Early one Saturday morning a few weekends ago we headed for the Green Lung of Bangkok with some friends. I had read about this remarkable area on a few blogs, heard about it from friends here and seen it from our favourite sky bar in the city! Bang Krachao, is a government-protected oasis of green that the mighty Chao Phraya River skirts around, just a short boat ride from the centre of Bangkok.
We took a taxi to a small pier at the end of our road, very near to Bearing BTS station. From here we joined a queue of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists to catch the ferry to the other side for the princely sum of 4 baht (8p).
Once on the ‘lung’ there is a place to hire bikes for 100 baht a day (£2), they are old and rickety but in perfect working order and ideal for a few hours exploring! We rented our bikes and were given a map to use.
Bang Krachao could not be further from the hustle and bustle of the city despite its incredible proximity. There are winding paths through dense jungle and marsh land, food stalls and drink stands and a much slower pace of life. We headed for the ‘floating market’ which was good, selling both food and goods but I didn’t see any evidence of actual floating!
We stopped at the boutique hotel Bangkok Tree House for some refreshing drinks as the temperature continued to rise!
The residents of Bang Krachao smiled warmly as we passed, obviously used to seeing farang faces! The houses are mostly built on stilts in a traditional Thai style and were wonderful to see. I imagine that is how a lot of Bangkok used to be many years ago.
Around midday the temperatures just got too much so we headed back to the ferry to head home. There is still much more of Bang Krachao to be explored so we will be going back. It was wonderful to be in a totally different environment from the chaos of the city in just half an hour.
If you’re going to visit the Green Lung my advice would be to get there early like we did (we got to the ferry at 8.15am) because the heat and humidity combined with the cycling does take its toll quite quickly! Alternately I have read about guided tours around the area where the bikes are provided, another great option for exploring!