Phangan Motorbiking Tips
Phangan Island Transport | Getting around on Koh Phangan
It is common for tourists to rent motorcycles while they are in Thailand; whether they have ridden one before or not. This is especially true of tourists on Koh Phangan. However, a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that because it is a small island, riding a motorbike will be easy and safe. This is not the case; many people have accidents because they do not listen to advice. The following are some helpful tips which should be heeded if you are considering renting a motorbike while you are staying on Koh Phangan.
Beware of local drivers
Many local drivers can be erratic and unsafe. Most have ridden motorbikes most of their life but never had a lesson so do not know the theory behind safe driving. It is wise therefore to take it slowly at first, building up your confidence. Be sure to check your mirrors constantly and be aware that cars and bikes will overtake on the inside, at blind corners and on hills.
Always wear a helmet
Koh Phangan has many winding mountain roads which can be very dangerous if you have never ridden a motorbike before. Always take your time and always wear a helmet. This could save your life if you are unfortunate enough to have an accident. Regardless of how short the journey is you are making, always put a helmet on.
If you are nervous, avoid riding along the mountain roads until you feel comfortable. A nervous biker rider is just as dangerous as a careless one and you do not want to be the cause or casualty of an accident. Once you have gained confidence, you will be able to take advantage of Koh Phangan's beautiful scenery without having to hike up mountain paths.
Don't drink and drive
Try to avoid riding the bike at night and never drink and drive. Many Thai people and a great deal of tourists go out for a night out, drink too much and then drive home. Drink driving is the cause of most accidents and even if you are not drunk, you need to pay special attention to every possible hazard at night. The roads are poorly lit and the driving skills of other road users are often far worse than during the day.
Renting a bike on Koh Phangan
There are a number of rental companies on the island offering good deals on daily, weekly and monthly motorbike rental. It is important to read the rental agreement carefully and also to take out insurance if they offer it. You will be liable for any damage to the bike while it is in your possession so make sure you check it over completely with the company to make note of any damage caused prior to your rental.