During my recent visit to bustling Bangkok I had the opportunity to join one of my favorite activities: a bike tour by Co van Kessel!
Riding a bike is probably not what comes to mind in a city like Bangkok, but with the excellent guidance of the experienced and enthusiastic guides, a bike tour by Co van Kessel is an absolute highlight during your holiday in Thailand!
Who is Co van Kessel?
Co van Kessel was the ultimate bicycle pioneer in Thailand. He was one of the first foreigners to explore Bangkok by bike to explore the ‘real’ Bangkok. Everybody thought he was nuts when he saw the potential in bike tours in Bangkok, but now Co van Kessel has become a household name that offers exciting bike tours to travelers to see the real Bangkok. Sadly, Co passed away in 2012, but his legacy has been continued ever since by the dedicated team of Co van Kessel.
But why is a bike tour by Co van Kessel an absolute must during a visit to Bangkok? Below 5 reasons why to join a bike tour by Co van Kessel:
The guides at Co van Kessel are a big added value to the bike tours with their enthusiasm, knowledge and eye for detail. And don’t be fooled by their age. They might be young, They know exactly how to deliver an unforgettable tour to their clients. With safety always as their priority, these guides will lead you through the different neighborhoods of Bangkok. They are always ready to answer questions and know every street and alley that you would never find on your own. They also show interest in the travelers and where they come from. And did you know you can catch the guides reading TravelKids Thailand quite often? his is one of their ways to meet their clients’ expectations and to turn every bike tour into an unforgettable moment during your holidays in Thailand.
2. ’See the real Bangkok’
This is Co van Kessel’s slogan for a reason, because a bike tour in Bangkok is the perfect way to explore the real, daily life in this bustling city. No highlights like the Grand Palace, because travelers can visit those sights easily on own. Instead, daily life of ordinary Thai people in ordinary neighborhoods. Every route has been carefully designed to show travelers the different sides to Bangkok; from local markets, narrow alleys and unknown temples to the busy streets of Chinatown, small ferries and small roads along the Chao Praya river. Co van Kessel will bring you to the most unexpected places in Bangkok.
3. Relationships with with the local neighborhoods
For Co van Kessel building and maintaining a good relationship with all neighborhoods that are included in their tours is very important. Much time and effort is spent on talking with the local communities to explain why foreigners love to bike through their neighborhood. Co van Kessel also takes responsibility for any damage caused by their clients and they also contribute to local events and fundraisers. Don’t be surprised when people wave to you during your tour or when they want to ‘high-five’ you. They think it’s fun to see all those crazy foreigners passing by on bikes!
4. Unique experience by bike
Biking allows you to explore a city in a unique way. You can see everything up close and if you want you can have a chat with people that you meet along the way. On foot you also see a lot, but you can cover a much smaller area. Of course traveling by air-conditioned car or bus is also very comfortable in this hot climate, but you often get stuck in traffic and many places are impossible to reach by cat or bus. The bicycles of Co van Kessel are solid, recognizable by the yellow color and perfect to guide you through the streets and alleys of Bangkok.
5. Child friendly
Another reason to do a bike tour is that it is not only fun or grown-ups, but also for kids. Families that have ever traveled in Thailand know that Thai people love kids and Thailand is known to be a very family friendly place to travel to for good reason. Co van Kessel has different sized kids bikes and seats to put on the back for the youngest travelers. Big cities like Bangkok can be quite challenging for parents, because it’s overwhelming and hot for their kids who often just want to swim in the pool at the hotel. That’s why a bike tour is great for kids; Enough to explore while biking. Also, lots of things to try and when they have questions there is always a guide to explain things to them. With or without some translation help from parents. And after the tour there is always enough time for a dip in the pool at the hotel!
For more information on bike tours by Co van Kessel, check out www.covankessel.com.