Exploring Bang Krachao the Bangkok Island
Nestled in the heart of Bangkok and surrounded by the mighty Chao Praya River is a little slice of nature. Bang Krachao otherwise commonly known as the Lungs of Bangkok is a place which has managed to withstand the change of time in a rapidly developing city such as Bangkok.
Visible from the upper floors of many of Bangkok’s condominiums and office towers, Bang Krachao really is just a stone’s throw away from the heart of the city. The manmade ‘”island” is accessible by crossing the Chao Praya River on a short ferry ride or longtail boat which generally costs all of 4 THB. Ferry launching points for Bang Krachao are from Bangna, Klong Toei and Chong Nongsi.
Getting Around Bang Krachao
The best way of getting around Bang Krachao is by bicycle, if you are up to the challenge heat and humidity that Bangkok offers all year round. Bicycles are available for rent on the island at all ferry landing points for roughly 70thb per day, with returns expected by about 7pm.
If the tropical climate of Bangkok seems a bit overwhelming then it is also possible to get around the place by hailing down a wing motosai motorbike taxi recognizable by the orange vest with number printed on the back. These guys will do a one way trip to almost any destination on bang Krachao starting from a standard rate of 20thb per person. You may expect to be making up to 10 trips in one day to cover a variety of attractions.
What to do on Bang Krachao
1. Bang Nam Peung Floating Market
The most popular destination to visit on Bang Krachao is the Bang Nam Peung Floating Market. Unlike the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Samut Songkhram, this market is not actually floating directly on the water but is built along a series of winding canals through the inner sections of Bang Krachao.
Bang Nam Peung is a great place to buy some local made hand crafts and a wide range of tasty Thai foods. For lunch try a hot bowl of gui tiaw lua rice noodles in pig’s blood soup or tom yum kuung sen lek large prawns with rice noodles in a spicy tom yum soup. Afterwards venture further into the market to discover teak wood house Reuan Fresh Milk (searchable in Thai as เรือนนมสด) to try the classic thai desert meing kum a herbal leaf wrapped around diced mango and lime with a drizzling of sweet fish sauce.
Bang Nam Peung Floating Market is open on weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and almost completely closes down by 3pm on these days. Be sure to put Bang Nam Peung Floating Market first on the list of destinations for the day in Bang Kracahao, or you might just miss it!
For another great market near Bangkok read: Maeklong Railway Market
2. Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park and Botanical Gardens
Alongside Chatujak Rotfai Park, Sri Nakhon Khuen Khan Park is probably the most beautiful garden oasis in Bangkok. The huge wetland style Botanical Gardens covers an extensive area of 111,000 square meters which puts it up in the range with the other large parks in the city.
The best way to get around Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park is by bicycle, or running if you are fit. The cycling routes in the park are well paved with small wooden bridges crisscrossing over the interior lake. Venture out the park of the park to find a kilometer long unpaved dirt trail where you can test the durability of the rather cheap hire bicycles.
If cycling or running isn’t your thing then just chill out in the traffic free haven. Motorcycles are not allowed within the park boundaries so it’s likely to be one of the quietest spots you’ll find in the big city.
3. Soi Petchhueng 57 to Bua Beung Phatthana
Winding through the villages from Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park back to Bang Nam Peung Pier, these small alleys provide an up close and personal experience with the isalnd’s communities. Slowly cruise with your bicycle along the 5km route and come across local farms, weekend fisherman and small coffee shops where you can sit back and relax.
Heading down further along the eastern edge of the island you may come across a unique resort called the Bangkok Treehouse. This eco-friendly accommodation option, sometimes dubbed Bangkok’s Greenest Hotel, is perfect for those wanting to find peace in the city a little longer. Whether or not you plan to stay a night it is definitely worth checking out the design of this trendy little hotel along the banks of the Chao Praya River.
Above Image Source: Lost at E Minor
4. Other Attractions on Bang Krachao
There are plenty more attractions to see on Bang Krachao such as the Siamese fighting fish show. Then there is the entire southern half of the island heading down towards Prapadeng District. For more things to do on Bang Krachao you can also head to viaBangkok written by another great Bangkok based travel blogger.
Have you been to Bang Krachao recently? What were your favorite attractions on the island any why? Drop me a comment int the box below and I’ll make sure to check your suggestions out the next time I visit!