Its easy to understand why so many Tourist’s want to rent and ride bike’s, cars and scooters when they visit Thailand, they see all the locals riding them (including children) and they realize they will save a fair bit of money having their own transportation, rather then paying a Tuk Tuk or Bike Taxi 100-200 Baht any time you need to go some where.
I do advise everyone to be very cautious when looking at renting a bike, scooter or car in Phuket, Patong – there have been many incidents of Tourist’s been fined very heavily, or having to pay extremely large damage bills for what are really, very minor problems or damages done to the vehicle in question.
Case Study 1: A friend who we shall call Josh P recently visited Thailand with his very ugly girlfriend, they rented a scooter and decided to go check some of the famous Phuket Beach’s out – after spending a nice day in the sand, they got back on their back and headed for the hotel. Going down Nani Rd, a car did not check the incoming traffic and pulled out infront of them.
Although my friend was obviously not at fault, the Thai police still charge him with dangerous driving and fine him 5000 Baht, which we can only assume went into the police officers pocket. The person who pulled out in front of my friend was paid 30, 000 Baht in damages by my friend and he then had to pay the rental company the fee to have the bike repaired (which only cost 2000 Baht) – This is a perfect example of why tourist’s need to be careful when visiting other country’s!
Bikes, Cars and Scooters can be a lot of fun though, and allow to driver nad passengers to see the country in a way that other tourist’s would normally not get to see, they are able to stop when they wish to stop and take as look on a beach or at a bar as they wish – there is no one to tell them what they have to do or for how long they need to do it, having a bike also offers you the chance to go further inland and see parts of Thailand that tourist’s normally never get to see – for some it may come as a shock, but the inner parts of Thailand are very 3rd world and worth checking out, you will also find in land has some of the most fantastic people you could ever meet!
When thinking about renting a car, scooter or bike I do recommended only leaving a copy of your passport, as some operators will hold passports as randsom to get more money from a customer.