Bangkok Parks

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Let’s face it: Bangkok is not known for its natural splendor. It may have plenty of glitzy shopping malls and ancient temples, but very few people ever praise this Southeast Asian city for its green spaces. Which is too bad, since the carefully tended and maintained parks sprinkled throughout are just about perfect for a lazy afternoon, particularly if you have kids in tow. Check out these five spots for a laid-back family outing.

Lumphini Park

Arguably the best-known of Bangkok’s parks and certainly the oldest, Lumphini deserves its reputation as the city’s principle oasis. Despite its location in bustling Silom, the park somehow manages to maintain its air of serenity. Once you set off along the 2.5 kilometers of trails, it’s easy to forget you’re in the heart of a central business district. There are loads of activities for everyone in the family. Kids will get a kick out of riding the distinctive swan boats around the central lake and feeding the local fish. Older children may well enjoy cycling the paths, exercising at the public gym or even checking out Bangkok’s first public library. Not surprisingly, Lumphini plays host to wide variety of events, including a free concert series by the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra during the winter.

Directions: MRT Silom; Rama IV Rd.;

Hours: Open daily 4:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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Benjasiri Park

Smaller than Lumphini, this pleasant space by the Emporium shopping mall nonetheless deserves a visit. Young children will enjoy the park’s playground, while adults will appreciate both its convenient location and displays of contemporary art. Permanent sculptures surround the central artificial lake, and a rotating series of installations keeps this Sukhumvit staple interesting. The park regularly hosts events and concerts, especially in the evenings.

Directions: BTS Phrom Phong; between Sukhumvit Soi 24 and 22;

Hours: Open daily 5:00 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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Chatuchak Park

When most people hear the word “Chatuchak”, they immediately think of Bangkok’s enormous weekend market. While the market is a worthy destination in and of itself, it’s something of a nightmare to attempt with kids. Seeing as the market receives an average of over 200,000 visitors a day, it’s all too easy to lose younger children in the crowds and narrow aisles between shops. Instead, consider paying the park a visit during the considerably calmer work week. With far fewer people, your family can feed the fish or wander around Chatuchak’s winding man-made lake in peace. Be sure to check out the botanical gardens with their lotus blossoms and pools of water lilies, as well as the Children’s Discovery Museum.

Directions: BTS Mo Chit; Kampaengphet 1 Rd.;

Hours: Open daily 4:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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Queen Sirikit Park / Benjakiti Park

Across from the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center and only a short walk from Sukhumvit, Benjakiti is a great find for the active family. At 208,000 square meters, it’s considerably larger than nearby Benjasiri and in the mornings and evenings joggers and cyclists take advantage of the wide, well-paved trails encircling Lake Ratchada. Older kids will enjoy the skateboard ramp, while younger kids may prefer to take a ride on one of the paddleboats. Benjakiti is also an excellent place to take the family for festivals such as Loy Khratong.

Directions: BTS Asok; Sukhumvit Soi 16, Lake Ratchada;

Hours: Open daily 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

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King Rama IX Royal Park

Though the city’s largest park may be a bit more of a haul than others, it’s well worth the trip. Situated out near Bang Na, the King Rama IX Royal Park feels worlds away from the congestion and pollution of downtown Bangkok. The sprawling grounds are remarkably quiet and beautifully maintained. As a plus, ample trees and a series of gazebos and small structures provide plenty of shade during the hotter season. And thanks in part to its out-of-the-way location, the park is rarely crowded.

Directions: Sukhumvit 103 Rd.;

Hours: Open daily 5:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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