Bike Tour to Bang Kruai

25 Sep

After you’ve lived in a place for a while, it’s easy to settle down and grow complacent, especially when you are a creature of habit like myself who tends to patronize the same restaurants, bars, jogging paths, etc. on a routine basis. My goal for this year (which happens to be year four if you’re counting) is to get back to playing tourist and exploring Bangkok. The Big Mango is a huge, sprawling city with dozens of neighborhoods whose names I can’t even begin to pronounce, and I have visited only a fraction of them. So with that in mind… adventure!

Bangkok exploration number one for the year came in the form of a bike tour with a company called Grasshopper Adventures and a posse of coworkers, many of whom are new to Thailand. We set out on a cloudy Saturday morning from the shop near Khao San Road, the heart of the backpacker nonsense, outfitted with mountain bikes and snazzy green water bottles. Our guide led us around the corner, across the main road, and two quick turns later, we found ourselves completely off the beaten path. I could never in a million years hope to replicate the route we took: down narrow alleyways, across khlong bridges, through wats, and parking lots, and possibly even some residential houses. We rode along the Chao Praya River, and crossed the Rama VIII bridge out of Bangkok proper into Nonthaburi, and then on to Bang Kruai.

DSCN0713Although the tour was advertised as being suitable for all ages, I was definitely glad that I am a fairly competent cycler; some of the twists and turns were rather challenging (90 degrees, up a khlong bridge, with speed bumps), and many of the paths were only a fraction wider than my handlebars. It was quite impressive how remote parts of it felt, considering how close to central Bangkok and major highways we were. We made stops at an old army fort, and several wats, including one shaped like a giant dragon/viking boat. The boat was meant to be sailing through the seas of turmoil, with giant naga statues as sea monsters, to find peace (or something along those lines…). The dragon was meant to have an orb that resembled a disco ball dangling from its mouth (I am not certain why), but alas, the disco ball was down for repairs.

After a scenic lunch at Wat Chalor Floating Market, we cycled out to further wats, then made our way back towards Bangkok. One quick boat ride back across the river, a few turns, and we were done! All in all, a great way to spend the day exploring and acquiring a wacky sunburn. Photo credit for the pics below goes to both myself and fellow cycler (and awesome teaching partner) Candice. IMG_5047

P.S. (Can one add a P.S. to a blog post?) I learned how dragon fruit grow while on the tour! As we cycled along a khlong path, we encountered a large, succulent-type plant hanging over the wall of a nearby house. Perched on the end of each protrusion was a red spiky fruit that does indeed look remarkably like a long-necked dragon, complete with a brownish-orange hanging portion as “fire”. Snazzy!

DSCN0674

Ryan, Susannah, Kerry, Garrett, Jeffrey, Candice, me, Natalie, and Jessica

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One Response to “Bike Tour to Bang Kruai”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Railay Beach – Elephants and Sunbeams - May 29, 2016

    […] a cave that our friend Darcy had told us about (she has an awesome blog. We were with her on this bike ride, this adventure searching for sunflowers and this food tour), on the opposite end of Phra […]

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