Now that the Thai Government has opened its parks to us once again, no doubt there will be a mad dash to get out into those green spaces we have all been missing!
Bangkok offers a great selection of public parks spread out across the city and a few sneaky unique ones featuring everything from local street art, to kids play equipment and free gym equipment. Whilst Bangkok residents don’t normally brave the parks during the sweltering May temperatures, after over six weeks in lockdown ,we are all feeling a sense of ‘cabin fever’ and my kids are longing for some outside green space (and I’m right behind them!)
NOTE: At the time this article was published, the regular food stalls may not be open and the kids play areas may be open but have limited access, and remember only a fool ignores the 2M rule!
Bangkok has many hidden treasures and some of these are in the form of the more popular graffiti parks that are popping up over all Bangkok. Chalermla park is one of these. It’s a small open green space on Phayathai Road covered with brightly painted murals and graffiti, or street art, as its more popularly known these days.
Local artists from all over Bangkok have added their own individual creative pieces. These parks are very popular for teens and used as sets for many fashion shoots with popular magazines. It’s a park next to a busy road and you would very easily walk past it and conveniently located close to BTS Ratchathewi.
Sprawled out over 200 acres, Suan Luang Rama IX Park is officially Bangkok’s largest public green space. Built in 1987 to celebrate King Bhumibol’s 60th Birthday, the park is especially popular with locals who come to jog, bike, or share picnics beside its sprawling lake.
As well as the manicured grounds and botanical garden, there’s a small hedge maze, outdoor gym and a kid’s play area with little timber houses linked together by platforms. You can also bring your own bikes and scooters to cover more ground.
In Chaloemprakiat 43, near Rama IX Park, this man-made reservoir and scenic recreational area features windsurfing, kayaking and sailing. Also, there is a four kilometre long bike and jogging trail that circles the lake. With good lighting and well marked lanes for fast and slow bikers, it is a lovely and safe place to bike with kids. Bring your own bicycles.
NOTE: Bung Nong Bon is dog-friendly, unlike most other public parks in the city!
Situated just north of Chatuchak Market, this 150-acre park offers a tranquil haven for leisurely strolls and bike rides around its shady three-kilometer track. You can rent bikes, including ones with child seats, on the premises. There’s also an exotic butterfly garden, a small driving range, and paddle boats and kayaks for hire on the park’s picturesque pond. Parents with little ones can let them run loose in the park’s two playgrounds, which feature a range of play equipment including a climbing frame, slide, swings and tubes.
Set amid the gleaming malls and condos of Asoke, Benjakitti Park provides a lush haven in the heart of the city. A large lake dominates the grounds of this urban green space, and the surrounding asphalt track is great for cycling. There’s also a mini skate park, as well as swan boats rentals to get out on the water. The park also has two playgrounds featuring swings and slides, while leafy paths are ideal for little ones to run and explore in the shade.
With plenty of shaded walkways and paths, Bangkok’s best-known park is perfect for cycling, strolling, or pushing a stroller around its tree-lined perimeter (cycling is only permitted after 10am, however, and you have to bring your own bikes). Lumpini Park also features a wealth of recreational facilities while picnics beside the lake are a great way to spend a lazy afternoon. Families can feed the fish (fish food is available from vendors at the entrance), watch the park’s resident monitor lizards, go boating on the lake, or play in the large “Smiling Sun” playground.
Set beside the Emporium Shopping Mall along Sukhumvit Road, the compact and beautifully manicured grounds of Bencharsiri Park serve as a welcome retreat for those seeking inner-city calm. Enjoy scenic strolls, feed the fish and turtles in the large pond (buy fish food from the snack kiosk), hit the volleyball and basketball court, or head to the slides, tubes, see-saws and swings over at the playgrounds, which are separated for small and older children.
Not your typical park, this 200-acre attraction serves as the world’s largest outdoor museum, featuring over 100 structures of Thailand’s most famous monuments and architectural gems. The grounds correspond roughly to the shape of Thailand, with each of the monuments positioned at their correct places geographically. Children can explore mini palace halls, temples, stupas, stone sanctuaries and traditional houses; rent bicycles or a golf cart to get around easily.
For adventurous families, make a trip to Bang Kra Jao, a verdant peninsula in an oxbow of the Chao Phraya River. While technically located in Samut Prakarn, it is literally across the river from Klong Toey, offering a mellow contrast to bustling Bangkok. There, meandering paths lead through a lush wonderland of stilt houses, languid communities and fruit orchards. Head to the pier off Wat Klong Toey Nok and engage a small boat operator to ferry you across. Once there, rent bikes (some have child seats) and explore the area. There’s a park about 1 km away as well as a floating market that has a variety of food stalls as well as a kids’ area with crafts and sometimes a bouncy castle.
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