Affordable travel and travel at night on Koh Tao
Koh Tao, Thailand
Affordable travel and travel at night on Koh Tao Reviews
Koh Tao affordable/night travel tips Jul 21, 2009
Travelling in Koh Tao can be easy or a bit of a pain depending on the circumstances.
To begin with, renting a vehicle (quad bike, dirt bike or scooter) is ridiculously cheap and easy or so you think.
It normally starts off with bargaining about the rate. A decent scooter can be rented for about 150-200 THB or less depending on your bargaining skills. The quad bikes and dirt bikes go for a bit more.
Next off you have to deposit your passport with the rental agency before they give you the vehicle. In a lot of cases this is where it gets to be a problem as they will accept nothing else but the original passport or the cost of the vehicle in cash as a deposit.
If you agree to that bit you will then be handed a contract to be signed for the rental which includes a 2 page attachment at least, listing out almost every single part on the vehicle and its cost price. If anything gets damaged you don't only pay for repairs but for a new part completely and the labor as well. The spare parts as listed are surely not cheap.
You should ideally not only inspect the vehicle thoroughly including the underneath, along with the owner in daylight so that any scratches/nicks/dents etc... are visible but I also suggest taking photographs of the same before taking the vehicle and moving out. Helmets are a disputed subject at best with no one being stopped for not wearing one.
The thing about KohTao is that the roads are poorly lit so it pays to ride carefully as there are tons of people zipping along after downing a few at night.
I have found that the safest bet if heading to a party is to leave the vehicle and take the local taxi. Always fix upon the fare per person or for the entire trip before getting in!! Whatever rate they start off with you just need to half the price and start bargaining and you will get a deal.
Better yet just look around and someone or the other will be willing to split the fare. These taxis are at all the hot spots and crossroads across the island.
Do not under any circumstances attempt to get into an argument about the fare AFTER reaching your destination. You can still politely try and get a better rate but if the driver says no...leave it.
Even when 'no one is around' a driver getting into an argument magically attracts a bunch of other drivers and locals and they aren't shy of getting into a brawl. I witnessed a group of foreigners getting off at 2:00 a.m. at Sairee Beach and an argument broke out about the fare.
The driver even pushed around one of the women. Luckily it broke off when a group of us and a lot of other tourists intervened.
Bottom line... even if you are high as a kite, fix the rate before the ride, pay it and let it go!
For those who find themselves stuck after a night of hard partying with no transport in sight just head to the nearest 7/11. They normally always have a taxi driver hanging around or have the phone number of one they will call. Again establish the fare on the phone if you are calling out a driver.
All said and done though they are a very decent bunch of people and it is pretty safe travelling anywhere on the island at any time.
Hope these tips help. Cheers all :)
Part of the Sub Aqua, Koh Tao, Thailand travel blog
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