Bangkok’s countless temples, shopping streets, malls and entertainment areas offer terrific opportunities for exploration. Yet all this busy excitement may sooner or later leave visitors yearning for a quiet green space to slow down, sit back, and breathe.
Fortunately the city has just such a place. Bangkok may feel like a “concrete jungle” at times, but not so far from its heart is a huge natural area called Bang Krachao. This hidden gem lets you escape from the crowds, clear your mind, and discover a completely new side of Bangkok.
Bang Krachao is an artificial island south of the city centre, and surrounded by the Chao Phraya River. This horseshoe-shaped island is a perfect location for a day trip, letting you get away from the crowds and loud noise of the city.
Covered with a thick canopy of trees, Bang Krachao definitely earns its nickname as the “Lungs of Bangkok”. This big natural park area helps clean up air pollution around the city. Mangrove trees and other tropical plants are scattered all around the area, with plenty of shops and local restaurants to visit as you go around.
Discover the real nature
When you arrive on the island, you’ll have an opportunity to rent a bicycle for the whole day. This is an excellent opportunity, as riding a bicycle is the best way to explore this captivating island – letting you move fast, while getting right up to the edge of nature. The fresh, clean air from the forest will make the busy city centre seem very far away indeed.
Don’t forget to visit Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park and Botanical Garden during your cycling trip. This is a public park with a beautiful landscape, lovely water features, and an impressive variety of plants. Here you can observe the beauty of nature at your own pace, as birds chirp sweetly in the background.
The park also has a nice wooden bridge which is popular with visitors, and acts as a kind of symbol of Bang Krachao. You’ll also come across a 7-metre high tower on your visit, which you can climb for satisfying views of the area.
Bang Krachao may be full of natural highlights, but there are plenty of other activities to experience as well. Bang Nam Pheung floating market is a hugely popular destination on the island, and deservedly so. This weekend market is home to plenty of nice local food and souvenirs.
Another interesting spot to check out is the Siamese Fighting Fish Gallery. Featuring traditional Thai architecture, this complex lets you learn more about the history of fighting fish, while viewing some of these creatures firsthand. The centre is located among beautiful surroundings, with nice and refreshing gardens to enjoy on your visit.
Above are some of our favourite activities on the island; however, there are also other interesting places for you to visit. If you’re looking for a relaxing day trip that is close to Bangkok’s city centre, Bang Krachao is just the right choice.
Travelling to Bang Krachao is fairly easy, and there are plenty of ways to get there. The easiest one is to take the MRT to Khlong Toei station, and then a motorcycle taxi to Khlong Toei Nok temple pier. From Khlong Toei Nok, a long tail boat will take you to Bang Krachao. Alternatively, you can take the BTS to Bang Na station, and then go to Bang Na Nok temple by taxi or a songthaew (pick-up truck taxi). From Bang Na Nok temple, a ferry will take you across the water to Bang Krachao.