If you’re already familiar with Thailand, you may already know how hectic the driving can get, especially in big city centres. If you were used to riding back home, you have to be ready for a whole other experience once you get in Thailand. However, learning how to get around safely in Thailand is possible once you know what to expect and how to behave. Here are some essential tips every motorbike rider should know before riding in Bangkok.
Only Rent a Bike from a Reputable Source
While motorcycle rental spots can be found virtually everywhere in big cities and around resorts, picking just any motorcycle rental service is risky. First of all, you don’t know if they’re actually working lawfully and have the proper insurance coverage. Also, you don’t know how often their vehicles are inspected and in which condition they are.
Instead of looking for a random supplier once you get there, you should instead look at a few portals that will allow you to vet different suppliers all at one place. And before you rent a motorbike Bangkok, you have to take into consideration which model you want and how much you’re willing to pay. Knowing this will avoid that you get taken for a ride (no pun intended) by some opportunistic vendor once you get there.
Wear the Right Clothes
Forget what the locals wear. What goes for them doesn’t go necessarily for you. Make sure that you wear appropriate clothing when riding, and that includes a helmet. Getting into an accident is painful enough, and having a few extra layers of clothing could cushion the impact. Make sure to always wear long pants and shirts at the very least. And make sure you wear solid footwear as well.
As far as helmets go, you can get a cheap lid type helmet that will allow you to get through the checkpoints, but if you truly value your safety, try to spend a little bit more on something sturdier.
Have a License
Riding without a license in Thailand is at your own risk and is definitely not recommended if you’re a tourist. Technically, the only valid document for riding on roads in Thailand is a local license. However, make sure that you at least have your international license just in case. And don’t think you’ll be able to drive long unnoticed; there are multiple checkpoints throughout the country and they will penalise you if they find you don’t have a valid license on you.
Be Prepared for Thai Style Driving
Needless to say, driving in Thailand is “different”. You’ll sometimes have to deal with reckless drivers, drunks, or just people who have no notion of road rules just riding against the traffic or on the sidewalks. Try to go with the flow and stay with the stream of traffic when possible. And leave your politeness and defensive driving at home, if you aren’t ready to be assertive and forget any idea you had of personal space on the road, you may not be able to deal with Bangkok traffic.
Driving a bike can be one of the greatest ways to explore Thailand and everything it has to offer. These few tips should help you stay safe and compliant during your next trip and prevent major issues.