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Oct 11 2015

The Phuket Ride

The Phuket Ride

Every time I go to Phuket I make sure I hire scooter so that I can get around easily and quickly. For a Honda Click (125cc) you will pay 200 – 300B per day and they do not use much fuel. The larger the motorcycle the more your daily rate will be. You will also be provided with a helmet, which should be worn at all time when on the Motorcycle. How to hire a Motorcycle in Thailand

Riding a Motorcycle in Thailand is very different to western countries in many ways. No matter how good you are at riding you may not be prepared for the riding in Thailand. The rules do not get followed, lanes and lines mean nothing and the Westerner is always at fault. In saying that if you feel safe enough to ride a Scooter, then go for it as it is great fun and a cheap form of transport

There are a few things to take into consideration though. To ride a scooter or any motorbike you are required to handover your passport. This is security so if you cause any damage to the motorcycle that you can’t leave without paying. Once the Motorcycle has been returned you will get your passport back. You do not require an International driver’s permit/licence to ride a Motorbike/scooter in Thailand but if you want to be covered by travel insurance you will need one as well as a motorcycle licence from your home country. Also read the fine print in the travel insurance PDS to ensure you are covered for riding a Motorcycle. Some insurance companies will only cover your injuries if you have an accident where others will also cover the cost of the motorcycle.

Every time I am in Phuket I will set out for a Phuket ride starting from Patong covering the southern half of the island. In the ride I will visit Karon, Kata, Chalong, Rawai, Phromthep Cape (southern-most point of Phuket) and Nai Harn Beach. The ride involves hills, straights, bends, and attractions which I generally allow half a day to get through, depending on how much time you want at each location.

So starting in Patong I will ride over the hill into Karon and down Patak Rd towards Kata Beach. With pedestrians and lots of vehicles this part can be a little scary for someone new to riding in Thailand but just take it easy and always keep an eye out. Karon and Kata beach are very nice for a swim or just a sunbake on the beach but I save the beach for later on. Along the way I follow signs to the Big Buddha. On the way you have the option of Elephant shows, off-road bugger and 4-wheel Motorcycle rides and many other activities. The Big Buddha can be seen from Patong but it is well worth the visit to the site itself.

From here I will make the ride to Chalong bay, where you can find a Shooting Range, Wat Chalong Temple and the beach. I generally don’t stop here and make my way to Rawai beach for a feed. There are signs along the way which make it pretty easy for the first timer, but I recommend you know your route before travelling it. In Rawai there are many restaurants to eat as but my favouites are the ones on the beach themselves. No many tourists will eat at these places but it is relaxed, cheap and great food. We will always order more then we need and just enjoy the environment.

Once eaten and recovered from being bloated I will continue travelling through Rawai to Phromthep Cape. Here is a great look out and the southern-most point of Phuket. Many tourists travel here to take photos and enjoy the sun setting at night. It can get very busy and I have even had trouble finding somewhere to park the Scooter at times. Here you can find restaurants, stalls and public toilets (which are handy after the big meal in Rawai). After seeing the look out the trip continues          .

Now I follow the signs to Nai Harn Beach. This is my favourite beach in Thailand. It has clean sand and water, its nice and warm and has some waves for a bit of body surfing. The atmosphere is also very nice and has lots of little “pools” for kids to swim in or for the adults that just want to get a little wet. There is also a Lake at the Nai Harn beach which you will see a lot of people running around for the exercise. The area is relatively quiet and there is not much in the way of nightlife but it is worth the visit to see something different.

After Nai Harn beach it is back on the Scooter and following the signs to Karon or Paton Beach. Along the way in the Karon View point. No matter how many times I have been here I will stop every time to have another look. It overlooks Kata, Karon and Patong Beach and is a great opportunity for a few photos. The next leg of the journey is usually the last leg of my ride. This direction I will travel alone the beach taking in the fresh breeze and views. Riding through Kata and Karon there are many places to stop and have a look or even another bite to eat depending on the time. On a Saturday there is a market at the Temple in Karon which is worth the visit.

If riding the last leg at night be careful as it can get busy and hard to see. Many Tuk Tuks, Buses and cars drive this road and many people have been hit on motorcycles here. Make sure you wear your helmet and beware of everything happening around you. The road is not in the best condition so avoiding potholes can be difficult at times. I also recommend wearing glasses as you will gather a lot of dust in your eyes over the trip. As you will be in the sun all day don’t forget to apply sun screen.

I hope you can enjoy this ride as much as I do. I will be changing it up a bit next time but this route is great fun and you will get to see a lot more than just your hotel or Bangla rd.

Happy Travelling

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