“I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
― Lucille Ball

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Biking in Bangkok

Father and son posing during the trip
A famous activity for many Dutch people coming to Thailand, usually via Bangkok, is to join a biking tour of the Dutch guy Co van Kesteren. I met Co when I did my second tour, which was four weeks ago. Indeed most of the people are Dutch, probably because biking is a typical Dutch habit. Everyone in The Netherlands has a bike, some have even two. Children of 3 to 4 years of age are already learning to ride the bike.

The first tour I did was the full day tour, which brings you by train to the outskirts of Bangkok, direction of the new airport, Suvarnabumi. It brings you really into the plantations and rice fields, along the many klongs (water ways) and between the fields, it seems the people living there, most are farmer, have not seen foreigners in their area before. After an excellent lunch, returning to Bangkok city by boat, a bit biking again and with the Sky train back to Bangkok center and crossing through China Town. You should be healthy to do this tour, it is from 7 am to 6 pm and keeps you really awake. I was so tired after this tour, could hardly walk.

The idea was to do this tour with my son, when he arrived in Bangkok, now 2 months ago. But he had other priorities that time, so I decided to go alone, as my daughter advised me to do a tour. She was so impressed when she did it last year November, she didn't stop talking about it.

Unexpectedly the web master joined us, as he wanted to make new photo's of the day tour for an update of their web site. So you can see me now on their web site, I am the old guy with the yellow striped T-shirt.

The second time was 4 weeks ago when a Dutch colleague was here for giving a one week training course in our Bangkok office. I invited him for the short tour, which was on a Saturday afternoon. This short tour was also a nice one, crossing again through China Town and the many markets, dry and wet, then crossing by boat the Chao Phraya river, biking along the river side for a while, visiting Wat Arun temple and then crossing the river again by one of the many bridges and visiting some other famous temples and places. Because it was at that time Songkran (Thai New Year) many festivities were going on at the temple places, which made the tour even more attractive.

The third time I did a tour was today. Now with my son, who stayed for a couple of days with me. This time he did have time to go biking and we decided to take the Sunday morning long tour from 7 am to 12 pm.

As I found out later, one of the guys who joined us, with his girlfriend, was a university mate of my son, even from the same Faculty and year.

Again a surprise, it was a kind of combination of the previous two tours I did. We first crossed China Town and its markets, which were very crowded because it was a Sunday, then crossed the river by boat and went around for a while. Next we took the typical Thai long tail boat with a big car engine and long propeller tube at the end. It seems that these boats have difficulty to make a short turn, so every time we had to make 90 degrees turn, the skipper had to slow down and make a carefully calculated turn.

Next we biked along some klongs, visited nice places, even have been to a floating market, feeding the holy fish in the holy water near the temple, we had a nice Thai lunch on a klong boat, and then biked around in an area with newly build houses, which we call in The Netherlands a Vinex area. Probably subsidised and organised by the government.

From there we took again the long tale boat back to Bangkok center. We even saw a large lizard resting on the klong water side. It was really a big one, never seen before in Bangkok, at least not this size of one meter long or so.

See my Google photo's including the lizard on my Google albums. Will add the album info later.


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