Connect with us

Opinion

Opinion: To bike or not to bike in Phuket

Published

 on 

PHUKET: A friend of mine recently arrived in Phuket. It is his very first time in Thailand and he intends to hang around for a while so, within the first week of his stay, he bought a motorcycle.

Admittedly, anyone who wants to get around Phuket needs some form of independent transport, unless they have the time and patience to wait for a bus or ‘songtaew’ or enough money to hire a private limousine.

Alarm bells went off in my head when I heard about my friend’s new (for him) purchase of a second-hand 250cc Kawasaki off-road bike.

Sure, buying a bike was a smart thing to do in order to save time and money in the long run, instead of long-term car rental or forking out for taxi fares every day, but it was certainly not the safest option in my opinion.

I didn’t doubt my friend’s riding skills. It was everything else that I was worried about. Here we had a young man who, for starters, learned to drive on the right hand side of the road in his country, where the road rules are easier to follow, because everyone else is mostly obeying them.

Now, after a few days in Thailand, he was going to immerse himself in an entirely different and frankly, highly dangerous, driving culture; one in which he certainly would not have had enough time to become close to understanding that there is method in the madness.

Mind you, on a recent trip home to the UK, I was surprised how fast people drove over there. I noticed that drivers are confident when they know they have the ‘right of way’. They zoom along with not the slightest worry that someone might just drift out of a side road into their lane without even a glance at the oncoming traffic.

It wouldn’t occur to a British motorist that someone would stop dead on a roundabout. Nor would it occur to an American that everyone else stops a few seconds after the traffic light turns red and then sets off again before it’s turned back to green.

As a rule, when driving in the west, you just don’t expect someone to pass you on the inside, or suddenly come face to face with a noodle cart heading towards you in your lane.

Predictably, my friend, despite being a good rider, came off his new bike a few days after he had bought it. He lost it on a patch of gravel, and now has a nasty graze on his neck.

Thankfully, his driving culture of wearing a good helmet might well have saved him from a more serious injury that day. Of course I hope that was the first and only accident he has while he’s here.

Personally, after coming off motorbikes three times while buzzing about in the Big Mango, I decided it was time to trade in the bike and make a down payment on a car.

It might take longer to get places on four wheels, but it’s certainly a lot safer.

— Andrew Nicholson

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand49 mins ago

Thailand News Today | 36 dead in a mass shooting at a nursery in northeast Thailand

Guides54 mins ago

5 best wine bars in Bangkok offering rich and quality wine

North East57 mins ago

Hip businesses in northeast Thai province offer tasty food and fun experiences

Sponsored7 hours ago

Segafredo Zanetti Coffee teamed up with Bangkok Airways and hosted “Bangkok Airways Surf Festival 2022”

Crime1 hour ago

British CEO arrested at Bangkok Airport over 40 million baht fraud accusations

Thailand1 hour ago

Thailand’s 5 national parks raise entry fees for foreigners by 100%

Bangkok2 hours ago

Ari around invites Ari people to share good deeds through the app.

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Press Room2 hours ago

Where to order cannabis/weed in Thailand

Chon Buri2 hours ago

Trouserless Chon Buri man crashes car into power pole

Entertainment2 hours ago

‘The Trapped 13’ lets Wild Boars speak for themselves

Thailand2 hours ago

Reported Bangkok VIP casino vanishes into thin air

World2 hours ago

Australia sets goal of preventing any more species from going extinct

Crime3 hours ago

Mass shooting in Thailand: 36 dead, including 24 children, 12 injured

Thailand3 hours ago

9 Thais arrested in South Korea for smuggling drugs

Drugs3 hours ago

Police snag 2.5 meth pills in checkpoint stings

Thailand3 hours ago

Nong Bua Lamphu Hospital needs urgent blood donations after mass shooting

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending