The seaside city of Pattaya in Thailand is a haven for the single minded tourists and ex pat haven boasting some 1600 bars.However with the sub prime crises affecting Thais therre are many young Thais who come to Pattaya looking for that quick buck. With them are the hire guys who use freinds bikes and cars to rent to unwary foreigners.

Pattaya Beach Rd is situated on a 4 km stretch of road along the sea & along the North end are around 96 bars, hotels and restaurants. This is the seafood paradise. Pattaya is famous for its ski boats, jet skis & water sports like fishing with all night bars and nightlife. Formally a US Military rest stop and recreation from the 60s and 70s it saw a rapid change in its development. Today it is a premier beach resort with over 1 million tourists visiting a year.  

HOW TO GET THERE: From Don Muang Airport, Bangkok, buses leave directly 6.00am,12.00, 6pm daily & cost 200 baht. Avis offer a limo service for 2,200 baht with chauffeur to the airport. From Bangkok buses leave Ekamai Bus Depot along Soi 63 Sukhumvit Road. They leave every 20 minutes every day. Cost is 120 baht. Taxis will take you also for 2200 baht from Bangkok to Pattaya a 3 hour journey. Pattaya North Rd station has many buses daily from 5.30am to 21.00hours. Also buses go to the Northern Bus Station Bangkok every 30 minutes t & here you can connect to a bus to Chiangmai. From Chiangmai there is a direct Bus from the Arcade Bus Station: Nachonchai Air. This is an excellent service & costs 600 baht leaving every 2 hours. This service includes 2 meals, pillow supplied plus snacks and drinks on board. Takes approx 14 hours and you can stretch out as only 32 seats. Once you reach Pattaya take a Songtaew pickup for 5 baht per stretch of road unless you negotiate before hand. Or take a train from Pattaya to Bangkok 33 baht then hop on the overnight to Chiangmai-choice of 3 trains leaving 6.00pm, 7.40pm & 10pm to Chiangmai.


The Police can't or won't help you if you hire a hONDA DREAM OR BIG BIKE then you smash it up. The motto in Thailand" whatever you hire whatever is damaged stolen or lost you pay" so you hire a bike, at your own risk. To hire a Honda or Mio is approx 200baht a day and a big bik starts around around 800baht per day but in September they want up to 1000baht per day so bargain. There is no such thing as insurance forjbeach hire motorcycles so you do so knowing if something goes wrong you pay.


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As you will find when it happens to you hiring a Motorcycle can be bliss or a nightmare. Many of the bikes are thrashed by their Thai owners but many are new. Most people who hire them are never asked to see a check sheet of damage or any dents rips etc in the coulings etc so once you bring it back the nice ride can turn into a nightmare. The owners want as much out of you as they can so a small dent will cost you around 3000 baht+ depedning on the size and a blown motor maybe up to 40,000baht. If you walk away you will be pounced on & locked up or beaten up so heres what to do:

1/. Get someone to call the Thai Tourist Police --or even the foreign Police volunteers who are at the Police station during the day?? and have patience.

2/. Be calm--do not yell or make a scene. It will just mean a jacked up price even further.

3/. You will need to settle at some price so saying "youre not paying anything" may find you in hospital!! so you need to negotiate the priced asked. This can take some time but never admit anything until you do see the Tourist Police and only then maybe watch while the story unfolds ot gets bigger. They will negotiate as its the Thai way.

4/. Rememeber anything you hire you pay for any damage, blown motors, stolen while you have hired the same and in September now with less tourists the chances of them using scams to extort money from hiring them out is higher than ever. The same scratch to extort 3000 baht for a 300 baht spray scratch are high and the chances of them even fixing it is slight as long as its going and gives them grounds to hit the next unwary foreigner.

5/. Our motto "You hire, you pay"

MOTORCYCLE HIRE: Most hotels will arrange for you but theres plenty of motorcycles from Honda Dreams at 150 baht -200baht per day to bigger 600cc Hondas @ 500-1000 baht per day to even bigger Harleys etc. prices are cheaper for week hireage but shop and always ask to see some sort of insurance cover ( if insurance policy shoudl be in Thai so takem a Thai with you). Use your international passport & it pays to have a copy of your passport and deposit must be left approx 1000 baht. (Current rate 34 baht per $US1). Try not to give your passport but just remember if you damage the bike it can cost you heaps. In Pattaya you will need yourt passport if picked up for a routine check but if you have a drivers license from your country its of no use in Pattaya but the fine is only 200 baht so pay it and don't argue???.

Insurance means nothing and if a bike has no plates then you are in the cactus if you have an accident immaterial of whose fault it is so don't hire an unregistered bike and have your own lock as in the past some companies have stolen their own bikes then held you to ransom. No good complaining to the Police either

CAR HIRE: Rent-a-car opposite the Mercure Hotel on Sukhumvit Rd. Tel: (038)702-995 have caribbeans at 890 baht per day, Daihatsu Mira's for 800 baht, Saluna's 1350 baht and Honda City for 1600 baht per day. They deliver to your Hotel. Try a Limo:  Please be informed "reservations Image Limousines" <>  "5 Star Travel Services" < >. Again you damage a car from a Company you must pay and only the Internional Rental companies have proper insurance. Many small rental companies borrow cars off there friends to hire out.

LICENSES: A license from your country is no good in Thailand as at 2009. You may get away with it once but next time you wil have a problem. Get yourself a Thai license as it also acts as your ID card. Its easy to get just take your country license into the Reg office and they will issue you with a Thai license.

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