If you are heading to Koh Larn for a day then you may want to consider hiring a motorbike while you are on the island. Motorbikes are a great way to get around to see some of the beaches that this little island offers and gives you the flexibility to choose a beach that suits you. There are also a couple of good viewpoints around the island along with a hilltop temple which also affords some great views after an ascent of a steep staircase to the highest part of the island. The views are superb up here! Most bikes offered for hire are the easy to drive 100-150cc Honda and Yamaha automatic models
Where can you hire motorbikes?
Bikes can be hired both in Nabaan (the main port) and Tawean Beach. If you are arriving at Na Baan you will very likely be offered motorbikes for hire by some of the motorbike taxi drivers as you get off the ferry. If you turn left at the start of the ferry pier and walk past the 7/11 you will also find shops offering motorbike hire. Prices are quite consistent wherever you hire and you should expect to pay between 150 baht and 250 baht per day depending on the season, with a little bit of friendly bargaining you may be able to get the price dropped 50 baht or so (especially in the quieter months.) Nearly all motorbike hires include gasoline and you will not be charged extra (but as the island is very small you are unlikely to use a significant amount of gas anyway. If you are arriving at Tawaen Beach then you will need to walk to the beach access road which is toward the western end of the beach. Where this road meets the beach you will usually find bike owners and motorbike taxi drivers offering motorbikes for rent. Touts offering motorbike hire quite often wait along the walkway from the Tawean Beach ferry pier. It is usually to give a passport, ID card or driving licence as security and this will be returned when you bring the bike back
The wearing of motorbike helmets is law in Thailand and you may leave yourself open to a fine if you do not wear one, however the wearing of helmets is rarely enforced on Koh Larn and you will see plenty of drivers whizzing around the island without. You will be offered a helmet with most motorbike hires.
Driving licence and motorbike hire
If you hire and drive a motorbike in Thailand then you should have an international driving licence which covers the driving of motorbikes, however as in many places in Thailand enforcement of this requirement is very lax and it is unlikely that you will be checked while driving on Koh Larn. Even if you are caught with no licence the normal fine is 400 baht and after payment, you are usually free to drive away!!!!
For novice riders!
Generally, the driving of the 100-150cc automatic motorbikes is easy to pick up (if you are considering hiring and driving a small bike for your first time) within a few minutes of driving you will start to gain confidence quickly (maybe too quick!) If you are a novice or first-time rider of a motorbike then be extremely careful there are some very steep hills on Koh Larn and you will need some controlled braking to prevent the bike from going to quick or braking too sharply and the bike wheels locking up and losing control. Koh Larn is probably not the best place to learn how to handle a bike so if you are a novice or first-time rider maybe think about taking a songtaew or let a motorbike taxi driver drive you.