Just spent a wondrous night nestled in the palms at the Bangkok Tree House on Bang Krachao, Bangkok’s “green lung,” 16 square kilometers of mangroves, parks and elevated bike paths, just a short taxi or ferry ride from the city. The 10-room vertical resort and restaurant is on the edge of the Chao Phraya River in a sparsely populated community that is popular with Thai residents on weekends…and empty on weekdays.
The Tree House’s hand-crafted wood-and-bamboo residences are connected by a boardwalk winding above a tidal forest. Water flows beneath each abode’s elevated outdoor showers which are stocked with locally made natural-ingredients soaps and shampoos. Bedrooms, with polished wood floors and earth-tone fabrics and walls, are perched in the palms. Rooftop decks are practically in the clouds. The staff is friendly, yet unobtrusive.
A Thai or Western breakfast, bicycles to explore and a boat ride to Bang Krachao’s firefly spawning grounds is included in the room price. Fruit juices and beer are served on ever-ascending decks at sunset. Dinner offerings include ma hor (galloping horses), a traditional sweet-sour-salty appetizer of crushed peanuts, shallots, coriander and palm sugar served on slices of fresh pineapple, as well as summer watermelon salad, and lightly breaded deep-fried shrimp served with bell peppers, tomatoes and onions in a sweet tamarind sauce.
Bang Krachao is a great getaway; a mass of mangroves mostly connected by bikeways and canals. And, Bangkok Tree House in the midst of it all. Birds caw from the branches at dawn. Water monitor lizards – visible through the residences’ glass-covered floors – slither silently through the water beneath. Longtail boats purr in the distance. It’s a peaceful place to escape and enjoy the clean, super-oxygenated air.