A great way to keep fit is cycling. It combines exercising with being outdoors in the fresh air. It is also a social sport as many cycling clubs have sprung up around Thailand that take members on regular weekend trips. Every year I see more and more people taking up cycling. For me it is convenient, I use my bicycle to visit the local shops, and also a way to keep moving. Cycle paths along the road are being built all the time and over the last year several dedicated cycle tracks have been built in the Bangkok area. One of my favourites is the so-called Green Track around Suvarnabhumi Airport.
It may sound strange to have a cycling track at the airport. But it is actually a lot better than I thought it would be. I was expecting a lot of noise pollution from airplanes both landing and taking off. But really, most of the time it is very peaceful. And when an airplane does take off it isn’t that loud. However, there isn’t a lot of shade and so the best time to go is early in the morning when the track opens at 6 a.m. or late in the afternoon. Last entry is at 6 p.m. and you must be off the cycle track by 7 p.m. at the latest. Although the starting point has lights, there are none along the track itself. Not yet anyway.
The green cycling track is just over 23 kilometers long. It’s a one way course and so once you are on it you are committed. There is no going back. There are two lanes which is useful if you want to go at a steady pace, like me, or race in the right-hand-side lane, like everyone else. Every 250 meters there is a marker showing your progress which helps when it comes to pacing yourself. If you need to take a break there are clumps of palm trees every now and then which provide some shade. There are also several bridges that you pass under. I guess it is possible to take a picnic with you if you want to sit and watch the planes taking off and landing.
In October 2014 a new entrance and dedicated car park opened in the northeastern corner of the airport. I think they were just overwhelmed by the sheer number of cyclists that were turning up every day and there was just nowhere to park. However, when I went last Sunday, the new larger car park was already full and there were several hundred cars parked along Suvarnabhumi 4 Road. I guess during the week it would be easier to park. Peak times are early in the morning and late afternoon. I arrived at 7:30 a.m. and people were already leaving. Parking is free as is the cycle track. But don’t get the idea about leaving your car here if you are jetting off somewhere. There are regular security patrols.
One new addition in October was the 800 meter beginner’s track. This is ideal for families or people who want to do a warm-up before trying the longer track. As you can see, joggers are also allowed to use the short track. However, only cyclists are allowed on the longer 23 km track. The 800 meter track is right next to the car park.
Another new addition are the portable toilets. These ones are at the starting point next to the car park. There are also two more along the track at the 8.25km marker and the 18:50km marker. There are no refreshments yet which is a shame. Nor can you rent any bicycles. However, the last time I was there someone was selling refreshments and snacks over the fence near the starting point. Hopefully they will have a dedicated shop here later.
The new entrance to the green cycle track is now in the Northeastern corner of the airport. It is near the bus terminal and long term parking. The geo coordinates are 13.708880,100.780807. The easiest access is from Lat Krabang Road. Turn off onto Suvarnabhumi 4 Road. Entrance is on the left just after the bridge. From the motorway, head to the transportation center. Drive past the bus terminal and straight across the traffic lights. Turn left and the entrance is on your right. You need to do a u-turn under the bridge. From Bang Na-Trad highway, drive up the Eastern side of the airport. At the traffic lights near the bus terminal turn right and then left. The entrance is on your right. If you have a folding bike you could come here on the Airport Rail Link or on an Airport Bus.
It is free to use the green cycle track at Suvaranbhumi Airport. It opens at 6 a.m. with last entrance at 6 p.m. If you have used the cycling track and have some tips, then please post in the comments below.