Lumphini, Chatuchak & Co. – 5 Parks and Green Spots in Bangkok
The Lumphini Park is one of the most beautiful and most famous parks in Bangkok. It is the ideal place to relax, have a picnic or do some sports. The park extends over 500,000 km² and is home to numerous plant and animal species as well as a lake with a boat rental service. To rent one of the swan boats for 30 minutes costs 40 Baht (a little more than one Euro).
The trails around the park with a total length of approx. 2.5 km are mainly frequented by joggers in the morning and evening. Officially, cycling is only allowed during between 10:00am and 15:00pm. Smoking is prohibited in the whole park and dogs are not allowed.
The Lumphini Park was created in the 1920s by King Rama VI on royal soil and named after Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha in Nepal. At the time of its creation the park was located on the outskirts of the city. Today, it is located in the heart of the main business district and Lumphini sub-district, on the north side of Rama IV Road, between Ratchadamri Road and Witthayu Road.
In the park you will come across a statue of King Rama VI, erected in 1942 to commemorate the construction of the Lumphini Park.
Every last Sunday of the month from 7:00am to 9:00am, there are activities that follow the teachings of Buddha – the Dharma. These take place together with Buddhist monks and include for example the offering of rice to the monks and lectures on various teachings.
Music Festival – A western and Thai music festival takes place in the park on Sundays, from January to April, from 17:30-20:00.
Sri Nakhon Khueang Khan Park and Botanical Garden
To get into this park, you have to cross the Chao Phraya. To do so, you should take a taxi to Khlong Toei Pier. From there you can get to the other side by a small boat for only 10 Baht. Since there are no fixed times when the boat leaves you can just go there whenever it suits you.
The crossing takes only a few minutes and gives you an excellent view of Bangkok.
Once on the other side you can treat yourself to some refreshments in a small shop. Soft drinks and small snacks are waiting here. You can also rent a bike if you don’t want to explore the park on foot. As this part of Bangkok is hardly populated but offers a lot of nature, you can also consider a tour outside the park.
Since I like taking photos, it is more comfortable if I am not on two wheels and don’t have to dismount for each photo.
If you walk to the left at the first bend, you will come to the upper edge of the park after about 200 meters and to another small shop, where I had a chilled cola. I did not see another possibility to buy something to eat or drink. Don’t forget how the heat can get to you and better drink too much than too little.
The tour through the Sri Nakhon Khueang Khan Park took about two hours. I also climbed up to the Bird Watching Tower, which looks on the map as if it is located outside the park, but does not appear to be there. Just follow the signs if you also want to go up there.
If you continue the tour afterwards, you will reach some houses after about 20 minutes. Here you can find the only toilets I have seen in the park.
Chatuchak Park is an elongated park along the MRT (Chatuchak Park) and BTS (Mo Chit) line with an area of 0.304 square kilometres. It is located, as the name suggests, directly at the popular Chatuchak Weekend Market. There are outdoor tennis courts and football pitches as well as outdoor gyms, which are very popular with locals and expats.
This is one of the oldest public parks in Bangkok. Construction began in 1975 on a site provided by the Thai state railway. Chatuchak Park was opened on December 4, 1980. It was later extended to include Queen Sirikit Park and Wachirabenchathat Park, which are separated from Chatuchak Park by Kampaeng Phet 3 Road.
Personally, I would prefer the already mentioned adjacent parks that I will describe in the following, as they are more quiet. The Chatuchak Park is longish and arranged alongside a much frequented road, so that one cannot escape the hustle and bustle of the big city as well as in the other parks. However, if you want to combine your visit to Chatuchak Weekend Market with a picnic or a walk in Bangkok’s greenery, this park is best suited.
The Wachirabenchathat Park was opened in mid 2002 and named by Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn. Before its transformation into a public park, it was a golf course owned by the Thai state railway.
Bordering Queen Sirikit Park and Chatuchak Park, it is the largest park in the complex at 0.6 square kilometres. It is one of the most popular parks in Bangkok – thanks to its three kilometres of paths, especially for cyclists. A bicycle can be rented in the park if required.
Pedal boats can be rented on an artificial lake. So you can explore the park from a completely different perspective.
There is also a butterfly garden and an insectarium.
Like most other parks, the Wachirabenchathat Park has outdoor gyms, numerous children’s playgrounds and tennis and basketball courts. You can also watch countless squirrels, which are used to people and therefore anything but shy.
Over a bridge you enter the adjoining Queen Sirikit Park.
Queen Sirikit Park
Queen Sirikit Park is a botanical garden in the Chatuchak District and forms a unit with Chatuchak Park and the Wachirabenchathat Park. With an area of 0.22 square kilometres, it is the smallest of the three parks and is considered by many to be part of the Wachirabenchathat Park. It is my personal favourite on this side of the Chao Phraya, because the trails are wider and more majestic and the plant diversity is much greater.
It was built in 1992 and named, in honour of her 60th birthday, after Queen Sirikit of Thailand. It contains many fountains and ponds in which lotus flowers bloom.
This park is very well maintained and the different plants you can find here are not here without good reason: Certain areas of the park are dedicated to certain plant species that are important for Thai culture. Near the middle of the park there is a large area of lotus ponds, while on the north side there is a large palm grove. On the eastern side, near the children’s museum, there is a bamboo grove that includes some small rice fields. Here you will learn that rice and bamboo belong to the same family.
In contrast to the neighbouring Wachirabenchathat Park, which was explicitly designed for cyclists, two-wheelers are not allowed in Queen Sirikit Park. So leave your bike at the entrance and pick it up after you have finished your exploration on foot.
I love to lose myself in a city’ s green lungs, to breathe deeply and find peace. That’s also where the most beautiful photos are often taken.
I have two favourites in particular: Queen Sirikit Park, which stands out from the other parks with its beauty, elegance and biodiversity. I really liked it and I would probably choose this park if I wanted to go to Bangkok in the future to relax in the green.
I also enjoyed the Sri Nakhon Khueang Khan Park very much. However, it is much more remote and with the river crossing you have to plan a little more time for the trip.
All in all I am grateful for the small oases like the Lumphini or the Chatuchak Park, which Bangkok offers within these parks, so that one can escape the big city jungle at least occasionally a little bit.
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