Sunday, July 11, 2010

My Top 5 Green spots in Bangkok

Amidst the madness, surrealism and chaos of teeming, steamy, exciting Bangkok, lie jewels of greenery, some small, some large, but all offer a place of peace, quiet, reflection and a chance to sit in the shade under a tree. I have listed my top 5 favourite spots. The first four are all conveniently reached on the BTS or metro, the 5th one requires a bus or taxi ride, but, believe me, it is worth the effort.

1. Lumphini Park

Despite recent events, which turned Lumphini Park into a battleground, this large green oasis is once more a haven of tranquility. It serves multiple roles; the lungs of Bangkok, a large inner-city refuge and a social meeting point for Bangkokians from all walks of life. Early morning and evening are the best times to go when the park is alive with joggers, walkers, mass aerobics classes, and groups of people gathering together to enjoy the open air and to do what groups of Thais do best, eat! Sometimes you can catch a free concert at the bandstand. I, by chance, came across a great classical music concert there last February which was well appreciated by the largely Thai audience. There is a large artificial lake where you can hire small paddle or row boats. Often you can catch a glimpse of the huge Water Monitor Lizards that call the park home. I love seeing those guys. The park is named after Buddha’s birthplace in Nepal, according to a plaque you can find at the northern end of the park.
Skytrain: Sala Daeng, subway: Lumphini

2. Benjasiri Park

This small, pleasant park lies right on Sukhumvit Road, next to the Emporium shopping center, and right by the Phrong Phom BTS station. It was built in the 1990’s to commemorate the 60th birthday of Queen Sirikit. There is an ornamental lake as the focal point of the park. For me, the main attraction of the park, apart from its convenient location on hustling Sukhumvit Road, are the Thai sculptures that dot the park. In front of the park there is a lively community of street food vendors.  

3. Chatuchak Park

Anyone who has ever been to the world famous Chatuchak weekend market will undoubtedly have seen, passed through, or spent a bit of time in the adjoining Chatuchak Park, next to the Mo Chit BTS 
station. After the steambath of the market, a respite in the park with an ice cold bottle of water is just what the doctor ordered. Having said that, depending on the time of the day, shady spots can be hard to come by. Nontheless, the park is very popular with families and groups of friends, who rent mats from the numerous mat vendors, sit on the grass and, surprise, surprise, eat!

4. Chuvit Park

This tiny little park has a rather controversial history connected with the sometimes murky world of Bangkok politics. It is located near Soi 8 Sukhumvit, close to Nana BTS station. I have only given this place a rather cursory inspection, attracted primarily by its convenient location. If you are in the vicinity it is a place to sit down, catch your breath and chill. I will have to give it a fuller inspection to discover if there is something more to the place than just a quiet spot to sit.

5. Suang Luang King Rama IX Park

This park is a little further outside the central area of Bangkok than the 4 mentioned above, and a taxi may be necessary if you don’t have your own transport. This is the only park of the 5 mentioned which charges an entrance fee, but this is very low, I think 20 bht for non-Thais and 10 bht for Thais. The park was built for the present King Rama IX upon his 60th birthday in 1987.   It is divided into 6 main areas: the Commemoration Hall, the Botanical Gardens, the Resevoir, Rommaniya Garden, the Sanan Rasdara and the Water Garden. This one probably deserves its own blog post so I will write more about this at a later date. RJZS2RUXW6PK


  1. Thanks for the heads up about Suang Luang King Rama IX Park. I live in Minburi, and every Sunday I struggle to think of places to take my son - this is family day :-) A park sounds like a nice day out and a lot cheaper than Dreamworld; it should also involve a bit less driving. I look forward to your fuller blog post on Suang Luang King Rama IX Park.

  2. Glad to have been of help Paul. You can easily spend a full day there exploring the different areas. It is a nice place for a family outing.

  3. Thanks, I will probably take a trip there this Sunday. I just hope there is plenty of parking. We only recently moved to Minburi after spending years out in the sticks. I'm still getting used to the traffic.


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