Traveling over the famous main highways of Thailand

Traveling in Thailand

Thailand knows 4 major highways (single digit) connecting Bangkok with the rest of Thailand. Each of this highways has his own rich history and while traveling any of this routes you will be passing many interested places. If you have never been traveling on highways in Thailand then be aware that this so called major highways are actually a kind of big provincial roads that go right thru villages and even some bigger places. As a matter a fact the only real highways in Thailand are the toll-road in & near Bangkok. 

The 4 major highways in Thailand are route 1, route 2, route 3 and route 4. And route 6 is almost finished (wondering where route 5 is). Besides the famous major highways there are also Asian Highways in Thailand. Have a look at the map at the end, where you can also notice that the numbering in Thailand is at least not in consensus with this map.

And besides the major single digit highways there are also a few other double digit and triple digit highways like route 101 from Kamphaeng Phet to Huai Kon in Nan province (500 km). Or route 21 from Loei to Saraburi. And route 11 from Singburi to Chiang Mai. I think some of this highways are actually the "old" major highways.

Phahonyothin road (Route 1)

The first one is Phahonyothin road, originally build as Prachathipatai Road to Don Muang and in 1938 it was extended to Singburi. And renamed Phahonyothin road after General Phraya Phahol Pholphayuhasena. Nowadays route 1 begins at Victory monument in Bangkok and goes all the way north to Mai Sai where it connects to Tachilek, Burma with a total length of 1.005-km and passing Ahuthaya, Saraburi, Nakhon Sawan, Kampang phet, Tak, Lampang, Phayao and Chiang Rai. This route is also part of the Asian Highway 2. For more information & photos have a look at Traveling over Phahonyothin road.

Mittraphap road (Route 2)

The second one is Mittraphap road, what means Friendship road, that begins in Saraburi and goes all the way north-east to Nongkhai where it links with the Thai-Lao Friendships bridge to Vientiane, Laos. Build originally in 1957 by the US Army as road between Khorat and Nong Khai. It has a total length of 508-km and is passing Khorat, Khon Kaen and Udon Thani. For more information & photos have a look at Traveling over Mittraphap road.

Sukhumvit road (Route 3)

The third one is Sukhumvit road that begins in Bangkok and goes along the Eastern Seaboard to Trat with a total length of 403-km and is passing Samut Prakan, Chonburi, Pattaya, Rayong and Chantaburi. It was was named after 5th Chief of Department of Highways. For more information & photos have a look at Traveling over Sukhumvit road.

Phetkasem road (Route 4)

The fourth one is Phetkasem road that begins in Bangkok Yai and goes all the way south to Sado where it connects with the North-South Expressway in Malaysia and has a total length of 1.254-km while passing Samut Sakon, Cha-am, Hua Hin, Chumphon, Ranong, Phattalung and Hat Yai. It was named after the 7th Chief of Department of Highways and build in 1950. Route 4 is also part of the Asian Highway 2. For more information & photos have a look at Traveling over Phetkasem road.

Asian Highway 1 (Route 12)

The Asian Highway 1 is part of the Asian Highway Network that goes from Tokyo in Japan to Lisbon in Portugal. In Thailand the Asian Highway 1 (AH1) is called route 12 and begins in Mukdahan along the Mekong River at the border with Laos. And goes all the way, 805 km, from East Thailand to Mae Sot at the Burmese border in West Thailand. And along the way passing Kalasin, Khon Kaen, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai and Tak. For more information & photos have a look at Traveling over the Asian Highway 1.

Asian Highway 2 (Route 4 and Route 1)

The Asian Highway 2 is part of the Asian Highway Network that goes from Denpasar in Indonesia to Khosravi in Iran. Personally I think the part Denpasar to Singapore is not a road at all but never mind. In Thailand the Asian Highway 2 starts in Sado in South Thailand and follows route 4, route 41, route 37 bypassing Hua Hin, route 4 again, route 338 to Bangkok (I doubt this), route 9 around Bangkok, route 32 to Chai Nat and then route 1 to Mae Sai. For more information & photos have a look at Traveling over the Asian Highway 2.

Route 101 from Kamphaeng Phet to Huai Kon

Route 101 is partly a provincial road and partly a major highway that is part of the Asian Highway 13. Route 101 begins in Kamphaeng Phet and goes 496 km all the way north passing Sukhothai, Den Chai, Phrae, Wiang Sa, Nan, Pua, Thung Chang and finally Huai Kon in Nan province along the Thai-Lao border. For more information & photos have a look at Traveling over route 101.


Traveling in Thailand
Asian Highways in Thailand

One night in Bangkok and the world is your oyster

The journey of Traveling 2 Thailand did begin with One Night in Bangkok in 1985 and since 2009 it became a personal non-commercial travel blog as inspiration for traveling & motorbike riding in Thailand. Made just for the sheer love of traveling and sharing experience about traveling in South-East Asia. To travel beyond the beaten track & highlights. Enjoy!