Green Lung of Bangkok
An artificial island located in an area known as Phra Pradaeng. A five minutes boat ride across the Chao Phraya and you are in the province of Samut Prakan. Besides the botanical garden and park, the most popular destination on Bang Krachao is the Bang Nam Pheung Floating Market (nam pheung means honey), a market built along the canal, only on Saturday and Sunday 0.800 to 14.00. Because of its shape, Bang Krachao is known as the green lung, of Bangkok, and also called “Pig stomach”, because of the curve shapes like a stomach. A perfect place for nature lovers and bikers, but the island abundant space made it also a target of starved developers.
I decided to go to Bang Krachao on a weekday, not crowded. I left at around 10.00 am, and to go there I used a moto-taxi to Wat Klong Toey Nok from the Sirikit MRT station, 10 minutes to get to the entrance of the temple, it cost me 60 baths. A short walk from the soi to the pier, then a small boat took five minute and 10 baths to cross the Chao Phraya river. Klong Toei Nok is the easier way for me but you can go there from Bang Na Nok pier, at Sanphawut Bang Na BTS station, where the landing is closer to the floating market.
The last and first time I was to Bang Krachao was more than ten years ago, after all this time I was expecting some big change. At the small dock, I can’t miss the rent bike business. A lot of bikes and the price was down to 70 bahts for all day, 30 baths cheaper than my first time here, with a bottle of freshwater, and a useless map. After the ID procedure (just take a photo of the first page of the passport) to rent the bike, I started the trip. No more dirt but Concrete road, and there were the motorbikes parked along, no change here. No need to go far to feel the change, as I came across a few cars and signboards for home-stays, coffees shops, and restaurants, a melon greenhouse, and many new houses. Nothing dramatic but can feel that’s the island is attracting developers, but also the biking tours, tourists, and expats like me, that’s good for the local business.
Sri Nakhon Khuen Khan Park and Botanical Garden
Beautiful, peaceful, clean, and interesting. I like the explanations of different species of birds residents, trees and plants at many spots. It’s said that April and September are the best time to see birds if you want to have a chance to see some of them you will have to be there early morning. Bird watching tower. If you decide to walk to go to the Park, is around 10 to15 minutes from the pier. Open from 05.00 to 19.00. Free entrance
Sri Nakhon Khuen Khan Park is home to almost 100 bird species, one-tenth of all bird species in Thailand. Birds here are diverse in color and habits and include both resident and migratory species. The birds all lend a helping hand in taking care of the forest. Seventy-five species feed on insects and small animals, controlling pests. Another twenty species are frugivorous, acting as seed-dispersers. The tree largely nectar-feeders may act as pollinators.
Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market
On my way to the floating market, I get lost riding on a small dirt alley and have to ride back, but that’s was worst it, incredible nature, and in Bangkok. Petchahung is the main road that crosses the island east to west, and the soi number to reach the Bang Nam Phueng floating market is soi Phetchahung 28, can be from Soi 26 as well. Easy to know but not so easy to find, The soi from the pier is Phetchahung 33, ride straight to the end, and at the crossroad turn right on the main road, the soi is on the left, straight on to the market. I knew that the floating market is open only on the weekend but never mind I wanted to go around there to visit some temple and have a drink at the Bangkok tree house. Before getting there I had a light lunch in a restaurant by the road. had my drink and after freshening up a little, biked around on elevated concrete paths, I had no time to go to the Mon village, (will go there for Songkran) and decided to go back and relax in Sri Nakhon Khuen Khan Park. At 5 pm I returned the bike and took the boat back to What Klong Toei Nok, walked to the local market where I bought some food for my dinner.
Good to Know
Bring an ID with you. Inspect the bike and try it before you rent. Wear a hat and cover yourself or apply sunscreen, no flip-flop, (it’s not practical for cycling especially on elevated concrete paths) but strapped shoes. Buy 2 or 3 bottles of water, you could find small grocery stores everywhere, but not in the park. Local people are friendly, but I didn’t meet any speaking English, just a few words. If you wish you can stay a night on the island.
In case, you don’t want to bike you can go with a moto-taxi, tour to the floating market and some elevated trails, around 1 to 2 hour. I wanted to know the price and asked, I got 200 baht. as I didn’t use his service I didn’t negotiate but you will 150 baht/person, that’s the right price. Motorbikes are not allowed in the park.
Please keep this place clean
I still have a lot to explore in Bang Krachao, and I won’t wait ten years to go back again, this time on the weekend to have lunch at the floating market. Would you like to come with me?
I hope this will be useful to you in planning your next trip to Bangkok. if you have any questions, I will be more than happy to help you out