We had booked to go on a 5 hour bicycle tour of Bangkok which started at 7:00am so it was an early start.
Andrew finally got to ride in one of the tuk-tuks in Bangkok. The driver drove like a bat out of hell – quite a contrast to the two-stroke tuk-tuks here in Vientiane! We arrived at the meeting point looking slightly windswept, but ahead of schedule.
The trip was superb http://www.covankessel.com/en/tourEN1.php . Our guide, Jimmy, took a group of 5 people A & P, an American and an ex-pat couple based in Kuala Lumpar through the streets, markets and temples of Chinatown. There were lots of little alleyways and sometimes we felt we were riding through people’s front rooms, we were that close.
From there we took our bikes on a longtail boat to the other side of the Chao Paraya river and rode through the areas where poorer Bangkok people lived – it was cheaper than the more expensive Bangkok side, but only a short ferry ride away. Then we got on another longtail and had a 40 minute ride through the canals. Houses and lives were lived on the river.
We eventually got off the boat and rode through green fields where pandan, kaffir limes etc were growing and visited a floating market. All without another tourist in sight.
Lunch was provided at a local restaurant alongside a canal and was simple and delicious!
Before we got back on the longtail boat to return to the city we fed some bread to the fish in the river. They liked this and were very vigourous. THEN we fed them some puffed rice snacks and they went WILD. Some of those fish were enormous.
The ride was an easy pace and given that there are no hills in Bangkok it was not strenuous, but we saw things we would not have seen as a tourist on the usual routes in the city.
We returned to the Mall in the afternoon and had an early dinner before heading to the station for the return overnight train to Laos.
A bicycle work-out and some shopping walking made sure we were tired enough to sleep well on the way back.