Side saddle


Dear Hillary,

You may think this is a silly question, but I would like to ride side saddle like the Thai girls do. They seem to do it so easily and gracefully, but I never see foreigner ladies riding that way. Is it against the culture of Thailand or what? I do appreciate your thoughts and advice on this.



Dear Bernadette,

If you carefully look at the Thai girls motorcycle riding habits you will see that not all of them are riding side saddle, only about 50 percent sit astride the motorcycle. The difference? Those in jeans/trousers sit astride, while those in skirts sit sideways. Why? Well if you are going to sit astride the oily machines in a skirt, it will be around your waist by the time you get to the end of your soi. It is much more polite to sit sideways with your knees together and your handbag in your lap. Just as the Thai girls did 100 years ago, when riding buffaloes or elephants. For foreigners, I generally advise them to wear jeans, sit astride the motorcycle, hang onto the rider and shout “Cha-cha” (“slow down”) in his ear. And oh yes, wear a helmet.

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