Bang Krachao

7 Apr

I’ve been all about the biking adventures lately ~ here is part one of some semi-recent outings around Bangkok via bicycle.

Bang Krachao, aka Bangkok’s Green Lung

Back in January, several ladies and I had a Sunday expedition to an area known as the Green Lung. Bang Krachao is a large island in an S-curve of the Chao Praya river, the main river running through Bangkok. For a small fee, one can rent bikes and spend the afternoon cycling about and exploring. The entire day ended up being a fabulously Thai adventure.

We set out in the early morning via taxi to the boat pier, which is tucked behind a temple (this seems to be a common theme). The taxi Shorna and I shared arrived a bit before the others, so we wandered onto the temple grounds. A helpful (?) gentleman immediately caught our attention, and asked if we were there to see the Buddha. He led us around the main wat to a smaller side building that contained…. a mummy. A real one. Not the kind in bandages, but an actual mummified monk, all leathery and whatnot. Shorna was completely unamused. The man offered to take our photo, and wanted us to get closer, but we politely backed away, right out of the temple! We found Bridget, Emily, and Jessica just arriving from their taxi ride, and hurried on towards the pier. Further online research tells me that the mummy may or may not be Luang Phor Huad, a former abbot who possibly had some powers related to reptiles.

From the Khlong Toei pier, a short long-tail ride gets you to Bang Krachao, IMG_4067where an enterprising family rents bikes from a small wooden house. Transportation acquired, we set off down the narrow roads and paths that crisscross the island. The Green Lung had a pleasantly rural feel, complete with mangrove trees, jungle vines, and wildlife. It was interesting to be so close to the hustle and bustle of downtown Bangkok, and yet feel so far removed. We cycled around for most of the day, stopping whenever something caught our attention.

The first stop was for the Siam Fighting Fish. Once we saw this sign, we had to visit. It turned out to be part aquarium, part campground, part coffee shop. We saw the Fancy Fighting Fish, and Jessica had an encounter with a particularly aggressive fishy fellow. Emily took Shorna on a faux pedicab ride, and we located a neon pink dinosaur. Further cycling brought us to the Bangnamphung Floating Market. It’s always entertaining to be one of the only farang around, and this was definitely the case at the floating market. We enjoyed a light lunch, the kind where we are forced to order whatever we can successfully point at or say in our extremely limited Thai. We also discovered people using Carnation condensed milk cans as target practice for slingshots, and some truly terrible yet potent coffee. Post-lunch, we pedaled around Sri Nakhon Khuen Khan Park for a bit, climbed a bird watching tower, and admired some flowers before heading back to the boat pier. All in all, a solid day trip!

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