Getting a driver/rider license in Phuket

Getting a Thai Driver/Rider License in Phuket.

Testing ground at Phuket Transport Office

Testing ground at Phuket Transport Office

This turns out to be a two day process but both are very short. You MAY be able to pull this off in one, but I didn’t bother trying.

Day 1 – getting your proof of address for Thailand. This can be done a number of ways. You will need either: Work Permit, Statutory Declaration from your embassy, or a lease agreement.

I believe the first two are standalone, but I’m not too sure. I didn’t have either a work permit or a stat dec from the embassy, so my option is the lease agreement.

So this is how I did it.

Go to the immigration office and take with you:
– Lease and photocopy
– your passport with visa and entry stamp, and photocopies of these (and your data page)
– 1x Photo
– 300฿*

*this is arbitrary and flexible. The actual fee is free. However, the officer may ask for anything from 100-500฿. I wasn’t going to argue, but I believe if you ask for a receipt he MAY decline to take your money. I didn’t want to test this.

Once everything is checked you’ll be instructed to wait, and 10-15 minutes later you’ll get your certificate. Maybe less because I had to go and get the photo done. I was unaware that a photo was required for this.

All up, including all waiting time I was there less than hour.

Day 2 – I arrived at the Transport office, driving section spot on 8:30. The doors were being unlocked as we got off the bike. The line at the office wasn’t short and we all piled inside.

Take with you:
– passport and photocopy
– drivers license and photocopy
– intl drivers permit and photocopy
– medical certificate
– residence certificate

If you’re applying for a car and bike license, double everything up, so for two licenses you will need:

– passport and 2x photocopies
– drivers license and 2x photocopies
– intl drivers permit and 2x photocopies
– medical certificate and photocopy
– residence certificate and photocopy

In this case, you will have one set that has an original medical certificate and residence certificate, the other will be photocopies. Sign each and every photocopy including originals.

Time line:
– 0830 walked in and got in line
– 0850 documents checked plus wrote my name on a bit of paper and signed it
– 0900 watched a short video (in thai) on the reaction and depth perception tests
– 0910 listened as a thai speaker spoke to the class. This went on for about 15 minutes.

– 0925 the class commences the reaction and colour blind tests. During this test, many Thais failed and their papers were put into another pile. Once the tester got towards mine and other foreigners names, she pulled out the failures and let them have another go. Eventually I got my chance and then walked over to the colour test table. Pretty easy, but I did see two people who were obviously colour blind as they struggled and didn’t pass. I’m not sure if that meant they didn’t get a license or not. Anyway I breezed through it and she gave me my papers back – up until this point she had kept everyone’s papers. I realised this meant I was done. Everyone else had to watch a 2 hour video and do their driving/riding and written tests.

– 0955 went outside to the information desk. She gave me a ticket and within 15 seconds my number came up. The woman at the counter entered my name in the wrong order (so check it!) and charged me 160฿ (and forgot to give me my change). I then proceeded to the next set of counters where they took my photo and I gave them another 220฿. 2 minutes later I walked out with 2 licenses. That was it. I was sitting outside in the gazebo by 1001!

On the other hand, my wife went thru the same morning process but she never got her papers back after the colour blind test. Instead her day went as followed (after that point):

– 1000 watched a video (I believe this one was in thai, but half hour later another one started in English. Not confirmed)

– 1130 my wife comes out and she did her riding test. She made several mistakes on the first go around and they stopped her at the end and just made her do it again. She didn’t make so many mistakes the next go round :-).

– 1200 finished and the place closes for lunch.

– 1300 came back so she could do her written test. whilst this was going on, people outside were doing their driving test for their car license. This was pretty funny to watch. Especially the hill starts – and the test car was an automatic!!

– 1330 she was waiting in the queue to have her photo taken and get her license.

– 1340 we were on the bike going home

All-in-all, not too painful a process. If I had of been by myself, I would have been out of there in an hour an a half. It pays to be prepared, because if you’re not, you’ll have to come back the next day. I believe they only do the video screenings once a day, so if you try and do both steps in one day, and don’t make it to the transports first video, I hear you can drop off all your paperwork and come back the next day. It will only speed up the morning bit. Personally, however, the way I did it was easy enough.

Good luck!

Another ride around the park – 25km

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5 Laps around Centennial Park today (3.8×5=19km) plus to and fro (another 5.5km) makes the ride today almost 25km. I’m kinda enjoying it, but my behind is really wearing the brunt of my (current) 96kg. And that is the main reason I decide that whatever particular lap is now the last lap.

I do have two lucky features for the ride around the park: 1) lots of things to look at, and 2) the gradient of the park has me not so buggered when I reach the gate to come home and I often fell “Yeah, I can do one more”… A few hundred metres into it and I’m thinking about turning around. But then it gets easy again… and hard… and easy… LOL

And when I get back to the start… “yeah, one more!” :-)

What a beautiful day it is out there… Maybe I should now go for a walk… Circular Quay anyone?

Back on the bike

I bought the bike last week and straight away I got on it and done 30km. That was Saturday. On Monday I went and did a couple of laps around Centennial Park (well, 4 laps to be precise) and then came home. I wanted to do more laps, and felt physically capable, but my bum was so sore from all the riding that I simple had to call it quits. That ride, on the Monday, was pretty much 4 laps around the park, and directly between home, there, and back again (which is the east-west line in the map to the right.

Todays ride I did much the same again except this time, after the third lap, I left the park from the Paddington gate and rode back to the bike shop. The ride down Oxford Street was great, since it was pretty much all downhill. Very enjoyable indeed. The reason I was going back to the bike shop was due to the speedometer I bought (the “Incite 8i”). I was really unhappy with it due to it being wireless and it receiving phantom signals from random sources. Over the last couple of days I have had “MAX” speeds approaching 200kmph! On the two rides I had been on (30km and 22km), the speedo had registered 82km, instead of just 52km. And then on todays ride it added on an extra km (only one). So for a total of 73km that I had ridden, the speedo registered that I had done over 100km. This amount of error was unacceptable. It is (apparently) a problem generally with the new generation wireless speedos. I do hear you can pay extra dollars and get a “digital wireless”, but figured that a wired variety is going to give me less grief. So, I went into the shop (Clarence Street cyclery) really not knowing what to expect, and they were happy to upgrade/downgrade the speedo at no cost. Which is good for me since I didn’t have any of the boxes or manuals for it.

Half hour later, I was back on my bike with the “Incite 9i” and I was happy. The wiring is a little ugly (it definitely looked better without it), but I don’t want extra kms added onto my ride just because of some simple interference.

So my recommendation is to NOT grab yourself any of the TREK brand “Incite” speedos that are unwired/wireless. I strongly recommend getting one of the wired models, or maybe forking out the extra and grabbing a digital wirless model, if you so desire. More generally, however, the Incite 9i is vastly superior to the 8i in other ways IMHO. Such as it has an included temperature guage, the up and down mode buttons work in an up and down fashion (pressing one side sends the mode to the left, the other side goes to the right – where-as the 8i just moved sequentially through the modes), and the mode button is more responsive.

All Systems are GO!

I stumbled and fell, and now I have picked myself back up again. My weightloss was going well, and when I peaked at around 12kg I simply stopped. Initially it was the walking that stopped, then it was the diet that went out the window.

But now I am back on the band wagon. Starting off simple, no carbs in the evening, bringing back my protein shakes, and riding my new bike!!!

In this map, the blue line is the walk to the Clarence St Cyclery to pickup my the bike in the previous post. The green line is the ride I went on. Without zooming in, you can’t tell that the ride around centennial park consisted of 2½ laps! The whole ride was spot on 30km.

Obviously with this posting, it can be inferred that I am still alive. That IS the case, I AM! But I am soooo STUFFED!!

I had planned to catch a bus/train to the shop, but got all excited about getting fit again and so I decided to walk! That was 3km, and in doing the walk, I remembered why I stopped walking. I have my spurs on my heels and as I was nearing the shop they were already hurting again :(

I picked up the bike and headed off on my journey. I had forgotten how dangerous it is to ride in Sydney. Cars (and busses) just don’t seem to care and will pull over in front of you, open their car doors, travel so close to you that if you sneezed you would dirty them. But, unperturbed, I continued.

There is but one thing to say: I am SOOOOOOO unfit. So, it’s a work in progress. Back on the bike, and let’s get fit!