Getting Active in Bangkok
Great ideas for some energetic pursuits in Bangkok
Bangkok is not known first and foremost for being a centre for active pursuits and adrenaline activities but know where to look and you'll be able to get the heart pumping in no time! This metropolis has a surprising number of opportunities within easy reach but there are also some very rewarding ventures to be had that require journeying outside of the city proper but can be easily achieved in half or full day excursions.
Here's a rundown of exhilarating experiences to fill your time in and around the city;
There are many local tour companies offering guided cycling tours of Bangkok's cultural sights which is a great way to see the city. It's also the preferred way of exploring the ruins of Ayutthaya.
Lumpini Park offers a green space in the heart of the city that's ideal for a bike ride and there's usually plenty going on in the form of street performers, exercise classes and other recreational activities. Look out for the monitor lizards that make their home here!
Rot Fai Park has a 3km long cycle path to enjoy in natural surroundings and bikes can be rented here for 30 baht per day.
With its coconut palms, papaya trees, and traditional wooden houses, Bang Kachao 'Bangkok's Green Lung' feels like a world away from the high rises and traffic jams of the city. You can rent a bike for 100 baht per day and explore the villages and jungly paths.
A couple of hours south of the city and close to Pattaya you will find the highest bungee jump in Thailand (60 metres) provided by Xbungy, fully insured, and known for their high standard of safety protocols.
Those who brave the bungee cord will receive a 'Certificate of Courage', an HD video of the jump, as well as a t-shirt (if booked online).
Another activity onsite includes Asia's first horizontal bungee 'The Human Slingshot', and it's possible to book a package combining both.
Check out Xbungy's website here for further details.
|Shark diving at Ocean World|
What could be more exhilarating than getting up close and personal with a shark? Ocean World offer a great opportunity to swim with leopard sharks, blacktip reef sharks and tiger sharks, as well as other aquatic species, and there will be a qualified trainer with you every step of the way.
You don't have to be an experienced diver but you should be able to swim well.
It is advised that you should not drink alcohol the night before the dive and do not fly in an aircraft within 12 hours after doing a dive.
You can find out more information and book tickets here.
Bangkok's answer to Disneyland is a theme park full of hair-raising rides including the Sky Coaster, Space Mountain, Super Splash, and the terrifying 'Tornado' which hurls passengers 7 storeys high whilst spinning in all directions, whilst supposedly simulating the experience of being caught up in a whirlwind.
More sedate rides include the Snow Town experience, a monorail tour, bumper boats and Antique cars.
There are also Hollywood action stunt shows, and animal shows for the whole family to enjoy.
A high-rise metropolis may be the last place you may think of to catch a wave but Flow House on the Sukhumvit Road is an innercity 'beach club' where you can do just that!
Whether you're a beginner keen to learn or an experienced surfer looking to get a bit of practice in, all are welcome here and there are knowledgeable and friendly instructors onsite to help when needed.
Other facilities at Flow House include a plunge pool, a sports bar/coffee shop, a restaurant, games room, locker rooms and a Flagship Ripcurl store.
A drive of a couple of hours south and you can swap the concrete jungle of the city for the lush green jungle just outside Pattaya where Flight of the Gibbon offers some great ziplining opportunities. You can sail over the tropical canopy and get a unique perspective of the wildlife residing there including gibbons, part of Flight of the Gibbon's ongoing successful conservation project.
You can organise a trip through their website where pick up and drop off are included from set locations in a half day excursion.
|Water sports at Lake Taco|
Just 40 minutes outside Bangkok is the beautiful and expansive Taco Lake, home to a water sports centre that was established in the 1980's when such activities were relatively new to Thailand.
Here you can try out wakeboarding, wake skating or water-skiing, regardless of experience although it is particularly good for beginners as there are some obstacles to try out which are not too challenging.
The centre provides all of the equipment for every level of ability and there are instructors on hand to help where needed. There is also a decent restaurant and shop on-site.
With so many adrenaline activities to try, jumping out of a plane has to be up there with the most memorable.
Skydive Thailand offers jumps of 14,000 ft with exceptional instructors and some of the best safety equipment available, mostly manufactured and imported from the USA, New Zealand and Germany.
Located in Khao Yai, approximately 2 hours 45 minutes from Bangkok, Skydive Thailand can provide an exhilarating day out for first timers as well as licensed skydivers.
Find out more about the safety requirements and booking an experience here. There are also many operators located around the Pattaya area in the south so it's worth shopping around if planning to combine a skydive with other activities.
There are several places in and around Bangkok where indoor climbing can be enjoyed including Urban Playground in the Sukhumvit area which claims to have the 'best indoor climbing experience in Thailand'. It offers a range of different climbing experiences for beginners and more skilled regulars with boulder style walls and caves as well as top out walls and top rope walls.
The Rock Domain Climbing Gym - the first full-scale climbing gym in Thailand - also has overhang lead walls, speed walls and competition wall, and they reset their routes every week to keep things interesting. The centre is a short taxi ride away from BTS Udom-Suk Station
|Muay Thai Boxing|
The art of Muay Thai boxing is taken very seriously and there are a whole host of training camps all over the country where enthusiasts can hone their skills, but realistically you may not have time to commit to this kind of program. Luckily there are many gyms around Bangkok which offer taster sessions.
Check out Master Toddy's or RSM Academy in Sukhumvit, Jitti Gym in Ratchada, Legend Thai Boxing in Silom or Bangkok Fight Lab in Lower Sukhumvit to get a flavour of this hugely popular sport.