Parks in Bangkok are treasured spaces. Life begins early in every city park with Thais and foreigners undergoing morning exercise rituals before taking a well-earned rest for breakfast.
Rama IX park includes lake and botanical gardens. Lumpini park, located in the heart of the city’s Central Business District, is the city’s largest park and probably the most popular.
Sanam Luang, next to the Grand Palace, is surrounded by so many attractions including the National Museum and National Gallery. Thais assemble here every December to celebrate the birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol. The park is a venue for kite flying contests and is popular with lovers of sepak takraw (Asian football).
In May, Sanam Luang is the ceremonial ground for The Royal Ploughing Ceremony that marks the beginning of each new planting season. Royal oxen plough the field and, hopefully, provide good omens for the coming plantation.
Other city parks worthy of a visit include:
- Benjakitti, close to the Queen Sirikit Convention Centre
- Benjasiri, often known as the ‘Queen’s Park’, is adjacent to the Emporium shopping centre on Sukhumvit road
- Chatuchak, located next to the popular ‘JJ’ market
- Romaneenart, close to the Giant Swing and Wat Suthat, sits on the site of the old city gaol
Santiphap, close to Victory Monument. Jazz musicians often congregate here