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If you’re after an adrenaline rush and want to let out your inner Lewis Hamilton, then Samui Go-Kart in Bophut is the place to go on Ko Samui. Be prepared to open your wallet wide, as it’s not cheap, but the facilities are what you’d expect for the price.
So what can you expect? The track is 500 metres and you can choose from different categories of kart, depending on your level of daredevil-ness and experience. Beginners and children start with the kids’ fun kart, which has a 5.5HP, four-stroke engine that can reach speeds of 40 kilometres per hour (600 baht for 10 minutes).
Those with a bit of practice behind them can opt for the pro-kart with a 13HP, four-stroke engine that can reach speeds of 75 kilometres per hour (700 baht for 10 minutes). Wannabe Formula One racers will love the thrill of the speed-kart with a 25HP, four-stroke engine that reaches a whopping 125 kilometres per hour (1,000 baht for 10 minutes).
If you prefer to ride tandem, the kids’ kart and the pro kart both come as double karts.
The course has been open since 1993, making it one of the island’s original attractions. Ten minutes doesn’t sound long, but apparently it’s all that most people can handle as it gives the arms quite a work out — we haven’t tried it ourselves as it’s not really our thing, but everyone we’ve spoken to who has done this has had a blast and thought it worth the price.
Karts are automatic, so if you’re not used to gears, no worries. Vehicles are equipped with seatbelts and helmets are compulsory, while loose-fitting clothing is not permitted as it could caught in the wheels. With the wind in your hair in these open karts, 125 kilometres per hour must feel like low flying.
You’ll find a few tables and chairs in the shade for those who just want to watch, and drinks are available from the counter inside. Oddly, there’s an adjoining gym with the going rates at 180 baht per day, 600 baht per week, or 1,500 baht per month. The location on the ring road near many hotels means it’s convenient should you wish to keep up your fitness routine while on holiday.
Although far from an “authentic” Thai experience, if you’re after a bit of fun and aren’t watching your budget too closely, Samui Go-Kart may be well worth a go. They offer free transfer to and from your hotel, too.
By Rosanne Turner
Last updated on 6th March, 2015.