For many travelers one of the first things they do, when they arrive in Thailand for a holiday, is rent a motorcycle. Cheap, and easily accessible, they are a good way to get around and see the sights of the country. Many shops offer motorbikes for hire, for little more than a couple of dollars a day. However, there are some very important things you should consider before you decide to rent a motorbike in Thailand.
1. Have you driven in Thailand before? For many people this is the first time in driving in an Asian country, such as Thailand. They are unused to the road rules, and 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 to not stop at traffic lights or junctions. It is normal to have traffic approach you on the wrong side of the road, sometimes with no lights on. Undertaking (overtaking on the right 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 on a motorbike? Many people are novice motorcyclists, and some have never ridden before at all. This makes you doubly vulnerable, not only because you don’t know how to handle a bike, but also because you are not experienced with driving in Thai traffic either. It pays to do a short motorcycle proficiency course before you leave home, just so you know the basics. It might not help you if you hit a patch of sand on the road (a common reason for a lot of motorbike accidents in Thailand), as is driving too fast, but it will enable you to be more confident and to ride to the conditions of the road.
3. Is your motorbike roadworthy? Many of the motorbike rentals are not in a roadworthy condition when they are hired out. Unfortunately there is little regard for maintenance, and if something goes wrong you could be in serious trouble. Always do a full check of the vehicle you are about 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 while you have it, you will be liable, and you will probably have to pay an inflated rate for any repairs.
4. How good is your helmet? Unfortunately the helmet law is not enforced in Thailand, and so most people don’t wear protective helmets when they are driving their bikes. Rental companies will often hand you a cheap, thin, plastic helmet that will do nothing in the event of an accident. Remember, your head is very fragile, and you can incur serious brain injuries in an accident, even at slow speeds. If you are renting a bike, invest in buying your own helmet. Make sure it is DOT compliant, and done up tightly enough that in the event of an accident it will not slip off. Many people die in bike accidents that could be prevented with the right protective headgear.
5. Are you insured? Many people take out holiday insurance, but few realize that many companies don’t insure you if you are in a motorbike accident. Read the small print and make sure that you are covered if you plan to rent a motorcycle as hospital bills can be expensive!
Don’t ruin your holiday with an unnecessary motorbike accident. Too many 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 are not used to driving a bike, don’t try to learn how to drive in Thailand, learn at home. Keep yourself safe and have a memorable holiday for all the right reasons.
November 26, 2013 | MrCondo
Thailand has some great holiday destinations to offer, from the bustling city of Bangkok, to the stunning coastlines of Phuket, to the cultural, scenic hills of Chiang Mai, and many more. Many of the top hotels are located in the main tourist areas, featuring Thailand’s exotic culture, scenery and luxury.
X2 Koh Samui
Tucked away in a peaceful, untouched island of Koh Samui is the X2 resort, boasting a fabulous overall design of sleek wood and stone, a sandy beach, and a stunning surrounding. Located on the south side of the island and housing just 27 guest rooms, this luxury hotel is a quiet getaway from the busy tourist hubs.
The X2 features a relaxing spa, private swimming pools, a signature restaurant and bar, and many other activities.
The serene, luxurious Trisara resort sits surrounded by a lush tropical forest in the major tourist hub of Phuket. This highly-acclaimed luxury hotel offers a tranquil experience, as well as amazing views over the Andaman Sea.
Each of the Trisara’s 42 guest suites is beautifully furnished with utmost luxury, while some guest villas feature private pools. The hotel offers spa treatments, top-notch dining, a secluded beach, and plenty of sporting activities.
The Sarojin Thailand
Surrounded by lush greenery and set by a secluded white-sand beach in Phuket is The Sarojin Thailand, an award-winning luxury hotel. The hotel houses 56 guest residences featuring a warm, comfortable atmosphere with top-notch amenities.
The Sarojin also boasts a tranquil swimming pool, numerous sporting activities, a world-class spa, on-site intimate dining, and many more.
Six Senses Hideaway Samui
The Six Senses Hideaway Samui is spread around a cliff-like edge in the quiet, untouched island of Koh Samui, surrounded by lush greenery, overlooking the sea. The luxury hotel consists of 66 hardwood villas, all of which give you a luxurious outdoorsy feeling like no other.
The hotel features some amazing dining venues, a de-stressing spa, private pool villas, a lush swimming pool, small meeting facilities, a beach, and water sports facilities.
The Chedi Chiang Mai
Set in the heart of the historical, cultural city of Chiang Mai is The Chedi, a luxury hotel of style and sophistication. Built in a crisp, modern design, the hotel is surrounded by greenery and overlooks the Mae Ping River.
Each of the hotel’s 84 rooms are spacious and are equipped with first-class amenities. There is also a luxurious spa, an outdoor pool, a yoga room, and several restaurants and lounges.
Many of Thailand’s top luxury hotels feature truly luxurious, modern designs with a touch of Thai culture. There are many quiet getaways all over Thailand, while there are also many first-class accommodations in the major cities.
November 18, 2013 | MrCondo
Going to the Asian country of Thailand is a treat all in itself. Thailand has something for every kind of traveler. It has breathing scenery, historic sacred temples, and for us guys: Thai bar girls.
A Thai bar girl is just waiting for men from the Western part of the world to come along. Many of them want money, but most of them want respect – something they don’t get from Thai men. Because of their reputation for getting down and dirty, many Western guys think that they can just come to Thailand, scoop up a Thai bar girl and take her home – no questions asked. And while hooking up with a Thai girl isn’t the hardest thing to do, it does require a little more effort than that.
The first thing you should do when you see a Thai bar girl that you like is to make eye contact with her. This will let her know that you are interested. Then flash a big, flirtatious grin at her. Thai girls are almost constantly smiling and they love it when you give them attention. After you all are smiling at each other, give her a chance to make her way over to where you’re at.
Don’t say anything rude or out of the way. Remember that Thai bar girls crave respect. Act reserved and polite. Offer her your business card or buy her a drink. Do not touch her. Public displays of affection are not nearly as acceptable in Thailand as they are in other countries. Keep your hands off until the two of you are alone – and trust me, if you play your cards right, you will get her alone.
Once you have let her know you’d like to get to know her better, if you have respected your boundaries in public, chances are high that she will let you take her home. There she will give you luxurious massages and cook delectable Thai food for you… among other things.
November 11, 2013 | MrCondo
Imagine crystal clear waters, vibrant colored sea life and warm breezes as you begin your adventure diving in Thailand. The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI for short) operate many tropical diving adventures throughout the world. One of the most popular and world renown is the dive adventures in Thailand.
One of the reasons that Thailand is the dive spot of choice is that the weather is accommodating, the beaches soothing, and the diving outfits professionally and efficiently run. The most popular areas to dive are in PhuKet (Patong Beach, Racha Yai and Racha Noi ), the PhiPhi Islands and nearby Krabi.
Who is PADI?
PADI stands for The Professional Association of Diving Instructors and is one of the largest certification training organization for scuba divers. There are degrees of training that start with the very basic courses all the way to the advanced courses for those aspiring to become dive masters. The courses, themselves, are comprised of learning modules that the learner progresses through.
They even have an online course to take the place of class time. Of course, to become certified you have to get into the water and learn firsthand. Practical skills are mastered, then evaluated. If a student passes these tests, then he/she is certified via PADI to go scuba diving anywhere in the world.
Thailand diving offers some of the most agreeable conditions for learning to dive, or gain advanced certification. The waters tend to be gentle and the visibility ideal. Certification can take as little time as a day for beginners, to as much as a week or more for advanced degrees.
Open water dives in Thailand generally descend to about 12 meters, which is where most of the ‘action’ is around various reef colonies. Children can also become PADI certified, so families can take the dive adventure of a lifetime in Thailand while on vacation or holiday.
What to Expect When Diving in Thailand
Phuket diving training generally covers the basics, as well as including the use of the equipment, study manuals, and usually all the meals during the day. Boat fees and other fees, as well as transportation to and from the area hotels are usually all inclusive. Additionally, most Thailand dive centers are fully prepared to speak the language you are most comfortable with. Most offer instruction in English, French and Spanish, as well as others. Because the weather is nice year round, no matter when you decide to plan your vacation, dive training is always available.
Other diving in Thailand includes PhiPhi Don and PhiPhi Leh, which are two islands jutting up from the ocean a short distance from Phuket. These are among some of the most picturesque islands and are often photographed for postcards and artwork. Multiple dive spots along the islands insure that there will be plenty of room and there will be none of the crowding that sometimes is seen at various tourist dive spots. Divers, once PADI certified, can swim through underwater entrances, cruise along with schools of fish, and even do some limited cave diving. Krabi province offers sea life like nowhere else in the area. Many report swimming with sea turtles, manta rays, and even sharks.
November 4, 2013 | MrCondo