Bangkok is not all about concrete and cars. Nor is there just temples and palaces for tourists to see. If you are heading to Bangkok for your next holiday then consider joining one of the cycle tours around the city. You will be surprised how safe and easy it can be. Quite often after setting off on these tours you will soon find yourself down small backstreets or even in the jungle. I have been visiting Bangkok for years and it wasn’t until I started cycling around the city did I start to see a very different kind of metropolis. Away from the normal tourist attractions, and down lanes too narrow for tour vans, you will be meeting the Thai people in their own backyard. See how they live and find some hidden gems that are never mentioned in guidebooks.
Follow Me Bike Tours are offering two bicycle tours. Each of them last about four hours and cover about 20 kilometers. I recently joined Follow Me for their “Siam Boran” bicycle tour of the historical sights of Bangkok. The Siam Boran tour took us on both sides of the river and included two cross-river ferries. We saw more events and every day activities on this tour than the average tourist will see on their entire trip. In Chinatown we saw dancing dragons. We passed a Christian cathedral where people were just leaving after a service. In a Muslim community we came across a bird singing contest in an open field. And in one of the backroads we passed a house where nine monks were performing a ceremony for the opening of a new shop. Tours leave twice a day at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
My first cycle tour of Bangkok was with Recreational Bangkok Biking. They are a very professionally run organization with quality bikes and talented guides. They also have different tours you can join. I decided to go for their “Colours of Bangkok” tour which runs twice a day at 8 a.m. and at 1 p.m. The tour took us to Bangkrachao in Phra Pradaeng District of Samut Prakan. I have explored this area half a dozen times already. But it was like I was seeing it for the first time. Once we had crossed the river by boat we were back on the bikes and heading down narrow lanes and along raised concrete pathways that passed through banana trees and nipa palms. Our first stop was the hidden oasis of Sri Nakhon Khuankun Park. This is a lovely park tucked away in the middle of no-where and surrounded by lush green jungle. Bangkok seemed so far away, but we had only left it half an hour earlier.