Tuesday, 11 August 2015
Like most things in Thailand there are ups and downs. For me the ups far out way the downs, hence the reason I decided to de-camp here for a year.
Renting a bike is very liberating but if you are from an area of the world where you drive on the right side of the road. You will be find the whole experience an assault on your brain for at least a month.
The amazing thing about riding in the city, is there are not many road rage incidents. If some of the riding and driving occurred in the West there would be fights, stabbings and murders, constantly. But the Thais just seem to get on with it.
Initially if you see someone riding down a one way street the wrong way, or cutting a corner on your side of the road, Forcing there way ahead of you on the left on the right any way they can, Pulling out on you at junctions. All of these reasons are where people will normally bring out that baseball bat, Golf club, or just an Uzi that happened to be in trunk and demonstrate how well they may be able to use it. Here is no problem (mai pend rai krap)
In fact I have rarely seen Thais having a go at each other on the road. It’s normally a Farang involved and does not quite understand the etiquette. (There is None)
Having said all that you soon get used to the fact that everyones riding is extremely poor therefore if you always assume the worst when anyone is beside, in front of or behind, or even across the road they will do something dumb then you will survive.
I originally rented a bike from the condo I initially moved to when I first got here. http://honeyscoffeehouse.com A lot of businesses will have a sub division, or someone they know who will be happy to rent you a 125cc scooter. I personally prefer doing it that way, only because I have heard horror stories of minor damage, that you may or may not have done resulting in thousands of baht later.
One of the things about living here we suddenly let our guard down if we were back home renting a car or bike, We would walk around every panel check tyres etc…. suddenly we get to Thailand and we forget about simple things like, please be aware.
Riding without an helmet is illegal unless you are one of 4 children that are on the bike having just been picked up from school. Should you get stopped it really is no fun. The fine is 400 bt and your licence if you have one, taken off of you instantly. No licence no problem, your bike is confiscated until you return from your local station, after signing so many documents you feel like you have writers arm cramp. You then re-visit the scene where you were stopped. If you are lucky the Officer will still be there, or your bike, if not all the best of luck, as your bike may well be in a compound somewhere, or the police officer has left the site. It is hot the helmets are not actually good fits but to save a lot of time and hassle wear a hat.
Hiring a bike is a lot of fun as you can discover many places off the the beaten track some amazing beaches that are not on the official tour guide. The Thai Military have some wonderful beaches which the public can visit. Some beautiful restaurants http://www.glasshouse-pattaya.com/
There are many interesting places such as East Pattaya or locally known as the Dark side. No not because you may well find Darth Vader lurking around there. It’s where more locals live and there are fewer street lights. Bars and Restaurants there are generally cheaper and more authentic.
My tip is to get a bike check out what licence is valid in Thailand and enjoy