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Driving around and exploring Thailand on a motorcycle or scooter is a fantastic way to take in the sights. It is easy to rent a bike with motorcycle rentals available all over the country. There are three main types of motorbikes in Thailand: 110, 125,150 cc with the standard being 125 cc. 150cc is usually heavier, bigger bikes. Look for a larger motorbike rental company or rental shop with a motorcycle license and that maintains their motorcycles in good condition, with clear processes and procedures per day. This will make your rental easier.
Renting a motorcycle in Thailand is super easy and takes only a few minutes. Be sure to inspect the bikes and make sure they are in good condition. The bike shop will ask you to fill up a short form including renting rules and personal information. They will ask for payment upfront. They could ask either for your passport or for a deposit. When it comes to leaving a deposit, you can expect to pay between THB 1000 and 2000. It really depends on the shop.
Renting a scooter in Thailand is affordable, depending on the exact location as prices will vary. The average is between THB 150 and 300 per day. If you rent long-term (monthly), it will be much cheaper than on a per day basis.
Some shops for motorcycle rentals may ask you to pay more for motorcycle insurance. This insurance basically covers the damage on the bike which is very useful if you are a beginner driver. Make sure you have a driving license from your home country in addition to having an international driver’s license.
You might be wondering how long it takes to drive across Thailand. From Bangkok to Chiang Mai in the north, the distance is about 700 km and takes about 9-11 hours to drive. The highways are in good condition and generally smooth with speed limits of 120 km per hour, and signs in both Thai and English. As opposed to Bangkok, driving around Chiang Mai is pleasant and easy. Other drivers are polite and courteous. The drive from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai is about 4 hours.
In the other direction, Phuket is about 867 km from Bangkok and takes approximately 11 hours or so to drive. The highway to Phang Nga province is scenic with lush mountains on one side and the Andaman Sea on the other. You will need to cross the connecting Sarasin Bridge on the mainland to get to the island of Phuket.
If you are keen to go on a riding adventure but prefer the safety and comfort of being in a group, why not join motorcycle tours? There are many tour operators throughout the country offering both on and off-road tours with bikes to match. Popular regions for motorcycle tours are in the north including Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Pai, Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle. They offer helmets and all the necessary gear and different skill level tours including beginner, intermediate and advanced as well as enduro and extreme tours. Tours do provide insurance but it is better to also provide your own travel insurance as well. In some cases, a motorcycle tour company may also offer a package that includes access to good accommodation on top of the beautiful scenery and a great riding experience. Feel free to ask the tour leaders or tour guides to avoid other surprises during the bike tours.
There is no better way to explore the mist-covered passes at the Mae Hong Son Loop than booking a motorcycle tour. Nestled in north Thailand, the Mae Hong Son Loop province is perfect for travellers hoping to experience off-the-beaten-track exploration.
Beginning from the starting point in Chiang Mai, Thailand, riders will be taken on a 3-day tour that involves riding to the highest peak of Thailand and down the winding and twisty curvy road along the Myanmar border.
Motorcycle Tour Highlights:
In some cases, the bike tours come fully inclusive of lunches and dinners for the entire duration of the trip.
The Golden Triangle motorcycle touring destination was once a land ruled by opium and drug lords. Today, it is one of the finest stops for motorcycle tours in Thailand.
The Golden Triangle offers motorcycle tours access to spectacular scenery that truly takes away one’s breath. It also takes riders to fantastic roads that lead to flowing Buddhist temples atop mountain peaks, a maze of abandoned logging trails, and fun biking roads alongside the Himalayan foothills.
For a complete experience, some bike tours also encourage riders to interact with local people living where the borders of Thailand meet Myanmar and Laos. The region is known for its exotic cultures, with curious markets, charming villages, and great food to create pure riding pleasure.
Out of all our motorcycle tours, the “Nan Loop” remains one of the most famous options for people hoping to explore amazing Thailand. This motorcycle tour typically takes three days to ride through an 800 km stretch of road in Northern Thailand.
Like most motorcycle trips, the Nan Loop has no traffic, no speed cams, and stunning scenery that truly creates a life-changing experience. The loop also takes riders to the most fun biking roads and dream roads near the unseen Salt Mines in Bo Kluea.
Here at THG, we ensure that our guests only get access to the best possible motorcycle tour available. We also ensure that they have experienced motorcyclists as the tour leader to ensure a truly memorable experience.Thailand Holiday Group also prides itself on being transparent. This means we do not charge any hidden costs.
Expect to pay between 150-300 THB per day with rental companies. Rates will go down if you rent the motorbike for a longer duration.
You will need a driving license from your home country if you want to hire a motorbike or car, in addition to having an international driver’s permit or a license to drive on Thai roads. Although many tourists rent motorcycles without these, they are driving illegally and risking getting fined if caught.
Anyone can buy motorcycles in Thailand including foreigners but to register a motorcycle in your own name, foreigners will need confirmation of their ID (passport) and of their local address (Certificate of Residency). So if you are not living in Thailand and on a tourist visa, you cannot register your bike, and driving with no registration is illegal.
You need two Import Permits to bring your motorcycle into Thailand. One from the Thai Foreign Trade Department to import an assembled vehicle (car or motorbike) and another from the Industrial Standards Institute. Then customs duty will be applied and need to be paid. The value of the vehicle includes the freight. Once cleared by customs you need to get a motorcycle license for it which requires a homologation compliance test then to pass a strict emissions test before it can be registered. The total prices include the costs for a year’s registration, plus insurance.
You will need a driving license from your home country if you want to hire a motorbike or car, in addition to having an international driving permit or a Thai driving license.
Yes, an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) is a requirement, in conjunction with a valid domestic driver’s license from your home country.
Yes, it is the law for drivers and passengers on motorbikes to wear helmets to avoid the risk of a motorbike accident. In some cases, the tour company would provide the riders with safety gear, all of which are included in the tour prices.
An International Driver’s Permit (IDP) is a requirement, in conjunction with a valid domestic driver’s license from your home country.
Anyone can buy a motorbike in Thailand including foreigners but to register a motorcycle in your own name, foreigners will need ID confirmation which is usually as a passport and something to verify their local address such as a Certificate of Residency. So if you are not living in Thailand and on a tourist visa, you cant register your bike, and driving with no registration is illegal.
It’s possible. There are two different types of licenses: a temporary (2-year) license and a permanent (5-year) license. If your passport has only a tourist visa, you will be eligible for only a temporary one. To apply you will need a medical certificate and a certificate of residence along with your driver’s license from your home country in English.
They are not illegal. With that being said, e-scooters mainly operate in Bangkok and in the northern region as an alternate mode of transport to deal with traffic congestion. Electric scooters may not be a great fit for big bike tours, especially along the Mae Hong Son loop where motorcycles run at high speeds.
Scooter and motorbike rental Phuket are plentiful and it’s easy to rent one. Look for well-established rental companies who keep the bikes in good condition. You pay a deposit and get that returned provided there’s no damage to the bike. Motorbike accidents are common in Phuket with foreign tourists struggling with road conditions. When riding a motorbike be cautious, stick to main paved roads and look in all directions when driving. Assume nobody sees you (because they probably aren’t looking) and take your time.
Expect to pay between 150-300 THB per day for scooter rental prices and more for a newer and big bike.
Scooter and motorcycle rental companies are plentiful throughout the country, especially in tourism hubs and it’s easy to rent one. When you decide to rent a motorcycle, look for well-established companies who keep the bikes in good condition. You pay a card or cash deposit and get that returned provided there’s no damage to the bike.
A biking tour of Thailand would be a very exciting adventure. Unfortunately, accidents are commonplace for foreign (called “farang”) tourists riders struggling with road conditions, in any town, as a motorcyclist. Most local drivers don’t look behind them so they often pull out onto the main roads expecting other drivers to be aware of them. When on the road, you need to be cautious and assume drivers of other vehicles do not see you. Drive slower and always wear a helmet.
0.5. is the legal blood alcohol limit in Thailand but for drivers holding their licence for less than 5 years, the limit is 0.2. Those caught over the legal limit will be heavily fined or risk imprisonment.
To import your motorcycle into Thailand you need two Import Permits to bring your motorcycle into Thailand. One from the Foreign Trade Department to import an assembled vehicle (car or motorbike) and another from the Industrial Standards Institute. Then customs duty will be applied and need to be paid. The Customs Tarif Item heading is 87.11, and the total rate of Customs duty i+ Excise + VAT is 77.04% of the value of the vehicle. The value of the vehicle includes the freight. Once cleared by customs you need to get it licensed which requires a homologation compliance test is needed first and needs to pass the strict emission test before it can be registered. Then it costs a few hundred THB a year for registration, plus insurance.
Beyond Bangkok and the other urban centres and dealing with busy traffic conditions, the roads and highways are in good condition making them easy to drive. On the islands, a road may only be made from gravel and can be slippery so riders must operate more caution when driving bikes in these places.
A holiday abroad on bikes or scooters is a refreshing way of touring one’s destination. It is a much cheaper, flexible and fun way of enjoying the scenery, especially the countryside. South East Asia is not exempt from motorcyle or bicycle holidays, especially in Thailand. However, motorcyles and bicycles are not the safest way to travel during your holiday. So a travel insurance that will cover motorcycling per day is essential for your holiday preparations. There are some travel insurance policies that cover cycling but charge additional for racing, mountain riding or other endurance events. Further, motorcycling or Bicycling is considered a niche in sports so a special travel insurance is needed for doing this activity in Thailand or any country in South East Asia.
A rental company or bike shop could be a source of motorcycle riding safety tips as part of their service to their customers on a touring holiday. These tips are useful for all kinds of riders. Helmets, the most important of riding gear, must be worn at all times, preferably a full-face one. Protective clothing must be worn like long pants and a jacket Riding gloves must be used. It is an automatic human reflex action to put out hands to break a fall or stumble Note the rules provided by Thai law – speed limit, drinking and drugs prohibitions. Do not ride at night. When you meet an accident or crash, as a foreigner (farang) you will be considered at fault and therefore, held liable. Do not resist, but go into calm negotiations to reach a reasonable settlement.
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