LASH out on some leathers, fire up the Honda and scoot on down to Patong for the three days of motorbike madness that is Phuket Bike Week.
This year’s festival runs from April 10 until April 13.
More than 5000 bikers are expected to roar into town from as far away as Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur for the festivities which will include a series of bike competitions, a tattoo contest, a Ride for Peace through Kata, Karon, Nai Harn and Phomthep Cape, and three rock concerts.
Hotels across the island are already putting up their ‘No Vacancy’ signs as the bikers and Songkran revellers snap up any available accommodation.
Organiser, Wittaya Singkalah (Khun Sumon) said the bikers had already booked more than 4000 hotel rooms.
The event has the backing of the TAT Phuket office, and more than a million baht has been spent flying in the world’s media to cover the festivities.
The Phuket Riders Club, Ride Thailand magazine, the Phuket Provincial Administration, Patong Municipality, and the Ministry of Sport and Tourism have all helped to make this year’s event possible.
Khun Sumon said Phuket Bike Week was the biggest event of its kind in South East Asia.
The high-octane action starts on Friday April 10 with a motorcycle exhibition at Jungceylon shopping centre in Patong.
All the latest bikes from BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha will be on display.
“There will also be the police highway patrol motorbikes which were used in processions for HM King Bhumibol on show, as well as antique bikes owned by Thai celebrities,” said Khun Sumon.
A series of night-time contests will feature bike-building teams from Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Europe compete for titles such as Best Custom Paint Job, Best Japanese Bike, and Best Classic Bike.
The winners will be chosen by a panel of judges from Ride Thailand.
The highlight of the festival will be a parade along Patong Beach and a carnival in Soi Bangla.
VIP’s, including Phuket’s new Governor, Wichai Praisa-Ngob, the Mayor of Patong, Pian Keesin, and the Minister for Sport and Tourism Chumpol Silpa-arch, are expected to lead the procession and officiate at the Grand Opening.
Khun Sumon said more than 30,000 people were expected to turn out for the nightly rock concerts in Loma Park, which would feature folk music legends Carabao , the popular Thai reggae band, Job2do, Tom Dundee and the Mu Poongthep band, and Pong and Pe and Jeap.
A group known as the Cowboy, Indian, Reggae collection, from northern Thailand will showcase their unique hand-crafted leathers and will parade on horseback at Loma Park on Patong beach on the Saturday night.
On Saturday, the bikers will turn out for a Ride for Peace, stopping at Nai Haan lagoon to plant 99 trees as a symbol of goodwill from the bike community, and to raise awareness of the need for environmental conservation.
Two weeks ago, Khun Sumon hosted a similar planting which saw burly foreign bikers and officers from the Royal Thai Police joining forces for a common cause.
After the tree-planting, the bikers will head to the Thainaan restaurant opposite Central Festival for a VIP dinner before heading back to Patong for another night of celebrations at Loma Park.
At 4pm on the Sunday, there will be a tattoo contest at Jungceylon, and a Miss Phuket Bike Week beauty pageant.
Khun Sumon said Bike Week was growing in popularity each year.
“It is a perfect platform to bolster international tourist relations with countries worldwide,” he said.
More than 4000 bikers took part in last years event, and even more are expected to turn up this year.
For further information about Phuket Bike Week, call 076 352 069, or visit