When we decided to take our next vacation to Thailand, we started by asking for advice from friends who’d been there already. Thailand is a very popular vacation spot for Asian tourists and nearly all expats who are on this side of the world make a point to visit at some point. I totally understand why.
The people smile a lot. And the place is just so green. And lush. And BEAUTIFUL! From the beaches to the mountains.
Most of the advice we got said that Bangkok was a place you should visit, but no one was overly excited about it. It’s big. And busy. And crowded. (Unless you’re coming from big city China like us. After that, no where else in the world seems crowded.) Since we’ve done the big city thing in several countries already (after a while, they all seem to look alike to me) we decided to just skim Bangkok thinking we wouldn’t like it that much.
But since we had to fly through there to get to Phuket anyway, we decided to spend a day and a half and try out the bike tour recommended by Officially Foreign. Just enough to catch a glimpse and then head on to our beachy paradise.
As it turned out, Colours of Bangkok Bike Tour was the perfect way to see lots of Bangkok in a short amount of time and was honestly one of my favorite city tours we’ve been on so far.
We started with a short ride down the busy streets of Bangkok. I have to admit it was a little scary at times. They drive on the left side of the road which is hard enough to get used to without having to dodge people and tuk tuks and dogs. And parked mopeds.
But after the 10 minutes or so of the busy streets, we got to the slums. They call them slums but they weren’t really shady or dangerous like you’d think of slums in other parts of the world. The people smiled and shouted hello as we rode by (through what seemed like their living rooms) and the kids would rush out to give us high fives. (No, I did not take down any children with my bumpy bike riding, thank you very much.)
We rode through some very tight places. Barely big enough for the handlebars in some cases.
Every so often Jack, our guide, would stop us and tell us a little about the area we were riding through.
It was a very interesting glimpse into what the city is really like. Away from all the kitschy touristy areas and into the day to day lives of the locals.
After an hour or so, we came to a little dock where we loaded the bikes onto a couple of long boats…
and crossed the river out of Bangkok…
and into the farms and jungles to the south of the city.
It was a nice ride. A little cooler (as cool as 90*F can be I guess) because of the shade and it was crazy to see all this green just a few miles from the bustling concrete jungle of Bangkok.
We rode over raised concrete sidewalks (with no rails. Lucky I didn’t choose here to fall off.) over the swamps. The sidewalks would make these 90 degree turns every so often. The biking part was hard. And it was hot. But the scenery was amazing.
And just when I thought my legs would give out…
we stopped at a lake to feed the fish and rest a bit.
And then it was lunchtime. Actually it was 10:30 in the morning but it certainly felt like lunchtime after 2 hours of biking.
This awesome little outdoor kitchen served us Pad Tai with your choice of chicken, shrimp, or squid. With a side of ice cold Coke in a glass bottle. It was delicous!
After lunch we continued our ride to the next stop, a local Buddhist temple. Actually, Jack mentioned we rode past probably two dozen temples although I certainly didn’t notice that many. Apparently, Bangkok has hundreds of temples.
And it was AFTER all of this, that I decided to take it upon myself to make the ride even more interesting. This was taken just a couple minutes before the infamous wipeout.
It happened just a few feet after we rode under those big underpasses.
And even after all that…
we were still smiling.
That is until we made it back to the hotel room.
Then we totally crashed.
The ride takes about 4 hours and they take a maximum of 8 per group so it’s best (and easiest) tobook in advance.
THB 1000 per person (approx. $30 USD) You can pay in advance with Paypal.
Price includes lunch, drinks, bicycle renting, boat rides and park fees. Not bad if you ask me.
If you aren’t into bicycling, they also have a Rickshaw and Hike Tour.
**Note: Bangkok Biking did not pay me to write this review. They’ve probably never heard of Country Fried Egg Roll. We just really enjoyed it so I thought I’d share in case you wanted to try it on your next trip to Bangkok.**