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April 9, 2013

Helen asks…

Can I legally ride an Aprilla RS50, or a Derbi GPR50 at 16?

With a CBT license, and proper insurance, can I ride either of the above bikes?

Also, does anyone know of any other bikes I can ride at 16, that are legally classed as mopeds?

Thanks!

Administrator answers:

Yes. In the UK a moped has to be restricted to 31mph and has to have an engine capacity of no more than 50cc.

Make sure that it IS restricted though. Otherwise you can land yourself in a whole heap of trouble. If it’s de-restricted, you are riding otherwise in accordance of your licence – basically riding without a licence! This will automatically void your insurance as well as getting you in trouble with the law. We’re talking fines, points, bans and maybe even a prison sentence – what a way to start your biking career hey? (just to point out as well, de-restricting it makes it a motorbike and not a moped, so it has to go through a different registration process, MOT test, it must have a numberplate light + you have to be correctly licenced)

Of course, as you state, you have to have licence, CBT, insurance, MOT, Tax, a road-worthy bike etc… Oh and don’t forget your correctly sized and correctly positioned front&rear L-plates ;)

–Mikey B–

Linda asks…

Where is a good place for visiting in Thailand?

I am going to take vacation with tour and Thailand is my first choice. I want to know a good place I can go for shopping and dining in Bangkok & Pataya. What to avoid? Some help with good suggesting appreciated.

Administrator answers:

Here are 40 things to think about when visiting Thailand …

Bring a cell phone “unblocked” and buy a Thai SIM card for it on arrival, they’re cheap (apprx. 250 baht) and include some credit already on them
e.g. – International calls to UK are about 8baht per min…

Don’t rely just on Travellers checks in any currency…they are too much hassle – some have been refused.

Bring ATM and/or credit cards – check fees and tell your bank your are going abroad.

Very little cash – you tend to get a better rate of exchange here than any home country. Just enough to get you out of the airport to somewhere nice for the first night –

Avoid carrying large amounts of cash…you’ll lose it when drunk or get it nicked.

Beware! – The 1000 baht note looks very similar to a 20baht note. You might give an overlarge tip!

Very few clothes – they are so cheap here and you’ll only bring stuff that is too warm.

Very little luggage – this makes you more mobile if you need to be and less vulnerable to taxi touts and undesirable men….

Before you go home you can buy any extra luggage (cheap) to take souvenirs etc.

There are baggage storage facilities at Bkk airport…and elsewhere – hotels etc.

Mozzie spray – especially if you have the stuff from Oz. Anything with DEET. You can get “OFF” here.

Good quality sun-cream – especially if you have the stuff from Oz. Something that stays on in water, you’ll burn your shoulders in the pool.

Get some travel insurance – hospitals/medicine is cheap but why pay? Trailfinders are good. So is World Nomads, which is recommended by Lonely Planet. Their coverage is complete, and they’re easy to deal with.
Check out a few “jabs” – don’t bother with the malaria ones – too heavy! You can get tetanus or rabies here if you’re bitten by a dog – it’s cheap.

Internet access is everywhere – even on the beach… you can get all your photos copied to CD

If you have a lap-top you can connect it (broadband) at most cafes.

Thai food is very unlikely to give you food poisoning but can contain more chillies than you ever thought possible…

Western (“farang”) food is extremely likely to give you food poisoning – fridges are not part of Thai cooking lore yet…beware of Western Fast Food outlets and hotel buffets – food that has been out for over an hour or so. Thailand is not used to fridges/chill-serve etc.

Use common safety sense – it is easy to relax too much here…when it comes to petty crime the rate is certainly lower than in places like the UK …but every country has its share of con-men and psychopaths…..

Get a phrase book – lonely planet is good as is their guide to Thailand (better than the rough guide)….

Make a friend on the plane and save money on a taxi to your hotel when you arrive in Bkk. Check out the ways of getting out of Bkk airport. This requires caution and common sense; it is most useful if you’re going further e.g. Pattaya.

If you can, avoid spending your first night or few days in Bkk – go there at the end of your stay –its better once you’ve acclimatized, and the airport is about 45 min from the centre.

You can fly straight on to Samui and several other destinations or get a bus or taxi to Pattaya, Koh Samet, Chiang Mai, etc.

Remember the new airport will open at the end of September…this is about 30 min nearer Pattaya and the Eastern Seaboard.

Don’t be afraid to go to Pattaya – it is the prostitution capital of Thailand but they don’t jump out at single women and has good, cheap hotels, shopping and food. Not a bad place to start off for Koh Chang, Koh Samet or Cambodia .

Remember Thailand is more than beaches – there are beautiful cities, national parks, forests and lakes up North – your guide book will help you there…

Bring an international driving license – although most national ones are accepted by motorbike and car hire companies and anyone else who wants to hire you something….

In Thailand they drive on the left – cars are Right-hand-drive. However driving is really only for the experienced.

Be especially careful on a motorbike – Samui has the highest accident rate in Thailand .

Public transport is cheap. Planes, Trains, Buses, Minibuses, Taxis, from town to town.

If you’re in a minibus or taxi tell the driver you’ll tip him if he keeps the speed below 90/100 kmph!

Around Bkk try to use meter taxi with the meter on…it’ll be cheaper than the tuk-tuks.

Take a tuk-tuk once for the experience then use meter taxis.

Don’t let the drivers take you out of your way…they’ll try to take you to some store where they get commission

Check up on Thai manners and customs – this will earn you more respect from the locals.

Have some dress sense – how you dress in Thailand is quite important. Don’t go topless without checking out if it’s acceptable where you are – usually it’s frowned upon. You’ll notice that Thai women are very modest in public –they usually swim fully clothed. On the streets of Chiang Mai, all the women wear tops with sleeves and long pants or skirts. No tank-tops or shorts unless you want to feel out of place.
Check out table manners – Thais tend to eat from communal dishes in the centre of the table – don’t pour everything onto your own plate! Eat with the spoon, using the fork to push food into it.
Don’t knock the royal family – even in jest.

Don’t point your feet at people – the body is seen as hierarchical and the feet are the lowest part and should not be waved about (this is like a “fingers up” sign.

It’s not necessary to “Wai” people – the Thai greeting – as you’ll probably get it wrong. If they Wai you, you might wai back.

Http://forum.virtualtourist.com/forum-2018-1-Travel-Northern_Thailand-1-forum.html

http://www.boi.go.th/english/why/thailand_advantages.asp

http://travelhappy.info/thailand/thailand-backpacking-a-quick-guide/

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