The tourist attractions in Chiang Mai make it a great destination. Chiang Mai is a vibrant city that has a lot to offer. In fact, you’ll find many digital nomads and travel bloggers singing its praises. To fully experience it, you’ll need efficient and convenient transportation. You might be surprised to find out that traveling by motorbike is one of the most affordable and flexible means of transport.
You can have an exhilarating adventure by hopping on a bike to explore the city or run errands. Read on to see our best tips on renting and riding a scooter in Chiang Mai.
Renting a motorbike
Motorbikes are a part of daily life in Chiang Mai. Hence, finding a place to rent a scooter is not difficult. Rental shops are spread out through the city with most of them around Tha Phae Gate. The best rentals, like the Happy Days shop, have a wide variety of scooters to choose from. You’ll see a display of bikes from different manufacturers. You’ll also get owners that will explain the features and advantages of the motorcycles.
In addition, good rentals will have great online reviews on their website or Facebook page. Prices will range from 100 Baht to 600 Baht to rent a bike for 24 hours. Though, you should stay away from cheap deals as these usually mean poor quality motorcycles.
Furthermore, ask if the shop offers insurance and let them explain exactly what is covered. The owners should also be clear about how damages that you may cause will be handled. Additionally, opt for rental shops where they speak English to ensure clear communication.
The best scooter to rent
The bike you hire should have a powerful engine. A 125CC engine will be great to cover your trips and any errands. Additionally, the lights, indicators, mirrors, suspensions, and breaks should be in great working condition. Select a bike with thicker tires and good acceleration. Plus, you should feel comfortable when riding it.
If you are new to motorcycles, choose an automatic bike. There are shops that provide lessons for beginners. Those with more experience can go for manual or semi-automatic scooters.
How to safely ride a motorbike in Chiang Mai
No matter what region you are in, riding a motorcycle is all about safety. Many Westerners will find Thailand roads a little crazy and chaotic. With the tips below, you can have a safe ride.
1. Hire a relatively new scooter
Newer bikes will have better features like thicker tires and good mirrors. Older bikes may not be well maintained so don’t risk renting them. Spend a little extra to get a bigger and safer bike. It might just save your life.
2. Always wear your helmet
Though many locals may not wear helmets, don’t be tempted to ride without it. Get well-fitting helmets for you and your passenger. Plus, you will get a fine for not wearing one if the police stop you.
3. Check on your speed
With automatic bikes, you can wiz past traffic at a great speed. You must be careful because other bikers will be zipping in and out between cars. To avoid accidents, don’t be in a hurry.
4. Watch out for gravel and sand
When riding on the left side of the road you must beware of sand and gravel that can cause your bike to skid. You must also be careful when pulling over.
5. Watch out for Tuk Tuks
Tuk Tuk’s have a tendency to stop suddenly to pick up and drop off passengers. They will randomly accelerate and slow down each time they spot a passenger. The best thing you can do is avoid riding directly behind them. This should also apply to two tow trucks. .
Riding safely in Chiang Mai is a matter of focus and concentration. Don’t try to enjoy the view as you ride. If the police stop you, be polite and the issue can be solved speedily. With these tips, you can rent a motorcycle and ride safely in Chiang Mai.