Just a short hop from downtown Bangkok, Bang Krachao feels completely removed from the bustle of the big city. Here, on the south side of the Chao Phraya River on a peninsula formed by a serpentine curve in the waterway, the notorious Bangkok air pollution is noticeably less oppressive.
Where skyscraping condominiums and office buildings characterize the modern heart of the metropolis, shady coconut palms and thick mangroves define the landscape on Bang Krachao, known as Bangkok’s green lung.
Visitors can cycle down quiet, shady roads or on raised concrete pathways, peruse an authentic floating market or stop for refreshment at one of the area’s cozy coffee shops or riverside restaurants. This curated list examines some of the best ways to experience the area.
Bang Krachao’s stilted pathways are surrounded by lush tropical vegetation
Take to two wheels
The roads on Bang Krachao are much quieter than those in the city, while raised concrete pathways diverting through the mangroves offer even more escapist pedaling. The paths are blissfully car-free, but can be narrow and slightly precarious. Keep your nerve (and your balance) and the experience is a bundle of fun.
Guests can hire bikes for around 100 baht per day at the main ferry pier across from Khlong Toey on the Bangkok side of the river. Even easier, your Hilton Concierge can arrange a tour of the area with a respected local cycling operators such as Spice Roads or Co van Kessel.
Spice Roads | Address: 45 (Sub Soi Pannee 14), Soi Pridi Banomyong 26, Sukhumvit Soi 71, Wattana, Bangkok 10110| Tel: +66 2 381 7490| Website: spiceroads.com
Co van Kessel | Address: Charoen Krung Rd, Talat Noi, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100 | Tel: +66 2 639 7351| Website: covankessel.com
Fill up on local treats
One of the highlights of a visit to Bang Krachao is the chance to experience Nam Pheung Floating Market: one of the most authentic Thai shopping hubs near Bangkok. Open only on weekends, the market is a paradise for gastronomes with a smorgasbord of Thai delights on offer. Look out for stalls selling treats such as sai oua (spicy Northern Thai-style spiral-shaped sausage), hoi tod (mussel or oyster omelette) and coconut ice-cream.
The bridges and shelters at Sri Nakhon Khuean Park and Botanical Garden
Stop and smell the flowers
Of all the numerous places to rest and enjoy life away from the Bangkok air pollution on Bang Krachao, Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park and Botanical Garden is one of the best. This compact oasis packs a lot into its small dimensions. Beautiful flowers dot the verdant grounds, and pathways lead to adorable wooden bridges over ponds filled with fish. Shelters and benches provide perfect nature-watching vantage points with opportunities to spot bird species such as the pink-necked green pigeon and the stork-billed kingfisher.
Enjoy a pitstop at Bangkok Treehouse
If you are tackling Bang Krachao independently on bike, then make sure you take a pitstop at Bangkok Tree House. Your Hilton Concierge will make sure you have the correct GPS coordinates. The quirkily designed bolt hole has a great cafe/restaurant offering tasty Thai fare such as a righteous pad krapow moo (pork stir-fried with Thai basil) and refreshing drinks. Grab a pew on the upstairs verandah and savor the views over the river towards the city with a rehydrating fresh butterfly pea or lemongrass iced tea.
Bangkok Tree House| Address: 60 Moo1 Soi Bua Phueng Pattana, Bang Namphueng, Phra Padaeng, Samut Prakarn, Greater Bangkok, Samut Prakan 10130| Tel: +66 82 995 1150 | Website: bangkoktreehouse.com
Bang Krachao is a 60-minute drive from the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Sukhumvit Bangkok and Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok. It’ll take you a 40-minute drive along Chao Phraya River to get to Bang Krachao from Millennium Hilton Bangkok. Ask your knowledgeable Hilton Concierge for recommendations on how to explore Bang Krachao; you can tackle the area independently or as part of a tour. The concierge will make a booking for you, too.
Bang Krachao | Address: Phra Pradaeng District, Samut Prakan, Thailand