We had an annoying experience on day 1, so decided to catch the bus out to Old Sukhothai on day 2 - and hire a bike out there. We knew we only wanted a half day. Bike was 200Bt, compared to 150Bt for the one hired in town - BUT, the owner proceeded to put in 4 litres of fuel @ 25Bt per litre - without asking us how much we wanted. Needless to say, we returned the bike half full, and there was no offer of refund for the fuel.
My husband attempted to stop the owner from putting in so much fuel - but his English was temperarily unavailable at this time.
I wondered how many times the bottled fuel had been siphoned!
Unique Suggestions: Half a day = roughly half a tank of fuel. If the owner fuels the bike, INSIST on the amount you believe you will NEED, not a full tank to increase his profits.
We hired a motorbike In Sukhothai on the first day to the Historical Park. We were early, and the young male claimed to have no change - so my husband opted to get the change when we returned the bike. At the end of the day, returning the bike, asking requesting our change for the morning fell on deaf and ignorant ears. We were waved away by the mother, and, when the boy was summoned and questioned, he denied any recollection or circumstance of owing up change from the morning. Another shopkeeper was summoned, as she had better English - but the denial continued.
Change was only forthcoming when some potential customers arrived, and I explained to them what the insistence situation was all about.
Unique Suggestions: If they have no change, let it be their problem - and go and find some.
Fun Alternatives: Always try to keep a small purse with smaller denomination money - so that change is not needed, especially in smaller towns.
We hired a motorbike at Sukhothai - and by the time we rode from town to the old city, had a flat tyre - which was clearly like this when we hired it.
Were fortunate, in that we were helped by the owners of a pushbike hire shop, who gave us a temporary airfill and escorted us to a very obliging mechanic shop a short distance away. A very capable girl fixed the puncture very quickly for 40Bt!
Unique Suggestions: Just a good idea to check the air before taking the bike.
Ok so I have bit of a thing about Bus tours and groups. I honestly cant see the appeal of sitting on a bus for however many hours with 50 odd sweaty western tourists, then being hoarded off to take a few crappy photos of the tour's selected sites and then off to the next one. firstly what a waste of petrol and money! You're not going to see anything special. Huge groups of tourists ruin special places and make them look ugly. You will see the most famous parts but maybe not the most beautiful. I had finished my look around the spectacular Wat Sri Chum when this group arrived with a ridiculous looking Thai guide. So glad I got there before they did!
Fun Alternatives: Basically make your own way around! Dont conform to a rigid tour that only lets you see certain things for a certain amount of time. Its so controlling.