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Cycling Bangkok

About cycling Bangkok and how to cycle in and out of the city

Cycling Bangkok is like cycling in and out of any metropolis: busy, smelly and to some extend dangerous. Still it's not impossible nor suicidal but it's also not particularly much fun too. This page helps you how to handle the cycling options in Bangkok.

Crazy traffic near Khao San Road on the junction to the National Library

Crazy traffic near Khao San Road on the junction to the National Library

The usual thing I hear is that cycling Bangkok is crazy and suicidal. It's not. I've cycled in and out of Bangkok several times from north, south and east. Nope, I never cycled westwards to Nakhon Pathom so I can't comment on that road.

Accommodation in Bangkok

There is accommodation in Bangkok in every price range, from dirt (literally) cheap to 6 star hotels, check out Tripadvisor, Hotelscombined or for your choice:

Cycling in Bangkok

Would I recommend cycling in Bangkok? Not really. Sure, with so much to see in the city that never seems to sleep and many attractions are just too far to walk a bicycle seems a good form of transport. Unfortunately the massive traffic is a serious concern.

7.30AM at the Bangkok Royal Palace, still quiet
7.30AM at the Bangkok Royal Palace, still quiet

I've cycled many times through the city over the last 20 years. It is not suicidal as traffic really seem to take care of slower forms of transport. There is an exception for buses, they always take their space and cut you short so be very careful which includes passengers getting out of the bus.

The roads described in the following sections have the Royal Palace in the heart of Bangkok as starting point. In general you will get space to cycle but parking your bicycle might be a bit tricky.

When I am in Bangkok, I usually cycle to the hotel of my choice and either walk, take a bus or tuktuk to go around in the city.

Cycling in Bangkok's China Town ....
Cycling Bangkok's China Town ....

The tourist office behind the National Museum might help you finding bicycle routes along the khlongs, which give you a complete different view of Bangkok but if that is what you want, I would prefer to do that by boat.

Cycling Bangkok: to and from Aytutthaya (north)

There are several options to cycling in and out of Bangkok to Ayutthaya. The one I prefer follows the river north. From Khao San Road, go north to the National Library and follow this road all along the river to Nonthaburi.

Some parts are one way but if you follow the road signs you will come back on the Nonthaburi Road.

You will come at the junction of Expressway 302 and 306. Follow the 306 which leads to road 346 and Ayutthaya. This is the quickest, though not very pleasant road north.

You can do a quick detour through Pathom Thani but it won't give you much additional pleasures. Bangkok - Ayuttahaya is about 80 km and it is for the most unpleasant. The road here described is probably the least unpleasant to cycle.

Pathom Thani, suburb to Bangkok
Phatom Thani, I thought it might be easier to pass through this city,
I was wrong as it turned out, just more km and no less traffic
although in the city it was ok

Cycling Bangkok: to and from the south

This is a most unpleasant road to cycle. Start at the Royal Palace and follow the river on the east bank to Phra Pok Klao bridge. This is a very busy road with bicycle lanes although most of the time they're occupied by cars, trucks and buses.

When you arrive at the Wong Wian Yai monument, a big circle, make sure you take the junction to Thonburi. Failing to take that one (as I did in 2012) leads to Samut Prakan. This is the wrong way and it will be hard to get back on the main road unless you go all the way back to the monument or, as I did, try to find your way through the southern suburbs of Bangkok, a rather unpleasant experience.

Bicycle lanes on the way to Thonburi
Cycling Bangkok: bicycle lanes on the way to Thonburi
... but I didn't want to use them... way too dangerous...

The road you want is Road 3242 which merges with road 35, a 14 (if I counted right) lane highway to Petchaburi. There are no alternatives. You can get away from road 35 for a few kilometers in Samut Sakhon. It leads right through the city center and you can stay here, if you like. Just before the road through the city merges again with the 35, there's a hotel.

The circle at Wong Wian Yai monument Bangkok
The circle at Wong Wian Yai monument.

The next stop is Samut Songkhram. When I cycled this road in 2012, just after the city (west) I saw a junction to Hua Hin (80km). As I wanted to visit Petchaburi which I had skipped the first time, I didn't follow this road but it's worth exploring as it seems to be a shortcut skipping quite some highway.

A crossroads on the way south in Thonburi
A crossroads on the way south in Thonburi

Highway 35 ends in Huai Rong where you have to decide to go north to Ratchaburi or south to Petchaburi.

On the road to Samut Songkhram
On the road to Samut Songkhram, south of the city center.

Cycling Bangkok to and from Chachoensao (for Pataya and Cambodia)

This is the easiest and most unpleasant road to cycle. Basically all you need to do is cycle from the Royal Palace through China Town to the railway station and take highway 7 which goes east. This road leads directly to the airport and Chon Buri for going to Pataya. Or you can take the junction to Chachoensao.

Floods in Thailand, Prachin Buri

The floods in Prachin Buri

Another option is to follow the direction to Min Buri. This is a little confusing as not everywhere the direction is clear. You will have to follow Siam Park, this road follows the river. A good option is to take the junction to Nong Chok (just after Min Buri). This road basically leads you directly out of the urban jungle. It is a pleasant and quiet road that eventually leads to Prachin Buri, where you find some hotels. The Aran Garden hotel has rooms for B230.

A much cooler option (although it requires you to have a tent) is to cycle to Chachoensao, pass the city (there's hotels here) using the 315 and take the junction 3304 and follow directions to Wang Sombun, Aranyaphratet is not far from there.

Getting out of Bangkok via Bangkok new city ... that was a mistake
Cycling Bangkok: Bangkok new city ...
that was a mistake to cycle, this is a crazy busy road.

I did this in 2002 and found it a wonderful experience. Due to the distance I had to camp and found snakes around the tent. In one of the villages people showed me some pythons they captured in the area, so if you camp, you need to be able to close your tent. Another option is to use the shelters in the padi field as these are on stilts and therefore safe to use. I've used them a few times too.

On the way to Wang Sombun
On the way to Wang Sombun

Cycling Bangkok advice

But which road you take out of Bangkok, I recommend you start as early as possible. I once cycled out to the south on a Sunday morning when the roads were amazingly quiet. The earlier you start cycling out of Bangkok, the better. It's not fun but it's OK to do.

2010, Jim in Min Buri when I cycled Bangkok-Arayaphratet via Prachin Buri
2010, Jim in Min Buri when I cycled Bangkok-Arayaphratet via Prachin Buri

Get a city map at the Tourist Information Office behind the National Museum, they're free. For proper maps of Thailand, see my maps of Thailand page which ones I recommend.

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More Thailand related pages:

North Thailand To and from Bangkok

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