Great escapes the ‘E’ way
It’s long been said that the best way to explore any rich cultural community is on foot or by bike. But long tours can be tiring especially in the tropical heat and so Bangkok’s “tourists” are turning to a new way of getting around – the electric scooter.
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen greater interest in adventure and outdoor packages, perhaps because people still feel uncomfortable going into crowded places. Whatever the reason, the opportunity to ride an e-scooter has come at the right time.
Like bicycle tours, e-scooter tours have been around for some time and mostly target foreign tourists wanting to see the city’s most famous sights. These days, though, the e-scooters are increasingly popular with local residents eager to try out new activities in their hometown.
Go E-scooter tours Bangkok located near Bangrak market has recently experienced a rising interest among local tourists. Prior to the outbreak, very few locals had heard about the service, but now the e-scooters and the diverse cultural route from Bangrak to Klongsan via Talad Noi and Chinatown are much in demand.
Riders start from the office of Go E-scooter tours Bangkok andride through Bangrak, Charoenkrung and Talad Noi to Chinatown before crossing the Memorial Bridge. There’s plenty to see along the route, particularly as Charoenkrung and Talad Noi are part of the so-called Creative District, the most happening art and cultural scene in Bangkok.
E-scooters offer great mobility especially in old communities like Talad Noi and Chinatown, something that bicycles simply can’t match. Small alleys are eye-opening experiences and e-scooters allow riders to see interesting sights up close just as if they were travelling on foot. It’s also a lot less tiring thanks to the electric power though riders must remember to watch out for other vehicles and pedestrians.
The attractions along the route are interesting too with the tour taking riders through Christian, Muslim, Chinese and Buddhist communities.
After passing the Shangri-La Hotel, the riders arrive at the first stop – Wat Suan Phlu, a community temple with an amazing Ubosot and striking wooden gingerbread architecture that was recognised with an outstanding conservation award from the Association of Siamese Architects in 2002.
A guide will lead a group of 7-8 riders along the route. He will alert group members when they are about to turn into a narrow lane as well as warn them to be extra careful in areas like Chinatown or Sampeng, which are packed with shops and stalls and often crowded with shoppers.
The tour takes about three hours and there are two rounds daily, at 9am and 2pm. Well worth a try thanks to the well-designed route, the culture-packed tour covers attractions and the capital’s landmarks such as Talad Noi wall art, the Grand Postal Office, Memorial Bridge, Santa Cruz Church, Wat Arun and Chinatown.
Weekday tours are recommended as the attractions tend to be less crowded. And the scooters are easy to ride too, especially for those used to cycling.
After a few months in operation, e-scooter tours have been well received. Apart from the Bangrak-Klongsan route, tourists can now sign up for other trips including one of Bang Krachao. Each route costs between 1,000-1,500 baht depending on the operator and the route. If you are aged 14 or older and in good health, this is the ideal way to explore your hometown and learn something new.