If you only spend a few days in the downtown area of modern Bangkok, you could be forgiven for thinking there are no parks or green spaces to be found in the Thai capital. In a city where space is at a premium, concrete condos and high-rise hotels seem to merge into each other. But Bangkok is also home to some delightful green spaces and parks. These outdoor parks and gardens make for an excellent place to unwind and enjoy some tranquility away from the bustle of Bangkok. As always in Thailand, you’re never too far from food and drink vendors, but please note that smoking and drinking alcohol is prohibited in most of these parks.
Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall and Gardens
The impressive Renaissance-style building of the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall are framed by pretty landscaped gardens. If you’re lucky with your timing you may have the gardens almost to yourself. But this is also a popular location for Asian tour groups so if the area gets too busy for your liking you could use the time to visit nearby Dusit Zoo before coming back later. The Throne Hall serves mainly as a museum and is open Tuesday-Sunday (closed Monday). However, the historic royal connections mean the gardens and museum are sometimes closed for state occasions or special events.
Location: a short walk from Vimanmek Teakwood Mansion in the Dusit area of Bangkok.
Opened in 1992 in honour of Queen Sirikit’s 60th birthday, Benjasiri Park is a favourite spot for Bangkok residents and workers. This family-friendly park in the heart of Bangkok features a children’s playground, a lake and a number of contemporary art sculptures. With plenty of shade provided by the trees and pavilions, Benjasiri Park is a pleasant spot to unwind.
Location: Sukhumvit Road, adjacent to Phrom Phong BTS Skytrain station.
The first public park in Bangkok is the biggest and best-known. Lumphini Park is a popular and convenient green space in the heart of the city. It was King Rama VI who gave the name Lumphini, naming the park after the birthplace of the Buddha. At that time, the park was on the outskirts of the city, but modern development changed that. Today, Lumphini is a popular spot for those seeking exercise or relaxation especially in the cooler mornings and evenings.
Location: nearest MRT metro station is Silom.
Phra Sumen Fort and Santichaiprakan Park
Santichaiprakan Park was opened to the public in 1999. Adjacent to historic Phra Sumen Fort, this is only a small park but with views of the Chao Phraya River it’s a lovely spot to unwind. The park is popular with local families, especially at the weekend. Proximity to Khao San Road and the river pier at Banglamphu also makes it a popular spot for tourists visiting Bangkok.
Location: adjacent to Chao Phraya River and Banglamphu river pier (river boat stop number N13).
Queen Sirikit Park (near Chatuchak Market)
If you visit Chatuchak Weekend Market, the adjacent Queen Sirikit Park makes for a pleasant place to relax before or after a day of retail therapy. With the Children’s Discovery Museum, a railway museum and a boating lake all within easy reach, it’s easy to see why Queen Sirikit Park is so popular with Bangkok residents and families.
Location: nearest Skytrain stops are Mo Chit (5 minute walk) or Saphan Kwai (7 minute walk). By metro/subway get off at Chatuchak Park station.
Saranrom Royal Garden
Overlooked by the vast majority of tourists visiting Bangkok, Saranrom Royal Garden has long-established links to the higher echelons of Thai society. First opened during the reign of King Rama IV, this park was originally for the exclusive use of royalty and those with the right connections. That all changed in 1960 when HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej decreed that the royal park be handed over to the people of Bangkok so that everybody can enjoy the garden.
Saranrom Royal Garden features a memorial to a tragic accident that took place more than a century ago. In 1890, during the reign of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), a royal barge capsized on the Chao Phraya River. The king’s first wife and his young daughter both drowned in the accident. King Chulalongkorn is one of Thailand’s most-loved monarchs and to this day, fresh flowers and wreaths are still laid here as a mark of respect.
Location: in between the roads Thanon Sanam Chai and Thanon Rachini. The park is a short walk away from the Grand Palace and almost directly opposite Wat Pho.
Suan Pakkad Palace
With so many other better-known attractions in Bangkok, Suan Pakkad Palace often gets overlooked. That’s a shame, but it also means that the gardens here have more of an exclusive atmosphere and it can be a joy to beat the crowds. The gardens and historic buildings are a perfect location for lovers of culture or those who want to see something different away from the main Bangkok tourist trail.
Location: Sri Ayudhaya Road, a 10-minute walk from Phaya Thai BTS Skytrain station.