What’s it like to take a Bangkok bike tour? We share our experience and give you all the details so you can get out and see the city from two wheels. Read on to decide if a bike tour of Bangkok is right for you.
When you’re done with the big Bangkok sights — marvelling at the golden Buddha of Wat Pho, shopping the malls of Sukhumvit, getting ripped off on Khao San Road, eating too much in Chinatown, and visiting the riverside — what’s next?
We’re going to make a crazy suggestion.
Try a Bangkok bike tour!
We always recommend cycling as the best way to see any city. But, I have to admit, we were a bit worried about cycling in Bangkok. After all, the main roads seems to be perpetually fully of spewing cars stuck in grid lock. The smaller roads are narrow and winding, not leaving much room for Bangkok cyclists to stay safe.
It didn’t seem like a recipe for a good time.
Well, it turns out, we didn’t have to worry — seeing Bangkok by bike gave us a whole new appreciation for the city and took us to places where the traffic can’t go!
We took the full-day Bangkok Canal Boat & Bike Tour with Grasshopper Adventures. They kept us off the busy roads and took us to corners of the city that tourists rarely get to see.
Now we know for sure that cycling is a great way to see Bangkok. So read on to find out…
Should You Go on a Bangkok Bike Tour?
What You Need to Know About this Cycle Tour
What: Bangkok Canal Boat & Bike Tour
When: Daily at 9:30 am, 5 hours
Where: Grasshopper Adventures Shop, not far from Khao San Road
Price: $77 (2400 THB), discounts for kids
Suitable for: All levels of riders, no hills, easy short route, even kids had a great time
What you should bring: A small camera, sunglasses, sunscreen (you can leave items you don’t need at the Grasshopper shop)
Want to Cycle the World?
If cycling adventures sound good to you, check out our guide to cycle touring basics.
What we loved about our Bangkok bike tour
Off-the-beaten track adventure
Bangkok is a huge city but tourists tend to see only a tiny part of it. This cycle tour took us out of the typical touristy areas and showed us a different side of Bangkok.
We pedalled along narrow canals lined with humble homes, past tiny markets where people were buying an array of unfamiliar Thai fruits and vegetables, and visited a wat where we were the only foreigners. If you want to see the heart of Bangkok residential life, take this tour.
Great bikes and equipment
As full-time travellers who rent bikes or take bike tours as often as we can, we’ve ridden some seriously terrible bikes in our time. We’ve ridden bikes with broken brakes, twisted handlebars, three sizes too small, or with more rust than steel.
In contrast, Grasshopper’s bikes are excellent. The staff ensured that everyone had the right size bike, fitted properly, and a helmet, also fitted properly. For the kids in the group, there were kid-sized bikes, and even a bike trailer for the youngest.
The bikes for this ride were stable and handled easily, meaning we had no trouble squeezing around the tight corners of Bangkok’s alleyways.
Lots of fun and family friendly
What separates a great tour from a mediocre one? How much fun you have, of course.
We had a great time on this tour! Our guide was friendly and fun, and so was everyone we met along the way. Our group included a family with four kids of varying ages, and they had a great time, too.
Canal boat ride
You really shouldn’t go to Bangkok without getting out on the canals. We loved the chance to experience Bangkok by boat on the second half of this tour. Just when we thought we were getting to know the city, we were treated to a whole new world of life on the water. It gave us great insight into how people live their daily lives in the city.
What surprised us about the tour
I think I can speak for the whole group when I say we were slightly trepidatious about cycling in Bangkok. After all, most roads we’d seen were rammed with cars with no place for cyclists to stay safe. Although Grasshopper’s office is right in the centre of the city, it only took two minutes for us to leave the crazy city streets and end up on quiet lanes where the riding was easy.
Such friendly people
Everywhere we rode, we were met with wide smiles from people along the route, going about their everyday lives. When we encountered other traffic on the way — including motorbike taxis, heavily loaded veggie carts, and one tiny old lady pushing a huge wheelbarrow — they always stopped for us to go by.
Usually, as vegans, we get pretty terrible meals on tours, so we have learned to expect very little. On this tour, our group was treated to a long table full of fantastic traditional Thai food, served family style. There was so much food to go around, even Stephen was stuffed full by the end of lunch — and that rarely happens!
What we didn’t love about the tour
Would have liked a bit more information
Though we did make stops at certain sights — like Wat Kalyanamit, the historic Portuguese neighbourhood, and the Artist’s Village — we didn’t really stop much along the route to talk about everyday life in Bangkok.
We would have appreciated more information about the neighbourhoods we passed, the markets we saw, and how life works in Bangkok.
FAQ About Bangkok Bike Tours
Is it safe to ride a bike in Bangkok?
I definitely wouldn’t recommend renting a bike in Bangkok and taking off on your own. We have cycled independently around the world, including cities like Jakarta, London, Hanoi, and Beijing. We even cycled into Bangkok one time — and that one time was more than enough.
The streets of Bangkok are too busy and too convoluted to make cycling fun, and mostly it’s downright scary.
On a Bangkok cycling tour though, the tour company and guide have mapped out the route ahead of time. They know where to ride (and where not to ride) and how to navigate busy sections safely. That means you’ll get all the pleasure of biking Bangkok, without putting yourself in danger.
What is the best company to take guided bike tours with in Bangkok?
There are several companies that run bike tours in Bangkok. Our tour was with Grasshopper Adventures, and we highly recommend them. We picked them because of their extensive experience running bike tours in Asia and their commitment to making a positive impact in the communities they tour.
Since they are focussed on bike tours, they know how important it is to have a great bike, up-to-date safety equipment, and a guide who knows what they’re doing.
You should definitely take them for a spin!
Could you handle a Bangkok city tour by bike?
If you’re worried about your riding skills or your stamina, you probably don’t need to be. The cycling on this tour is very easy. There aren’t any hills and only one or two busy crossings, where the tour guide makes sure everyone is safe.
The ride takes you along some narrow alley ways and canals, over a few little footbridges, and through local markets and neighbourhoods. This means the group goes slowly so you don’t have to worry about getting left behind.
Can you bring kids on this tour?
Our group was made up of 4 adults and 4 kids ranging in age from 6 to 13. Grasshopper provided kids-sized bikes for the older kids, and a trailer bike (attached to the back of his dad’s bike) for the youngest. There were a few very tight corners on our ride, but the trailer managed to make it around all of them — sometimes with a little help from friends.
Is a Bangkok bike tour right for you?
After reading about our experience, are you tempted to take a bike tour in Bangkok?
We highly recommend the Bangkok Canal Boat & Bike Tour if you want to mix sightseeing with cultural immersion (or if you just want a fun day out). If you’re looking for something a little different, check out the bike tours below.
More Bankgok Bike Tours
If you’re pressed for time, or want something a little more adventurous, Grasshopper offers some excellent half-day cycling tours.
Bangkok Night Bike Tour
We really wanted to join the Bangkok Night Bike Tour. It would be great to wind through the streets of Bangkok by night when Bangkok is at its liveliest.
Bike Bangkok’s Hidden Oasis
If you’re overwhelmed by the city, then you should Bike Bangkok’s Hidden Oasis. This tour takes you through the so-called green lungs of Bangkok, where elevated bike paths wind through fertile mangrove forests, small farms, quiet villages and Buddhist temples.
For more info, contact Grasshopper Adventures – Bangkok Bike Tours by phone at +66 87 929 5208 or drop by the Bangkok Grasshopper office at 57 Ratchadamnoen Klang Rd, Bangkok.
We hope this post about our Bangkok bike tour helped you decide whether cycling in Bangkok is right for you! If you have any questions, give us a shout and we’ll be happy to try and answer them.
♥ Happy mindful adventures, Jane & Stephen
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