Over thousands of motorbikes in the Philippines are used as a convenient transport for most locals. Dumaguete City which is located in the central part of the country has been tagged as the “Motorcycle Capital in the Philippines”. The place where my family lives, which, unfortunately, I had no experience sweeping motorbike on this laid back city.
Having said all of that, arriving in Myanmar with an information that tourists were only allowed taking e-motorbike or an e-bike to different areas in the country had myself into trouble, other types of motorbikes are only for locals and those tour operators offering cycling tours. Why in trouble? I hate the idea of driving motorcycles, especially with no skills and because renting a car with a driver would slash a huge amount from my travel budget. It’s not also a common thing for most solo travelers I met to hitched on a tour group (maybe some solo travelers do) and my experience joining a tour group in Phuket Thailand made my decision to stop blending in tour groups even when in another country.
As a first time user, I was so unsure of what to expect with this kind of electric transportation. Still, I took the shot to delve into this kind of vehicle, thinking it’s the best way to see this homey place apart from no other option. Renting an e-bike in Inlay town was the first thing I did. The very friendly Burmese people helped in familiarizing the electric bike since yours truly decided to take this e-bike to a far distance. I know how to ride a traditional bike so balancing was not an issue on my part, yet, I find the e-bike so heavy and hard. Regardless of what the local had spoken that it’s light and easy to maneuver, I was not convinced.
Through varied discussion with the owner of the bike, I come out some ideas on what are the advantages and disadvantages of using an e-bike. Here are the Pros and Cons of e-bike in my opinion base on my first encounter.
On my first day using this bike, I went up to the hill to have a glass of wine to the famous vineyard named as Red Mountain. In going up, I really had a hard time moving the vehicle so I stepped out from it and walked with it to the top of the hill.
How was the experience? Though it was so heavy at first that I had a difficulty manipulating for a while, yet, minutes after using, I felt very comfortable working with it, in fact, no accidents happened. The battery lasted for so long, I used for 25 km in a day.
After staying 4 days in (Inlay) Nyaungshwe Township, I transferred to Bagan for another adventure. Thus, in Bagan, I opted to rent for an e-motorbike for 2 days just to change course. With Bagan’s fascinating Pagodas plus its excruciating heat of the sun, lurking the whole place with e-motorcycles fits well. (Visited Myanmar on dry season).
Unfortunately, I fell not only once but more with the electric motorcycle. Manipulating this machine to the very dry area covered with fine-grained sand on the road had led myself dropped a couple of times. The disaster resulted in a number of bruises everywhere in my body. Since the weather was so dry, shifting gears even from resting to starting was unstable, especially when going to the uphill on a dry & sandy road.
How was the experience? Extremely challenging, it’s light to handle when it’s running, either slow or as fast. Nevertheless, it’s not the best option in my opinion base on my experience when it’s in the area same as Bagan during a dry season. Clearly, there is a need on my side to engage more with e-motorcycle. Technically, checking its pros and cons, the only thing I could relate to as it’s being such an eco-friendly vehicle and its disadvantage is when losing control in monitoring the battery which was the typical problem of the tourists.
While this kind of activity was so new to me, I still think there is need to try this again to understand if this suits myself to my future travel. Nonetheless, traveling to Myanmar as a solo traveler satisfyingly share a very good exposure, knowledge, and the type of activity we must learn.
Have you tried traveling to a country with an e-bike? Or how about an e-motorbike?
Author: Ferna Mae
Ferna is a spontaneous traveler from the Philippines who had a great experience traveling her own country first before she embarked to other countries. She thrives to be more independent in her own skin. Connect with her at email@example.com