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After the protests in 2014 which shut down major intersections for months at a time, more people than before are riding their bikes around Bangkok, but it is by no means an overwhelming number. I’ve never done it, nor do I plan to. But if this is your thing, you at least have the option.
Anyone who intends to ride a bicycle in Thailand’s capital should be sure to take caution. Bicycling here is even more dangerous than in other large cities. Although it has some of the obvious health benefits, you may find that it is worth neither the hassle nor the danger.
If you insist on cycling, stick to some of the safer paths in Bangkok. There are several areas where you can ride with confidence and actually be able to enjoy yourself. What makes these areas different from the rest of the city? There is less traffic, less air pollution, and better visibility. If you are riding and start to feel unsafe, don’t hesitate to find a good place to get off and wheel your bicycle for a while.
When it comes to cycling in any major city, you need to be as safe as possible, wear a helmet and be very aware of traffic. Usually, cyclers don’t have trouble with the police, but you will probably annoy some drivers. They won’t hesitate to use their horns or lights to let you know that they are there. Many drivers will try to force you to stop, yield, or move off the road. If you are not experienced in riding in city traffic, definitely don’t try to get your start in an especially traffic-heavy city like Bangkok.
You will see some locals riding their bikes in Bangkok. If you get a chance, you might want to watch and see how they handle the cars. Note that many will have poorly-made bicycles, or ones that are breaking down. Be sure that your own bicycle has excellent brakes, good reflectors/lights, and solid frames.
In short, if you plan to cycle in Bangkok, be cautious and be prepared.
Posted on Gods of Thailand January 21, 2015 in Bangkok