Bangkok, Thailand, is one of the largest cities in the world with more than 13 million people. Bangkok also has some of the prettiest city parks in the world and is famous for five
of them. Lumphini Park is Bangkok’s most famous park, followed by Sanam Luang, Chatuchak Park, Rama IX Park and Queen Sirikit Park. Each Bangkok park is famous and popular for different reasons and different activities. Visit these five Bangkok parks the next time you come to Thailand. You won’t be disappointed.
Lumphini Park is one of the world’s largest city parks. It’s on the north side of Rama IV road in Bangkok, but is easy to get to as there are two underground (MRT) stations that open into it. Lumphini Park is huge. It’s open every day of the week and is famous for its lake, where you can hire paddle boats. It also has Bangkok’s first public library in it, as well as the place where the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra plays its annual Concerts in the Park series.
Lumphini is a wonderful place to see Muay Thai fighters and to see Sepak Takraw players practicing (Sepak Takraw is one of Thailand’s national sports – like volleyball, but the players can only use their feet, knee, chest and head to hit the ball). There’s also a huge area where Thai bodybuilders work out in the open air, complete with weight machines.
Lumphini Park is a popular area for families to hang out and picnic, a great place to go jogging (especially in the early morning before the Bangkok heat kills you), or just to wander around and watch people. I love walking around Lumphini, buying an ice cream cone at one of the many little stalls, and taking photographs of people enjoying Bangkok life. Suan Lum Night Bazaar is also right next to Lumphini Park, and is a great place to head to for a cold beer when you’ve had a hot day in the sun at Lumphini Park.
Rama IX Park, otherwise known as Suan Luang, was dedicated to His Majesty the King of Thailand for his 6oth birthday. Rama IX Park is an absolutely gorgeous park, with beautiful botanical gardens that seem to stretch for miles, enormous expensive of colorful Thai flower beds, a reservoir and a big lake. You can hire paddle boats on the lake, stroll in the park enjoying the flowers, or visit some of the exhibits that are dedicated to His Majesty the King’s life.
Rama IX Park is popular with Thais, especially on the weekends as it’s away from the hustle and bustle of busy Bangkok life. Don’t forget to visit the Rommaniya Garden, where you can see all of Thailand’s natural heritage in miniature. Rama IX Park is in east Bangkok on Sukhumvit Soi 103. Best way to get to it, is to take the sky train to the On Nut station, then take a taxi from there.
Chatuchak Park is another of Bangkok’s gorgeous parks. It’s located right next to the Mo Chit sky train station, as well as next to the Chatuchak underground station. It’s a large grassy park, with lots of areas for sitting. If you get there and haven’t brought blankets, you can also rent mats from vendors who walk around the park so that you can sit in comfort. Chatuchak Park has a small lake with boats (see photo), as well as a children’s play ground, a running area, and several food stalls set up for snacks or lunch. It’s also right next to the Children’s Museum, as well as to Chatuchak Weekend Market, so on the weekends the park will be very busy.
Sanam Luang is the large park area next to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew. It’s more like a big field than a park area, but it’s popular with Thais especially during kite flying season, when you’ll see a lot of kites being flown by kids and adults alike. There will also be many kite stalls set up around the park, so you can buy one and join in the fun.
Sanam Luang is famous for the location of the Royal Ploughing Ceremony every year, to celebrate the upcoming harvest, as well as the place where, if a royal person dies, they will be cremated at Sanam Luang.
Sanam Luang is in a wonderful location as it’s easy to get to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew from there, two of Bangkok’s most famous places. It’s also right next to Thammasat University, as well as a whole slew of other schools, national galleries and shopping areas. Best way to get there is by taxi from the National Stadium sky train station.
Queen Sirikit Park is part of Chatuchak Park and is an absolutely amazing park, full of Thai wild flowers. It has a Lotus and Lily Pond, a pond, and many rare varieties of plants and flowers. It even has what they call an Auspicious Trees Garden, which I think is very cool. It’s laid out in the shape of Thailand, and has a tree from 76 Thai provinces represented in the garden.
The pathways are also designed so that they are laid out the same way that major roads in Thailand are laid out. There’s also a Garden For the Blind, where all the signs for the plants are in Braille and where electronic speakers talk about each botanical exhibit when you walk by (this information is only in Thai though).
Queen Sirikit Park is also next to the Children’s Discovery Museum, which uses part of the park to help with its exhibits. Queen Sirikit Park is easily accessible from the Mo Chit sky train station or from Chatuchak underground train station. It’s usually less crowded than Chatuchak Park, especially during the week, but you’ll still see people playing Sepak Takraw, jogging, strolling or having picnics with their families.
As you can see, Bangkok has many opportunities to discover botanical life, national sports, go jogging, have a picnic, lift weights, fly kites and any number of other things in its city parks. Visit any of these large Bangkok parks, and I guarantee you’ll have a lovely time.
Photo of Chatuchak Park – copyright Lerdsuwa/Wikimedia Commons