It’s a rainy day in Vancouver, and I was reminded of a trip I took in 2009 through Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand (with a quick day trip to Burma for visa purposes). I was determined to rent a motorcycle at some point in my travels and decided that Thailand was the place to do it. It was just a daytrip, but I still felt brave in exploring by myself with no cell phone or language abilities, crossing my fingers that I wouldn’t get a dud rental.
At the rental shop there were primarily mopeds available for the tourists, but I was determined to get a proper motorbike. I ended up with a Honda (maybe 250cc?) with a spastic ignition that would spontaneously crap out every so often. But, it did the trick and I was patient.
I was given a hilarious helmet with a leather chin rest from the rental guy, who couldn’t believe that I was actually planning to wear it. The locals gave me lots of smiles, as I did look pretty ridiculous. I figured I would veer on the side of safety, although the helmet was the extent of it.
I managed to navigate a route and rode the motorbike to a nice park and waterfall north of Krabi town and swam in the waterfall pools. There was also a cute little jungle coffee shop owned by a westerner, so I enjoyed some coffee and cruised on.
Some of the road obstacles I encountered were a huge bull in the middle of the road and a cobra – fortunately it was only roadkill, but still freaked me out. I didn’t stop to document it because by that point the rain began to pour. I found an abandoned gas station and took cover because the rain got torrential and I had no proper gear. It came suddenly and ceased suddenly.
Once it stopped I continued on my tour, only to run out of gas! By that point I was in a populated area so pulled up to a roadside shop and mimed what my problem was. A little boy was sent out running and returned with two plastic water bottles full of gas, to get me back to town. I also stopped off at a kind of street carnival / market for some treats, and wandered around in a daze. I think I was secretly just relieved to have not got myself into any real situations, and was happy to return the bike in tact… and return to beach life.
Next time I would probably opt for a more structured tour, or go with friends / husband, and someone local. It was my first international motorbike outing, and hopefully more to come. I’ve been following the Facebook page, Global Women Who Ride and it’s been so inspiring reading about the courageous and talented ladies out there from all over the world.