Co van Kessel, an innovative and adventurous Dutchman, pioneered bicycle tours in Bangkok more than 30 years ago. As a longtime resident and self-professed lover of Bangkok, he understood very well the picture of accelerated urban development (gridlocked traffic, concrete towers, and choking pollution) that has plagued the recent image of the city. He also had a hunch that this was not what Bangkok or Thailand was all about.
Making it his goal to re-discover Bangkok, Co spent thousands of hours on his mountain bike exploring the vast network of local streets, alleyways, footpaths and canals between the main urban thoroughfares. What he found, lurking behind the facade of modernization, were hidden worlds of peace and tranquility, a picture of “real” Thai life that has remained unchanged for countless decades; an identity of a city that is true to the Thai people, yet largely unknown to outsiders.
Whether it’s the colorful sights and smells of the local markets, the fascinating life of locals along the canals, or the surprising existence of bountiful green belts, Co discovered the essence of what makes Bangkok one of Asia’s most captivating cities. Since then, it has been his mission to share these discoveries with the rest of the world.
Sadly, with his passing in July, 2012, Co is no longer with us to see his vision through. However, armed with not only his inspiration, but also his bountiful knowledge, the CVK team will now carry on the torch of bicycle-based discovery in Bangkok… just the way Co would have wanted it!
What we do
Our mission at Co van Kessel Bangkok Tours is to provide our guests with a singularly unique travel experience in Thailand. All our tours use Co’s extensive topographical knowledge of the greater Bangkok area as well as his keen eye for the interesting to take you where nobody else can or will.
We aim not to bore you with talk, but to immerse you in an experience where your individual fascinations emerge.
Bicycles, boats, and our feet become the tools we use to gain access to the previously inaccessible, behind-the-scenes lifestyle of the Thai. Here the roots of an ancient culture will become evident in a way you never could have imagined.
Chanmanee Phonphakdee (Nong)
Co-founder & General Manager – Bachelor’s degree in tourism from Sakon Nakhon Rajabhat University. With a subtle brilliance rooted in a sweet, country-girl heart, Nong partnered with Co to transform what was once simply an eccentric diversion into one of Bangkok’s most innovative and adventurous traveler experiences.
Business Strategy Manager – Masters degree in computer engineering and Masters degree in business administration (MBA) from the University of California. A former computer engineer from America whose long corporate road led him to the peace and purity of a life in Thailand… devoted to serving the needs of travelers from around the world.