About biking tours in Bangkok
While you can find biking tours in most bigger cities worldwide, even in South East Asia, biking through Bangkok may be the last thing that comes to mind.
But it’s the most authentic and fun way to experience a different side of this vibrant city.
We were looking for a unique and less touristy activity in Bangkok, and Co Van Kessel’s biking tour definitely exceeded our expectations.
If numerous great reviews are not enough, read along to see why a biking tour with Co Van Kessel in Bangkok is worth your money!
About Co Van Kessel
Focusing on eco-friendly tourism, they specialize in unique bike tours that allow visitors to explore the city’s hidden gems and local communities.
They are now a top choice for tourists looking to immerse themselves in the vibrant city of Bangkok.
While their most popular tour is the 3-hour Classical Bicycle Tour that goes through Chinatown, we opted for a 5-hour tour combining a boat ride in Bangkok’s channels (Klongs).
And they even have a Bangkok by Night Cycling Tour, which is an excellent option for a bit different experience.
The tour begins at their office near Chinatown and the Chao Phraya River.
You get introduced to your guides, learn some basic rules, adjust your bikes, and then you’re ready to go.
We will outline the tour itinerary of the 5-hour tour, as that’s what we did, but the 3-hour tour is quite similar, except that it doesn’t include the part with the boat ride.
1. Cycling through Chinatown
The first part of the route took us through the heart of Chinatown, through narrow alleys full of street art, busy morning markets and food stalls, and some beautiful temples.
We stopped at a few spots where our guide told us more about Thai culture and what we saw.
2. Temple visit
We stopped at one of the temples just outside Chinatown, where we could learn more about Buddhist culture.
The temple visit was one of the highlights of the tour, as we also got to try our luck by shaking the fortune sticks, a practice called Kau Chim, and seeing the result.
Have a sarong or a similar piece of clothing with you to cover your legs and shoulders while visiting the temples in Bangkok.
Our guides had extra sarongs for all the participants, but Arijana was always taking one with us – very useful in Thailand! 😀
3. Boat ride through Bangkok’s Khlongs
After biking some more, it was time to get to know Bangkok through its canals in a traditional long-tail boat. It was a lovely addition to the trip.
Fun fact: All the bikes go in the boat with you!
4. Cycling through rural Bangkok
The second part of our biking route was absolutely amazing! The route passes through a peaceful and lush area of Bangkok. It’s the complete opposite of Chinatown.
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There are still many narrow alleys and paths, just this time full of greenery, plantations, and fields.
Our favorite part was high-fiving local kids we met on the way! 🙂
At one point, we were even riding along an active railway when the train swooshed straight next to us. Such a cool experience!
5. Thai-style lunch in a peaceful setting
Next, we cycled to a local restaurant, where a family prepared a delicious Thai meal.
If you’re vegetarian or vegan, let them know in advance so they can prepare a special meal for you!
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6. Last cycling
After a delicious lunch and break, it was time to head back. And we didn’t take the same route back, which was amazing!
7. Boat ride back
To finish the tour, we went on another boat ride, passing by the Big Buddha temple of Wat Paknam Bhasi Charoen in another lesser-visited area of Bangkok.
The canals soon ended, and the boat entered the big Chao Phraya River. And after that, we cruised upstream for another 10 minutes while observing the interesting riverside on each side.
Are Co Van Kessel’s biking tours in Bangkok worth it?
Biking tours by Co Van Kessel in Bangkok offer a fun and unique way to explore authentic Bangkok and are definitely worth it and should be added to your list of things to do.
The tour exceeded our expectations, the guides were fun and taught us more about Thai culture and traditions. And we got an excellent exercise while admiring the beauty of Bangkok.
Co Van Kessel’s Sustainability efforts
The best thing about Co Van Kessel is their social responsibility and sustainability efforts. From their early beginnings, they strive to give back and support the local communities their tours pass through.
For example, the lunch on our tour was organized in a local family restaurant, the water provided during the tour was bought at local stores instead of big chains, and similar. We often forget how big of an effect such “small” things have on the people and economy around us.
They also regularly donate money to local communities and organizations and are part of many projects, such as the “Cycle to School” project, where they donate bikes to local kids in rural areas.
Should you book the cycling tour in advance?
Yes, booking a tour in advance is advisable as these tours operate with small groups and limited spots.
Are cycling tours a safe way of exploring Bangkok?
The biking tour with Co Van Kessel is very safe, as the routes avoid main roads and heavy traffic and often go off-the-beaten paths through small alleys, roads, and trails.
We had two guides with us, one in the front leading the group and one at the end, ensuring we were all together and nobody got lost. And they also helped with stopping traffic in situations where it was required.
They also offer helmets for extra protection, but it’s up to you if you want to wear one. Since the cycling speed is generally not that great, we were fine without a helmet.
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What to wear for cycling around Bangkok
While you can generally wear whatever you want, wearing comfortable and breathable clothes is recommended. And definitely don’t come in flip-flops, but rather sneakers or sandals.
Consider covering up your shoulders as you’ll be in the sun often and visit a temple or two.
We can recommend Unbound Merino clothes. Their shirts were great as they dried super fast after getting sweaty (which you will), and unlike other clothes, they don’t stink up after one wear. So you can reuse them a lot.
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Where to stay in Bangkok
Overall, Bangkok’s diverse range of accommodation options caters to all types of travelers – from budget-conscious backpackers to luxury-seeking tourists.
Whether you prefer staying in lively areas like Khao San Road, opting for upscale comfort along Sukhumvit Road, or indulging yourself in a 5-star hotel experience, Bangkok has it all!
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We hope we inspired you to go on a cycling tour with Co Van Kessel in Bangkok. And we’re sure it’s going to be one of the highlights of your trip!
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