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Bangkok is all about contrast. Lying just beneath the pulse of vibrant modernity lies an ancient civilization and culture. Delving through the markets of Bangkok’s vivacious yet mysterious Chinatown, we then hop on a ferry to cross the majestic River of Kings to a more serene side of the city.
In the heart of downtown Bangkok lies the always active and often mysterious district of Chinatown. Here, alleys disappear into forgotten temples, exotic markets spill onto the streets and striking architecture spirals skyward. The tour begins amidst the morning commotion of Chinatown. We’ll cycle through back alleyways before diving through the hustle and bustle of Chinatown. We use a local ferry to find calmer surroundings on the other side of the Chao Phraya River. Here our trail changes pace, winding gently through the back roads of Thonburi district. Off the beaten track, we’ll see lesser-known temples, markets, and sites, including the Princess Mother Memorial Park. A well-kept secret, the park sees few tourists despite its magnetizing ambiance and attractions. Among the park’s arching branches stands a small museum, historically rich and well-worth the visit.
Back on the trail, we continue to Santa Cruz Catholic Church. The evidence of Portuguese influence in Thai society since they were the first European group that came into contact with Thailand in the 13th century. Take a break and have a taste of a Portuguese dessert made from an old recipe, then ride through the old community to the Temple of Good Friends, the second biggest Buddha and the biggest monk bell in Thailand. Next we continue to a Bangkok favorite, the Temple of the Dawn. This architecturally impressive structure features five towering prangs adorned by broken pieces of Chinese porcelain. Its construction symbolized an earthly version of the layers of heaven and admirers attest that mystic spirit is evident still. We then find more hidden ways to return to our start point.