Without a doubt, Google Maps and Navigation is probably the best maps/GPS/navigation software in the U.S. and other countries that support Google Navigation. Well, that changes as soon as you step outside the U.S. as I found out.
Everytime I go to South Korea (I go about once a year), Google Maps still works but Google Navigation doesn’t work(exist) in South Korea. Luckily, I speak fluent Korean so I can download native Korean GPS Android apps to get similar features.
I’ve been here in Thailand now for about a week and also I found out that Google Navigation doesn’t work here in Thailand. I did try downloading some Thai Map/GPS apps but most of them were useless or they were in Thai, meaning I couldn’t use them unless I could read Thai.
After trying some different GPS apps, I found a Sygic GPS app on the Play Store. It works really well and even provides voice turn-by-turn navigation in English.
I have hard time enough driving from the opposite side of the road and dealing with more motorcyclists I’ve seen in my lifetime on the road, it’s going to be hard to get around here in Thailand unless I have some voice turn-by-turn navigation.
Fortunately, Sygic does everything I want.
First, Sygic map is very accurate, it lists all the local businesses and points of interests, even many hole-in-the-walls while Google Maps fails to list non of the local businesses.
Second, Sygic works without internet access, it’s a full GPS app that you can use all over the world.
Third, Sygic’s voice turn-by-turn navigation works perfect, even with many one-way streets in big cities, Sygic is accurate and lets me take the fastest route.
Fourth, Sygic also has search feature (I think this requires internet though) which does pretty well of finding nearly every local business in English.
The only thing missing from Sygic? If you try to take alternative routes, Sygic doesn’t re-route too well in real-time like Google Maps, it makes you take U-turns. But that’s probably minor when you think of everything else Sygic does in English.
Sygic isn’t free though, they do offer 7-days free trial but you must buy the country’s map. It cost me around $27 USD for the whole Thailand map but totally worth it as it’s going to save me a ton of headaches trying to drive in the busy streets of Thailand.
For those of you traveling outside the U.S. or need an accurate GPS that will work in English language with voice turn-by-turn navigations, definitely check out Sygic first.
Having voice turn-by-turn navigation in Thailand for me is like having a full-time co-pilot by my side, allowing me to focus on driving, avoiding accidents, and enjoying myself. Without it, I would probably get lost more often and waste a lot of time trying to figure the roads out.