When I told my friends that my next biking trip was to Bangkok, I was asked the above question with bewilderment each time. It probably did not occur to many people you can actually do other activities in Bangkok besides eating, shopping, having massages and fulfilling religious needs.
No, we did not go to the wrong destination. To be specific, we did not cycle in Bangkok city centre but in nearby provinces just an hour car ride away from Bangkok. You can cycle in some suburbs of Bangkok city, within 4 hours but the daunting traffic condition made us think thrice. Furthermore, we wanted to explore and experience the real local Thai life, away from the usual tourist spots.
The district of Amphawa, in the Samut Songkhram province is where we began our day of adventure. The route that we chosen allow us to experience the life of a local thai by cycling and sightseeing along a rural canal via many coconut plantations, fruit orchards, typical thai houses and small backstreet lanes.
After we bought some fruits from the floating market, we hopped onto our bicycles, eager and ready to explore the plantations, orchards and villages in the area.
The villagers are so friendly and our Bike Host seems to know everybody. We learned that coconut is one of the most profitable commodity to the villagers because every part of the fruit is useful and can be sold for money. Many villagers are committed to this source of business to maintain a comfortable livelihood for themselves despite the hard work.
We made some pit stops along the way and was always delighted our Support Master is all prepared with drinks and local snacks and fruits for us to refuel our bodies.
There was a long tailed boat was waiting for us by the canal within the restaurant premises as we savoured the last bit of the delicious meal. We hopped onto the boat right away and began the cruise. There is no need to fear seasickness as the canal waters are calm and the boat cruised at a constant speed. We saw many canal-side houses, some in traditional Thai style, some are simply assembled and some are totally rebuilt with a modern twist of design. If you live along the canal, the floating market will come to you instead of you visiting them. Kids also find their entertainment around the canal by jumping in and swimming around freely. That's the beauty of the canal.
Just before we return back to Bangkok city, we dropped by the Maeklong Railway Market to have a look. We are not expecting to see any trains and was simply delighted when we managed to catch the last train of the day. We missed the magic moment by a little where the track side stall holders miraculously retract their stalls in seconds as the train approaches.
No worries, we will be back.