According to the Ministry for Transport, 56% of the people in Bangkok get around by car. Another 35% use buses. No wonder that the streets are usually blocked. With the number of vehicles growing rapidly in Thailand – those in Bangkok are further using a lot of fuel – the environmental impact of this kind of traffic is getting worse. Not to speak about the polluted air which make Bangkok people suffer.
From time to time, I see a person crazy enough to hit the busy streets of Bangkok with a bike. To my amazement, I recently also came across some bike paths in the middle of the city. Is my use of the SkyTrain combined with a lot of walking maybe not the most sustainable way to get around the city of angels?
What’s for sure is that if you do it well, it will save you a lot of time. “With the right route, you reach your destination faster than other vehicles.” With the wrong route, you probably end up stuck in the traffic yourself. There are also some (quite funny) rules to stick to in order to make your ride safe, check them out here.
In case you’re not sure if you want to risk an encounter with other vehicles, CNNgo writes that “there are actually some great areas and fantastic paths that will let you get some exercise while you see Bangkok up close and personal.” In their article you can also find a nice list of calm areas to bike in and relax.
For tourists, Bangkok is already offering free bicycles called “Green Bangkok Bike”. These free bikes – mainly available in the Northern area – have been introduced in 2008. Hopefully, they can promote that lifestyle also within their constant population – who seems to have given up cycling for motorized ways of getting around.
The stastistics are definitely in favour of bicycles: within the very heart of the city, traffic doesn’t move faster than 12km/h – an average biker can do much better than that.
For those who are in town: this Saturday is a good start for getting in the mood for big city cycling. Join the Cycle-lizing Bangkok Fest!! More about the event on Greenworld (unfortunately in Thai). I’ll update on the event this weekend!