25 February, 2010
Ride like the locals do!.
Ok, maybe not on an elephant (those beasties were large - that's why I was keeping a respectable distance away from them), but certainly on a bike.
Phuket is a wonderful place to be and it makes far more sense to ride two-up on a small bike - in this case a locally built 110cc water cooled FI scooter known as a Honda Click - than it does to rent one of the larger heavyweights which seem to be the preferred weapon for farang military on R&R.
LIke most Asian towns, the beach resorts on Phuket island are essentially wall-to-wall traffic going nowhere fast. The zippy little Hondas let you scoot in and around the otherwise congealed mass of bumper-to-bumper cars, trucks and buses. Surprisingly enough, given the congestion, lack of traffic rules and surprising number of North european farang who would not consider riding a motorcycle at home, especially wearing the mandatory non-ATGATT uniform of shorts, tee-shirt, sandals, sunglasses and no helmet; I saw no accidents.
Once outside the towns, and particularly out towards the small islands which dot the coastline of Thailand, riding becomes a pleasure as you hum along at a pleasant 80kmh underneath a canopy of trees passing through small villages and enjoy a little self-generated cooling relief from the warm moist air.
Definitely a ride we should all take at least once in our lifetime.