Bike Tour of Bangkok

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I have been looking for a good excuse to get out of the house (and especially out of the office) lately. My friend Chris gave me the perfect opportunity today: join the Thailand Cycling Club (TCC) on a 45 kilometer (28 mile) bike tour around Bangkok.

We started early by picking up a friend's bike on Sukumvit Soi 10 around 7:30 AM. We then made it down Sukumvit to meet the TCC at National Stadium. Amazingly, by the time we all left National Stadium and headed towards Hualomphong train station, there were about 150 people in the group. It was a diverse crowd, from 10-year old kids to grandmas, hard-core cyclists in latex to businessmen in jeans and polo shirts.

bkkbikeride.jpgWhen I agreed to the trip, I didn't realize that it really was a tour. That is, we would be making a lot of stops. Our first stop was at Hualomphong for a tour of the station. Next, we headed down Rama 4 to the Snake Farm. I had always figured the Snake Farm was a tourist trap, but it was actually one of the best museum exhibits I have ever seen in Thailand. I was very impressed and learned a great deal about snakes.

The next stop was in Lumpinee Park. And then we had another one at the park at the Queen Sirikit Convention center. At each stop, someone with a megaphone would talk in Thai about who knows what, and then we would take off again.

By this point, we had gone about 20 kilometers and it had taken about 4 hours. I appreciated the slow warm-up, but I was getting a bit bored. Luckily, the pace quickened rapidly as we went down Asoke to Rama 9, past the Thailand Cultural Center, and then had a lunch break along the way somewhere. We then tackled the Ekamai-Ramindra expressway to Lad Prao, and all the way down Lad Prao to Chatuchak Park.

After few circles around Suan Rot Fai (Railroad Park) we were off again on the final stretch down the train tracks back towards Hualomphong. We said our goodbyes to those who were still with the group at National Stadium and then it was back down Sukumvit to return the bike.

Before I started, I was a bit nervous about making it the whole 45 kilometers. But by the time we were finished, my borrowed bike's odometer read 62 kilometers (38.5 miles). Although I am sure I will be quite sore tomorrow, this wasn't a bad way to spend a Sunday! Chris goes biking every Sunday morning, so perhaps this will be a great new habit to start.

Update:Chris has a great write-up and some pictures of our bike ride over on his blog.

3 Comments

Hey, you forgot a circle or two up at the Chatuchak corner of the map. Hope you'll be bike shopping soon.

Chris, yeah... to be honest I couldn't figure out where the "Suan Rot Fai" was actually located. :P

We'll have to do this on our next trip to Thailand--sounds like fun and a great way to get some exercise. Should be a good way to spend a Sunday morning. I've been riding a stationary bike at the fitness center occasionally, but that gets boring pretty fast.

Love, Dad

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This page contains a single entry by Stuart published on March 17, 2008 5:19 PM.

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