On our third full day in Bangkok we were up before the sun in order to join a bike tour led by Co Van Kessel tours, which was a company founded by a dutchman, if you’re wondering about the non-Thai name. Our first stop was at a Chinese shrine.
After weaving through some quiet Bangkok streets we stopped at a busy market where locals were shopping for all manner of food and some non-food items.
After the market we followed our guide to a canal where we boarded a longtail boat for a ride through some Bangkok canals. Apparently Bangkok used to have even more canals, but it still has quite a lot. On the boat ride we saw lots of shacks along the canal, but also some very nice houses and several neighborhood temples.
The boat dropped us off in a more quiet, agricultural neighborhood in west Bangkok. We proceeded to ride through a lot of banana and coconut plantations. Some of the concrete pathways were narrow and elevated above the adjacent ground or water. It made for exciting biking. One woman in our group had to walk due to the harrowing trail.
After the agricultural area, our guide led us down a maze of narrow alleyways. These narrow paths were frequented by people on scooters, but thankfully they usually stopped to let our group go past.
We stopped for lunch at a canalside eatery pre-arranged by our tour company. It was a hot day so we enjoyed the break in the shade with cold drinks and yummy local food.
After lunch it was back on the bikes and winding through more narrow alley ways and quiet neighborhood streets. It was nice to see a less touristy part of Bangkok that wasn’t full of bars, restaurants and souvenir vendors.
We eventually reached a dock on a canal and watched some locals tossing bread to carp in the water as our bikes were loaded on the longtail boat. We returned to the downtown area and ended up on the Chao Phraya river where we cruised along with all the other river traffic.
We both thoroughly enjoyed the bike tour and boat trip through Bangkok. We never would have been able to see these quieter parts of the city without this tour. So even though it wasn’t exactly cheap by southeast Asia standards, it was well worth it.
The next day we enjoyed a lazy day in our hotel room, taking full advantage of the air conditioning. We had to drop our laundry off at a laundry service because apparently laundromats don’t exist here. We also did a little writing for our blog and enjoyed a nice dinner at a restaurant nearby. Tomorrow we’ll leave Bangkok and head to an island called Koh Chang to see what rural Thailand looks like.