Here on the island, you understand right away – to see the best spots you need to get on the wheels. You can spend all the money on a taxi or get a motorbike.
But what if you never have ridden one? Would you dare to try it for the very first time here – on Koh Phangan?
Abigail Tramer survived 7 days on the island without a bike. She had never tried riding one, even as a passenger. And like all the foreigners heard a lot of stories of how dangerous was driving a scooter in Asia.
That actually is not a myth. Every year travelers get into accidents. Some of them even fatal. But nevertheless, a bike is still the most popular and cheap way of traveling in Thailand.
Abigail spent almost 2000 THB on taxis in a couple of days and understood that she was not only losing money but also missing out the crucial part of backpacking experience – being free in going wherever you like and whenever you like.
And the most important thing – if you are on a big journey all over South-East Asia, you will have to get started riding a bike. Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia (especially Bali) – everywhere without a scooter you won’t be able to see all the amazing stuff.
And Koh Phangan of all the destinations – is the best place to learn how to ride a bike. It’s a small island with good roads. The main ones are in a good condition, they are straight and not that crowded. Also, you won’t see a single traffic light! The only thing that might be scary at first – is that here you have to ride on the left side of the road. But that is not that hard to adjust to.
Renting a bike here on Koh Phangan is extremely easy. The average rate is 250 THB per day, but you can get a discount if you want to keep your bike for a longer term. You can see a lot of rent-shops along a road, also the hostel you are staying at can rent you a motorbike.
You will have to let the owners keep something as a security deposit – either your documents or money.
Once you get a bike make sure you have a helmet (safety always should be your priority. Even if you think you look dumb in it, wear it and just don’t post it on Instagram). And you’d better take pictures of all the scratches – so you wouldn’t be responsible for something you haven’t done.
And then take baby steps. You don’t have to make your first journey a 40-minute drive through the jungle.
So on her first day Abigail went to a coffee shop to see how it feels to ride a motorbike. And the very next day she hit the road without destination and maps.
That was so liberating, she says, to finally be free as a bird. And the only thing she regrets is that it took her so long to decide to try.