Bang Kachao (Thai: บางกะเจ้า)[a] is an artificial island formed by a bend in the Chao Phraya River and a canal at its western end. It lies south of the Thai capital Bangkok in Phra Pradaeng District of Samut Prakan Province. The island, covering 16 square kilometres (6.2 sq mi), has been traditionally agricultural with only a relatively small population. It is sometimes referred to as the "green lung" of Bangkok". In 2006, Bang Kachao was named "best urban oasis" by Time in its "Best of Asia" series and is frequented by nature lovers and cyclists.
Bang Kachao includes six sub-districts (tambons): Bang Namphueng, Bang Kachao, Bang Yo, Bang Krasop, Bang Ko Bua, and Song Khanong.
The island's unspoiled character, abundant space, and proximity to central Bangkok have made it a target of developers. A battle to save it is underway. Following the death of King Bhumibol in October 2016, the military government declared its intention to preserve Bang Kachao. A three-year project by the Royal Forestry Department, Kasetsart University, and oil company PTT aims to renovate public green spaces and ensure that 60 percent of the island remains free of development. "The difficulty in...Thailand, where land is in short supply and corruption rampant, is [that] developers and powerful businesses...circumvent, or simply ignore, environmental protections." Despite misgivings, one resident sold her family's 6,000 m2 landholding for as much as 24 million baht (US$686,106).
- Also known as Bang Krachao (บางกระเจ้า), although this is a misnomer, as Bang Krachao is the name of a different sub-district in Mueang Samut Sakhon District.
- Stamboulis, Dave. "10Best Itinerary: Discover Bang Krachao, the Lungs of Bangkok". 10Best. Retrieved 2016-04-30.
- Easey, Reuben (4 March 2017). "The battle to save Bangkok's 'Green Lung'". The Nation. Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
- Marshall, Andrew (15 May 2006). "Best of Asia: Best Urban Oasis". Time. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
- Bouchet, Ceil Miller (2013-06-14). "Escaping to 'Bangkok's Green Lung'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-04-30.
- Samut Prakan travel guide from Wikivoyage