There are some trails which are truly meant for vehicles of a 4×4 nature. Four wheel drives with thick tyres, differential lock and higher suspension perfect for navigating a pathway over the mountains and down steep gravel pathways into the valley. We however decided to tackle a journey through the interior of Koh Samui Island on scooters.
On our first little trip inland, we took the suggested road of Mae Nam Soi 5 and continued upward for quite awhile. As soon as we passed the last residences and coconut operations the road clearly headed up into the mountain. We should have taken that day as sign that these ‘roads’ were not made for scooters. They took us up extremely steep gradients and sharp curves all the while our 125cc protested under the weight of two. Determined to reach what we thought was the main viewpoint, we pushed on past chunks of tarmac which had just cracked around the edges and some of the tallest trees I’d ever laid eyes on. I saw the emerald ocean on the left and felt that we must be reaching the highest point. We arrived at a sign reading ‘The Viewpoint’ where a family ran a surprisingly overpriced restaurant and offered a flimsy bungalow up for rent.
Tip: Motorbike drivers and their passengers are required by law to wear helmets. But before you rush off and buy the first helmet you can find, take a look around, for example at MotorcyclistLife, make use of the information compiled, and find the best helmet for you.
The intrepid travellers in us, decided to ignore the strain the scooter showed and when my brother and cousin visited the island- that is exactly where we took them. We were four farangs (foreigners) and two scooters on one crazy trek in attempts to come out on the other side in Lamai. Just past the pinnacle of our first trip, we hit gravel road. The wheels spat out the pebbles and orange sand in an effort to manoeuvre up the incline. The crevices forming longitudinal lines across the path were so deep that it could have swallowed half a scooter. We proceeded carefully up to the peak as my cousin’s back wheel slipped and they took a tumble. Luckily there was no cliff on the edge this time but only grass. This was but one peak we would summit on a motorbike that afternoon.
Whoever said that this trail would take 25 minutes was delusional. Or maybe they had meant by car. Hours later we were still veering down corroded pathways with half tar and the other half dirt. We passed a 4×4 safari vehicle and a speeding dirt bike jumping over the holes in the road. The safari guide shouted something in Thai, but we were clueless. Perhaps he was warning us about the trail. Hills after hills of coconut palms, dense tropical jungle and valleys of forest passed us by. There was no one else around and the interior landscape unfolded before us offering up the most treasured possession for us to enjoy. We looked out over the all the land below from beneath the giant, gold Buddha’s gaze and continued downward toward Lamai. Even though the brakes of both bikes failed, I had a sneak away terrified into the long grass to use the ‘bathroom’ and feared that at some hairy parts we would plunge off of the mountainside never to be seen again, it was absolutely exhilarating and not to mention breathtaking.