For many people, Bangkok is synonym with exhaust fumes, enormous traffic jams, heat, people everywhere, tourist industry, fake clothes, watches, etc. etc., and the sex industry. And for many of the items on this list, they are actually right. The surprise is, that one can escape all these excesses by taking a bike and riding around unexpected parts of the city. It is possible to do so by a Westerner who took to the idea and has guided a lot of people around, and who knows the local traffic rules and all the streets perfectly well.
At the beginning, you have to actually dive into the frantic Bangkok traffic, but although the city is overloaded by cars who all seem to be driving as fast as possible to their destination, they generally are extremely nice to cyclists. But very soon the big roads are left behind and a tour starts through very small backstreets, alleys, markets, temples, and even the small streets and houses below Bangkok highways. This gives a true picture of daily life for a lot of people in the city.
After cycling through a maze of small streets, we finally reached a temple on the river, from where we took a boat to the other side. Here, no cars exist. No traffic jams, no hassle, no shopping malls, no air conditioning, no modern-day Bangkok life. As if it were a remote village, people live in small huts, living from the produce on their lands on this island in the river. There are no roads, so we were required to balance on the high concrete paths leading through this apparent jungle. When you return to the city on the other side of the river, you cannot believe that you have just come from paradise.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Bangkok Cycling tour (Thailand). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Bangkok Cycling tour. Read more about this site.