Bangkok – the largest cosmopolitan anthill in the world – is an explosion of quivering vitality and insane traffic. And only the gods knows why we chose to explore the city on two wheels.
We have never learned to fully love Bangkok. There is too much of everything for it to hold its own – and us. So we always tend to escape the chaos as fast as possible. But we’ve always wondered what it is, we do not understand? What is it that we have not yet discovered?
We therefore decided on a slightly alternative approach on this trip. Or rather: we cycled! We jumped into the saddles and went with the flow through the metropolis guided by a young Thai guy. Matthew was his name. He grew up on a rice farm far up in the northeast of Thailand near the border of Laos. He has nine siblings and same amount of colored stars tattooed on his arm. And then he learned English by watching television.
SUICIDE BY BIKE
If you’ve been to Bangkok you’re probably shaking your head right now while envisioning tomorrow’s formidable history in the newspapers: “Two stupid Danes killed in Bangkok’s deadly traffic”.
Believe me. We had the same headline in our minds when we cycled off along one of the five lane highways, where the cars seem to compete in being reckless. Only surpassed by the millions of roaring scooter drivers that seem to be convinced that they are immortal creatures.
A WHOLE NEW WORLD IN BANGKOK
Kapow! We had only cycled for 10 minutes when we were hit. By a side of Bangkok that we didn’t know existed. Suddenly we were rolling down the small, quiet and quaint streets where birds are singing and the flowers are spreading their perfume. We cycled through lush green parks, past beautiful old temples and stopped several times by small houses where people sat grinning on the terrace and waved us welcome – hoping to chat for a few minutes and discover our country of origin?
We surrender. It’s impossible to completely justify how rare and captivating the bike ride was through only words. Unfortunately we lack pictures, as two hands on the handlebars seemed pretty mandatory at all times. Also the enthusiastic guide explaining a stream of exciting stories made it hard to grab the camera and multitask at a higher level.
Instead, we can only pass on our warmest recommendation! If you are going to Bangkok you need only one thing: Book a bike ride. With Matthew. He can actually pronounce R’s. For this he learned by watching television…