Bangkok by bike

Bangkok by bike

Given Bangkok’s notoriously bad traffic, exploring the city by bike is not the first thing that springs to mind.  However I had explored Bangkok’s main tourist sights on previous visits and I was keen to get behind the scenes and see everyday Bangkok life.

The bike tour started in the Phranakorn neighbourhood, home to a number of well known Bangkok landmarks, and a hop and skip from the famous backpacker area of Khao San Road.  I remember on a previous visit staying in a particularly seedy hostel on a very hot night, and was grateful to have been upgrade my accommodation significantly since that time!

We crossed the river over the spectacular Rama VIII bridge, where our tour took us to the Bangkok Noi neighbourhood.  From here we weaved our way through narrow laneways and cycled alongside little canals.  We were well off the main tourist routes and could see local Bangkok communities going about their daily business. However we did get to stop off at a couple of sites, such as Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn), and Wat Kalayanamitr Varamahavihara, the largest sitting Buddha in Bangkok and the Royal Barge Museum which was really interesting.  We cycled past the Royal Palace, which was closed to tourists but open to Thais, and there were hundreds of black-clad locals preparing to pay their respects to the recently deceased King Bhumibol Adulyadej.  One of my favourite spots was a small and unassuming water-garden filled with turtles, which were possibly the best-fed turtles in all of Thailand!

It was a great ride, easy and meandering, and there was lots of atmosphere as we passed through the working communities – Muslim, Christian, Buddhist.  I would definitely recommend the bike ride to get glimpses of the real Bangkok.

Bangkok by bike

On Rama VIII bridge, overlooking the Chao Phraya River

Bangkok by bike

The Rama VIII Bridge

Bangkok by bike

One of Bangkok’s 3000 or so temples

Bangkok by bike

At the River Barge Museum

Bangkok by bike

At the River Barge Museum

Bangkok by bike

Little laneways and canals

Bangkok by bike

Stopping for snacks

Bangkok by bike

At Wat Arun

Bangkok by bike

At Wat Kalayanamitr Varamahavihara – the largest seated Buddha in Bangkok

Bangkok by bike

Feeding the turtles

I continued with an active theme the next day and decided to go Lumpini Park for an early morning run. It may well have been 7.00 am on a Saturday morning but the place was packed!  I had no idea it would be so busy.  As well as morning walkers and joggers there were several large groups of locals starting their day with Tai Chi, what a great way to start the day.  As for me,  it soon become apparent why no well-known Thai runners spring to mind….. I felt like Usain Bolt!  Trust me, I am not a fast runner, but I felt like a running champion that morning!  The park itself is very pretty and peaceful.  A beautiful lush green oasis to escape from the madness of the busy city.

Bangkok Lumpini Park

Morning Tai Chi in Lumpini Park

Bangkok Lumpini Park

Exercise machines at Lumpini Park

Bangkok Lumpini Park

The peaceful Lumpini Park

Bangkok Lumpini Park

A popular running spot

Bangkok Lumpini Park

“The Future of Women” – statue in Lumpini Park

 

Comments
One Response to “Bangkok by bike”
  1. Jackie says:

    I can’t work out whether the future of women, meant that we are all getting fat or slug like. Raining today but no wind and not overly cold, although not summer like.

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