Bangkok is busy, chaotic and… green?! You wouldn’t expect it, but even Bangkok has its natural surroundings, only half an hour from the center of town. Cross the Chao Phraya river in a small boat and explore Bangkok’s “green lung” by bike. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to organize a private bike trip for just a few bucks!
Bang Krachao is a small, and surprisingly green, peninsula that very few tourists have yet discovered. Here, instead of skyscrapers, cars or motorbikes, you’ll encounter mangrove forests, palm trees with coconuts, modest pile dwellings and plenty of peace and quiet. Though Bangkok’s hustle and bustle is no more than a stone’s throw away, being in Bang Krachao is like being in the middle of the jungle.
A nice break
The bike is Bang Krachao’s most popular mode of transport. That’s hardly a coincidence, since the peninsula only has one road. We hopped on a bike as well, and the first place we discovered was the gorgeous “Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park and Botanical Garden.”
The park has a beautiful bike trail that goes around a large pond. Through the forest, you’ll come across vines and banana plants. Along the way, you’ll pass different signs with information on the plant and animal species that live here – such as incredibly long pythons, which thankfully we didn’t see. There’s a watchtower from where you can watch all kinds of exotic birds fly above the forest canopy. Scattered around are little bridges where you can feed huge carps.
You can easily spend an hour in this park. We also enjoyed the fact that day visitors in this park were mainly Thai; we were the only western tourists there. So time and time again we were greeted in a friendly manner with a sincere: “Helllooooooo you.”
Biking around Bangkok’s green lung
After an hour you’ll have seen most of the park, and you can start to explore the immediate surroundings – which we highly recommend! It’s a great place to see how peaceful life in Bangkok can be. Our favorite part was riding along the paved (and adventurous) path and getting lost. You’ll bike past traditional houses, and the only people you’ll encounter are the Thai people that live here.
You’ll also encounter Thai people riding these paths with their motorbikes; they’re incredibly proficient in steering a motorbike and making small and sharp turns right by the water. Even when riding a bike, you have to watch where you’re going. One false move and you’re in the water!
We still enjoyed this experience immensely. The only audible sounds were twittering birds and the humming of insects… and the occasional ringing bicycle bell.
Organize your own trip
We’ve biked around Bangkok before, but this was a little different. It was a lot of fun organizing this trip ourselves and exploring the surroundings on our own time.
Would you like to visit Bang Krachao as well? Then booking an expensive tour in advance will not be necessary. It’s pretty straightforward and fun to make your own arrangements. Getting there alone is a unique experience, as you’ll be crossing the Chao Phraya River in a tiny boat. And you can stop to take a picture or grab a bite to eat at a local food stall whenever you want.
You’ll also save a lot of money. You can arrange a whole afternoon yourself for just 4 dollars, while average prices for organized tours are 40 dollars per person.
Of course, organized tours come with plenty of advantages as well; everything is planned out and all you need to do is follow. You choose whatever works best for you!
Getting to Bang Krachao
The easiest and quickest way to get to there from the center of town is to take a taxi to the “Klongtoeynok Phothong Pier” (Klong Toey Port/ท่าเรือคลองเตย), right next to the temple “Wat Klong Toey Nok” (วัดคลองเตยใน). It will cost you about 150 baht, excluding any possible toll charge.
Make sure you save the pier’s location on your phone with Google Maps; not all taxi drivers know where it is!
After you arrive, walk through the temple gate until you reach the “ferry boat.” From here, a small boat will take you to the other side of Chao Phraya River for 10 baht (single). The boats go all day long.
On the other side, you can rent a bike for 40 baht per hour or 80 baht for a day. Children’s bikes and bikes with child seats are also available. As a deposit, you have to hand over your ID-card, but they accepted our public transport cards from back home as well. The main thing is that it has your name and your photograph on there.