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Bangkok Green Lung

A Green Day in Khung Bang Kachao, Bangkok’s Green Lung

Khung Bang Kachao is located on a big curve of the Chao Phraya river, which resembles the shape of a pig’s stomach. It is a conservation area covering around 19.2 million sq. m. in Phra Pradaeng district, Samut Prakarn province.

Known as ‘The Green Lung of Bangkok,’ it generates six million tons of oxygen per day and serves to trap air pollutants. The place has been an important green sanctuary for Bangkokians for many years, as well as serving as an outdoor ecology classroom for students, thanks to its close proximity to Bangkok.

The area was once known as Nakorn Khuean Khan, an important outpost during the Attyutha Period, where merchants paid taxes before sailing their cargo boats into the capital city. A demarcation pole was set up during the reign of King Rama V informing visitors they were entering the Southern city area.

Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market

This market is located between Wat Bang Nam Nai and Wat Bang Nam Phueng Nok temples, crowded with both locals and Bangkokians at the weekend, where vendors try to attract passing visitors, and banter, laughter, and negotiation echo across the canal. Many Thai traditional desserts and merchandise are available here, such as Malai Baitei, Thai perfume sachets, Thai custards, traditional dishware, fermented sweet rice, as well as a diverse range of souvenirs and handicrafts. There is also a Kids’ Zone where little ones can try games and plays commonly seen in ancient times.

Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park

This is another green oasis, like Bang Kachao, hosting a botanical garden resplendent with beautiful flowers. The 236,800-sq. m. park also includes ponds and lakes, making it a popular birdwatching spot. You can rent a bike to thoroughly explore the area, including the 7-meter-high birdwatching tower located deep inside the park. Also, don’t forget to check out the local drinks and desserts at the small café hidden in the wooded area.

Tales of Fireflies at Lumpoo Bangkasob

lyric from a Thai popular song, “Hundreds of fireflies are flicking their light everywhere, illuminating the Lumpu trees” popped into my head as I was standing in the Firefly Village. However, the truth is the firefly population has been in decline for the last decade.

Here, local people formed Lumpoo Bangkasob, a firefly conservation group, to protect and restore the habitat of the fireflies and bring back their population. Their work includes treating water pollution in the waterways where Lumpoo trees grow nearby as fireflies spend most of their lives on the trees.

Visitors are required to make an advance booking for firefly sighting and remain silent throughout the tour.

The Benjakitti Forest Park

For the last six months, this biggest public park ranks as one of the most popular check-in spots. Located on the land belonging to The Tobacco Authority of Thailand, it was built to mark the celebration of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit The Queen Mother’s 60th birthday. Later, the government added a forested area, bringing its total size to 720,000 sq m.

Although the park boasts lush greenery, it is more famous for its huge lake that stretches along the Rachadapisek Road and can be accessed from the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. In 2014, a grand performance called “The story of Mahajanaka – The Phenomenon Live Show” was held in the middle of the lake to celebrate the late His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great’s 87th birthday. The best time to visit is on the weekends as you might get to see a cultural event or a performance taking place.

King Rama IX Memorial Park

Another must-visit green area is King Rama IX Memorial Park.The construction of the park, which will cover 446,400 sq me, started five years ago and is scheduled for official opening in 2024. It will be the 3rd biggest park in the city’s inner areas, after Lumpini and Benjakitti.

Once completed, the park will serve as an ecological learning center, thanks to the forest park that comprises more than 4,500 large trees. The park management will reflect the principles of sustainable water management and forest, and feature a royal monument of King Rama IX, with surrounding pond and a bridge designed in the shape of Thai number 9.

*Image from https://j2.rtarf.mi.th/wordpress/อุทยานเฉลิมพระเกียรติฯ/ *

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