Biking and Boating in Bangkok

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.

Early morning start to our bike tour

Early morning start to our bike tour and the first of many photos of Caroline riding her bike. 🙂

Turtle offerings at shrine

Chinese shrine where we found these cute turtle offerings

Chinese Shrine

Dragon rafter design at Chinese shrine

Chinese Shrine

An altar with offerings at the 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.

Food Market vendors

Smiling ladies selling fruit at a market

Colorful eggs

Colorful eggs for sale at the market

Not sure what these things were

Not sure what these things were

Another unknown item

More unknown items for sale

Tasty looking fish

Tasty looking fish. Problem is they come out of the dirty local rivers and canals.

Food market cat

Rugged looking cat at the market

Cute pup

Cute pup at the market

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.

Colorful Bangkok tree

Colorful tree along the canal trail

Interesting tree

Interesting tree along a canal

 

Along the canal

Temple along the canal

Along the canal

Shacks along the canal

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.

Young banana trees, I think

Young banana trees, I think

Pink and pink

Pink and pink

A more agricultural area

An agricultural area

Caroline on her bike

Caroline on her bike

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 biked narrow alleys

Biking down narrow alleys

Families travel by scooter

Families travel by scooter

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.

Our canalside lunch spot

Our canalside lunch spot

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.

Waiting in a narrow alley

Waiting in a narrow alley

Waiting in a narrow alley

Smiling while waiting

Very narrow alleyways

Very narrow alleyways

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.

Carp frenzy

Carp frenzy

Getting back on the boat

Getting back on the boat

Our bike tour group, mostly dutch folks

Our bike tour group, mostly dutch folks

Another longtail boat

Passing another longtail boat

 

Wat Arun under repair

Wat Arun temple is under repair

Big barge and longtail boat

Big barges and a longtail boat on the river

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.

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