Prapadaeng – Bangkok by bike

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While having a stopover in Bangkok I found out that Florian, the author of one of my favorite travel blogs, was in town, too. I have been reading his site www.flocutus.de for several years now. So we decided to finally meet.

Florian suggested to go on a bike tour in Bangkok, and he know he would catch me with that one. He was inspired by WhereSidewalksEnd and by Andrei’s Blog. They both describe a bike tour in Prapadaeng, which is a peninsular quite downtown in Bangkok, also called the green lung of Bangkok.

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So we took a cab to the river and hopped on a long boat ferry that brought us to the southern side for just a few cents.

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There is a small bike rental on the other side of the river. They have got several old bikes that often still have a break working – which is quite sufficient. Such a bike is an adventure itself, and they are 100 Baht (2,50 Euro) per day.

I highly recommend renting the bikes there, since the money goes to truly local people.

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I planned the day tour in three steps:

  1. I used the paper map we got with the bikes to feed the hungry dog at the bike rental
  2. Then I copied this map to a route on Bikemap, I also improved it there, and then I followed the tour with the Bikemap-App on my iPhone
  3. At the end of our preparations I asked the now no more hungry dog about its opinion, and it told me the routing was perfect.

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We cycled clockwise, and that is why I am on the right side of this photo.

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The tour starts at Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park And Botanical Garden.

And honestly, that name is as complicated as it is to find a short way through this park.

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Since second other bridge is closed, we did lots of zigzag – which turned out to be the perfect way to see that beautiful park.

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There was nobody but us in the whole park. What a silence compared to noisy Bangkok.

In the beginning we thought the parkt was the only green part of that peninsular.

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But the truth is: after the park the green gets even greener.

 

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The only roads are narrow concrete paths, elevated some feet above the swamp.

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Perfect to cycle! And perfect to have a deep breath within Bangkoks green lung.

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After leaving the northern part of the peninsular southbound, the paths get a bit wider. And once in a while you even see a slow motorcycle slowly wandering around.

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But only once in a while. And there are twenty times more (friendly) dogs than motorbikes.

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There are quire some nice huts between the banana trees and the bamboo groves.

 

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Sometimes you have to bike through private gardens…

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…and sometimes even through private houses.

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In every garden there is a small temple – and some are even right in the forest.

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Behind the palm trees you can see the city.

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When you are about half way done with the look you will eventually see the Bangkok Tree Houses.

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Not only will you stop here for a coffee (since you just have to) – but like most people you will definitely want to stay here for the next time you will be visiting Bangkok.

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Back on the road again. Can you spot the small little bike path amongst the green?

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Well, honestly, sometime that green seems to be a bit brownish.

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But most of the time you are riding through green.

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And sometimes even on green.

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At the southern tip of the tour the roads are getting a bit wider and will finally have some traffic.

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But even here, with all the livelihood, everything stays in a very relaxt mode.

 

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And on the way back to the ferry the trails get narrow again and completely free of any traffic.

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Not a single motor vehicle will be seen there.

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We ended up cycling for about 4 hours. The rental bikes were actually quite crappy, but we liked them, and they are completely sufficient. You can book an organized bike tour at www.getyourguide.com, but  you don’t need to. A GPS device as a smartphone and a specific route (as we had it) is not necessary either. The peninsular is surrounded by the river, and if you simply keep close to the water you will eventually make your way around. And the more you go in a wandering zigzag mode, the more you will see.

And well, there are some signposts for cyclists. But they are neither always correct, nor are they always available when you need them. So just ignore them and enjoy your ride!