For all travelers one of many first things they do, once they arrive in Thailand for a holiday, is rent a motorcycle. Cheap, and easily accessible, they are a good way to obtain around and start to see the sights of the country. Many shops offer motorbikes for hire, for little higher than a handful of dollars a day. However, there are several extremely important things you should consider before you decide to rent a motorbike in Thailand.
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1. Have you driven in Thailand before? For many people this really is the very first time in driving in an Asian country, such as Thailand. They are unused to the street rules, and way too many people drive as they would at home. They are unaware that dangers lurk around every corner. In Thailand it is not uncommon to have traffic weaving in and out, or never to stop at traffic lights or junctions. It is normal to have 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 a common occurrence in the country and accounts for a large proportion the high death toll on the road.
2. How experienced are you currently on a motorbike? Many people are novice motorcyclists, and some have not ridden before at all. This makes you doubly vulnerable, not merely because you do not know how to deal with a cycle, but additionally because you’re not familiar with driving in Thai traffic either. It pays to do a short motorcycle proficiency course when you leave home, just so you realize the basics. It will not help you in the event that you hit a patch of sand traveling (a common reason behind a lot of motorbike accidents in Thailand), as is driving too fast, but it’ll enable you to be more confident and to ride to the conditions of the road.
3. Can be your motorbike roadworthy? Many of the motorbike rentals are not in a roadworthy condition when they are hired out. Unfortunately there’s little regard for maintenance, and if something goes wrong you might take serious trouble. Always execute a full check of the automobile you’re going to hire, before agreeing to rent it. Look carefully at the treat on the tires and check if the bike has enough oil in it. If the bike does incur any damage when you contain it, you is going to be liable, and you will likely have to cover an inflated rate for almost any repairs.
4. How good can be your helmet? Unfortunately the helmet law is not enforced in Thailand, and so many people don’t wear protective helmets when they are driving their bikes. Rental companies will often hand you an inexpensive, thin, plastic helmet that’ll do nothing in the event of an accident. Remember, your mind is extremely fragile, and you are able to incur serious brain injuries in an incident, even at slow speeds. If you’re renting a cycle, spend money on buying your own helmet. Make certain it is DOT compliant, and done up tightly enough that in the event of an incident it won’t slip off. Lots of people die in bike accidents that may be prevented with the proper protective headgear.
5. Are you insured? Lots of people sign up for holiday insurance, but few realize that numerous companies don’t insure you if you should be in a motorbike accident. Read the little print and ensure that you’re covered if you plan to rent a motorcycle as hospital bills may be expensive!
Don’t ruin your holiday having an unnecessary motorbike accident. A lot of people end up in hospital as a result of hiring bikes in Thailand, and many wish they had just hired a taxi instead. If you’re not used to driving a cycle, don’t make an effort to learn how to drive in Thailand, learn at home.