Bangkok isn’t a city normally thought of as being bike friendly. However, as any good Bangkok family knows, far (and not-so-far) away from the hectic urban areas you will find leafy parks tucked-away and even a few specialist bike parks. Bangkok has introduced a smart card bike sharing scheme in an attempt to reduce car emissions and although the Pun Pun Bike Share programme does still exist, this is not encouraged for families with younger kids. The risks definitely outweigh the benefits. Remember, in Thailand you cannot cycle on the pavements (sometimes it’s difficult enough to walk on them) so putting the family on bikes in the hectic Bangkok traffic is quite challenging and probably reserved for parents or older teens.
But, don’t dismay if your family are cycling enthusiasts, Bangkok definitely has more than its fair share of cycling routes. You can even find some of these in the city centre, if you’re brave enough to ride around the green cycle lanes around lower & mid Sukhumvit! As the kids are definitely looking for more things to do outside, we’ve listed a few great, safe family-friendly trails and routes that come highly recommended.
Peppermint Bike Park
Peppermint Bike Park (click here for the BKK Kids review) is located in Lat Phrao. The park was created as an urban escape for cyclists who need to get their fix without having to travel for hours outside the city and features a variety of terrain that is suitable for every level of biker. There is a smooth, flat and well maintained asphalt path around its perimeter for beginners and a variety of twists, turns, bumps, bridges and challenges throughout for more advanced riders.
Peppermint has, literally, everything you need for a family day of biking. You can rent bikes, helmets and other gear on site. Their equipment is modern and well maintained. You can also bike in the cooler evening time as the park has a well lit experience for peddling into the night!
Co van Kessell Bike Tours
Co van Kessel Bike Tours give you the opportunity to see a part of the real Bangkok away from the concrete towers and lets you discover a vast network of local streets, alleyways, footpaths and canals. You get to see and experience what lurks behind the modern facade and discover hidden worlds – giving you a picture of ‘real’ Thai life that has remained unchanged for countless decades and is largely unknown to visitors. This is a truly unique, bicycle, boat or combined tour, for those who want a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the sights, sounds and smells of Thailand. Kids bikes are available but remember to confirm their ages and proficiency levels when booking.
Situated in the heart of the city, Benjakitti Park remains an ever-popular spot for Bangkok’s resident morning and evening runners. This urban oasis also has a dedicated cycling lane around its artificial lake, so you can cycle freely without having to dodge other pedestrians – ideal if you’ve got little ones still unsteady in the saddle. Bikes of all sizes are available to hire for around THB50 per hour, and there’s also a range of family-friendly facilities including playgrounds and pedal-powered swan boats.
Bangkok’s Green Lung
The Bang Krachao green space (better known as “the Green Lung”) offers arguably the most tranquil place for a bike ride anywhere in Bangkok. Located on the outskirts of the Phra Pradaeng district, this jungle-like world offers quiet paths and elevated bike trails that wind through a landscape of dense vegetation, traditional villages and sleepy temples. It’s ideal for more confident young riders. To reach the Green Lung, catch a boat across the river from Klong Toey Port (around THB10 fare each). You can also rent bikes on the opposite side for between THB80 to 100 per day; some bikes have baby seats.
This sprawling Buddhist park is located around 22 km outside of Bangkok and offers a wonderfully serene location for a bike ride with the kids. A huge 15.87-metre tall Buddha statue stands at the center of the park, surrounded by manicured gardens, fish-filled ponds and tree-lined walking and biking trails – including a huge 7.6 km track around the perimeter. Bring your bikes and a picnic lunch — hire a mat and choose from many shady spots when you’re ready to refuel.
Nong Bon Water Sports Center
Nong Bon Water Sports Center is located right beside Rama IX Park, with a bike route that loops around its lake. Opened in 2015, the 4 km trail attracts a range of cyclists, including competitive bikers on the weekends. With both a fast and a slow lane available, kids can enjoy peddling at their own pace. Also, a straight, tree-lined stretch off the main loop, jutting into the reservoir, is ideal for beginner bikers. Nong Bon is dog-friendly, so please watch the little ones around dogs.
Suan Rot Fai
Open daily from 5am, Suan Rot Fai is the perfect place for an early morning bike ride before the sun gets up. This 150-acre park is situated just north of Chatuchak Market and has a shady three-kilometer trail that weaves its way through a luscious green space. There is also a small road safety track, with mini road signs and traffic lights, for children to practise biking. You can hire bikes for between THB20 to 30 at the northern end, and there are also volleyball, basketball and tennis courts along with a kid’s playground. Once energy levels are spent, grab a bite to eat at the on-site cafe or sprawl out with a picnic beside the park lake.
Rama IX Park
Suan Luang Rama IX Park is the largest green space in Bangkok, featuring lush landscaping and a variety of beautiful gardens, conservation areas for aquatic life, and a large reservoir. The trails are well-paved and wide – ideal for biking with the children. Bring your own bikes and explore the many zones on both shady paths, hilly terrain and flat, exposed trails. Children can further expend energy at the playground and hedge maze.
The very latest and uber cool cycle park to open is the Bangkok Skylane. Featuring 23.5 km cycle track that loops around Suvarnabhumi Airport on the outskirts of the city, this has proved to be a huge success with thousands of cycling enthusiasts using the impressive facilities on a daily basis.
Although it’s known widely as the Skylane, its official name is ‘Charoensuk Monkolchit,’ and is definitely a world-class cycle track with the added bonus of being completely free to all, regardless of age, background or ability.
In recognition of cyclists’ varying speeds and the paramount need for safety, the main track is divided into a purple lane for fast riders and a blue lane for more leisurely cyclists. Rest stops, complete with toilets and shade, have been located at strategic points along the way. Several that offer unusually close-up views of planes taking off and landing are invariably the most popular, especially for ‘selfies!’
Editors note: At the time of writing June 2021 only some of these parks are open, the bike parks are open but national parks remain closed due to the Covid-19 safety measures.
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