Any city worth living in has at least one large park at or near its center. Bangkok is no exception. Lumpini Park is in the Silom area, close to both the BRT skytrain and the MRT subway system.
Not as large as some parks, (Central Park’s loop is an even 10 km), Lumpini is still substantial, with a loop around a requisite lake of 2.5 km, with pavement markers every 10 meters, attracting a moderate share of bikers, runners, and exercise walkers. The park has two outdoor weight-lifting gyms, one indoor gym, and plenty of other exercise machines, as well as strategically placed bathrooms, refreshment areas, two stretching stations, playgrounds for kids, and lots of shade trees.
Like every lake park, paddle boats are available for those who care to maneuver around the lake. The one thing you’ve got to watch out for are the errant monitor lizards, of which there are plenty. People don’t seem to bother them too much and they are harmless even though they look like small crocodiles. I almost didn’t see a four-foot varanus creature today as it was crossing in front of me, or I in front of it.
If you end up in Bangkok and are hankering for some tranquility, a change of pace from the noisy city sounds, or a quota of fresh air, Lumpini Park is a welcome destination.
As an aside:
When I asked the hotel reception (Sukhumvit Soi 11) how far it was to the park walking, jaws dropped as they said “omg it’s way too far, you can’t do that.” Moreover, they were not sure how to get there. In fact it is a perfect L with only one turn — an easy 2.4 mile door-to-park stroll following the shade of the BRT line. Their amazed reaction is not uncommon from most walking direction responses I’ve received in other cities. We’ve gotten to be unaccustomed to walking more than a couple of blocks.