3 Ways to Escape the Craziness in Bangkok
Bangkok is an intense, chaotic city that doesn’t seem to sleep and provides tourists with a multitude of shopping spots, popular restaurants and upscale hotels. However, sometimes travellers need to switch off from the fast pace and busy crowds and get back to soothing and relaxing nature. In Bangkok, this isn’t the easiest thing to achieve.
Luckily, the city does have a few spots where you can stretch the muscles, enjoy some peace and quiet and take in beautiful surrounds. From temples and parks to eco-hotels or prime cycling spots, there is something for both individuals and families to enjoy. Read on for three places to check out if you want to escape the madness in Bangkok and enjoy some rest and a relaxed pace.
Cycle Phra Pradaeng, in Bangkok’s “Green Lung”
A lush oasis in the midst of the concrete jungle of the city, the Phra Pradaeng district is known as Bangkok’s “Green Lung” — a small peninsula in the Samut Prakan province. Phra Pradaeng is the perfect place to go to get away from the hustle and bustle and gives travellers a taste of a more rural Thai lifestyle without having to travel great lengths. In order to preserve the area’s natural beauty and exotic flora and fauna, a construction ban was put in place in 1977. This means it’s actually the only district in all of Bangkok where you won’t see any high-rise buildings.
One of the best ways to both stretch your legs and see plenty of this green is to hire a bike and cycle around the region. While the roads are definitely unusual (they’re quite narrow concrete walkways lifted off the ground) you will certainly know you’re no longer in the busiest part of the city, and get a glimpse into what Bangkok used to be like before all the development. Throughout the park travellers have the chance to see a variety of birds, butterflies, mangrove trees, papaya groves, waterways, fruit tree gardens, wild flowers and even a Siamese fighting fish gallery. If not comfortable cycling by themselves, tourists can choose to take part in one of the cycling tours that passes through Phra Pradaeng.
Stretch the Legs at Wat Saket, the Golden Mountain
Visitors looking for laid-back things to do in Bangkok should spend some time at Wat Saket, a historical temple commonly referred to as the Golden Mountain. Within the temple compound lays a golden stupa on top of a hill. Tourists can wander the circular walkway around the hill (there’s a playground and shops to explore) and climb over 300 wide and easily accessible steps to get to the top.
On the way up to the peak of the Golden Mountain are a variety of bells, in all different sizes, which can be rung for good luck or prayer. Those who need to stop for refreshments can take a break at the on-site cafe about half way up the hill, but it’s the top of the climb that really stands out. Apart from the Buddhist shrine and temple, the sweeping and unblocked views of Bangkok are well-worth the effort needed for the steps. Within Wat Saket travellers will no longer be inundated from the noise of traffic and can instead enjoy the soothing jungle oasis in the middle of Bangkok. The tranquillity is heightened by the area’s waterfalls, chirping birds, flowering plants, thick vines and quietly-playing Thai music.
Stay at Bangkok Tree House
If you’re looking for some relaxed eco-friendly accommodation away from the craziness of the city but still within reach of all the major attractions, check out Bangkok Tree House. Located by the river and also in the heart of Bangkok’s “Green Lung”, the hotel provides travellers with a haven that’s still only 10 kilometres from Sukhumvit Road. Those staying at the city’s first bed-in-a-tree can enjoy clear views of the Chao Phraya River and the surrounding forests from up in the secluded nests . The treehouse-style accommodations feature a variety of modern facilities including a private outdoor lounging area; a rain shower and organic toiletries in the bathroom; a rooftop terrace; and free Wi-Fi, cell-phone and bicycle hire. Guests are also sure to appreciate the assortment of complimentary foodie treats like ice cream and an a la carte breakfast. Travellers who like to give back will also find their conscience appeased at the Bangkok Tree House, as the hotel has a policy of removing 2.2 lbs of trash from the river for every booking made.