Connect with us


Blazing Saddles: Bicycling in Bangkok

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: I have long believed the bicycle represents something of a magical chariot with the ability to unleash serendipitous experiences at many turns. So it proved on my last visit to Bangkok, where I had flown to spend some time with my 22-year-old daughter, Olivia, who stopped there en route from Sydney to London.

Now it’s probably no coincidence the words relaxing, bike ride and Bangkok hardly ever appear in the same sentence. In fact, the thought of cycling in Bangkok seems to offer as much possibility for relaxation and pleasure as say, thrusting a live cobra down one’s underpants.

However, as I was walking along Sukhumvit Road between Soi 20 and 22 on a typically sticky Bangkok morning, out of the blue I saw a row of brightly painted new Trek mountain bikes chained up outside a spa and massage shop.

Naturally, my curiosity was piqued and so I entered the dimly-lit interior of the shop where I was greeted by a young enthusiastic Dane named Martin Vestergaard. Martin is the owner of Bangkok Bike Adventure ( which he runs from his Thai wife’s massage and spa shop at 400 Sukhumvit Road.

Martin explained that when he arrived in the hot, polluted concrete jungle that is Krung Thep he so missed his native cycle-friendly homeland that he was determined to discover if there were hidden corners of the metropolis where relaxing and healthy cycling could be enjoyed. He was amazed to discover that behind the endless facade of high rises, malls, markets and condos lay a secret world where biking could be an absolute pleasure.

Martin decided to launch Bangkok Bike Adventure as a means of introducing even the most inexperienced cyclist to this unknown world of greenery and quietude hidden just out of sight of the average resident or visitor to this maniacal metropolis.

And so it was that my daughter and I decided to sample Martin’s half-day tour which is designed to take riders on a fascinating cycling trip through Bangkok and in particular to the massive green oasis that lies secreted at its center known as the ‘Jungle of Bangkok’.

We turned up bright and early next day to meet our excellent guide who would lead us on our magical mystery tour of a city I thought I knew so well. We were kitted out with bicycles adjusted to our size and needs and then we were off.

We started with some easy biking along the pavements to nearby Benjakiti Park, where we followed the leafy trails, and I was reminded of frequently taking my little toddler daughter, as she was then, to the huge lake in this park to feed the abundant fish and turtles that live here amid the chaos of Bangkok.

We carefully cycled further along Soi Asoke to the simply amazing bustling fresh market in Khlong Toey. This hive of human and animal activity operates on a 24/7 basis and wheeling our bikes through the myriad stalls, live seafood tanks and bustling chaos was a simply jaw-dropping experience with ‘wows!’ and photo ops at every turn.

Leaving the market we cycled a short distance to a hidden river pier, where we loaded our bikes aboard an open long-tail boat to cross the massive Chao Praya River over to the Bang Kachao isthmus, the ‘Bangkok Jungle’.

Upon unloading our bikes, it felt as if we had entered a leafy, saner, parallel universe unknown to most of Bangkok’s denizens and yet so very close to their everyday stressful lives. As we cycled along raised concrete paths through trees and mangroves the world of skyscrapers and traffic jams seemed a universe away.

The air was noticeably cleaner and well oxygenated and the quietude and sound of birdsongs were all the more surprising because we were still in the heart of the city and yet screened off from is pernicious insanity.

Here on this peninsula, traditional Thai life is conducted as it once was, and still is, up country and far away from Thailand’s feverish cities.

We visited floating markets, ancient temples, peaceful wildlife reserves, traditional wooden houses on stilts and much more.

We made a stop for lunch in an old-fashioned ramshackle restaurant where the seafood was fresh and delicious, and later on stopped at the funky riverside Bangkok Tree House coffee shop and restaurant for more refreshments. Throughout our ride people were noticeably friendlier and happy to see us, greeting us with a happy wave.

Our boat was waiting for us at the pier after riding through this 2,000 hectare ‘lung’ of Bangkok and it ferried us back into the mayhem of inner city life.

We had been away just four hours and had cycled a mere 25 kilometers, yet we felt as though we had journeyed to another world where calmer, saner souls ruled and bicycles were the logical way to move about and enjoy the relaxing environment.

You can reach Martin Vestergaard’s Bangkok Bike Adventures at and at call 085 918 6324.

— Baz Daniel


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand1 min ago

Bangkok restrictions lifted on 8 categories, including swimming

Patong1 hour ago

Tar balls spreading in Phuket hit Patong Beach

Phuket2 hours ago

Officials predict 600,000 tourists to Phuket following reopening

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Phuket3 hours ago

Technician electrocuted to death while trying to fix jacuzzi

Pattaya3 hours ago

Pattaya pushes for August 1 Sealed Route reopening plan

Thailand3 hours ago

Mother alleges that Doctor mistakenly gave her 10 year old sleeping pills

Bangkok4 hours ago

1 million Sinopharm doses arrive today

Tourism5 hours ago

Full reopening guidelines for Phuket and Samui

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 3,682 new cases, 20 covid-related deaths, provincial totals

Thailand5 hours ago

Poll shows schools, students, parents, “not ready” for online learning

Chon Buri6 hours ago

Man returns lost parakeet, gets rewarded with BBQ

Thai Life6 hours ago

Thai Lion predicts football matches, other abilities currently unknown

Tourism6 hours ago

Reopening details for Phuket, Samui and beyond laid out

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Multiple Chiang Rai schools to close after infections found

Thailand9 hours ago

Woman falls off building on Pattaya’s Walking Street

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8