If you are able to ride a bicycle, I would strongly recommend you to consider joining a bicycle tour to explore Bangkok.
Bangkok is an urban city, very much like Singapore. After strolling the streets for the past two days, I was feeling bored about walking around again. I wasn’t going to rent a car or motorbike because I didn’t know how to drive or ride one. Last night, I browsed through travel websites for ideas and I found what’s probably the next best thing. A bicycle tour around Bangkok!
There are quite a few businesses offering bicycle tours and they generally cost around 1000-2000 Thai Baht per person. The cheapskate personality in me wasn’t going to spend 2000 Thai Baht for a bicycle tour. So I looked around for a bicycle tour that cost around 1000 Thai Baht, allowing me to see the sights and sounds of Bangkok.
After checking out all the different bicycle tour websites, I decided to take up the Siam Boran tour package offered by Follow Me Bike Tour for 1000 Thai Baht. For the price, I will get a rented bicycle with helmet, English-speaking tour guide, water and snacks during the trip, boat tickets (as the route takes us across the Chao Phraya River by boat), barbecue buffet lunch, and a foot spa at the end of the tour. I called Follow Me Bike Tour to make the booking and was informed that I could join the tour in the morning. Excellent!
Following the route on Google Maps in my phone, I made my way to Follow Me Bike Tour club house near Surasak station where I met Ray, the owner of Follow Me Bike Tour. Ray is a foreigner who was working in Bangkok and took his friends and family on bicycle tours conducted by other businesses. Ray’s family and friends had such a great time on bicycle tours that they joined tours every time they were in Bangkok. After a while, Ray found that tour businesses were cutting back and tours got shorter. So eventually, Ray started his own business and Follow Me Bike Tour was established.
Originally, I was joining a group of 4 who were supposed to take the tour today. However, they decided to postpone the tour so I got an ‘exclusive’ tour with a tour guide. After getting me set up with a bicycle and helmet, we were off!
The route took us through back alleys, avoiding main roads whenever possible. We also rode on pavements when the traffic on the road was too heavy. We visited various tourist sights, including the first state bank in Bangkok, the Old Customs House, and various temples. I also saw a gigantic crocodile that was adopted by monks of a temple when it got washed up the Chao Phraya River during a flood.
The tour guide was very knowledgeable and proficient in English so I was able to learn the history behind these famous monuments. I wouldn’t be able to learn all these if I visited these monuments alone.
The tour guide also treated me to some fruits along the way. I tried the famous green mango with salt and sugar. it wasn’t as sour as i thought it would be and it has a good texture.
When we got back to the club house, I was treated to lunch. It wasn’t really buffet by any standards, but just a packet of chicken rice which seems fair enough since I was their only customer for that tour and there’s no way 1000 Thai Baht can get me a buffet.
I also got to enjoy the foot spa, which is actually what we call a fish spa in Singapore where you put your feet in the water and little fishes come and nibble off dead skin on your feet. I never got to try this in Singapore because it was really expensive so it was a treat when i got to try this here. It felt very itchy but the fishes did do their job. My feet look nicer now!
I had a great time exploring Bangkok through the bicycle tour and if you are looking to do something different, I urge you to give bicycle touring a try!