The island of Ko Lanta is 40km long and easily explored by motorbike. Upon my arrival in Thailand I had heard many stories of travelers whom had rented a motorbike. Many of these travelers also got the famous Thai tattoo which are skin abrasions from motorbike accidents. Often, you will see travelers with bandages or limping from accidents. After hearing all these stories I was still interested in renting a bike and trying it out.
I determined that the “safest” place to rent a bike was on the island of Ko Lanta. This is because of the relatively low amount of traffic on the road. I asked the owner of my hostel where the best shop was to rent from and asked several shop owners their prices. I rented from an owner directly on the right side when you depart from the ferry terminal. The cost was $250BHT for 24 hours. I wanted to ride around the island and check out different spots. I would recommend checking out the national park at the southern end of the island and old town on the eastern part of the island.
When I rented the bike the owner asked, “Do you want a helmet?” Um… Yeah, that might be a good idea. Following, he gave me a quick tutorial, handed me the keys, and I was off! I started very conservatively, as this was my 1st time on a motorbike. After riding for a few miles I started to feel more comfortable. Before you start thinking that riding a bike is easy, keep in mind that you drive on the left side of the street opposed to the right as we drive in the states. Also consider that there are zero traffic rules. While driving, I would get past by locals driving 2-3times as fast. Often vehicles would be headed straight for me in a game of chicken to pass other vehicles. There are also pot holes and cracks that litter the road. It can be pretty scary to go over those at 50km per hour. Yikes!
The further south of the island that you go, the fewer tourists there are. If you decide to venture to the southern tip then you will enter the national park. The roads this far south are very curvy with tight turns. I would advise going slow. I wish I had road bicycle at this point. Wow. That road would be amazing for cycling!
In order to enter the national park, you have to pay 250BHT. The park features a beautiful beach, light house, and small 2km hiking trail. There are also monkeys that are wandering around. After reaching the park, spending some time checking out the park, swimming, and everything else that the park offers I drove back. The total drive is roughly 1 hour each way and I spent about 1-2 hours at the national park. I would recommend it as a great motorbike destination.