After a couple of days of walking around Patong, I decided to rent a bike for a few days so that I can see more of the island of Phuket. My first ride took me up the western coast of the island to visit some of the beaches.
There are plenty of places around Patong that have bikes and scooters for rent, but most of them require the renter to hand over their passport for the duration of the rental as security. I was not willing to do that. Fortunately, the motorcycle rental company called “Cheap as Chips” doesn’t require the passport. They just take a photocopy of the passport and driving licence plus a security deposit of either 3,000 Baht or $100 US. Bike rental prices start at 200 Baht ($5.62) per day for smaller model bikes. I opted for the Honda Click 125i which costs 300 Baht per day or 850 Baht for three days. I took the three-day rate. It is a nice bike for seeing the island. It rides well, easily handles the hills and is nimble when negotiating city traffic.
I set off from my hotel in Patong at 3.00pm and rode north along the western coastal road, towards my first stop at Kamala Beach. The tide was out at the time of my visit, so there were several boats at the southern end of the beach that were ‘high and dry’.
Continuing north, the next stop was at Surin Beach where there was a row of food vendors to ensure that beach-goers don’t go hungry. There was also a guy renting beach mats and chairs out of the back of a truck.
My next stop was at the Bang Tao Beach. It is a very long beach with a small fleet of boats at the southern end and a more touristy section towards the northern end. Behind the beach are several condo developments.
Continuing north, the next stop was at Nai Thon Beach which is very easy to access as it is located next to the main road.
With the sun falling in the sky, I made a push for one final beach. The last stop was at Nai Yan Beach where I sat and watched the sunset. The beach is also close to the airport, so planes fly in over the beach.
It would have been nice to enjoy a sundowner beer on the beach, but I don’t drink when riding, so just had to be satisfied with enjoying the view. By 6.00pm, the best of the sunset was over and I began to head back south.
Instead of retracing my route along the coastal road, I thought it would be quicker to stay on the major highway. That turned out to be a mistake. I followed the signs for Patong and got as close as 10km, but then I must have missed a turn because I no longer saw signs for Patong and found myself to the south-west of Phuket city, near to Wat Chalong. I had gone too far south but I was able to head west towards Kata Beach and then north through Karon to Patong. Because of the detour and some heavy traffic around Phuket city, the return journey took almost two hours. On the bright side, I did get to see more of the island than I had planned.