If I’m honest, I have always been a little nervous about hiring a motorbike in a foreign country. What if we crashed it? What if someone crashed into us? What if it broke down? Is it legal?
However when we arrived Luang Prabang in Laos we decided that we wanted to hire a motorbike as we wanted to visit the Kuang Si Falls, a 45 minute drive outside of the main city and we thought the best way of doing so was by motorbike. Travelling by motorbike allowed us the freedom to explore, and stop for photos along the way. In addition, it was no more expensive than hiring a tuk tuk and driver.
We walked down to the riverfront and found a shop hiring motorbikes for 122,000 kip (c£9.20 / $15) per day plus fuel, and we were both provided with helmets for free. The shop kept both of our passports for security which was a little unnerving, however we subsequently discovered that this was standard practice around SE Asia.
We were also asked to sign a set of terms and conditions which included a comprehensive list of charges if we were to damage anything on the motorbike, also quite unnerving although at least to the point and clear.
After Ben had a wobbly first test run down the street, I jumped on the back and off we rode toward the Kuang Si Falls. The falls are 23km from town (45 minutes away) and the road was paved, although having spent 45 minutes on the back of a motorbike my bum was aching!
Entrance to the waterfall was 20,000 kip each, and parking cost another 5,000 kip.
Kuang Si Falls are the best I have ever experienced, they are so pretty and the water is an amazing iridescent colour.
Although we had a great experience hiring a motorbike in Luang Prabang, I want to include a disclaimer that this is my experience only, and I have since read about scams, theft, and badly maintained motorbikes in Luang Prabang. Please exercise extreme caution.