A Green Escape: Relaxing and Recreational Parks

As much as we all enjoy the cosmopolitan life of living in Bangkok, sometimes it’s good to take a breather away from the sky-rises and eternal traffic. Even the most energetic of us can admit that life in the concrete jungle yields moments of exhaustion. Luckily enough, the numerous green sanctuaries found all throughout the city bring that much needed contrast to the Bangkokians’ metropolitan life. Everything—from lush mini-forests to great stretches of green plains and kilometer-long bike paths—can be quite surprising once you realise these tranquil patches of nature reside in the busiest, most populous city of Thailand.

Benchasiri Park

Location: Sukhumvit Road (between Soi 22 and 24), Khlong Toei

First off, a not-so-hidden popular favorite for the denizens of Sukhhumvit, Benchasiri Park (or Suan Ben) was constructed to commemorate the fifth cycle birthday anniversary of Queen Sirikit. Suan Ben is a befitting representation of the urban parks in Bangkok. Located between the Marriott and the Emporium/EmQuartier shopping malls, the 11.6 acres of green is one of the most easily accessible parks in the city. Suan Ben has a reputation for being an ‘expat park’ due to the number of foreigners that frequent the place, not excluding the many international students out and about in the basketball courts and picnicking on the fields. While at a glance, Suan Ben seems rather unremarkable, it is well-liked for the lively community and the various artsy sculptures surrounding the area. For a long day at work or shopping, Suan Ben is definitely a good place to blow off some steam.


Rot Fai Park (Vachirabenjatas Park)

Location: Kamphaeng Phet 3 Rd, Lat Yao, Chatuchak

Vachirabenjatas Park, more commonly known as Rot Fai Park (Train Park) is one of the larger parks of Bangkok located in the Chatuchak district. Due to its extensive area, this park is known for being a fantastic location to cycle in with bicycle rental places conveniently located near the car park for cheap local prices. The vast expanses of green plains flanked by 100-year-old tree groves create a fantastical backdrop for cyclers and joggers, while those looking for something more active can enjoy a great variety of activities available at the park such as kayaking, a small golf course, and swimming pool among many other traditional park facilities. Rot Fai Park is nicknamed as such due to it hosting a number of vintage coal-powered trains from the industrial era which has been turned into chic bookstores/libraries. In addition to the trains (which deserve a visit on their own), the park includes other attractions, one being the Bangkok Butterfly Garden & Insectarium. Visitors can pay a small donation fee in order to enter the butterfly dome house, which contains exhibits of butterflies, live species in the artificial habitat, and a diversity of unique, rare plant life that can only be found in the Butterfly Garden. Rot Fai Park is a must-visit for those on a family day out and remains one of the most beautiful sights of nature in the whole of Bangkok. 



Photo credit: https://madeinthai.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/suan-rot-fai-%e2%80%93-the-old-railway-park/?fbclid=IwAR1sViR9ekREQNwYSpdRGHUCEXq4VYdYTPEuuoOBuans8mkg_nsKMkyOGuc


Nong Bon Lake

Location: Chaloem Phrakiat Rama 9 (Soi 43), Nong Bon

For the avid bikers and joggers out there, Nong Bon Lake provides a sweepingly beautiful (albeit simplistic) backdrop for all sorts of recreational activities. This man-made reservoir is a centerpiece for cyclers, long-haul joggers, dog walkers and kayakers. With a measly 40 baht annual membership for use of water gear and equipment (kayaks, for instance), Nong Bon Lake remains possibly the most underrated park of Bangkok. That in itself, however, is a big plus for park goers; those that prefer a more peaceful and isolated park experience will find that Nong Bon Lake, unlike Benchasiri Park, is quiet and hushful most times of the day, so much so that you may find yourself all alone at certain points in the park.


Photo credit: https://www.bkkkids.com/listing/nong-bon-lake-watersports-centre/




Vadhana Pocket Park

Location: Thonglor 10

While not properly a park (and therefore not officially a recommendation), this interesting little urban gap in Thonglor 10 deserves some recognition for being possibly one of the smallest parks you will ever come across. Aptly named Pocket Park, this tiny combination of gravel and grass spans just enough of an area able to fit two large cars. Perhaps if you’ve ever found yourself strolling through Thonglor 10 looking for a haven away from the busy streets, the Vadhana Pocket Park opens at 6 in the morning and closes its doors at 6 in the evening. Vadhana Pocket Park proves the ingenuity of Bangkokians being able to fit a park into such a tiny patch of land in between two of the the city’s busiest residential streets, so why not drop by for a visit?