Saturday, October 19, 2013

Secret Garden of Bangkok

Knowing a local in a foreign city is always a good thing. He speaks the language hence nothing is lost in translation when you are ordering food or bargaining for a cheap deal. Most of all, he knows the city like the back of his hand and would be able to bring you to experience the city's hidden gems. 

I've been to Bangkok numerous times. Talking about the city of Bangkok, some of the things that pop into my mind instantly would be the hustling and bustling of the traffic, throngs of people rushing along the streets and dancing the nights away partying hard. The city is always abuzz with such intoxicating energy and excitement. I love Bangkok for that.

How about a green lung just a 15-minute drive from the city center and a 5-minute boat ride across the Chao Phraya river? 

Yes, this green lung is real. It exists!

the place is called Bangkachao and it's is a peninsular on the Chao Phraya delta, an area gazetted in the 70s by the royal family to preserve the traditional self-sustain of Thai living. There are rustic country homes on stilt and quiet little temples amidst bananas grooves, mangoes farms and coconuts plantations. The mangroves forrest along the edge of the river and lush green forrest and parks are home to various bird species and reptiles. It's truly a secret garden of Bangkok.

Within this green space is a labyrinth of narrow pathways on stilts, making exploring Bangkachao on bicycle a no-brainer. We rented bicycles and roamed around leisurely, enjoying the quiet surrounding. The green foliage dampened the noise and madness of the city completely. The sounds audible were the chirping of the birds, dancing of the trees in the breeze and the squeaking of our bikes. Surrounded by such lush green, Bangkok seemed like thousands of miles away. 

Now I think of Bangkok, I can actually associate lush green serenity with it too. I'd never ever know about Bangka Chao if not for my friend, A who lives in Bangkok. Thank you A for showing me Bangka Chao

Another good thing knowing a local, you get driven around. My friend A has a car!

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