Our week in Bangkok, Thailand was quite eventful and a bit unconventional. After our medical check up at Bumrungrad Hospital, Bridge and I were ready to explore the city together!
There were a few touristy must-dos that were on our list, including night markets, floating markets, and Thai massages. But, we were also keen to find activities that were off the beaten path, so we turned to Airbnb experiences to find them.
We found a bike tour that promised to take us through the back alleyways of Bangkok, away from the chaos of the city, and we jumped on that right away. We love bike tours in every place that we visit, especially those that are less touristy. The bike tour turned out to be fantastic!! We had a group of about 8 people, and we met at the bike shop which was located outside of the city. Our guide was local, but spoke fairly good English, and he truly took us through the back alleyways of Bangkok! We rode through narrow streets in local neighborhoods, with so many twists and turns that I was completely disoriented on where we were within the first 5 minutes.
Our first stop was probably my favorite. We were invited into a local family’s home, where they served us drink and bowls of noodle from a secret family recipe. The noodles were absolutely delicious, and we loved getting a glimpse of their lifestyle through their home.
After the break, we continued onwards, biking along the river and then stopping to visit several temples. I loved that our guide took the time to answer Bridgette’s questions and to enthusiastically teach her about the Thai people’s culture and religion.
We had authentic Thai food for lunch right along the river, but between the spiciness of the food and the humidity of the temperature, all we wanted were fresh young coconuts, and more coconuts. 😆
After lunch, we biked around some more, and our guide took us to the home of a local family that made traditional Thai desserts to be sold in the markets, from their home. As we gathered around outside their home, it was impossible to ignore the conditions of the surroundings. By western standards, the place would be considered to be unacceptable living conditions, but the family that lived there seemed to be so full of joy and not the least bit bothered by the mess and the unhygienic grounds. The little girl that lived there was prancing around happily, waving hello to us and finding random things to play with. I couldn’t help but wonder if the tradeoff for living in a modern, civilized world are the simple joys in life.
The last stop of the bike tour was Wat Paknam, a newer, more modern temple. The top floor of the pagoda had this magnificent painting of nirvana on its ceiling, and sitting underneath that is beautiful glass stupa that shines marvelously green.
I would highly recommend this bike tour for those that would enjoy a day outside of Bangkok’s congested traffic and chaotic streets. The bike ride itself wasn’t too difficult, although there were a lot of narrow streets to maneuver through, so you’d have to be pretty comfortable with a bike.