roads were very nicely paved and I followed Alan’s advice of “go with the flow” and it works. I was a bit nervous when we approached the city, but it wasn’t bad at all. For us, it is driving on “the other side of the road”, but that was fine too. We did live in London for a few years, so it was just like riding a bike and it all came back to me.
No Road Trip is complete without naming your car and GPS!
We decided to name our Avis Thailand car and GPS. Our Toyota Innova was named, Amos from Avis and our GPS was named Jenny the GPS. We had a great time and it was easy to say “Would you be a doll and go get the water from Amos?”
Do you name your car or GPS? Would you rent a car in Thailand? Did we get a deal?
Be on the look out for more info on all of our adventures (Tigers, Elephants, Bamboo Rafts, Temples , Creepy time and the Golden Triangle).
Disclosure: Avis Thailand was kind enough to sponsor our rental. All opinions are our own.