Bang Krachao: A Bangkok Biking Tour in the Urban Jungle
Bang Krachao island is an oasis of calm in a bustling metropolis. Often called the green lung of Thailand’s capital, this is a perfect place for a Bangkok Biking Tour.
Life in Bangkok can get pretty hectic, and every now and again you’ll need some respite from the hustle and bustle. Bang Krachao island is on the outskirts of the city but feels worlds apart. Having experienced very little large-scale development, the island has the atmosphere of the Thailand of years gone by and the pace of life is delightfully relaxed.
Exploring the island is easy thanks to the hordes of bicycles on offer for rent. At 50 baht ($1.50) for an hour or 100 baht ($3.00) for the whole day they’re a cheap and easy way to see the sights. Here are our recommendations for a day out enjoying the highlights of Bang Krachao on two wheels.
PS: We also organize a weekly biking tour at Bodega Bangkok, ask us about it!
The Perfect Biking Tour Location
The first thing you’ll notice on arrival is that there’s a lot of water here. Not only is Bang Krachao an island in its own right but it’s also crisscrossed with a network of meandering canals and waterways. Jump on your bike and set off to explore. There are some quaint wooden signs to point you in the direction of the major points of interest so you don’t need to worry about getting lost.
As you start cycling you’ll probably notice that you need a good sense of balance to navigate some of the paths. Bang Krachao is unusual in that some of its walkways are raised above ground level, to avoid issues with flooding. It’s a lot fun freewheeling your way along these tracks between lush green forest on either side- just make sure to slow down if you meet someone coming the other way!
Exploring the Island of Bang Krachao
There are a few stand-out sights which you should definitely add to your itinerary. The best-known path on the island is called the Flower Road. This isn’t actually a path fringed with flowers, but rather the flowers are murals painted onto the surface of the concrete beneath your wheels. Orange and white blooms wind their way along a green background as you whizz along through the coconut trees and papaya groves.
Wat Bangkrachanok temple is a beautiful traditional Thai temple boasting a large prayer hall with colorful murals and an ornate golden Buddha statue. Pop in here on your way to the famous Tree House Hotel for a drink; this eco-hotel is environmentally friendly and a great place for a breather on your cycle round the island.
Bangnamphueng Floating Market
If you’re visiting at the weekend then you’re in for a treat. On Saturdays and Sunday you can visit the Bangnamphueng Floating Market, which boasts dozens of stalls lining the canals. This is no Chatuchak and it’s all the better for it. The vendors are locals and the vibe is relaxed. Try some delicious fresh-cooked Thai dishes and a sweet dessert, or pick up some locally-woven fabrics for a souvenir.
You won’t go hungry!
As with everywhere in Thailand, there’s food galore on Bang Krachao. Little neighborhood restaurants are dotted across the island selling homemade food like kuay teow tom yum (noodle soup) or moo pad prik yuak (fried pork with peppers). Pick one and look forward to a treat, there’s no such thing as a bad meal in Thailand!
How to Get to Bang Krachao
To get to Bang Krachao, take the BTS Skytrain to Bang Wa station and then transfer to a taxi or 20 baht motorbike to get to the ferry pier. The boat across the water is only 10 baht each way and the departures are pretty frequent. Once you’re on the boat, keep your eyes peeled for a busy pier to jump off at. If you see a bike hire sign and bit of a crowd then you’re good to go!
You’ll be back again and again…
Bang Krachao is a great value day out which gives you a real insight into traditional Thailand. Grab a bike, explore and make a note of your favorite places. It probably won’t be long until you’re back again for another visit!