Be flexible, have fun: drive a scooter in AsiaWhether for the first time in Thailand or a few times. Driving scooters in Thailand is always a hot topic. You can be flexible and explore the island, for example. If you live in a hotel just outside, a scooter to the beach or to a hotspot is advantageous. On the subject, however, other people point out the risk of an accident directly. Why riding a scooter?
1. It's fun
2. You are flexible
3. You can do your own tour
4. Away from the typical tourist hotspot
5. It's super cheap, much cheaper than taxi rides. A simple TukTuk trip of 3 minutes costs 200 baht in Patong, but there is a separate scooter for the whole day.
2. Very expensive in the event of damage or theft
3. Daily price must be paid, regardless of whether and how much you drive or not
4. If you want to drink "too much" alcohol regularly, you cannot go back with a scooter and have to pick it up the next day
On every smaller island (with a few exceptions) a scooter is worthwhile.
It is not advisable in Bangkok. PhiPhi is too small for a scooter. In Samui a scooter would be worth it for the whole vacation. It is a matter of taste and depends on whether your hotel is apart and what you want to do.
Alone with the keyword "scooter" many advise against it. You feel insecure and hear a lot of negative things. Accidents, rip-offs, expensive hospital stays, stressful traffic ...
At the latest when you get a very overpriced taxi driver price on an island such as Ko Samui, the solution of the rented scooter comes to mind. I can rent one all day, around € 5 to € 8. The taxi driver wants 40 € for the trip to the next town (5 minutes). But I want to go back later, I think. That would be 80 €.
Renting is possible anywhere. There are countless rentals and many hotels also offer a scooter rental service. Prices vary from 150 to 250 baht. A helmet is mandatory and advisable. A police control must pay a 200 baht fine without a helmet.
If you want to rent a normal automatic scooter, you have no problem. 90% of all offers are automatic small approx. 100ccm scooters. Keep balance and operate the throttle, that's it.
Pick a scooter, press against the tires if there is still air in them. Sit on a scooter and roll one step and operate both brake levers individually. These should at least brake noticeably. If the scooter looks pretty old, then be sure to sit on it and test the brakes. Ask about the daily price and tell the seller how long you want to rent. If you agree with the price, say "Okay". Take photos or a video of the scooter. You should be able to see previous damage such as scratches and dents in the video. Maybe take the seller with you on the video so that you have a chronological assignment of when the video was created. Inform the seller about the damage seen previously. I personally have never tried to cheer up any damage to the scooter. The mesh with allegedly caused damage such as craters and dents is particularly well known when renting jet skies.
You hand in your passport as deposit, sign a piece of paper and receive a key and a helmet. The paper usually says that the tourist who lends the scooter pays everything in the event of damage or theft. Often the "fantasy" price is included. Actually always in the amount of the new price of 1000-3000 €, regardless of whether the scooter is actually already 10 years old and is only worth 200 €.
There is never any insurance. In the case of very large shops that specialize in this, this may be possible with inquiries. Nobody cares about that. Theft is not a problem in Thailand. Don't leave the key in the lock and use the steering lock. If you park in crowded parking spaces for two-wheelers, then you leave the steering wheel lock open. Because the parked scooters stand side by side and one behind the other, so you can simply push other scooters away to make your way out of the parking lot.
Nobody wants to see a driver's license when renting. You should only have one with you for police checks. Even there it doesn't necessarily have to be shown. Your German car license is sometimes sufficient. An international driver's license is still recommended. In the event of an accident with other people, the driver is automatically to blame without a license. Costs around € 15 and is valid for 3 years.
The first ride.
The first ride will surely be strange. First you should remember that there is left-hand traffic in Thailand. Traffic in Thailand is not as orderly as in Germany. It will be overtaken by you on the left and right. In the event of a traffic jam, all locals drive past the waiting cars with their scooters, no one in line. Scooter riders always push past you. Don't adjust your speed to the other scooter riders. Always drive slowly. There are plenty of places you can master when driving slowly. It becomes critical at high speed. Sand on the roadside, a car overtaking you or pedestrians crossing the street blind. Nothing happens to you when driving slowly. Accidents at night mostly happen to tourists under the influence of alcohol. Never forget your helmet because even if you are careful, other road users are not always.
Tip: You shouldn't accelerate on sand and gravel, keep your handlebars calm and straight.
There are petrol stations and private "petrol stations". These private petrol stations offer petrol for the scooter in liter bottles. Insert the key into the lock on the side below the seat upholstery and unlock it. You can now fold up the seat. Unscrew the filler cap and have the bottle filled. Private petrol stations are about twice as expensive. Still cheap and hardly worth mentioning considering the low consumption.
I always applied sunscreen on the beach.
The first tour to the golden Buddha in Koh Samui was great.
Hardly back in the hotel room the neck and arms were already fiery red. Therefore, wear sunscreen or long-sleeved.
With Google Maps and a cheap SIM card, you can enter your destination as a route and let yourself be guided. Add headphones and you just have to follow the instructions of the navigation voice. If you don't want to make it too easy for yourself, use GoogleMaps again and again to check your current position via GPS.
Avoid driving just before the evening. in Thailand it suddenly gets dark. The streets are poorly lit or not lit. Many vehicles have no working taillights. People with dark clothes cross the streets. Free-running dogs cross your path. Drunken people sway from the sidewalk to the street. You see a lot less in general. Other vehicles see you much worse.
Damage or accident
There are countless scooter riders in Thailand. Therefore there are many small private workshops. A flat tire can be patched for 3 euros. If there is no workshop nearby, you call the landlord. Repairs are very cheap. The nearest workshop will pick you up and the scooter and patch the tire for a maximum of € 20.