Rooted in small-town family values and a simple desire to please, Co van Kessel Bangkok Tours has transformed what was once an eccentric diversion into one of Bangkok’s most unique and inspirational travel experiences. Led by co-founder, Chanmanee Phonphakdee (Nong) and former silicon valley tech geek, Henry Hsu, we devote every day to the simple, but amazing task of showing the REAL Bangkok to astute visitors from around the world.
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!
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.
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