During our time in Bangkok we were thrilled to spend an evening with the Dutch bike company, Co Van Kessel! Co Van Kessel is known as Bangkok’s original bicycle tour company, creating bike tours in Bangkok for the past 30 years. Originally created by an adventurous Dutchman named Co Van Kessel, these tours through the alleyways and canals of Bangkok provide the rider an opportunity to see Bangkok as tourists rarely get to: up close and personal with the Thai people who live there. Weaving through neighborhoods the rider gets a chance to see kids coming home from school still in their uniforms, peeking in the doors of markets, parents gathering supplies for dinner, restaurants preparing food and washing dishes, families playing together as the sun sets. It really IS a unique way to experience daily life in Bangkok and we felt fortunate to be able to work with this company!
We took part in a three-hour night tour that Co Van Kessel generously sponsored for us. The experience began with choosing our mountain bikes for the journey. Side note: the bikes were GREAT. They were very comfortable with baskets for your personal items. We had two Thai tour guides with our group and they were fantastic. We were given cold bottles of water and soon it was time to hit the road.
It is important to note that while this three-hour night tour was billed as fairly easy, you will want to feel comfortable and experienced on a bike. I say this because a large chunk of the tour is weaving through tight alleyways and making sharp turns; it is easy to get a little flustered by your surroundings (ie: cars, animals, people!) if you are not comfortable on a bike. As darkness falls it is also easy to overlook potholes and changes in terrain so you really have to pay attention to your surroundings. We did not have headlights on our bikes, only flashing lights to alert cars to our presence so again, you’ve got to feel pretty confident about what you are doing!
That said, it was a really unique and authentic way to experience Bangkok. We rode past many temples including the gorgeous Wat Pho all lit up at night and it was BREATHTAKING. Just amazing. We actually stopped and walked through most of the complex and there was no one else around, just our small tour group! In the dark with slightly cooler temperatures and no tourists around it was magical. The tour is worth it just for that evening temple experience! We also rode alongside the Chao Phraya River and watched as boats traveled up and down, all lit up for the evening. We traveled through Chinatown and also past the huge flower markets (it smelled incredible). We also stopped towards the end of the evening at a food stall and had the most delicious snacks and soups. I do not remember the name of what I ate but it was delicious! What I liked about that experience was there were no other tourists at this food stall; it was clearly all locals so we got to have a more authentic experience.
We covered a total distance of 14 km through the city over the course of three hours. The evening tours depart at 6:00 PM, giving you all day to have other activities throughout the city.
If you are in or traveling to Bangkok and want a unique and authentic experience, PLEASE check out the evening bike tour at Co Van Kessel! Special thanks again to Co Van Kessel for taking us on our tour!
*Our tour with Co Van Kessel was sponsored but the opinions written above are my own. I try to only work with brands that I believe in and that I feel will be appreciated and enjoyed by others!