In Thailand’s capital of Bangkok, there awaits a certain kind of park that you wouldn’t expect to find in such a vastly populated and modernised cityscape. And yet it’s there, going by the name of Lumphini park and wowing both tourists and locals alike since its foundation.
Lumphini is best described as a 360 rai park, found in the Thai capital. It was originally built back in the 1920s, by King Rama VI on what was then royal property. To this day, it’s open to visitors, and widely considered one of Bangkok’s most beautiful and interesting attractions, sparking the interests of thousands of tourists every year.
It’s among the largest green spaces in all of Bangkok, and one of the most memorable. At the time of its foundation, it was the first and largest recreational area in the city, built as a part of King Rama VI’s public works program in an attempt to both enrich and enforce the city. He was, interestingly enough, also responsible for building Chulalongkorn University in 1916, as well as the many locks and mechanisms that control the famous Bangkok canals and waterways.
Lumphini Park remains one of his finest gifts to the public of Bangkok, spanning over 500,000 square metres and housing a wide variety of fauna and flora. It’s a great place to come and visit for the appeal of a tropical-themed park and spend a casual time with the locals who often come by for jogging, aerobics, and to go about their general business.
On weekends it tends to be full of playing children and families, whereas on weekdays it’s just like any other park – filled with elderly folk, couples, workers on their breaks, etc. What makes it special is the unique sense of difference in the surrounding plants and flowers – types that you just wouldn’t find in the West.
Complete with paddleboats available for rent, an outdoor gym and a plethora of playgrounds, it’s one of Bangkok’s ultimate leisure spots. If you come by on a Sunday afternoon, you may even find a pleasantly surprising Jazz orchestra playing their tunes to the locals and practicing their outfit.
It’s found on Rama IV Rd, and it goes without saying that admission into the park is free – it’s a public space after all. What’s more, the park is open every day from 4.30am to 9pm, which are some shockingly reasonable hours. The earlier in the morning you visit, the fewer people there will be around, but it could be said that the locals and their activities in the park are a vital piece of what makes the atmosphere so charming.
It’s a great place to spend a few hours if not a day, and is fairly close to a number of restaurants and cafes for when the inevitable hunger strikes again. What you find here may seem to be nothing more than a simple stroll in the park, but it is in fact an experience entirely unique to Bangkok. If ever you’re considering visiting the country, make sure to give Lumphini park a visit – it’s an undoubtedly necessary experience.
Directions: BTS Station Sala Daeng
Entrance fee: Free
Opening hours: 4:30 - 21:00
Address: Rama IV Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
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