The Art of (island) Honking: Phuket vs. Bali


If you have every lived in Los Angeles, you know about the crazy drivers. And their obsessive need to use their horns.

Back when I was living in the land of traffic and smog, I finally decided to go get my California Drivers License. Because, why not? So stupid, in reality. It was just an excuse for the state to get my.. $25 (?) dollars for a new ID and force me to take the written exam (Oh, shit! Didn’t know that!..) Well I actually did pass the first time around. But the one question (and answer) that stuck was that using a horn means you feel your life is danger. Your life. In danger. Well that has to be news to the nearly 4 million people that live in Barbie Land. Worst part is if you live here long enough, it starts to wear off on you, and that is a trouble when I am already a pretty crazy driver. Ok, ok, enough about me.

So, while on this adventure I have taken note of all the new ways people use their horns.

The island of Phuket, Thailand:

The land of scooters! And crazy driving. But thankfully people are kind enough to look out for one another. Most of the honks here come as a precaution, and usually from the car drivers to the scooters. Kinda like a, “hey, I see a big van in front of you that you may not see, be careful!” or, “ its curvy and congested up ahead, watch out.”

It was really nice to see and hear this kind of camaraderie, people looking out for one another. With the heavy traffic at time and curvy roads, this was a great reminder that we appreciated, being new to the roads of Thailand.

In Bali, it is very different. Most of their honking is to signal, ‘hey! I have a vehicle, need a ride?” This happens every two steps, as there are plenty of drivers looking to make some money. Whether they are on a scooter or in a taxi or van, everyone is trying to give you a lift.

But on the flip side, they have really made it into a fun game or musical art form. Sometimes the honks follow a pattern that is festive and puts a smile on your face. Unless the honk is right behind you and scares the living hell out of you!

Either way, enjoy this new culture and way of life!

Cheers! Birthday dranks in Phuket.

Cheers! Birthday dranks in Phuket.