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Motorcycle hire in Pattaya

Motorbikes are available all over Pattaya for hire, many hotels and guest houses have their own motorcycle service. The cost of motorbike hire in Pattaya ranges from about 150 - 250 Baht per day for a motorbike such as Honda wave, and other makes of bikes in that style and size. To get the best deal hire for a longer term such as a week or month. Where possible use a motorbike rental service that has been recommend to you.

Monthly rental fees for a Honda Wave or similar bike is cheap and might be as little as 2500 baht per month. A deposit is required, which is refunded providing there is no damage to the bike, the amount of deposit for your average Honda wave style bike will be about 1000 baht. If you hire long term, a week or month, the deposit will be the equivalent of a months motorbike hire.

You will not be asked for a driving licence but that you deposit your passport. As this is an important document insist that they accept only a photocopy. If this is refused it might be worth considering going to another supplier who will. The production of a valid passport will suffice for short or long periods of hire.. Although it is believed that an international driving licence is acceptable, any involvement in an accident will cause considerable problems, any type of insurance will be void.

Since 1993 it has been a legal requirement in Thailand to have basic compulsory insurance this being purchased at the time of taxation. Therefore any motorbike hired may well have this legal requirement. But be aware that that the cover is virtualy worthless and just meets the legal requirement. Check carefully the insurance details when hiring motorbikes

It should be bourne in mind that driving standards in Pattaya as elsewhere in Thailand is quite simply appalling, and Thailand has many hundreds of motorcycle accidents each year. some Thai and foreign visitors will often have no licence or insurance. Remember to inform your travel insurance beforehand as the insurance company will want to know if you intend to drive a bike over 250cc or even as a passenger. It is not a very good idea to hire powerful superbikes or chopper type bikes in Pattaya they are difficult to considerable control in the busy traffic and small soi's and also a problem to park.

The show of short bursts of speed along Second or Third Road will impress no one this also includes perhaps the women you might want to impress the most.

Importantly check the overall condition of motorcycle for any damage before driving away as you will be held fully responsible for its condition on its return. Most hirers limit the use of the motorcycle within a 50 kilometre of Pattaya. Obviously some sort of familiarity of driving a motorcycle is a must before the idea of hiring a bike is contemplated and not for the faint hearted.

A crash helmet is a legal requirement in Thailand but is generally ignored by the local Thai's, however the police are more strict in Pattaya than other parts of Thailand and will always stop a tourist without a helmet and an immediate fine of 400 baht is payable. In most cases the keys,licence or even the motorcycle is confiscated until payment is made.

It is also a requirement for motorcyclists to have their headlights on at all times although riders of older bikes ignore. Newer models have the headlight permanently on, with no switch to turn it off. Driving is on the left hand side as in the United Kingdom, and road signs are similar and can be understood. The main exception is the stop sign written in Thai but it is easy to remember and should not be a problem. Driving is on the left hand side as in the UK, but that is as far as the similarity goes it goes, any road courtesy is not given or expected, giving way in traffic is unheard of. In the event of an accident loss or injury you as a foreigner will be held responsible even if you are completely innocent of any wrong doing.

There is no exception to this rule and written in stone, if you feel it is unjust then simply don't drive. Even if you call the police no one will side with you and will cost you more in the long run. Just keep in mind no one will side with you and in all cases you will not win, this cannot be overstated. Better to pay for the damage there and then and leave if the damage to bike will allow, providing no one is hurt. If you hang around too long, or make too much of a fuss, someone will find more for you to pay.

The object of all motorcycle riders in Pattaya is to get between two points as quickly as possible, even if that might mean driving the wrong way in traffic, using a pavement or walkway, this is very common, and you will see this often. At first it is disconcerting to see a motorcyclist coming directly at you on the wrong side of the road. The unspoken rule is to pass so the motorcyclist passes on your near side. Care has to be taken at all times especially on turning left you would think that this straight forward enough, but regretfully no, motorcyclists will often overtake on near side just as you are about to complete the turn, Constantly check mirrors before making any turn left.

Turning right at a junction motorcyclists head straight for the front, usually over the white line and and expect when turning other cycylists turning with you in front behind and each side. Traffic light are of the overhead type and have a countdown facility down to go at zero you can proceed. The Thai's inpatient nature generally mean that traffic moves before this point is reached. Another oddity to take note of is turning left at lights when the lights are red, no one stops although illegal not do do so. If you do stop as you should other road users will simply blow their horns at you. It is better to complete the turn looking to the right, being aware that occasionally someone might be coming up on your left the wrong way. At all times take utmost care whenever you make any change of lane.

Thai's get away with a lot as far as bad driving is concerned, a foreigner if spotted by police might not be so lucky. It is very common to see young children using motorcycles to travel to school with their friends. They will drive with total disregard for other users and weave in and out of cars, in such circumstances hold back and keep your distance.

As in most countries drink driving is illegal and a very big problem within Pattaya as elsewhere within Thailand. The police try to control and have check points at night to combat this take the upmost care at night when driving and be vigilant. It goes without saying never ever be tempted to drink and drive. The consequences of killing a pedestrian whilst drunk is too horrible to even contemplate. Without doubt it would result in a long term of imprisonment and may even result in you never leaving Thailand, you have been warned.

In recent weeks there has a been a crackdown on drink driving with many spot checks at night. Night driving can be hazardous in rain, the smaller soi's have many pot holes and cannot easily be seen when flooded with water. Manhole covers of which there are many are particularly lethal when wet and it is very easy to loose control. Many Thai's will drive motorcycles at night with defective or no> lights which is another problem to be aware of, this is even worse in the outside districts of Pattaya.

Flashing of lights by other vehicles is not as in the United Kingdom an indication of giving way and for you to proceed. It is the complete opposite meaning "get out of the way I am coming through". Driving a motorcycle in Pattaya is not impossible but serious due care and diligence is required at all times. Expect the unexpected check mirrors don't drive too slow and overly defensively this will only cause confusion in general to other drivers, and will do you no favours. Never ride a motorcycle during the Songkran water festival this is a particularly dangerous affair. Having a cold water cannon aimed at you at speed, does nothing for the concentration. The bid to avoid the water will cause you to swerve out of control. During songkran hundreds of motorcylists are killed each year in water related accidents.

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