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Thailand forum

Renting a scooter for the inexperienced?

Posted by Barnsey on 2/11/2006 at 17:21

Hi there!

Anyone rented a scooter while out in Thailand? I'm thinking of getting one to explore Kanchanaburi but wondering how difficult/dangerous it might be the first time?

I'm an experienced driver but don't know if that'll mean anything in the wild =)

Mucho thanks, Andy

#1 Barnsey has been a member since 11/9/2006. Posts: 8
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Posted by somtam2000 on 2/11/2006 at 17:38 admin

Hi Andy,

Scooter is a great way to explore Kanchanaburi -- as many of the rides are pretty easy with good road surfaces and not very heavy traffic -- even for beginners they're pretty good, though I wouldn't try the road to Sangkhlaburi on day one - it's pretty tricky in parts.

Otherwise, wear a helmet, take it easy -- you should be fine...

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Posted by exacto on 3/11/2006 at 10:30


Kanchanaburi is a good place for a novice scooter rider because the roads aren't too crowded and there is quite a bit to see. Like Somtam says, be sure to wear a helmet (be picky about what they give you too because many of them are helmets in name only), and be sure to get one for your passenger as well. (they'll be puzzled because by law only the driver is required to wear one.)

Not to be a kill joy, but be aware that one of the number one ways tourists injure themselves in Thailand is with scooter accidents. Of course, often times lots of alcohol is involved, so as long as you are careful, you should be reasonably safe. Be extra careful in crowded places like Chiang Mai and even more so on Ko Samui, where the roads are narrow, crowded, and often sandy, and the traffic moves waaaaaaay too fast - particularly on the north end of the island. Have fun. Cheers.

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Posted by Barnsey on 5/11/2006 at 01:16

Really appreciate the responses somtam & exacto, there are so many things you just can't read up on in books and online so thanks for the info!


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Posted by inky on 7/11/2006 at 13:10

lay off the samsong!!!
it really doesnt make you a better driver,believe me!!!

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Posted by irieman on 4/6/2010 at 15:18

got a question about scooters.. when you rent them in Thailand do you have to leave your passport at the renting agency?

#6 irieman has been a member since 27/5/2010. Posts: 5

Posted by RotPickup on 4/6/2010 at 19:46

Never ever leave your passport at a renting agency or with anyone else.
A lot of the agencies want you to but do not!
It makes a too good opportunity for them to press money out of you.
Every motorcycle in Thailand SHOULD be sufficiently insuranced; but most commonly there is no insurance at all so they want you to pay for everything that comes up.
Leave a copy of your passport or bring an old I.D-Card or any other official looking paper with your picture on that you can leave behind. Tell them to deliver the bike to your guest house so they know where you live.
Under Thai Immigration law you are supposed to carry your passport with you ALL THE TIME.

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Posted by irieman on 6/6/2010 at 18:36

thx for this answer. that's perfectly clear now :)

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Posted by Kondiao on 6/6/2010 at 20:25

I just now signed up to this website, as I was looking for info about travelling to Angkor Wat from Thailand. I saw the question about renting a motor scooter so I want to add my input. I have rented a m.c. in Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Koh Larn and Koh Chang. But I took the van to Kanchanaburi with my Thai girlfriend. I want to tell you that if you have not been warned motor in Thailand is unbelievably dangerous!!! No matter how careful you are you cannot possibly be ready for all the places that m.c's can come at you from, all the directions, at any time. No matter how alert you are, you will be forced to re-act, not just act. Drivers of trucks, vans and cars, assume the right of way over smaller vehicles, and there is no bluffing them. They ignore m.c.'s so you have to consciously avoid colliding with them. M.c.'s coming from your left will not stop at the intersection, or even look; they will just turn into the flow of traffic and you have to swerve or jump over to avoid hitting them - without having time to look back over your shoulder to make sure that a car is not overtaking you on your right. You just have to take the chance. Cars and bikes will go over the line and drive against the direction of traffic - and expect you to avoid a collision with them. People do not use turn signals, so you have to realize that a m.c. rider may just stop anywhere, or turn right , into a driveway you did not notice, or up onto the sidewalk, or between two cars, where you didn't think a bike could fit - and the only indication the driver gave was a slight change in speed or a tilt of the head.
As others have commented above: you must have your helmet on, have insurance, and carry your passport. No hedging on these rules.
I hope I have succeeded in scaring you into being more careful than you were going to be.

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Posted by sirhalberd on 8/6/2010 at 08:58

It is nice to hit the open road and be free to choose when you go and when you stop and for how long. But driving a motorbike can be dangerous too!

Get proper insurance and expect the unexpected! If you are in an accident, even if it is not your fault, you may end up paying something out of your pocket especially if the police confiscate your passport.

Stay safe.

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