So now that we’re in Chiang Rai where it’s not quite as crowded and we aren’t walking distance to ………. well ……… anything really, we decided to rent a motorbike. Renting the actual motorbike was another interesting experience vs. what one might experience in the US. I think I signed my name on one form, gave the nice lady a copy of my passport, one month’s rent and she handed over the keys.
Thank god for automatics because I’ve never been on a motorized bike before. But ‘When in Rome……”
After a week of navigating the streets of Chiang Rai we up’d the ante to a 125cc motorbike. Pimpin’ aint easy.
Anyone that has cycled in a major metropolitan area knows what navigating traffic is like on a bicycle …… let me tell you ….. driving a motorbike in Thailand is in a class all by itself. While we haven’t seen any accidents, I can understand why it is ranked 2nd in the world as one of the worst places to drive. Lanes are merely guidelines, it’s not uncommon to see motorbikes going in the opposite direction on the shoulder, parents with children (3 – 4 people total), passengers sitting sideways using their phones, etc. are all regular occurrences. And, we still haven’t figured out how right-of-way works at a 2-way stop.
The ironic part is we rarely hear horns, haven’t seen any rude gestures, nasty comments or even ugly looks (we may not be able to identify these things either so maybe I am being naive). Never the less, if I had to describe it, it’s organized chaos with a hint of Zen. It’s not for the faint of heart, that is for sure. I actually enjoy it and I’ll tell you why …… it requires that I be present fully, it’s almost meditative in many ways.
Parking at the mall around the holidays got you down, get yourself a motorbike.