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What to know when renting a bike on the island

11 Jun 2019

The most common form of transportation on Koh Phangan is a scooter, you’re going to need one if you want to explore the island. Otherwise it will cost you a small fortune in taxi rides.

But how can you stay safe whilst riding around?

Many tourists come here without riding a motorbike before, this is extremely dangerous, so it’s advised that you have some previous experience on a bike beforehand. Technically it is illegal to drive a motorbike in Thailand without the appropriate license. You will need a license from your own country, but also an international one.

You can apply for an international license easily in your home country.

Although 99 percent of people here drive around without the appropriate licensing it is still technically illegal, and if you get pulled over by the police you could be looking at a fine.

What extra steps can I do to keep myself safe?

Obviously the first thing you can do is wear a helmet. A helmet is going to protect you if you have a major collision and statistically you’re more likely to survive if wearing one.

But what if you have a small accident? The best thing to wear is a pair of shoes when cruising around. The amount of people I have seen who’ve had little accidents and have absolutely destroyed their feet is unbelievable. I remember seeing a guy who grazed his feet so badly when he fell off that you could see the bone through his toes. DISGUSTING.

The driving style here in Thailand is different from other countries. If you’re going to overtake someone I like to do a little beep on the horn. This notifies the other driver that I’m planning to overtake. In the UK if you use the horn it’s because you’re telling the person they’re a F@#$ing C$%#T.

But honestly it’s always about safety first. If you drive around at 40kmph and always stop at junctions even if you have right of way this is the best way to prevent an accident. Drivers here are unpredictable, so make sure you give enough space between you and the vehicle in front. Don’t drink drive, don’t try and carry a fridge freezer or take the bike up Khao Ra with six mates on the back.  Be sensible. And hopefully, just hopefully, you will be fine.

 

for Phanganist readers.