When you live or are visiting a city occupied by 10 million people, like Bangkok, you sometimes would really want to escape from the chaos from the city and just breathe some fresh air, right? But traveling to the countryside sometimes is time consuming and seems impossible to most residents and travelers. But, what if tell you can find calmness and a place to relax just in the middle of Bangkok?
Bang Krachao, also known as Bangkok's green lung, is an artificial island located in the Chao Phraya River. With an area of 16 km², the island is surrounded by tropical vegetation and almost no traffic, giving you a great opportunity to explore it by bicycle and truly feel like you are a very far away from a busy city.
Bang Krachao is often forgotten when it comes to tourism. Parks like Lumpini and Rama IIIV are widely known by foreigners as an alternative to relax inside the city, but Bangkok's green lung is known better by residents of the city and so, you can also get to know how the locals spend their leisure time to rest and have fun.
You'll get there by boat (see more below) and when you arrive at the pier, you'll see places to rent a bikes and explore the island. It's really worth it and the best part: it is CHEAP! You can find rentals for 50 baht for the whole day.
What to do
Besides biking along the streets of Bang Krachao, exploring hidden tiny alleys and taking amazing pictures, you can also visit the Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park And Botanical Garden, an amazing green space, surrounded by lakes and cycling and walking paths. If you are prepared, you can do a picnic here and observe birds and lizards in various stop offs.
I also recommend coming here on weekends, so you can enjoy the Bang Nam Pheung Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำบางน้ำผึ้ง). Not the floating market you would imagine (there's just a few boats selling on the water to attract more visitants), but I really enjoyed walking through the market, since it's surrounded by the tropical forest and it's a great way to see how the locals shop.
In the market, you'll find about anything you can imagine. From spice to souvenirs, from organic produce to t-shirts. But what really called my attention was the variety of Thai food and snacks you can try here! It was actually my favorite spot from the trip. My boyfriend and I got to try things you would hardly find in the city, according to our Thai friend who accompanied us during the trip.
We had so many different food and desserts, we decided to have lunch only in the late, late afternoon, but you can definitely eat lunch here or pack it with other snacks to the Nakhon Khuean Khan Park And Botanical Garden.
You can also visit the temples and maybe stop for a coffee or a Thai tea in the cute little shops alongside the road. You'll probably need it, since the heat is very tough during most part of the year.
How to get there
The easiest way to get to Bang Krachao is to take a taxi to Wat Bang Na Nok (วัดบางนานอก) and then take the ferry for only 4 baht across the river. As I mentioned before, as you arrive, you can rent bicycles to go around the island or hire a motorcycle.
In the map below you can locate yourself and see some of the places I visited in Bang Krachao and mentioned in this post:
(Open map full screen to see more)
Remember to dress comfortably. Don't forget to bring water (very important!) and pack your sunscreen. I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy this trip as much as I did. Have fun and RELAX!