For many travelers one of the first things they do, if they arrive in Thailand for a vacation, is rent a motorcycle. Cheap, and easy to get at, they are a great way to obtain around and begin to see the sights of the country. Many shops offer motorbikes for hire, for little higher than a couple of dollars a day. However, there are a few extremely important things you should look at before you decide to rent a motorbike in Thailand.
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1. Perhaps you have driven in Thailand before? For lots of people this really is the very first time in driving within an Asian country, such as for example Thailand. They are unused to the street rules, and a lot of people drive as they’d at home. They are unaware that dangers lurk around every corner. In Thailand it’s not uncommon to possess traffic weaving in and out, or not to stop at traffic lights or junctions. It is normal to possess traffic approach you on the incorrect side of the street, sometimes without lights on. Undertaking (overtaking on the proper hand side) while illegal in the UK, is common in Thailand. And, unfortunately, drink driving is really a common occurrence in the country and accounts for a large proportion the high death toll on the road.
2. How experienced have you been on a motorbike? Many individuals are novice motorcyclists, and some have never ridden before at all. This allows you to doubly vulnerable, not just because that you do not know how to deal with a bicycle, but additionally because you’re not experienced with driving in Thai traffic either. It pays to accomplish a short motorcycle proficiency course before you leave home, just so you understand the basics. It may not allow you to if you hit a patch of sand on the road (a common basis for plenty of motorbike accidents in Thailand), as is driving too quickly, but it will enable you to be more confident and to ride to the conditions of the road.
3. Is your motorbike roadworthy? Many of the motorbike rentals are not in a roadworthy condition when they are hired out. Unfortunately there is little regard for maintenance, and if something goes wrong you can take serious trouble. Always do a full check of the car you’re going to hire, before agreeing to rent it. Look carefully at the treat on the tires and see if the bike has enough oil in it. If the bike does incur any damage while you have it, you will be liable, and you will likely have to pay an inflated rate for almost any repairs.
4. How good is your helmet? Unfortunately the helmet law is not enforced in Thailand, and so a lot of people don’t wear protective helmets when they are driving their bikes. Rental companies will often hand you a cheap, thin, plastic helmet that will do nothing in the case of an accident. Remember, your head is very fragile, and you can incur serious brain injuries in an accident, even at slow speeds. If you should be renting a bicycle, purchase buying your own personal helmet. Make certain it’s DOT compliant, and done up tightly enough that in the case of an accident it won’t slip off. Lots of people die in bike accidents that may be prevented with the proper protective headgear.
5. Are you currently insured? Lots of people take out holiday insurance, but few realize that numerous companies don’t insure you if you should be in a motorbike accident. Read the small print and make sure that you’re covered if you plan to rent a motorcycle as hospital bills could be expensive!
Don’t ruin your holiday having an unnecessary motorbike accident. Way too many people result in hospital as a result of hiring bikes in Thailand, and many wish they had just hired a taxi instead. If you should be not used to driving a bicycle, don’t attempt to discover ways to drive in Thailand, learn at home.