Asia Thailand

Thailand – Cycling through Bangkok with Co van Kessel

There are many, many things to do in Bangkok. You can visit beautiful temples such as Wat Arun, Wat Pho and Wat Phra Kaew, you can take a boat tour and sail the waters of Thailands capitalΒ or you can discover Bangkok the Dutch way: on a bike! There are a few companies in Bangkok that arrange bike tours, but in our opinion Co van Kessel offered the nicest and most exciting tours. They have a variety of tours you can choose from, varying from 3 to 9 hours. We chose to do the 9-hour tour, the “Co All Day” for 2100 Baht. This is including bike rent, lunch, sailing the longtailboat and a ticket for the skytrain.

See the real Bangkok
Many touroperators advertise with ‘see the real Bangkok‘. Co van Kessel does this as well and fully lives up to this promise. You will not only cycle through the busy streets of Bangkok (which is not as terrifying as it sounds), but you’ll also ride through the (green!) outskirts of the city and experience how localsΒ live their lives. You’ll get the choice to cycle on a lady bike or a mountainbike, and as an experienced Amsterdam cyclist I strongly recommend you don’t make the same mistake as I did by
choosing the lady bike. Cycling through rice fields was quite the challenge πŸ˜‰

Small, winding alleys
First our amazing tour guide Em took us to some small alleys in the Chinatown neighborhood of Bangkok. We saw how people lived, how they sold their goods to other locals and how their children played inΒ the streets. The smell of food welcomes you at every corner and the friendly Thai people all greet you with a big smile.

Hop on the train
After cycling through theΒ small streets of Chinatown and visiting a few less known temples, we cycled for a while until we arrived at an elementary school. The little kids greeted us like we were true celebrities! So cute.Β We then drove on to Hua Lampong, Bangkok’s train station,Β to take the local train even further out of the crowded center of Bangkok. Sitting on the train was an experience on itself, we gazed out of the window while the train passed rice fields and small villages, all under the delight of a typical Thai dish: sweet rice in banana leaf. Yum!

Green, greener, greenst!
When you think of Bangkok you think of skyscrapers and busy streets, but Bangkok also has a completely different side. At its outskirts you will be amazed by all the green scenery you will come across. You’ll cycle on small bike lanes a few meters above Bangkok’s waters.Β When we asked Em if people ever fall in the water during a tour, he answered with a big smile and said “it can happen.”

From longtailboat to skytrain
After a full day of riding your bike and having a lunch which still makes my mouth water, you sail back to the center of Bangkok on a typical Thai longtailboat.Β And I can’t express this enough: you’ll be astonishedΒ again by the surroundingsΒ of beautiful Bangkok. Once arrived in Bangkok you take your fourth type of transportation that day: the skytrain. Afterwards you cycle back to Co van Kessels head office.

The Co van KesselΒ cycle tour was one of the absolute highlights of our three weeks backpacking in Thailand. So if you are in Bangkok and have some time to spend, definitely go on a bike tour! Have fun πŸ™‚ More info: covankessel.com

Photo credits: Jorien Stevens

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