Siam in-between: Thai motorcycle diaries

Today I went on an epic motorcycle journey. When I say epic, that is just for dramatic effect. When I say motorcycle, I mean a scooter. The 30 odd kilometers between Chumpuang and Rangka Yai do not qualify as a journey either. But anyway, I still brought you a few pointers about riding a motorized two-wheeler in Thailand. Using a scooter in heavy traffic isn’t anything to be scared of, nor is it to be taken too lightly. I guess it’s somewhere in-between.

picture taken from the car (prior), as I’m fairly attached to my teeth (still, luckily)

The following guidelines apply to riding a 125cc motorcycle on a larger two-lane inter-city road with relatively heavy traffic in Isaan.

  1. See the white line to the left? Keep that line to your right. Yes, 125cc motorcycles are rather fast. Yes, you will be faster than some cars, most lorries and all tractors. No, the left side does not have a continuously flat surface. I know, sometimes the left side is non-existent (on bridges, for example). Trust me, stay to the left.
  2. When a patch of sand appears, BRAKE. Just for the sake of keeping you alert, some of these are really pits collecting quicksand.
  3. When you see a dog watching you approach and you think ahhh, what a cute doggy, TAKE EVASIVE ACTION. 99% of street dogs are kind-harted and very social canines, but 1% wil unexpectedly charge in your direction and start barking like a $%£§è&*$>^ç
  4. Any vehicle with four wheels and a two-stroke engine cannot hold a straight line. Take that into consideration.
  5. When a car is about to cross the street and flashes its headlight towards you, that does not translate to ‘go ahead I will wait until you’ve passed‘ (like in Europe). It means ‘I am coming, there are no two ways about it‘.
  6. A guy is waving a stick with a red rag at the end? A herd of cows is about the appear out of thin air.
  7. Surprising one: gigantic lorries with two-story high cargo loads do not drag you along in their slipstream when they suddenly race past you

But for the most part it was a lovely drive. Like riding through a gigantic blow-dryer.

And how was your day?

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