Alvin In The Room: Journal

Two bike cities, Chiang Mai and Gyeongju

Gyeongju, Korea, 2016.

Gyeongju, Korea, 2016.

Chiang Mai, Thailand; and Gyeongju, South Korea; were two cities I visited this year. I would call them ‘bike cities’ as cycling is always the best way to go around even the transport system is not bad.

泰國的清邁和南韓的慶州是我今年到訪過的其中兩個城市。為我來說它們是「單車城市」,因為即使有完善的交通配套下,騎單車是最好的遊覽方式。

 

Chiang Mai, Thailand 泰國清邁

Chiang Mai is in the northern part of Thailand. The airport, town centre and most sightseeing areas are so close together. There are no railways, and bus service is not so common although it is improving these years. Tourists usually need to rely on Tuk Tuk and Songthaew in the city.

Tuk Tuk and Songthaew are so special for most overseas travelers. They are, in general, the taxi without a meter calculating fares according to the distance a passenger have travelled. Tourists have to negotiate and even bargain with drivers for the price. Besides, it’s easy to get a Tuk Tuk or Songthaew in the town centre, while it’s not far away from it.

People who have driving licenses can rent motorbikes. For those who don’t have like me, a bicycle is always a great company!

清邁在泰國北部,機場、市區和大部分的旅遊景點都很集中。這個城市沒有鐵路,而巴士即使最近有改善,服務不算太普及。最重要的交通工具是Tuk Tuk和雙條車。

這兩款交通工具為外地遊客來說十分特別,在清邁的運作,可說是沒有咪錶的計程車。旅客需要與司機商量價錢,在市區比較容易找到雙條,在偏遠地區較難。

如果有駕駛執照的話,可以租摩托車。沒有的話,單車是最好的旅伴!

The city has cycling paths and lanes in fact, but in most cases people have to ride with other vehicles, but their speed is not so fast that you don’t have to worry about the road safety.

You can ride inside the old town, and also the outside. It’s a good idea to go to Baan Kang Wat, the artist village which is 5 to 6km away, 30 minutes from the town centre. Huay Tung Tao Lake, the beautiful nature which requires about an hour journey (15km).

清邁是有單車徑和單車線,但大部分情況得與其他汽車在路上,但他們的車速不算很快,所以不用太擔心路面安全。

單車不論在古城內外都方便,不論去五至六公里外的Baan Kang Wat,甚至是15公里外的Huay Tung Tao Lake。從古城前往只要半到一小時。

Get the bike from hostels and bike shops. 55 to 60 Bahts for 24 hours in 2016. 24 hours is a good thing, so that you don’t have to hurry up to finish your bike journey at night, and return it before the shop closes. Park it just outside the hostel or hotel you are staying at.

The city is also developing their own bike share system. However, I didn’t try it.

在一些旅舍或單車店可租車,2016年的資料:一般只要55至60泰銖,即可租借24小時。24小時意味著不用晚上及早回來趁店家未關門還車。在旅舍或酒店外泊下單車即可。

清邁也有自助單車租借,但我還沒試過。

 

Gyeongju, South Korea 南韓慶州

Gyeongju is a city with so many historic sites and traditional Korean houses. To get there, take an-hour train or bus from Busan, the largest city in the southern part of the country.

Many people are suggested to wander around the city by renting bikes. They are some bike rental shops around the train and intercity bus stations. However, I couldn’t find any bike share facilities in Gyeongju (as of May, 2016).

慶州有不少歷史古蹟和韓屋,從南部最大城市釜山到這裡只要一小時左右。

不少人來這裡都租單車,在火車站和城際巴士站附近都有不少單車店,但似乎沒有自助單車站了(2016年5月資料)。

Like Chiang Mai, most popular tourist sites are close to each other. Most importantly, cyclists do not have to worry about car accidents as the pedestrian roads are so wide that include bikes.

Unlike Chiang Mai, Gyeongju provides great bus services. But Korean languages only can be an obstacle to overseas tourists. I only take a bus once in the city as one of the places I wanted to visit is too far away. Riding a bike is more comfortable than walking, and you can stop anywhere and anytime when you notice something interests you, even there are no parking spaces nearby.

慶州的景點都很集中,而騎腳踏車的可以在寬闊的行人道上,比清邁更不用擔心道路安全問題。

但不像清邁的是,慶州本來就有完善的巴士服務,但有時候只有韓語資料令人卻步。(其實除此之外,韓國坐巴士沒有難度,服務也可靠)在慶州數天內我只有一次搭乘巴士的體驗,因為我要去一個比較偏遠的景點。單車比走路更舒適,在發現有趣事物也可以隨時停個一兩秒。

Most people who visit Gyeongju do not stay overnight, as they may be told by travel guides that the city is so small and Busan has much more to be seen. Even there are not so many things to do in Gyeongju, Gyeongju is a place for one to slow down. Take a bike and ride it slowly. Sit in the park and do nothing. Wander around and get a coffee as the density of cafes is so high in a small town.

很多人去慶州即日來回,這可能是旅遊書一般的建議,且城市很細,而釜山可以看的比慶州更多。即使慶州能看的不算多,這個城市也可作為慢活的旅遊地,慢慢的騎單車,在公園放空,甚至喝咖啡。慶州咖啡店的密度是很高的!


For me, bicycle is one of the great inventions in human’s history. It does not need electricity or diesel. It only needs a little bit training while no driving license is needed. It is not slower than other modes of transport like bus and subway, when you go to a place 15km away from the starting point. You can decide the path and don’t need to follow the (frustrating) public transport services. Follow your heart.

於我,單車是人類歷史其中一項偉大發明!它不需要汽油和電力推動,它只需要人一點的訓練和學習,不需要駕駛執照。它不會比其他交通如巴士和鐵路的慢,15公里內的地方的話。你可以選擇如何走、經哪裡,不需要跟著公共交通沒彈性的路線。只要跟隨你的心!


Korea, ThailandAlvin CComment