Although many may refer Bang Krachao as an Island, it’s separated in the 17th century by a dug canal to let sailing ships having a short cut in the Menam River. Nowadays, you can enter Bang Krachao by car from this side, using the bridge at Phetchahung Road. This is not a common way for many of Bang Krachao’s visitors as most of them use one of the ferries. But in the weekend, Thai drive their car in the early morning to park near the Bang Krachao Floating Market (Bang Nam Peung). This is one of the most diverse floating markets I’ve seen in Bangkok and not touristy at all. That’s why I believe it is the top things to do in Bang Krachao.
1. Bang Krachao Floating Market
Bang Krachao Floating Market is located on the east side of Bang Krachao. The market is built next to canals and for that reason, they named it a floating market. In reality, Bang Krachao Floating Market is just a normal market. As said, the floating market is only open on the weekend, so I strongly advise to visit Bang Krachao at the weekend, so you can combine it with the cycling tour. What makes this floating market so unique is the variety of foods, drinks and goods they sell. I could rarely spot a vendor selling the same food or goods as their fellow-vendor. And the market, including the cooking equipment, is clean. During our visit, we easily strolling the market for two hours buying delicious food including Thai desserts and the most popular shop … serving perhaps the best Northern Thai sausage in Bangkok. Keep in mind that you have to wait in line for around ten minutes.
For lunch, we decided to visit the Bangkok Tree House. This hotel also has a restaurant area and is recommended by many. But to be honest, the food quality was average and the menu was way overpriced. Therefore I would recommend the following: the floating market has a spacious area with wooden tables, seats and benches for its visitors to eat the food they bought at the floating market. This is also what the majority of the Thai visitors will do. It’s cheaper and way more delicious. There are also small restaurants available located near the canals of Bang Krachao Floating Market.
For the majority of the tourists who visit Bang Krachao Floating Market, you will enter Bang Krachao from the Northside from Bang Kachao Pier. Here you will rent a bicycle and ride to Bang Krachao Floating Market by following the path. If you arrive from Wat Bang Nam Phueng Nok Port, which is on the east side of Bang Krachao, you can take the songthaew to the floating market as well. A ride to the floating market with the songthaew costs 10 THB per person. This taxi is available until 17.00. After that, only motorbikes are available until 19.00. This is when the last ferry from Wat Bang Nam Phueng Nok Port departs. The floating market is open from 08:00 until 16:00 on Saturday and Sunday.
2. Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park
When it comes to cycling through the nature in Bangkok, Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park is the place to visit. This park is the natural highlight of your trip to Bang Krachao. The well-maintained park, located in the north, is only accessible for cyclist and walkers and has proper asphalt roads with wheelchair access, strong wooden bridges and beautiful nature surrounding the ponds. The biking trail, known as Pa Sam Yuk, will lead you to the mangrove forest, the coconut garden island, the screws of Nipa palm, the birdwatch tower and the mangrove apple tree. The biking trail is two kilometres long and the wheelchair-accessible trail is five hundred meters long. It’s also possible to picnic with the food bought from the floating, which is popular among young Thai. Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park is open from 05:00 until 19:00 and does not charge any entrance fee. You will spend around one hour at Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park.
Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park
3. Exploring Bang Krachao
So far we’ve spent around three hours on Bang Krachao. We’ve spent the remaining hours on exploring Bang Krachao by following the main roads. These main roads are relatively safe as these roads have bicycle lanes on both sides of the road and all local traffic, cars and motorbikes, are driving carefully. When you rent a bike at one of the shops, you will receive a map with all the activities available on Bang Krachao. You will be able to visit several temples including one Hindi temple, the Green Road and local farms. It’s possible to ride along one of the many elevated soi’s (side streets) where you cycle through the green nature. The paths are quite narrow though, so be careful.
How to get to Bang Krachao?
There are two ferries available to get to Bang Krachao. From the Northside you can take the ferry from Khlong Toei Pier to Bang Kachao Pier. From the Eastside you can take the ferry from Sanphawut Pier to Wat Bang Nam Phueng Nok Port.
The majority of the tourists will take the ferry from Khlong Toei Pier to Bang Kachao Pier as it’s located more to the city centre. You can take the BTS to Phrom Phong or Thonglor, or take the MRT to Khlong Toei. From there you are able to get a taxi Khlong Toei Pier. Keep in mind that the Khlong Toei Pier is located at the port, which is enormous and therefore the pier might be a bit difficult to find. The ferry from Khlong Toei Pier to Bang Kachao Pier costs 10 THB per person.
If you are staying on the Eastside of Bangkok, you might consider taking the BTS to Bang Na. From there take a taxi to Sanphawut Pier. Keep in mind that in the weekend many people will visit the Wat Samrond Nuea temple, which is located in the same street as the pier. Because of this, in the morning there will be a lot of traffic. It’s recommended to walk the last 400 meters of that street. The ferry from Sanphawut Pier to Wat Bang Nam Phueng Nok Port 6 THB.
The songthaew will wait at Wat Bang Nam Phueng Nok Port to bring visitors to the floating market. (10 THB per person)
As said before in this article, it is possible to visit Bang Krachao by car, but you have to drive all around to reach the bridge at Phetchahung Road.
Where to rent a bike at Bang Krachao?
When you arrive from Bang Krachao Pier, the best bike rental companies are M-BIKE and Pae Jeob Bike Hire. When you arrive from Wat Bang Nam Phueng Nok Port, take the songthaew to the floating market where you are able to find decent local bike rental shops.
At these shops, different bikes are available including kid bikes and baby seats. The rental shops in the Northside follow stricter requirements, including giving your passport or pay a deposit of 1000 THB. I highly recommend to not hand over your passport. Instead, hand over a copy of your passport without your citizen service number and place a watermark over the copy.
In the Eastside of Bang Krachao, where fewer tourists arrive, are less stricter requirements. There was no deposit needed and a simple copy of one passport was enough. We paid 50 THB per bike for the whole day, where most shops ask 100 THB. Most bikes are old and are not in the best condition.
Some of the bikes are of pretty decent quality with a strong frame.
The location of the bike rental show we used is close to Wat Bang Nam Peung
The rental shop we used
Here are some tips when renting a bike:
- Check if the lock works before you leave. You don’t want to have locked your bike somewhere on the other side of Bang Krachao and you are not able to open it. Or even worse, then someone steals your bike.
- Go for a small test ride, check the brakes, the paddles and check for loose parts.
- Most bikes are equipped with a basket, to put your bags in it.
- Write down the phone number of the rental company. In case there is something wrong with the bike, simply make a phone call. During our trip, we had some technical issues with the paddles. One phone call and fifteen minutes later, we were continuing our ride with a new bike. Great service! There are also plenty of bike repair shops available.
There you have it, our article about why you must visit the green lung of Bangkok named Bang Krachao. As mentioned, visit Bang Krachao in the weekend to make sure you can enjoy the floating market as well. Curious about more fun activities in the Big Mango? Check out our article about the ultimate things to do in Bangkok.