That was the big question. Even before we left home we talked about whether or not we’ll buy a scooter or try and buy a car in spite of the high price tag.
We decided once we got here that we’d wait it out. We have been busy during the weekdays with school and most evenings we stay in Phuket town. So need for one then. But the weekends were when we’d need transportation. But we opted for waiting. And here’s why.
1. The traffic here is cray, you really have to pay attention at all times.
2. There is a certain method to the madness, we just need to figure it out.
3. We don’t know where the heck we’re going. We can’t navigate to the beach, watch for oncoming traffic and make sure we’re on the right side of the road all at the same time!
4. We are just plain scared.
Now that you know why we waited. I’ll share with you some tips and info that will help you make the right call for your self. First off, the Thai people are actually really good drivers. They have a “beeping alert system” thing going on. Let me explain, scooters, cars big trucks, busses will all tap their horn a few times just to say “hey, I’m here!” If their coming up beside you, or are planning on passing you. It’s very helpful. Thai’s never beep for any other reason than that and you shouldn’t either. There is no laying on your horn here!
I said I had some tips and info but I lied. That’s really the only method to their madness, but it seems to work! Oh, don’t be alarmed when you see two adults, three children and the family dog all on one motor scooter, they will make it home okay. I promise.
I lied again, here’s a tip! WEAR A HELMET! It’s not only the safe/smart thing to do, but in Thailand it’s illegal not too.
In the end, Dave and I are glad we waited to buy something. It’s given us the chance to ride and navigate the local busses which cost around two US dollars for the two of us to get to our favorite beach (20 mins away). It allowed us to study the traffic patterns, get a feel for the roads and figure out how people maneuver through them. Having this time to get a grasp on how the cars and motor scooters drive together on the road safely.
Nine times out of ten we are the only non Thais on these local buses which makes for an interesting ride. They try and pack in as many people as possible, and it’s not just people They pack in huge bags of animal feed, vegetables, fruits, I haven’t encountered any live stock yet so that’s a win. Oh, and when I say bus, I mean a back of a pick up truck with some benches and a roof. I’m making this sound less romantic than it actually is. Most of the time I put on my headphones, play some great music and just sit and enjoy this crazy country I live in. It’s pretty great.
In a couple of weeks we’ll be either buying a motorbike(scooter) or purchasing a small compact car. For us it’s going to come down to where we get jobs in relation to where we want to live. If we don’t have to drive far everyday than we’ll most likely opt for a motorbike. Both options have their pros and cons. Driving a motor scooter while it’s raining cats and dogs(which it does so often) doesn’t sound super appealing. But neither does sitting in traffic, and if your on a motorbike you could blow right past everybody. Parking at most beaches is way easier when you have a motorbike versus a car. And the gas money you’ll save is something to keep in mind as well. Most westerns around here use and own motor scooters. Of course the only reason we’d buy a car over the motor scooter is if we decide that the driving here is to unsafe. As of right now the jury’s still out on that one. In the next few weeks we’ll update you on what we choose and how the buying process works here in Thailand as a non Thai.
Until then we’ll be riding our local buses, packed in and smiling 🙂
Thanks for reading!