Chill Out and Enjoy the Parks and Activities in Bangkok
If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city or physical activities or just chill out, Bang Krachao Island is a good idea, but there are also 11 large parks and over 20 small parks around Bangkok. Here are the easiest to access that offer a diversity of sports facilities and cultural activities, some also have free aerobics sessions every morning and evening
Lumpini Park Suan Lum
Suan Lum, that’s the name Thai people call it (Suan means, garden, park, field). Opened in the 1920s, it was intended to become an exhibition center for Thai handicrafts and flower shows. It was here that the Japanese army set up their camp during the Second World War, and also was the scene of rallies during the political crisis in 2010 and one of the main sites of protest in 2013-14 between the yellows (military, royalists, bourgeois and wealthy) and the reds (rural and urban populations with low incomes). Located in the heart of the city’s business, Lumpini is the oldest and largest park in Bangkok, so named after the Buddha’s birthplace in Nepal. The trails around the park form a circuit of about two and a half km surrounded by skyscrapers.
Is inhabited by squirrels, and there are a significant number of birds species, especially during migration periods of September-October and April-May. But the “master” of the park is the lizard’s monitors, some of which can reach two meters long, we can also meet turtles, but I never had a chance to see one. It is in the early morning that the park comes alive and becomes quieter during the day to be invaded again by a crowd of joggers, free outdoor aerobics classes on techno tunes before sunset. Sports activities are numerous, biking and stretching, fencing, tai chi, yoga, and ballroom dancing, there is also a basketball court. Often, local jazz ensembles or a classical orchestra offer good (and free) entertainment in the late afternoon on Sundays. Possibility to rent mats.
There is a playground (Smiling Sun Ground) for people with disabilities, and children.
The elderly have their own club (Bangkok Elder Citizens Club) which is located in the Lumpini room. A place for meeting and communication, relaxation and physical exercise. Dance classes are given every Sunday and Saturday.
Open from 8 am to 6 pm every day
A children’s library “Ladybug” and learning center, besides reading activities, children can participate in developmental workshops such as English language development, basic financial planning, D.I. Y activities and recycling training.
Open from 8 am to 8 pm Tuesday to Sunday
Back to School
Behind gate 8, a little hidden from view is the BMA (Bangkok Metropolitan Administration) vocational training center. Open to the public, it offers the opportunity for professional training in various fields such as crafts, electronic repair, hairdressing, florists, drawing and painting, cooking and others. Many students come to take classes during the summer school holidays, but also retired people and housewives. Very busy on weekends.
An exam is held at the end of each course. On successful competition of each workshop, trainees will receive a certificate from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration that would be useful for securing a business license in Thailand and many other countries.
The participants are mostly Thai, there are also foreigners, but you have to know the Thai language well. Workshops are held from 9 am. to 3 pm. On weekdays and weekends.
A very good initiative is the “Home of Hope”, a shelter for homeless children that provides information, advice, and education to help them. Open daily from 10 am. to 7 pm.
For the believer or those interested by Buddhism the last Sunday of every month are held Buddhist Dharma talk and offerings to monks.
From 7 am to 9 pm
Numerous festival, concerts, and events are held during “winter season” November to April, including the annual Red Cross Fair in November, which has been held since 2018 in Lumpini Park.
The favorite activity of locals and tourists is to rent a swan boat and wander on the large artificial lake.
There are food and drink vendors around the entrance
To Get There
There is an entrance at exit 3 of the MRT Lumpini station. The main entrance is at the MRT Silom station et BTS Sala Daeng. The statue entering the park is King Rama 6 (1910-1925) who donated this land to be used as a public park.
Not a major attraction but highly appreciated by the locals Lumpini is a park essential to Bangkok’s “well-being”, a breath of fresh air and greenery that you can enjoy after a day in the city’s hubbub.
The park is open from 5 am to 9 pm
Green Mile Alley
There is a skywalk of about 2 km to Benjakiti Park. Exit at the Wireless (Withayu) Road gate near the police station and take the bridge.
Benjakiti Queen Sirikit park
Surrounded by skyscrapers, Benjakiti was previously rented out to the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly (today Tobacco Authority of Thailand (TOAT). Has been inaugurated in 2004 in honor of the 72nd birthday Queen Sirikit’s 72nd birthday. Close to the busy Klong Toei Market and Lumpini Park, Benjakiti is much quieter during the daytime and come alive early evening when joggers, families, and couples take two kilometers to walk around the man-made Lake Ratchada or just relax on the green space. bikers (bike to hire, for kids/adults, cycle path), there is also some basic exercise equipment.
Well located, clean, many people think it is the most beautiful park in Bangkok. A nice lake where you can relax and enjoy a stroll paddle boat.
BTS Sukhumvit Asok station and Queen Sirikit convention center MRT station exit 3
Built-in 1992 to celebrate the Queen’s 60th Birthday is always referred to as Queen’s Park. Small but because of its location next to Emporium and EmQuartier centers mall, is highly appreciated throughout the day and in the early evening by residents in the area, tourists and shoppers.
A lot of activities around the artificial lake. Yoga, volleyball, basketball, and skateboarding. I like to go there not only to relax but also to watch Takraw’s game.
Despite its origins, which are hotly contested between nine Southeast Asian states, it is admittedly introduced by the Chinese, a similar game played by the Chinese military. It is necessary to go back to the 15th century in the Sultana of Malacca in Malaysia to find the texts mentioning that the game is played. At Wat Phra Keo in Bangkok, there are also traces of wall paintings depicting the God Hanuman playing Takraw with monkeys. Each country claims the origin of the game as well as their own. Each country had its own rules, Thailand playing with a volleyball net while Malaysia had a badminton net. It was not until the 1965 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur that the official name and regulations after a compromise between Malaysia and Thailand were recognized and named the game sepak takraw (Kickball).
Sepak in Malaysia means “kick” and Takraw “woven ball” in Thai. Today, it is Malaysia’s national sport.
Rules and regulations
Two teams (known as Regu) of three players, The Tekong “server”, The Feeder on the left, a kind of number 10 in football, and the Killer “Striker” is on the right. The court is about the same size as the one of badminton (6.096 by 13.411 meters) and the net is 1.52 meters high (1.42m for women). Traditionally, balls were handwoven from bamboo or rattan, but most of them are now made from synthetic materials and weighs 170-180 grams for men,150-160 for women. The scores are similar to volleyball. The first team to score 15 or 21 points wins the set, and wins in two sets wins the match.
The game begins when the feeder manually threw the ball to the Tekong, which while keeping one foot in a small “service circle”, must then kick the ball over the net with the other foot. Shoulders, chest, knees, and head are allowed but not the hands and arms and can’t play the ball more than 3 times in a row.
Since 1992 the discipline has its federation, the International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) which has 45 members around the world and hopes to see the introduction of sepak takraw (Kick Volleyball) at the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024. The women’s sepak takraw was first introduced in an international tournament in 1997. The first STAF World Cup was held in 2011, played by the men’s and women’s national teams and is held regularly every four years. In 2015, was postponed to 2017 due to the South East Asian Games, Goa will host the 2019 championship in October. Both tournaments, men and women were won by Thailand, but the King’s Cup, created in 1985 which bring together the best teams in the world, is considered the most prestigious sepak takraw competition.
This popular and spectacular sport is played in the slightest open space that allows it in Bangkok and in cities and villages throughout Southeast Asia.
In Benjasiri Park the best time to see some good games is from 5 am to 9 pm
Open daily 5 am to 9 pm
To Get There
BTS Phrom Phong station.
You can access the park through the Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park hotel in Sukhumvit Soi 22
Three main public parks in this area, each has its own name, Chatuchak park separated by the Kamphaeng Phet 3 Road from Queen Sirikit garden, and the more popular Wachirabenchatat Park, which will become the largest park in the heart of Bangkok by 2020 and will be called Utthayan Suan Chatuchak in honor of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The parks are well maintained with many Benches, the toilets around the park are very clean, and garbage bins in many places.
Opened in 1980 and located next to the Chatuchak market, one of the oldest and most frequented public park. An artificial lake runs along this thin and long park with several bridges crossing it. Interesting but it is a pity that the description of the trees is only written in Thai. No bike allowed. It is needed to cross Kamphaeng Phet 3 Road to get to the Suan Rot Fai Park.
Wachirabenjatat Park or Suan Rot Fai
Wachirabenjatat this is the name given in honor by the at-that-time Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn (Wachira is from his name Eachiralongkorn), who currently is King Rama X, but locals call it Suan Rod Fai. The land once owned by the State Railways of Thailand (rot fai means train) and which used to be a golf course, became a public park in 2002. It has a three-km sinuous trail for hikers and cyclists around the park, you can rent a bike at the main entrance (located on the other side of the park from the BTS or MRT station), 60 Baht, and has a free wheelchair service. In addition to jogging and cycling, the park also has a sports center with many activities, tennis, swimming, basketball, pétanque, sepak takraw, kayaking, futsal, fitness, and yoga. The locals take advantage of the shade of many trees for picnics. As in other parks, paddleboat rental is available to go around the lake. Golfers will enjoy a driving range closed to the main entrance where you can rent a club and 50 golf balls for 80 baht. In the parking space there is a stall food area and near the entrance of the park the Thitaree restaurant with a garden open in the park.
Open 5 am to 9 pm
To Relax and Learn
In the Queen Sirikit Park is a beautiful greenhouse butterfly garden and Insectarium, a small museum where more than 2000 species of local and foreign plants, and a large variety of butterflies, and birds. Nicely done but unfortunately, everything is written in Thai.
Open 8,30 am to 4.30 pm
Closed on Monday
– White Theme Park was created for children to learn the rules of the road, a “game” that I would have liked to play when I was a kid, is a miniature city that consists of a reduced version of some of Bangkok’s famous buildings and tourist attractions, but also a “driving school” and VDO games.
– Also In the park is a large purple building dedicated to the environment, the Bang Sue Environmental and Education Center. I liked what I read in the lobby.
Beat Plastic Pollution
If you can’t reuse it, refuse it
– Another attraction created for children is the Children’s Discovery Museum.
Open 10 am to 4 pm
Buddhasa Indapanno Archives
For those who want to learn and want to know more about art and Buddhist teachings, there is an interesting place, BIA. Located in the park is a two-story building with a prayer room, a meditation room, art galleries, and a bookstore. It is essential to visit the meditation room and there is a guide on knowledge and practice.
Open 5 am to 6.30 pm
Closed on Monday
Easy to Go to Chatuchak
You will see the park from BTS Mo Chit’s station. By MRT to Chatuchak Park station, exit 2.
I have done the experience, 4 hours walking to visit all the parks but I recommend renting a bike at Suan Rot Fai Park.
Chulalongkorn Centenary Park
Nice little modern design and ecological park and well located next to the University of Chulalongkorn in Samyan, close to the market.
How to Go There
MRT Sam Yan station (exit 1) and a 10 minutes walk or moto-taxi, why not a Tuk-Tuk
A lot of good restaurants around there, and I recommend the restaurant Nai Peng Racha, known for its unique Kua Gai Taro, Nai Peng is the name of the owner and Racha means King. This restaurant has the Shell Chuan Chim and appears on the Michelin Guide. Excellent Kuay Teow Kua Kai. Fried dry rice noodles stirred with chicken/fish or seafood and Pa Tong Ko (fried doughnuts).
Address. Soi Chulalongkorn 18 (at the corner of the soi 5)
Open 11 am to 9 pm
Bangkok is not really a green city but has beautiful parks for families where children and adults will have a good time. Clean, well maintained and supervised. Very busy on weekends and holidays.
I hope this will be helpful for planning your next trip to Bangkok. If you have any questions, I will be more than happy to help you out.
Your support messages and comments are always welcome.