Retire at Chiang Mai on 550 USD per month only
The most exciting Chiang Mai touring experience that I have enjoyed.

Motorbike Driving and Touring:

Small motorbike (scooter) 100- 125 c.c. engine - drive for 4 hours on $3 U.S. in gas. For novices we recommend automatic bikes as they are the easiest to learn to drive. Rent for a week or month and get the best rate and once you are comfortable with how to drive the bike then try a short tour.

Larger motorcycles - for experienced motorcyclists. Larger and faster motorcycles but the drawback is price as it can set you back 500 - 1,000 baht daily depending on bike size and make.

Honda motorbikeSmall Motorbike (Scooter) - Don't be turned off by the 100 c.c. engine size or the term "scooter" as these motorbikes can reach exceeding 70 m.p.h. (120 km/hr) and that is fast enough for me. We suggest biking with someone who knows their way around and is experienced who can show you the ropes.

Driving rules in Chiang Mai??

There are driving rules in Chiang Mai but not what you would expect.

Several of the rules are as follows:

Accommodation in Chiang Mai

Pass whenever you can be it uphill, downhill, with car approaching, or approaching bend in the road.

Jump the green signal and run the red if you think you can get away with it.

Pedestrians have the right of way in North America and here in Thailand they have the right to move out of the way for all moving vehicles including vendor pushing a cart.

Once you get accustomed to driving habits here you will find that the traffic is light and travelling inside the city is only busy at rush hour or around 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Outside of the city there is very light traffic and motorbikes drive on the left hand side or narrow line marked for their use. If you want you can drive a small motorbike in the centre of the lane when you see that traffic is light and simply move over when you see a car or bus in the mirror.

I would advise checking into whether the motorbike has insurance and the type of insurance.

If you are in an accident you will likely be at fault if it the accident was the other person's fault. So new to driving motorbikes we suggest get the insurance which is normally 50 baht/day. The cost of the motorbike rental can be negotiated to 150 baht daily for 4 speed with no clutch and 200 baht daily for an automatic. For newbies go with the automatic first.

In the smaller rental outlets make sure also that every thing works especially the brakes. I would suggest renting from an outlet that is larger or does there own maintenance.

Large Motorcycle - 250 c.c. to 1,000 c.c. - The bikes you see in this photo are for longer touring and even into neighbouring Myanmar. These motorcycles can be driven offroad as evidenced by the shocks and tires.

Motorbike Rental Chiang MaiFor the experienced rider only.

Now on to the touring which can be downright cheap for the smaller bikes or a bit pricey for the larger bikes.

I have not rented or driven a larger bike so my comments will deal with the smaller bikes.

Having driven a truck and car to Chiang Rai, Myanamar, Doi Suthep, and in and around Chiang Mai I would definately say that it can be downright boring especially the drive to Chiang Rai and Myanmar once you get by the brief mountain drive just outside of Chiang Mai. A flat and straight car drive can put me to sleep and that is what you will experience going to Chiang Rai.

A motorbike rental and tour to even nearby Chiang Dao is altogether different. The roads are winding and the climb and descent very steep. The views can be spectactular as you get higher up into the mountains.

So for a person with limited motorbike riding experience we would recommend these short tours. A one hour drive then a stop for gas or a meal. Then one more hour and a brief stop to take photo's and relax. The trip in total including stopovers for fuel and dining would be about 3 1/2 hours.

You have the feeling of freedom when you are driving the motorbike. Beautiful countryside with mountains, streams, elephant camps, caves, forests and of course temples. Driving through a forest with tall trees bordering the road in the shade with the wind feeling like you have an air conditioner in front of you.

Although we feel the drive is safe we do urge caution in several aspects. Make sure your motorbike has good brakes. Just drive about for a few minutes and check them out before you rent the bike. The other caution is if the road is wet to slow up especially on the downhill driving. The last caution is to check for vehicles in your mirror and to give way to larger and faster vehicles.

We recommend starting off early in the day as it is cooler and arriving before lunch or else departing in the afternoon and arriving before sunset. Driving during daylight is easier and safer as opposed to evening.

Large Motorcycle - 250 c.c. to 1,000 c.c. - Similar to the photo above we have here photo's of bikes more suited for touring outside of the city and off road.

Motorbike Chiang MaiBy the way I have never driven a motorbike in my life before coming to Chiang Mai. Daily I see foreigners (farangs) driving motorbikes of all sizes from the common 100 c.c. motorbike to large BMW state of the art motorbikes.

The most unusual motorcyclists that I have seen drives a Harley Davidson with an American flag mounted on a pole at the rear of the bike. The driver wears boots and is about 4 ft 11 in. tall and is a lady who is about 60-65 years of age.

For anyone who is interested we are offering a home stay in a 2 bedroom house 1 1/2 hr. from Chiang Mai. We offer fresh air, quiet, beautiful scenery and home cooked meals. Transportation from Chiang Mai can be arranged or if you want rent a motorbike and enjoy the 2 1/2 hr. drive here thru beautiful mountains. If you leave early in the morning you can take in the elephant show, ride, oxcart ride and bamboo rafting in Mae Tang and arrive here in time for dinner.

A unique, interesting experience for someone who has tried the run of the mill sightseeing and wants a near memorable experience with plenty of photo opportunities. And we get our clients discounted rates on motorbike rentals and we also show our clients around the city by motorbike and even have several places we visit by motorbike in and around Chiang Mai as a small group of several gentlemen and several ladies.

A motorbike outing of friends and one that has proven popular and enjoyed by our Retire-on-550 clients.

related pages..

Buying a Vehicle

Auto Insurance - Should I or shouldn't I ?

Driving in Chiang Mai

CONDO's for Retire-on-550 clients.. No Joiner Fees, Larger & Better Equiped than Hotel
Short term rentals - Include "FREE" Wifi, breakfasts daily, cable tv, stocked fridge, 3x./week full cleaning


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