“Why is it called that?” was my first hungover question of last Sunday. The sun was shining and the heat was on. Thailand is quickly approaching the ‘hot hot’ season once again the chin sweats are becoming a real thing. Not a single item of clothing will stay safe in this heat and grey colour schemes are at big risk. But if you do find a nice breeze and a patch of shade, you can defeat the heat.
We did just that, right in the middle of Bangkok and on a hangover after a rather long boozy Saturday brunch. Bangkok’s green lung will save you whether you are feeling sleepy, snoozy, lazy or post-boozy, and magically bestow you with a fresh pair of ‘lungs’ to help you take a nice deep breath and be on your merry way. I am amazed we have lived here for nearly two years and have only just discovered this gem. If you are in Bangkok, go right now for an afternoon escape. If you are visiting us soon, we are taking you there. Get the picnic baskets ready.
It’s a bit of a pain to get to, but that is part of the adventure. We went via the MRT train to Klong Toey and then on a bike to the port. We were offered to share a bike “50 baht one, 100 baht two” but politely declined the “three adults on one” irresistible offer. Health and safety is not a thing here, from our Western viewpoint of course. Have your wits and good choices about you. One bike each it was then but, to no surprise, my little bike man got lost and I ended up in a little rustic community town right by the river. The bike man even started to drive me into the local youth centre, throwing me left and right over the speed bumps. After half an hour I peeled my legs off the bike, leaving some sweaty patches on the saddle and hugged my knight in shining armor waiting outside the 7/11 convenience shop. Reunited, at last!
We caught the FREE boat across the river, the dregs of it splashing all over my sunnies, and arrived at the lung. I didn’t actually mind the little sprinkles. It was a rather refreshing experience after the bike ride, I must admit.
On the other side, a slick bike hire was in operation. We were given a map, a cold bottle of water and a bike each for 180 baht (£4.50). Off we went, ending up at the lake, nicely framed by a leafy park and a clear bike track. I would not recommend the turquoise bike. I choose that one to match my nail polish, but it kept making a clicking sound and the left pedal felt like it was dropping off. I would recommend wearing trainers. Trying to pedal up the bridges around the lake in flimsy flip flops with no gears is a right slog. We parked up and took in the view. Arriving at 4:00 in the afternoon wad good timing as the light was reflecting off the water beautifully and the heat had subsided… a little.
We bought a big flask of coca-cola at one of the shops nearby and sat in the shade. The cola cost 20baht (50p) and it was the best money ever spent considering the hangover, the heat and humidity. I know I have already mentioned it, but next time we are taking a big picnic blanket and picnic food. Most locals knew the score. I wish we had been more organised, as a lie down with this view is the perfect cure.
You can be more adventurous and bike over the narrow walkways and meander through the local family homes, the mushroom farm and the floating market, but we just took the wide berth tracks and found ourselves at the bird tower. The views from the top totally immerse you in nature. For a moment I felt like I was in the countryside or on holiday somewhere. No cars, no bikes, only tall trees and tiny birds. We looked out for some rarer species, and managed to spot them from our bird-watching vessel.
For about twenty minutes we had the whole tower to ourselves and could admire the views as far as the eye could see. It was a calming moment to our busy weekend, and the name ‘green lung’ was definitely ringing true. Speaking of birds and lungs, apparently the green lung does actually look like a lung from above. If ever in a helicopter…
You may notice people on the floor. They were playing photograph tricks with their bikes and the brown wooden flooring, using the height of the tower to create these trickster shots. It was amusing to watch from my exclusive tower.
We could have stayed longer, but the sun was starting to go down and we were keen to get back to our condo and get ready for a busy week at work. Using our map we found our way back to the bike shop and got a little token for a free boat transfer over to the other side. A speedy thirty seconds later we were back in the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and into 7/11 for an ice-cream.
Thank you lung. We will be back for another perfect day in your shade and serenity.
The Green Lung is also known by the name of ‘Pra Pradaeng’ and ‘Bang Krachao Park’. More info here: https://coconuts.co/bangkok/day-tripper-get-some-fresh-air-bangkoks-green-lung/