The Offroad, Phuket- Experience driving an old gypsy

On your way to Patong from Phuket airport, you will see a small area with some highly customized SUVs on display. I saw it on my day 1, made a mental note to check out this place. On my last day managed to go there and try a short ride. This post shares my experience.



It was very tempting to see a big Ford Ranger truck with gigantic tyres. But they use it as a bait to attract customers. What they offer for a drive is an old gypsy. The price is 1500 baht for 5 laps. Each lap is about half a km in length, involves some ups and downs, slush, sharp turns and one 5 ft steep climb. With half an hour to spare, nothing else on the agenda, I opted to give it a try. Of course I was bit disappointed as I couldn’t drive the Hilux or Ranger.

Gypsy was manual transmission, was set in 4 low gear. The track was never straight enough to reach 3rd gear, so entire 5 laps were done mostly in 2nd gear, 1st gear for the steep climb. Accelerator pedal had very limited play-customized for lots of torque and not for speed. I would have loved a slightly more challenging track- some water-wading, rock climbing etc would have been nice.

During my stay in Phuket I didn’t actively search for off-road adventure, but did come across many spots offering ATV ride. Most ATV operators make their guests drive on the road since they don’t have any dedicated track. ATV rides usually cost around 300 baht onwards (usually 15 mins). Compared to that, driving a gypsy felt more adventurous.

The owner of the shop showed me this vehicle saying he takes it to extreme off-road events in northern Thailand.
You can watch a 4 min video shot from my head mounted GoPro camera of the off-road drive in Phuket in video below.


When in Phuket if this interests you do give it a try. The Offroad is located slightly out of town on the highway towards airport- you can reach there using a bike taxi or tuk tuk. It is available on google maps as The offroad and is near impossible to miss due to big monster trucks usually parked outside. If you can go another 500 meters further, you can have cheap tender coconuts for 30/35 bahts (city price 50 baht)

Paper work is simple- you will have to sign a bond stating you will obey the instructions, and some 3000 baht upwards could be charged if you damage the vehicle. A small sip of water and wet towel was provided at the end of the drive.

Just in case you’ve not watched it yet, do not miss this Hexa Offroad video that has been viewed more than 2 lakh times.



Other offroad posts: Offroad Dirt Biking at CS Santosh's BigRock * Tata Hexa's offroad abilities * Offroad in Palar riverbed * Polaris offroad near Chennai * Terratigers offroad adventure *

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