Exploring Bang Krachao Island in Bangkok
Bang Krachao island is a green oasis in the heart of Bangkok. This urban jungle is visible from the higher floors of many apartments along Sukhumvit Road, however, it remains unknown to most travelers.
Hang on a moment. An island in Bangkok you say?
That’s right, Bang Krachao is an island, but don’t expect white sand beaches and coconut trees. This island is nothing like the tropical paradise of Koh Lipe or Koh Kood. However, it is unique and amazing in its own right.
Bang Krachao is actually a man-made island located in the Chao Praya River. Years ago a canal was cut allowing cargo boats to shorten their journey along the river. It’s a similar story to how the island of Koh Kret was formed in the north of Bangkok.
Bang Krachao is commonly referred to as the Green Lung of Bangkok, as the huge amount of trees eat up the city’s air pollution. There are thousands of mangrove trees around the perimeter of the island and lots of jungle in the island’s interior where you will find the Bang Krachao Treehouse.
In a rapidly developing city, Bang Krachao is one place that has managed to withstand change. So, you better visit before it’s too late!
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How to Get Around Bang Krachao
The best way to get around Bang Krachao is by bike. As I pointed out in my article on the best time to visit Bangkok, it’s pretty much always hot here. So, expect to get sweaty if you’re cycling, and carry plenty of water to keep hydrated.
There is a bike rental shop at Bang Kracho Pier. Bikes cost about 70 THB (USD 2.50) per day.
If you find Bangkok’s heat to be too overwhelming, then you can get also opt for a motorbike taxi. Ask the guys in the orange vests with the numbers printed on the back. A standard rate for a motorbike taxi to almost any destination on Bang Krachao is 20 THB (USD 0.80) per person.
What to do on Bang Krachao
1. Bang Krachao Floating Market (Bang Nam Peung)
The most popular destination on Bang Krachao is the Bang Krachao Floating Market, officially the Bang Nam Peung Floating Market. The name Bang Nam Peung Floating Market is a bit deceptive. Unlike the Damnoen Saduak or the Amphawa Floating Markets in Samut Songkhram, this one isn’t directly on the water but is built around the canals.
The Bang Nam Peung floating market is actually quite large, extending along a couple of small alleys in the area. You will find a wide range of local foods and handcrafted goods for sale here. It is one of my favorite places to pick up an authentic souvenir in Bangkok.
There is plenty of food around the market which you should taste. 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.
Continue further along to discover a beautiful teak wood house called Reuan Fresh Milk (เรือนนมสด). Try the classic Thai dessert meing kum a herbal leaf wrapped around diced mango and lime with a drizzling of sweet fish sauce.
Bang Krachao Floating Market is open on weekends from morning until about 3pm. Be sure to visit in the morning or you might just miss it!
For another great market near Bangkok read: Maeklong Railway Market
2. Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park
Sri Nakhon Khuen Khan Park is the most beautiful garden oasis in Bangkok and the true heart of the Green Lung.
The huge wetland covers an extensive area of 111,000 square meters. This makes Sri Nakhon Khuen Khan Park one of the largest parks in the city.
The best way to explore Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park is by bike. Cycling routes are well paved with small wooden bridges crossing the lakes. You can also venture further around the back of the park where you will find a 1km long dirt trail winding through the jungle. Here you can really forget you are in the city.
If you don’t want to cycle, then just chill out in this traffic free escape. Vehicles are not allowed in the park so it is just about the most peaceful place you will find in all of Bangkok.
3. Soi Petchhueng 57 to Bua Beung Phatthana
Wander through the small streets from Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park back to Bang Nam Peung Pier. Along the way, you will come across local farms, weekend fishermen and small coffee shops where you can enjoy the relaxing vibe on Bang Krachao.
Further along the east coast and you will find a unique resort called the Bangkok Treehouse (also known as the Bang Krachao Treehouse). This eco-friendly resort is also known as Bangkok’s Greenest Hotel.
It is a perfect overnight escape from the city. Whether you stay a night or not you should definitely check out the design of this trendy little hotel along the banks of the Chao Praya River.
Above Image Source: Lost at E Minor
How to Get to Bang Krachao
Bang Krachao is a short ferry ride across the Chao Praya River. Piers on the Bangkok side of the river are located at Chong Nongsi, Bang Na, and Klong Toei. Personally, I’ve always used the Bang Na Pier to cross the river.
The Bang Na Pier is a short walk from Bang Na BTS station. From Bang Na station, walk along Sukhumvit Road towards Udom Suk station, then turn left at Sanphawut Road. Continue to the end of Sanphawut Road until you reach the Chao Praya River.
The ferry crossing the Chao Praya River departs every 15 minutes or so. A one-way ticket costs just 10 cents!
For more things to do on Bang Krachao you can read the post on viaBangkok, an article written by another great Bangkok based travel blogger.
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Loved exploring the Green Lung of Bangkok? We’ve covered so many more awesome destinations around Bangkok for you to explore. Be sure to check out our Bangkok Local Insights travel guide. Guarantee you’ll love it.
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