The very first tourist attraction (if I may call it that way) in Bangkok that I visited on my first week in the city was Lumpini Park. Lumpini park is a huge multi-purpose park in the middle of Bangkok which offers a free public open space loaded with various facilities. This park was first initiated by King Rama VI in the 1920s. For this reason, now we can found the statue of the King in front of the park’s main gate. The park is located next to the Silom-Sathorn business district and only 15 minutes walk from my room near BTS Station Chongnonsi. If you are taking the BTS, then you should take the Silom Line to Saladaeng Station which is even closer to the park. And if you are taking the MRT, then you could either get off at Lumpini or Silom station.
This park has everything you need to exercise/relax/socialize without having to go out of the city. In my opinion, this park is the perfect place to spend your weekend morning or evening. If people ask me what I miss from Bangkok, I have to say that one of the things that I miss the most is this park. Some bangkokians will think I am a bit crazy by now. But for me, this park is the epitome of what a bustling metropolitan like Bangkok should have. For me it stands for tranquility in the middle of a very crowded city. Just like the title of this article above, Lumpini Park is Bangkok’s very own Central Park. I have never been anywhere near New York or the US to make any direct comparisons, but below are several fascinating things that you might find in the park.
This first thing in mind has got to be the artificial lake. It is huge! And this is the main reason why I find the park as a peaceful place. Try to sit by the lake which are surrounded by trees, read a book and feel the breeze. At the same time, the high-rise buildings which we can still see surrounding the park will be a constant reminder of where we actually are. If you are up for it, you can also rent the swan boat to paddle around the lake. There are plenty of fishes in the lake but you are not supposed to go fishing here. Fortunately you can feed them, which explain the size of the fishes. Actually there are many other animals in the park, such as doves and even crows. Be careful of monitor lizards though! Yes, there are many of them this park, especially near the water. They would swim around, feed on some fishes or lay still by the grass near the lake. They can get quite big too! I have never seen them attack anyone but I think it is not a good idea to give them any reason to.
Actually the main reason why most of bangkokian and foreigners alike often visit this park is related to exercise. Lumpini Park has a 2.5 km jogging/bike riding lane around the park with smaller paths for alternative routes in between. We would see hordes of people jogging in the morning or in the evening. Bike ride is only allowed after 10 am or so, since there are no separate lanes. There are a couple of open air gyms in the park which are free and another one indoor next to the swimming pool and tennis courts. Super nice, right? Besides people jogging, we will also see some groups of people doing exercises like yoga, tai chi or aerobic exercises. There is even a music hall and children playgrounds in the park. And what is Bangkok without a market? The park also has a small market where people usually buy food or drinks, and there are also a lot of food vendors just outside of the park at night.
Lumpini Park can contain a lot of visitors at once due to its sheer size. For this reason, frequently there have been a lot of events being held in the park. Sporting events like fun runs or 10Ks are becoming somewhat regular fixtures. While other events like tourism fair and festivals like Loi Kratong are also often held in the park. So what ever you are into, you would likely find something that you will like in Lumpini Park. Do remember that Bangkok is not all about the shopping malls, night markets or temples.There are also nice public parks like this one, or the nearby Benjakiti park. But that would be for my next post, so till then!