Riding a motorcycle is definitely an experience those with the skills and the daring will want to experience. Part of that rider’s instinct is to ride in various places, with each place “conquered” a feather in the rider’s cap.
As Thailand is already a tourist’s paradise, it has a nearly irresistible allure to travelers and riders are not an exception. There are many ride-worthy destinations here in the Kingdom, and Phuket ranks as one of the best highways there are to ride off into the sunset.
Is Phuket safe for motorcycles? As every rider will tell you, safety is in the hands of the person on the steering wheel. This means that you should always err on the side of caution every time you ride, but that doesn’t mean Phuket is unsafe for motorcycle riding.
Here are some tips for safely riding the highways here in Phuket.
Always Wear a Helmet
This rule, of course, is universal. That piece of metal with the foam inside will save your head from the effects of blunt trauma in the unfortunate event of an accident.
In Thailand, you’ll see people ignoring this rule and just drive bare-headed on the highways. Phuket, of course, is not an exception. Maybe these people want to feel the breeze on their faces as they ride, like Tom Cruise did in that scene in Top Gun.
That doesn’t mean you should. It always pays to invest in safety. Don’t just put on any helmet – choose the ones that are of high quality, and are new.
If you are from countries like the United Kingdom, or Japan, this would probably not be a problem for you. However, if you’re from the United States, or Europe, you might find it difficult at first to adjust to the fact that people in Thailand drive right-handed.
So, always be sure to make a conscious effort to keep to the left side of the road. Don’t worry – it becomes muscle memory after a day or two.
Take a Day to Eyeball the Roads
Thailand has its own unique riding culture. That is – the locals have riding habits that could leave you scratching your head while watching. We’re talking about reckless driving habits that people in the Western world generally learn to avoid.
If you’re really serious about riding the highways, take a day or two to observe how people in Phuket ride. Take your camera and find a roadside spot to take pictures, or have a coffee on a roadside café and watch.
Other Riding Etiquette Tips in Thailand
One other thing that you should bear in mind if you’re going to ride in Thailand. While generally welcoming towards tourists out for a beach holiday, the local population is actually very touchy about modesty. Make sure to put a shirt on when riding – riding topless is considered indecent exposure and could earn you a visit to the police station.
Finally, Phuket is one of those places in Thailand where there is a gasoline station open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are also vendors who resell gasoline by the road side, although at prices a bit higher than what the gas stations charge.
With that said, we hope you enjoy your riding experience in Thailand. Keep safe always!