The funnest form of transportation when traveling through Southeast Asia is by motorbike.
It’s such a free feeling to be able to join a group of travelers and cruise to all the sights together.
But the motorbike is also something you have to be extremely careful about.
A lot of people learn to ride for their first time in Southeast Asia.
I was one of those people.
And the thought of crashing a motorbike was always in my head.
But I had to learn how to ride; there’d be too much I’d miss if I didn’t.
Crashing The Motorbike.
Eventually I decided to learn on the Thai island of Koh Tao.
And it took me 15 minutes before I crashed the bike.
Luckily for me my accident wasn’t that bad.
I was going too slow up a hill covered in gravel.
I put too much power on the throttle, spun out the back tire, and tipped over.
Since I was on a hill I slide down a little bit as well.
But nothing was broken and I was only slightly bloody.
So I hopped back on the bike and didn’t crash again for the next 12 months of travel.
I feel like crashing early helped me be more careful the rest of my time on a bike.
I was much more cautious and aware.
After my little wipe-out I drove to a pharmacy and bought stuff to clean myself up.
As soon as I walked in I pointed to my road rashed leg.
The lady behind the counter gave me a look like “Yeah I deal with you foreigners crashing every day.”
She knew exactly what I needed.
Salt Water and Open Wounds.
Once I cleaned myself up I got back on the bike and continued to the beach.
That first step into the salty ocean was real fun.
I wasn’t gonna let a little crash ruin my day.
I was still bleeding a little bit while swimming around.
And I started to think about how my leg might attract a shark.
That would definitely ruin my day.
Or make for an interesting story, so I kept swimming.
Returning the Bike.
When I finally returned the bike 2 days later I did so with pants on.
The bike wasn’t really scratched at all.
But I knew if the owner saw my leg he’d say something.
He looked over the bike and everything was fine.
I got out of there without any extra charges.
Receiving your “Asian Tattoo”.
My accident wasn’t that bad.
But if you’re traveling through Southeast Asia long enough you will see people…. let me rephrase that…
You will see TOURISTS bandaged up everywhere.
You don’t even have to ask what happened, because 99% of the time it’s a motorbike accident.
I met a girl in Laos who crashed her bike while driving The Thakhek Loop.
She was so fucked up from the crash she could barely move her right arm and leg.
Her ankle was so swollen she was convinced it was broken.
She was bandaged all over.
And the areas that weren’t bandaged were covered in bruises.
She was taking a van back to a major city so she could fly home to France and get looked at.
Luckily she had travel insurance to go back home.
Because she said her experience at a Laos hospital was very unpleasant.
So she decided to end her trip and fly home in pain to get looked at instead.
She DEFINITELY had one of the shittier accidents.
They’re easy to ride once you learn how.
I don’t want this post to frighten people from renting a motorbike.
Because it’s definitely one of the best ways to explore Southeast Asia.
And once you learn how to ride you feel a special piece of accomplishment.
I have a list of some of the best places in Southeast Asia to learn how to ride a bike.
The roads are in good conditions and there’s not a lot of traffic.
You should learn in those places before you attempt larger and more congested cities.
The road I wiped out on was under construction and covered in gravel.
I had barely driven on a good road and then immediately started driving on bad one.
Whoops! My mistake.
Always be aware of the type of roads you’re driving on.
It’s a different feeling between pavement, dirt, and gravel.
You have to learn how to control the bike on all the different surfaces.
As long as you don’t act like a fool and you’re aware of your surroundings you should do alright.
And remember to ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET.
Have you had, heard about, or witnessed any crazy motorbike accidents?
Let me hear about it in the comments below.