Bang Pu Recreation Center, familiarly known as "Bangpu”, is a popular destination for locals as a seaside resort near Bangkok. Bang Pu Recreation Center is located in Bang Pu Mai Sub-district of Samut Prakan Province and it covers a total area of 639 rai, adjacent to the Gulf of Thailand. Bang Pu is located at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River, south of Bangkok.
Bang Pu Recreation Center was built in the reign of Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsongkram who was a Prime Minister in 1937 to be used for military recreational purposes. The center was closed down temporarily after the Japanese Imperial Army’s landing at Bang Pu and other provinces by the Gulf of Thailand in order to pass through Thailand to the front of fighting with allies during World War II. At the end of the war, the center resumed its business. Bang Pu is operated by the Quartermaster Department of the Royal Thai Army.
Bang Pu Recreation Center is a tourist attraction suitable for all ages. It is a place for relaxing with the family while doing activities and spending more time together. The popular activity in the morning is exploring rich mangrove forest. People also come here for relaxing at Bang Pu Resort, dining at Sala Sukjai restaurant, enjoying ballroom dancing, listening to music, planting mangrove forest, visiting the Bang Pu Nature Education Center to study nature and environment, and seeing the Memorial of World War II In East Asia. Youth conservation camps are also taking place in the area.
The evening atmosphere at Bang Pu Recreation Center is another highlight that should not be missed. Beautiful sunset with hundreds of birds is so photogenic.
The surrounding area is a mangrove forest. Due to the erosion of the sea lasting for a long time, Bang Pu resort area is filled with mangrove trees such as Lam Pho Tree, Pho Thale, and Cha Kham. There are over 70 species of animals living in the area such as Fiddler crabs, Meder's mangrove crabs (Sesarma mederi), Mudskipper, Horseshoe Crab and Snapping shrimps.
The highlight of Bang Pu Recreation Center is seagulls. There are various species of seagulls including Heuglin's Gull, Common Black-headed Gull, Mongolian Gull, and Slender-billed Gull. Each year, from October to May over 5,000 seasonal migrating seagulls migrate to stay at Bang Pu Recreation Center from the cold weather countries in Central Asia, like China, Mongolia, Tibet, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.
Feeding seagulls is a popular activity here. You will see many people feeding them with the popular seagull food - fried pork skin. People just hold food in hand and the seagulls fly to get it.
Bang Pu Recreation Center is also a natural habitat for more than 200 bird species including Eurasian Curlew, Eastern Black-tailed Godwit, Grey Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Black-crowned night heron and Little Cormorant.
Sukta Bridge & Sala Sukjai
Suksa Bridge is considered to be an important symbol of Bang Pu Recreation Center. It’s also a historical landmark where Japanese forces began landing in Thailand. A small group of brave local forces rushed to form a defensive position just two kilometers north-west of this landmark. Before both parties clashed, at the last minute accord was reached between Thai government and Japan, which allowed Japanese troops to pass through Thai border without harm. The bridge, which was changed from the former wooden bridge to a concrete bridge, stretches out to the sea for 500 meters.
There is a tuk-tuk service to bring people to the end of the bridge, where Sala Sukjai is located. Sala Sukjai that actually means Happy Hall consists of the army’s welfare restaurant (open from 10 am to 8 pm every day), dance hall and stage for the elderly (open every Saturday from 4 pm). The hall can welcome thousands of people. There is a balcony that extends from the building and allows out walk for getting a fresh sea breeze while watching the seagulls.
Restaurants in Bang Pu
After enjoying all the fun activities at the recreation center, you can dine and chill at one of Bang Pu restaurants.
Rabieng Tale is a restaurant located by the sea. Here you will be refreshed by the chilly wind from the Gulf of Thailand while enjoying the sunset at Phra Chulachomklao Fort and seeing the way of life of local fishermen. The recommended menu here is Spicy Horseshoe Crab, Fried Fish with Fish Sauce, Tom Yum Seafood.
Bangpu Sea Breeze
Bangpu Sea Breeze is a restaurant with a good atmosphere, located next to the sea. The restaurant serves dishes from a very wide menu which includes various seafood dishes such as Sour Soup with Shrimps, Spicy Spare Pork Rib Soup, and Steamed Fish in Lemon Sauce.
Baan Chidlom restaurant is distinguished by beautiful decoration, as well as warm and friendly atmosphere. They serve variety of seafood dishes such as Stir-Fried Crab in Yellow Curry Powder, Stir Fried Razor Clams with Roasted Chili Paste and Grilled Jumbo Prawns.
Moken is one more restaurant by the Gulf of Thailand with the concept of lifestyle of local fishermen. The restaurant is ready to serve the local food menu using fresh raw materials. Recommended dishes are Smoked Fish, Fried Rice with Crispy Gourami Fish and Fried Rice Noodles with Shrimp Sauce.
If you have more time and want to visit other attractions in Samut Prakan, there are many places suitable for families to choose from:
- Ancient City
- The Erawan Museum
- Bang Kra Chao - The Best Urban Oasis of Asia
- Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo
- Wat Asokaram
- Phra Samut Chedi
Bang Pu Recreation Center is open daily, from 10:00 to 20:00
How to get there
Bang Pu Recreation Center is located on Sukhumvit Road, Km 37, in Bang Pu Mai Subdistrict, Mueang District, Samut Prakan Province.
Many songtaew routes departing from Paknam Market pass by Bang Pu Recreation Center. Songtaew will take you along the Sukhumvit road, so you will pass the Ancient City and Bang Pu Industry Area before seeing the sign of Bang Pu Recreation Center.
Songtaew will stop on the opposite side of the road and you will need to cross the road by using the overpass.
Suitable songthaew lines:
- Pak Nam - Wat Tamru
- Pak Nam - Nikhom Bang Pu
- Pak Nam - Khlong Dan
By BTS & Songtaew
You can take BTS SkyTrain to Kheha BTS station. From there you can take songtaew to Bang Pu Recreation Center.
By Bus & Songtaew
You can take a public bus No. 25, 102, 142, 508, 511 or 536 to Pak Nam and then take songtaew to Bang Pu Recreation Center.