Negotiating the busy streets of central Bangkok by bike can be a hair-raising experience at the best of times. In broad daylight, one at least has a better chance of seeing manic motorists, jaywalking pedestrians, dozing dogs and other obstacles in time to take evasive action. But traversing the downtown area on two wheels after dark is surely a recipe for disaster. Which is why I am so nervous about signing up for a bicycle tour of the city, organised by a firm called Co Van Kessel, which starts just before sunset.
Wat Pho is pretty deserted after sunset; a great time to visit.
Our guide for the evening’s adventure is to be a guy called Udom Su-udomsingroj. Although he hails from Mae Hong Son, a province noted for its tranquil countryside and hill-tribe treks, Udom’s been living in the Big Mango for some time now and assures me that he finds it quite easy to get around by bike.