Replies: 13 - Last Post: Dec 15, 2012 2:35 AM Last Post By: goo_stewart
Dec 9, 2012 8:02 AM
I'm going to southern Thailand for the month of February. Originally we were
going to bring our bicycles and make it a biking trip, but now decided that might
be too much of a hassle. Is it easy to rent bicycles there? Are the bicycles decent,
that is good quality? Or will they be old beaters.
Any advice will be much appreciated!
Dec 9, 2012 8:09 AM
1It really depends where you are. It's quite easy to rent cruisers just about anywhere. There are a few places that will also rent mountain bikes. Quality really will differ from store to store. You can buy cheap bikes out here for 500-2000 baht as well if you want to get one and then sell it at the end of your trip.
Dec 9, 2012 8:19 AM
2I assume you talk about single day rentals - not multi day rentals?
Mostly old beaters, be it road bikes or mountain bikes. Just rideable. Too small for tallish people.
Doable but not recommended for longer rides.
There are some places that rent good mountain bikes (trek, giant) but those cost quite a bit more.
Dec 9, 2012 10:17 PM
3With the crazy drivers here, I'd be scared to death to ride a bike on these roads. Drunk driving is extremely common and until now, has never been enforced. Even now, they're just starting to do so....barely.
Tour buses would just as soon run you off the road as slow down. Same with the big trucks. Not the mention the other crazy drivers. I'd hate to count all the horrible accidents I've seen here. Just saw one 2 days ago. A 65-70 year old lady was run over just crossing the street. It's the wild west.
If you do this, make sure you have insurance. Many reports of tourists being stuck here for months in a hospital, then in jail as they couldn't pay their medical bills.
As a side note....it's hotter than heck here. You really need to be use to high temp and high humidity.
Dec 9, 2012 11:20 PM
4^ok, we have established that you know nothing about cycling in Southeast Asia. In 15+ years I have not had one accident, never even come close. Cyclists are treated with more respect than the West. You really have no idea what you are talking about.
To the OP, it is difficult to rent bicycles of any quality anywhere apart from Bangkok. Yes, rental places may have a few cycles to rent out, but they will usually be low quality beat up things that you wouldn't want to cycle more than a few kms on. There are good rental places in Bangkok. I think there is one in Hua Hin as well. I have seen good rentals in Kan also. I have never seen a good rental bike anywhere down south.
My advice? Change your plans again and bring your bikes.
Dec 10, 2012 2:40 AM
5I've been in every country in SE Asia, and lived here permanently for many years. Glad you've never had an accident! Congrats! But to say it's more safe here than in the west is pure BS. Look at the accident stats. When doing so, don't forget how they are under reported in this entire region. The UN has the best "estimated" stats. They are scary.
I see accidents on a weekly basis. No, not bicycles...but I rarely see anyone riding a bike. It's a rare, rare thing. And I drive here almost every day.
Sure, it can be done...but IMHO very risky.
Do a google search on bike accidents. Incredible.
Sorry...but the drivers here are just plain crazy. Even riding on a bus is a dangerous proposition.
Dec 10, 2012 3:13 AM
6^you are speaking from a position of pure ignorance. You really know nothing about it. In some western countries there is an anti-bicycle feeling which leads to a great many dangerous situations. Here there is none of that.
Now, I won't try to defend Thai driving, but I can vouch that cycling here is safe purely because there are so many motorcycles on the roads. Thai drivers are more aware of cyclist because of this.
Seriously, you shouldn't be commenting when you know nothing about it. Traffic accident stats are just that - stats. The simple fact is that cycling is safe. I know many, many cyclists in Thailand and many, many cyclists that have visited Thailand, I have never heard of anyone having an accident. On the other hand, I had 2 accidents in 3 years whilst cycling in London.
I cycle every day in Bangkok. I have never had a problem.
Dec 10, 2012 5:16 PM
7Can't reply about the west because I live here!! Just telling you my personal experiences of driving here for 10 years. I've seen sooooooo many scooter accidents. And have many friends who have been hurt...or killed.
Thai's have NO respect for scooters or pedestrians. Can't imagine they'd have any more for cyclists.
Just my humble opinion. And please be polite...don't call people ignorant. This is suppose to be a board for exchange of travel help. Not one for bashing fellow travelers.
Dec 10, 2012 6:56 PM
8^this is a board to exchange travel help - but you have no knowledge of the subject so you are therefore ignorant. My issue is that you are commenting on things you clearly know nothing about. You seem to think that living here (and I have lived here longer than you...) and driving on the roads brings you some special insight into cycling - it doesn't. You know nothing other than seeing the motorcy accidents on the roads. Your 'information' is opinion based on a perception of something else. In other words, you know nothing of the subject and are ignorant, so, please don't comment.
Dec 10, 2012 7:11 PM
9I don't ride bicycles in Bangkok but out of town, usually on less traveled roads - that's where it is fun to cycle.
I feel quite safe there.
You have some dangerous moments. Car parked on side of road, you trying to get around it (quite a bit before that parked car), someone overtaking you right then and so close that no way you can pass the parked car. Only thing you can do is stop...
Or turning into the road from a side road/drive way..."ah, it's only a bicycle". Cars do have 'right of way' even if they don't.
Overall I feel all right riding here, just stay away from city traffic and go at a speed (and have the bike to do so in the first place) where you can stop fast if required. The more traffic the slower I go.
Dec 10, 2012 7:59 PM
Dec 10, 2012 8:22 PM
11I would love to see some detailed stats for Thailand.
Traffic deaths by country:
Article in the Guardian:
Considering that 60-70% deaths are on motos it sure is dangerous.
But then you see them going at high speed, no regards for traffic rules, no helmets, 3 on one bike including kids.
If you drive with helmet and brain your chances are much better I would say. Plus stay away from fast flowing city traffic.
Just got back from the beach via Ko Chang and was amazed at the number of people driving without helmet. 50% or less wear a helmet at there.
Lots and lots of tourists too, no helmet - no protective colthes either. Considering that many never ride a scooter back home, don't know the road conditions, etc, it sure is a dangerous proposition.
And stupid. Left their brain at the airport I guess, that's why they don't need a helmet.
Dec 14, 2012 8:27 PM
12It's absurd how many hit and runs happen in Thailand. People just don't want to have to bribe the cops to get out of their manslaughter charges.
Dec 15, 2012 2:35 AM
13So Craig, one terrible incident proves your point, does it? Ridiculous.
You are clutching at straws. You still know nothing about cycling in Thailand, you are only drawing on generalisations to assert your point, generalisations from the perspective of driving a car in Thailand. I have been cycling in Thailand much longer than you have lived here, you have never cycled, so I think we will leave readers to judge for themselves who they want to believe. My whole issue with you is that you have commented on a subject that you know nothing about - that subject is cycling in Thailand, not general road safety.
Oh, and while we are on the subject - you haven't provided any evidence to backup your opinions about cycling safety in Thailand. Have you got any stats?
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