As my experience has proven, the real dangers of motorbiking are NOT
--The adjustment to driving on the left side of the road.
--The other tourists, despite the fact that these outfits will rent to anyone.
--The steep unpaved backroads littered with loose rocks, or the hairpin turns on the 1095 highway.
--The bugs. At 60 km an hour, certain unlucky exoskeletons smack into your face with a good amount of force. Also, around Lod Cave especially, there are these thick, meaty caterpillars hanging down from the trees like spiders... right at face height... making it necessary for a motorbiker to swerve or duck to dodge an unwelcome kiss.
No, the real danger is the motorbike itself. The exhaust pipe gets EXTREMELY hot. After I parked my bike next to the other bikes at Fish Cave outside of Maehongson, I unthinkingly stepped backward when I hooked my helmet on the handlebars. This action brought the flesh of my left Achilles against the scalding exhaust pipe of the next bike over. AAH ... I would rather have kissed a caterpillar. When I got back to my guest house, I showed my angry apricot-sized welt and exposed new skin to some of the Thai ladies in the garden, and one (essentially) said, "Oh, don't worry. We all have them- well, not my friend from Bangkok, but all we country people have scars from that exact thing."
So-- I, Gina Phillips, now bear the mark of Thai motorbiking country people. I have been branded as an insider. I'm quite certain that this scar will garner me deep discounts at the tourist markets and entrance into secret clubs where Thai motorbiking country people do Thai motorbiking country people secret things. Also, I have a mosquito bite in the middle of my forehead that I have been unable to avoid scratching, thereby making it red and slightly swollen, to the effect that it looks like I'm about to sprout a unicorn horn. Together, I'm sure that my Thai scar and unicorn horn will get me into some pretty exclusive circles.