Bangkok locals and expats alike know how important it is to get away from the city's pollution from time to time for some fresh air and relaxation. If you haven't got time for a weekend trip away or a day trip outside of the city, check out one of these five excellent parks and green spaces for fresh air around Bangkok, Thailand.
1. Bang Kachao (Bangkok's Green Lung)
Bang Kachao, a quiet and undeveloped neighborhood in a big bend of the Chaophraya River, is known as Bangkok's "Green Lung". Located a bit far from the center of the city in Samut Prakan's Phra Pradaeng District, the approximately 6 square mile artificial island of Bang Krachao is probably the best way to feel like you are far away from the bustle of the city in just a short time. The Royal Forestry Department has committed to preserving Bang Kachao, which is still mostly undeveloped with only a small agricultural community. The best way to get around is by renting a bike and exploring the boardwalks and paths through the forest and along the canals.
There is also a floating market, some traditional workshops to visit, and a number of eco resorts and lodges if you want to stay the night. There is also a small, but beautiful, botanical garden.
Getting to Bang Kachao
The easiest way to reach Bang Kachao is by taking the BTS Skytrain to Bang Na Station, then taking a taxi the short distance to Sanphawut Pier, where you can take the local ferry to the island for just a few baht. From there, you can rent a bike (which usually comes with a free map) and begin exploring Bang Kachao on your own!
2. Lumphini Park
Opened in 1925 and named after Lumphini, the birthplace of the Buddha in India, Lumphini Park is Bangkok's oldest and most famous. It's a very welcome green space right in the heart of downtown. Activities include renting a paddle boat on the pond, jogging on the 2.5km track, joining a tai chi group in the early morning, or exercising in one of the public outdoor gyms. On Sunday evenings from January to April, there are weekly live music concerts in the park, and it's also the site to the annual Thai tourism fair.
Getting to Lumphini Park
Despite its name, Lumpini MRT Station isn't your best choice for reaching the entrance to Lumpini Park. Instead, take the BTS Skytrain to Sala Daeng Station or the MRT Subway to Silom. Both stations are located just outside the big statue of King Rama V in front of the park.
3. Chatuchak Park
Chatuchak is a beautiful and conveniently located park that is popular with picnickers and joggers. It is most famous for the adjacent Chatuchak Weekend Market, also known as "JJ Market", the largest weekend market in the world! After a long busy day of shopping, sit down on a bench near one of the park's beautiful and relaxing water features with a fresh coconut.
Getting to Chatuchak Park
You can reach the park by BTS Mo Chit or MRT Chatuchak. If you want to go to the Chatuchak Market (JJ Weekend Market), take the MRT one station further to Kamphaeng Phet, which has an exit directly inside the market.
4. Rama IX Gardens
Rama IX Garden
The largest public park (200 acres) in Bangkok was built in 1987 to celebrate King Bhumibol’s 60th Birthday. There are a number of botanical gardens, including an English, Italian, Japanese, American, and French garden. The large flying saucer-looking building is a museum dedicated to the life of His Majesty King Rama IX.
Getting to Rama IX Garden
Take a taxi (about 15 minutes) from Udom Suk BTS station. Admission costs 10 baht.
5. Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park
This new park, built to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Thailand's oldest university, Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park is a modern "urban forest" built with the scientific principles of ecology and conservation in mind. This brand-new park is sure to be popular with students and Bangkokians from all over the city. The park is one of the first stages in the construction of what is hoped to be Bangkok's up and coming Silicon Valley.
Getting to CU Centenary Park
The park is located near MRT Samyan station, just adjacent to the university campus.