Most people experience Bangkok in a way some would consider… cliché.
There’s the obvious trips and excursions: shopping in the markets and malls, visiting the beautiful temples, indulging in delicious food and, of course, partying it up in the buzzing night life.
But if you’re anything like me, you probably want something more.
Something with a little bit of excitement and thrill.
There are other ways to truly experience Bangkok and, believe it or not, you don’t have to hike up a Chiang Mai mountain or sail around the tropical islands to get your kicks.
There’s plenty of adventures to be had right on your doorstep – no 12 hour train journeys or bumpy flights necessary.
Here some of the ways I like to get my blood pumping and adrenaline going when I’m in Sukhumvit.
When Flowhouse opened their Bangkok franchise in Bangkok back in 2011, I was extremely excited to give this artificial wave a try. To experience the thrill of surfing without having to leave Bangkok was practically a dream come true.
Now, having done Parkour and break-dance in the past, I figured, how hard could surfing be?
Oh, how wrong I was.
Excited and confident, I stepped on the board, ready to ride the waves. Yet before I knew it, the fast moving currents threw me off balance and I crashed onto the soft, yet merciless floor, and was swept away like a tiny fish.
Beginners – I advise you to check your ego at the door and have a go at bodyboarding (laying flat, stomach first on the board) first or even knee boarding before trying the standing surf stance.
Baby steps, guys.
Climb that rock, son
There’s no need to head to the mountainous north of Thailand if you want to try out rock climbing.
You won’t find any mountains in Sukhumvit, rather indoor gyms with man-made rock formations that you can climb and abseil.
It’s perfect for all abilities and fitness levels as each wall is color coded according to difficulty level with stepping platforms that help you navigate to the top.
This is one of my favorite past times and fellow thrill-seekers can give it a go at Urban Playground. You can also venture a bit further and head over to Bang Na’s Rock Domain.
Dubbed as one of Bangkok’s most fun things to do, Bangkok Bobble Football truly does sound like it should deliver on that front.
Here, teams of friends – or even strangers – can compete in different games such as football, races, bowling and sumo wrestling while running around inside a zorb-like balloon.
This is one thing I haven’t tried although I’ve been dying to for over a year. It’s not something I can go to by myself because you need a group of friends (at least 6-8) to play.
This is a sport and adrenaline-thumping activity that is sure to, ahem, ‘blow up’.
See what I did there?
Jab, Hook, Kick!
Even though I watch a lot of violent films and action movies, I’m not a believer in violence as a tool to solve problems – I wouldn’t even dream of getting in a fist fight.
Having said that, there are times when you will have to be able to defend yourself. In that case, Muay Thai is the best skill you can learn.
Apart from learning combat skills, it is one hell of a sweat-breaking workout and, as a bonus, the practice is highly spiritual too. You can take lessons at one of many Muay Thai training centers or at a gym such as True Fitness, Fitness First and Virgin Active along Sukhumvit.
Remember to check the What’s On Sukhumvit directory too for all sport and fitness listings.
I did my training at TUFF Camp in Ekkamai.
Keep Calm And Bike On
Some of these adventures will cost you quite a bit, especially if they become a regular thing.
If you want to mind your budget, why not buy a decent bike and navigate through the bustling streets of Sukhumvit?
Trust me; cycling Bangkok is the ultimate adventure that will raise your heartbeat – and brain activity – to the max as you try to avoid dangerous potholes, crazy cars and the countless other obstacles. If you know anything about Bangkok, it’s that the traffic is maddening, and it’s certainly not any easier on cyclists.
This is certainly a high risk adventure: pay special attention to the speeding motorcyclists and swerving buses because they won’t be paying attention to you.
Wait! Are there even cycle lanes on Sukhumvit?
There’s a massive, growing community of cyclists in Bangkok and most of them can be seen on Twitter sharing their tales. Follow @BKKGreg if you really want to see how best to brave the streets.
How do you get your blood pumping on Sukhumvit? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image is by Bangkok Bobble Football