Surprises aplenty when choosing Bangkok as your centre for being active. With its omnipresent amount of skyscrapers, neon lights flashing left and right along the main roads, and the often feeling of consistent traffic jams, the Thailand capital is not often associated with being green. Although the space per person is less than in many other cities, there is definitely enough space to run, jog, or cycle the day away.
The good news is that the local government is making positive strides to increase the green space for its residents and visitors, acknowledging the fact of importance of offering free-of-charge access to some “fresh air”.
Here are some of Fitness Bangkok’s favourite parks and gardens, worthy of being added to our healthy suggestion.
A park that has risen to the occasion is Benjakitti Park, and for good reasons. As centrally located as the well-known Lumpini Park, the park has gained popularity for walkers, joggers and exercisers alike with its recent extension at the side of where the Tobacco Authority of Thailand was located.
Opened officially in 2004 (with the extension opening for the public in 2022) right next to the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, exercises can enjoy the extensive and well-maintained jogging track, circumventing the large pond. From early morning until late evening, locals of all age groups and nationalities run, bike or simply stroll the 1.5-kilometre-long track or find some cooling shade at this well-maintained patch of green in the Thai capital. Dedicated exercise areas are dotted on the west side of the park.
With the 2022 extension, Benjakitti Park is a strong contender for taking on the more popular Lumpini Park, offering a new and enticing way to attract the health-minded.
Hugging the modern skyline along Sukhumvit Road, the small yet highly health-functional Benjasiri Park is one of these garden parks that has seen a large repeater clientele since its opening in 1992. Benjasiri was created to commemorate the fifth cycle (60th) birthday of Queen Sirikit.
Its centrepiece is an ornamental lake, containing 12 pieces of contemporary sculptures and statues of renowned Thai artists. It’s set not only makes it a popular hang-out for Bangkokians but also a favourite hotspot for smaller events and concerts.
Peaking early in the morning and after working hours, this park is one of these great alternatives when looking for something smaller than Lumpini and Benjakitti Park. With easy access to Bangkok’s Skytrain station (Phrom Phong) and directly connected to Emporium Shopping Centre, this is one green region of Bangkok you cannot miss.
Playgrounds for children, various courts for ball games, and even a small swimming pool, health and exercise flow effortlessly through Benjasiri without getting the feeling of being too crowded.
Blessed with lots of space and the renowned semi-open-air weekend market at its doorstep, Chatuchak Park offers ample opportunities for sports and exercise fanatics of all ages. It is one of the oldest parks in Bangkok, seeing its first visitors entering one of its gates in 1949.
Particularly during the weekends and early in the morning (the gates to Chatuchak Park open every day at 5 AM), it may draw less of a crowd compared to its direct neighbour bearing almost the same name – Chatuchak Weekend Market.
Weaving along Asian sculptures, and enhancing the character of the park to its fullest, Chatuchak Park leans itself well for many activities, including running, cycling, and yoga / Tai Chi enthusiasts. Those enjoying an escape to lush greenery have ample opportunities to admire various tree and flower species.
Chatuchak Park lies north of the city centre, right next to the Skytrain station Mo Chit and the subway station with the same name – Chatuchak Park. A relaxing yet invigorating side of active Bangkok for those seeking respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Bangkok’s equivalent to New York’s Central Park, Lumpini Park serves as one of the few green lungs in the heart of this always-moving city. Daytime heat empties the park, but early morning and late afternoon hours are great times to join and admire hundreds of fitness enthusiasts and rest seekers. Tucked away in various corners, older Thai folk arrive at sunrise to practise the Chinese art of tai chi while joggers and cyclists weave themselves over the pavement on a 2.5km long circuit. Kite flyers, soccer players, bodybuilders, and the occasional monitor lizard, fill the park during the afternoon.
With a subway and Skytrain station right at the main entrance, access to the park grounds is easy and convenient for those not owning a car.
One recommendation is to hit the so-called Green Mile: an elevated bicycle/running track connecting Bangkok’s largest downtown park with the equally interesting Benjakitti Park.
Si Nakhon Kheun Khan Park
Lesser known but within a stone-throw of modern-day Bangkok lies a park of immaculate beauty and local charm. Nicknamed The Green Lung and clearly visible from one of Bangkok’s rooftop bars, Si Nakhon Kheun Khan Park leans very well for those seeking a piece of authenticity just southwest of its traffic-loaded main roads.
Part of the so-called Phrapradaeng Peninsula, this park encompasses orchards, canals and lots of wet, unruly jungle-style region, perfect to explore by bike or exploring the small communities residing here. The park itself is a botanical haven, ideal for birdwatching and as a good starting point for some surprisingly interesting hiking and walking trips
To get here is a bit of a challenge but well worth the effort Fitness Bangkok suggests taking the Skytrain to Bang Na, then hailing a taxi to the pier at Wat Bang Na Nork. From there, take the river-crossing ferry and a short motorcycle taxi to the park.
We are keen to hear from you what your favourite park is and why.