Rattanakosin Island Segway Tour Review

Bangkok Tour Reviews

This fascinating tour is offered on six routes around Bangkok, Ayutthaya, and the Ancient City in Samut Prakarn. We chose to sample the Segway sightseeing around Rattanakosin Island. The route of the Old City includes beautiful architecture and Bangkok’s central backpacker hub on Khao San Road. It’s definitely an experience to remember! 


Segway Training Session

After watching an introduction and safety video, we hopped on the actual machine. It took a while until I got used to it, though it was not difficult. If you want to speed up, lean slightly forward. If you’re going too fast (whether it’s on purpose or because of losing control) there is a ‘speed limiter’ that will force you to lead backward, and your Segway will slow down. Turning left-and-right is simple; just move the LeanSteer frame in your desired direction much like a bicycle.

We rode around the training area until we were all comfortable with operating the Segway and were ready to hit the road. Before the tour set off, our tour guide gave each of us a wireless headset so we could listen to information about the history and the various attractions along the tour as we glided around the city.

Phra Pinklao Bridge, the Chao Phraya River, Phra Sumen Fort

Our tour kicked off from Maharaj Pier and led us into Thammasat University then on to Phra Pinklao Bridge. This was Bangkok’s first concrete bridge, built over the Chao Phraya River to connect Rattanakosin and Thonburi together. The ride was fun and exciting, especially when we went up and down the slopes. Before heading to Phra Sumen Fort on Phra Athit Road, we stopped at the Chao Phraya waterfront boardwalk to take some photographs.

Built over 220 years ago to protect the borders of the Old City, Phra Sumen Fort is one of only a few that still remain. Surrounding the fort is Santi Chaipakran Park, a popular relaxation spot for locals and tourists. The amphitheatre sometimes hosts musical performances and plays. It’s also possible to watch students practicing classical Thai instruments for the show here.

Wat Chanasongkram and Khao San Road

We got back on our Segways and sped up to Wat Chanasongkram on Rambuttri Road. The temple was restored after the famous victory at the Battle of Nine Armies in 1787. Here, we visited the ordination hall, featuring beautifully gilded wood and a stunning Buddha image in the 'subduing mara posture'. We paid respect to the Buddha image and made merits before heading off to the world-famous backpacker area, Khao San Road.

As soon as we joined the slow-moving crowd on Khao San Road, we became the centre of attention. Yes, it was because we were on the Segway and people were looking and photographing us as if we were Superstars in a Ferrari F430. As usual, Khao San was packed with street bars, restaurants, guesthouses and hotels, street vendors selling apparel and a wide assortment of goods, and of course thousands of tourists! Here, you can stop at one of the street bars and have a drink, relax and observe Khao San’s happenings before heading to the next destination, Ratchadumnoen Klang Road.

Although crossing the eight-lane road might sound terrifying, especially on Ratchadumnoen Klang, it wasn’t actually that scary as there are pedestrian crossings. Also, our helpful guide took care of us, plus, by then everyone felt more comfortable operating their Segway.

 

Heritage Buildings, Grand Palace and Royal Ground Filed

Our fun ride continued along Ratchadumnoen towards the City Pillar Shrine (San Lak Muang) and the mustard-coloured building at the Ministry of Defense. Built in 1884, some parts of this Roman pediment are open to the public and the exhibit contains military weapons and ancient cannons. It’s worth a visit.

Just across the road from all this handsome architecture stands the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Keaw). Unfortunately, they are closed to visitors at 15:30, so take the morning tour if you plan on entering (admission fee is not included in the program.)

Before heading back to Maharaja Pier, we crossed to the spacious Royal Ground (Sanum Luang). This open field is about the size of three football pitches. It offered us an opportunity to speed up and race each other on the Segways, a big adrenaline rush! What’s the bottom line for this Segway review? Well, as the brochure claims: it’s “A fantastic Way to Discover Thailand”.

Getting There

The tour does not include hotel pick-up/drop-off services, though getting to the departure point and back is easy. The meeting point is at the Segway Tour Thailand shop located at Maharaj Pier. You can take a Tourist Express Boat (Blue flag) which leaves every 30 minutes from the Central Pier and is also connected to Saphan Taksin Skytrain (BTS) station. Click for more information about Chao Phraya Pier Guide.


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