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Phra Pradaeng – Bangkok's Secret Oasis

Phra Pradaeng – Bangkok's Secret Oasis

Nov 29th, 2009, 09:49 AM
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Phra Pradaeng – Bangkok's Secret Oasis

Interesting article summarized and linked below. Might be worth a look during the cooler season. Anybody done any biking in the Bangkok area? Any other areas's like this near Bangkok that are easy to get to?

" Cycling in Bangkok, Thailand - Disembarking from the local pier, bicycles may be rented all day for 100 baht. The area is level, allowing for easy biking, while optional paths allow challenges for more confident cyclists. Narrow concrete paths line canals shadowed by towering palm leaves and weave throughout the area providing visitors a glimpse into local lives. Birds, butterflies, and Mangrove trees lining the road contribute to the idyllic setting as few cars pass through this area.

A few Bangkok cycling tours pass through Phra Pradaeng which has several local attractions. A large park, a quick 15 minute walk from the pier has a tower where visitors can see Bangkok’s skyline fringed over a sea of trees. The area boasts a large Mon population, and local cultural activities may be viewed. A Siamese fighting fish gallery is also nearby providing quiet grounds for relaxing as well. Winding around the roads, construction on various townhouses and mansions can be seen as the area is slowly changing.

Criss – crossed with waterways and fruit tree gardens, Bangkok’s largest green area is quiet with streets lined with wild flowers. Small shops and homes dot the area where visitors can buy water or take a quiet break. Phra Pradaeng also has a large number of tame stray dogs which pose no problems for passing bicycles. Locals are friendly and helpful in providing directions to the various sites in the area as well."

degas is offline  
Nov 29th, 2009, 10:03 AM
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We did a cycling tour through this area a year or so ago. It was amazing that there was such a rural area so close to the much busier city. However, there are some things to consider:

1. A lot of the tour is on roads, but where you are on the bike paths, they are quite narrow and about ten feet above swampy ground/rivers in places. That wouldn't be so bad except that in most places there is no railing!

2. Many of the turns are 90 degrees, so if you are at all wobbly on a bike, you'll need to sort of shuffle around the corners.

3. If your tour, as ours was, does not start right at the pier, getting to the pier by bike took us through streets with 5 lanes of horrendous traffic each direction and having to cross over. It was definitely an experience.

In spite of all that we really enjoyed riding through a totally different Bangkok than we had previously seen and would never have guessed existed within this busy city. Saw two little boys covered in mud fishing in a stream and having a great time and went to a lovely park with ducks and fish to feed.
susncrg is offline  
Nov 29th, 2009, 10:04 AM
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There have been a number of Fodorites who have reported on bicycle tours in Bangkok. The one above you can do on your own (and I remember someone writing about this), but there are some that require a guide. There is a Dutch guy who owns a company that does bike tours in Bangkok, sorry, I don't remember the name of the company.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 29th, 2009, 06:39 PM
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Amazing Bangkok cyclist

You can choose Michael or Co from that page as they split a few years back.
We've gone with Co van Kessel twice. We're even in one of his pictures.
lcuy is offline  
Nov 29th, 2009, 10:19 PM
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I did Bang Krachan with Bangkok Bike Rides (Spice Roads) earlier this year. If possible, do it on a Sunday, as there is also a local 'floating' market in one of the temples on a Sunday.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Nov 29th, 2009, 11:23 PM
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We used Absolute Explorer bicycle tours. Got the train from the "Train Market" out towards the airport for a full days tour in the countryside, visited fruit and fish farms, schools, local co-ops along the way. A great day out.

crellston is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2009, 10:30 PM
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Has anyone done this on their own, not as part of a tour? Am considering it when I'll be in Bangkok later this month.
JohnH is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2009, 10:59 PM
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You could, but getting lost could be an issue, or at least finding how to get from point A to B without using the really busy streets.. I don't know how much they are charging now, but when we went a couple of years ago, it was about $20 for the 1/2 day tour. It's petty cheap if you consider renting a bike, paying for boats to take you across the river, snacks, and having locals to help in case you did fall or get a flat tire.

One of our tours had 12 people, the other had 6. I liked Co because he doesn't narrate...you just follow him, and when you stop he'll answer questions or talk about where you are.
lcuy is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2009, 01:40 AM
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The AmazingBangkokCycle tour is very good. However, the portion of the ride on concrete paths requires a very steady cyclist. Beth, a sometimes cyclist was very uneasy with the 90 degree turns. This portion of the trip was not fun for her.
Gpanda is offline  
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