The best memories are often made when you venture off the beaten path. While driving a car in a foreign country can be daunting, especially if you are used to being on the other side of the road, it can also open up a whole new world of opportunity! It's always best to be prepared, so before you start planning your thrilling road trip adventure, take a look at the list below for the 10 largest countries that drive on the left side of the road.
With an area of 27,133 square miles, Ireland has a population of nearly 4.9 million and is the tenth largest country where folks drive on the left side of the road. For an excellent adventure outside the well-traveled areas, take the Slieve Bloom Scenic Glendine Route, where you can get excellent views of the famous Irish landscapes. If you are looking for a bit of history and architecture, be sure to check out the St. Moling's Trail in County Carlow.
The United Kingdom comes ninth in land area for left-driving countries, at 94,058 square miles. However, the population of 67.63 million surpasses that of South Africa, which is number three on our list, by almost 10 million. If you want to take in the sights of the UK away from the hustle and bustle of London and other major cities, don't miss the scenic A686 from Penrith to Corbridge, where you can tour the Lake District, observe the timeless wooded gorge of the River Allen, and explore the quaint medieval town of Hexham.
Eighth largest of the left-driving countries is New Zealand, with a total area of 104,154 square miles, and a population of only 4.79 million. For an unforgettable New Zealand experience, take a drive down the center of the North Island on the Thermal Explorer Highway, which traverses 282 miles from Auckland to Napier. Along the highway, you can discover the deep caves, geysers, and hot springs of this dynamic portion of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Take some time to learn about the Maori culture in Tamaki Village, and don't miss the incredible giant Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings.
With 127,547 square miles, and a population 32 million people, the island country of Malaysia comes in at number seven on our list. If you want to adventure outside the vibrant cities, take a day drive out to Malacca, located halfway between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur on the Malaysian coast. Malacca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with over 600 years of colorful history and a wide selection of incredible restaurants.
With a population of over 126 million squeezed into a combined area of 145,898 square miles, Japan has the highest population density of the countries on our list. But don't let the high population deter you from renting a car and exploring! Be sure to venture north of Tokyo to Nikko, a beautiful town in the mountains south of Japan that borders Nikko National Park. Admire the historic shrines and temples, or sit at the edge of Lake Chuzenji over a soothing cup of tea for a truly unforgettable experience.
With a population of 69.68 million, Thailand's 198,117 square miles comes in fifth on our list of the largest countries with left-side drivers. For an amazing view of the Thai countryside, take a scenic 5-hour drive through the tropical mountains from Bangkok to Phetchabun, where you will find the iconic Wat Pha Sorn Kaew, a vivid, modern temple of mosaic tile that started construction in 2004. Explore the ruins of ancient Phetchabun the Prang at Si Thep, where you can marvel at the architecture dating back as much as 2000 years.
With 228,561 square miles and 52.92 million people, Kenya is the fourth largest country to drive on the left. Kenya is an exotic destination with a wealth of incredible driving adventures. Don't miss Amboseli National Reserve, home to Mount Kilimanjaro, and vast stretches of savanna dotted with herds of elephants, gazelles, and giraffes. Here you can even find lions and families of racing cheetahs, so pack up your four-wheel drive and enjoy Kenya's incredible wildlife to the fullest.
The world's third largest left-driving country by area is also the largest country in Africa. With a total area of 471,445 square miles, South Africa is home to around 58.78 million people, and is one of the most visited countries on the continent. For a true South African adventure, take a trip along the Panorama Route, where you can find a myriad of small towns and impressive scenery, from the impressive Blyde River Canyon to the historical museum town of Pilgrim's Rest.
While smaller than Australia in area at 1.27 million square miles, India's population is significantly higher at 1.37 billion, which makes it the largest left-driving country in the world by population. If you're looking for a great Indian driving adventure, the Manali to Leh Highway is a must-see. The highway is a high mountain road that offers incredible views of the Himalayas, and takes you through multiple high passes for an unrivaled trip through one of the most beautiful areas of the world. The highway is 295 miles long, and much of this is sparsely populated, so be sure to plan accordingly.
With an area of 2.97 million square miles, and a population of 25 million people, Australia is the largest left-driving country in the world by area, and is actually the 6th largest country in the world! With all that space, Australia offers some of the most amazing road trips in the world. If you want to take in the gorgeous scenic ocean sights, check out the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, a stunning route that takes you along 413 miles of the southern coast of Australia from Torquay to Nelson. Along the way, you will find breathtaking views of the Southern Ocean, including the 12 Apostles and the Shipwreck Coast.