Bangkok’s Lumpini Park: Bangkok’s Lumpini Park (pronounced “LOOM-pee-nee”) is a pleasant, 142-acre space in the heart of Thailand’s capital. Any urban green space needs to be nurtured, but even more so in a busy city of over 8 million people!
Lumpini Park serves as a necessary respite from the congestion of Bangkok’s streets and sidewalks. It is a place where people can sit, exercise, or look at the many activities that are offered every day.
But Lumpini Park isn’t just a cheap diversion. The space is home to a number of permanent facilities and seasonal activities. Locals and tourists alike are drawn to the park for things beyond hanging out on sarongs.
Lumpini Park is named after Lumbini, the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama (later to become Buddha) in Nepal. The space was set aside from royal land in the 1920s and then later converted to Bangkok’s first park. It is still the largest in the city.
Thailand was invaded by Japanese forces in 1941 during World War II. Japanese troops actually used Lumpini Park as a camp after the Allies bombed the city. The statue of Raja Rama VI, who was responsible for creating the park, was made in 1942.
How to Get to Lumpini Park
Lumpini Park is located in the heart of Bangkok. The fastest way to get there is by train unless you’re coming from the Khao San Road/Soi Rambatri area, a tourist-oriented neighborhood with no BTS or MRT lines reaching it.
Most of Lumpini Park is surrounded by walls. You must enter through one of the six gates. The main entrance is arguably the one in the south-west corner near the royal monument and MRT station.
By Train: Silom MRT station (Blue Line) is located in the southwest corner of Lumpini Park. Lumpini MRT station is on the southeast corner. The nearest BTS (Skytrain) station is Sala Deng, a little south of Lumpini Park. Sala Deng is located along the BTS Silom Line. If you are coming from the Sukhumvit line, which is often the case, you will have to change lines at the Siam BTS station.
From Khao San Road: Lumpini Park is about a 90-minute walk from the Khao San Road area. It is easiest to get there by taxi. Some drivers will refuse to use the meter; If it does, just flag the other. If you’ve never ridden a tuk-tuk in Bangkok, now’s your chance! Just know that a tuk-tuk is generally more hassle, less comfortable, and no cheaper than a metered taxi for tourists. You will have to negotiate the fare with the driver. Do not agree to stop at any shop on the way; This is a classic scam.
Getting somewhere in Bangkok by tuk-tuk can be a bonus hassle, but doing so at least once is a rite of passage for visitors!
What to Know Before Visiting
- Park timings are from 4:30 am to 9 pm.
- Smoking is prohibited throughout the park. Tourists are often caught and fined. do not do!
- Dogs are not allowed.
- Cycling is prohibited after 3 pm.
- Wi-Fi can be found throughout the park, but signal strength varies. Use it with caution like any unsecured public network.
- Sleeping is not allowed in the park, although you can probably take a nap.
- Excessive displays of public affection are generally condemned in Thai culture. Embracing too much can embarrass the locals.
Where to Eat in the Park
Food carts are dotted, with the highest concentration around the main entrance to the southwest. For more local-oriented options, check out the vendors selling treats on the northern border of the park.
Several carts cater to the morning fitness crowd. Depending on how much business they got in the morning, many vendors may be closed by noon.
The Giant Lizards in Lumpini Park
The giant monitor lizards that call the lake home may look like Komodo dragons but are thankfully not dangerous. However, they are in the same family as their venomous cousins and can have a bad temper when surrounded. The Thai word for these lizards (Hiya) also serves as a pejorative insult. In other words, it’s best to leave them alone.
Over the years, the monitor lizards at Lumpini Park have grown in size and audacity, both attracting and intimidating Western visitors. In 2016, the government relocated about 100 large lizards, however, hundreds were left behind. Lizards are a part of the ecosystem that act as scavengers who clean up dead fish, birds, and other organisms.
Although monitor lizards are not dangerous, they grow to frightening sizes – some close to 10 feet long! For obvious reasons, you should not attempt to feed or interact with them in any way.
Things to Do in Bangkok’s Lumpini Park
Although the 142-acre (57.6 ha) park is generous, an estimated 15,000 people pass through daily. Don’t expect too much privacy.
With permanent attractions such as an outdoor gym, indoor dance hall, and library (Bangkok’s first), many groups meet in the park to share activities. Weekends are particularly eventful, and most clubs meet in the evenings when the heat is more tolerable.
Early mornings are especially busy as people come to exercise. Jogging two circuits in the park is almost the same as completing a 5K!
- Exercise: You can walk in the park, cycle, and rollerblade, but on any given morning or evening, you’ll see groups that engage in tai chi, Zumba, aerobics (between 5 and 6 p.m.) Were gathered, and even doing breakdance. These activities are generally free to join.
- Rent a Boat: Ever wanted to ride in a giant, giant swan with your significant other? Here’s your chance! Rowboats are also an option.
- Meet People: Many different interests bring groups together at Lumpini Park. You can take advantage of the opportunity to meet and participate with local people. You’ll see groups of people at local bird-watching clubs, photography clubs, and even Pokémon hunters. Students may shy away from contacting you to practice English.
- Enjoy Music: During the dry season (winter months), the orchestra plays free shows on weekend evenings. Other times, you’ll catch a variety of music and even karaoke. All are generally free to enjoy. Attend park karaoke sessions at your own risk.
Other Nearby Options
Erawan Shrine, Bangkok’s famous footpath pilgrimage, is only a 15-minute walk north on Ratchadamri Road, the main street that borders Western Park.
Lumpini Park is surrounded by many cafes and places to eat if you don’t want to sample the food stalls. MBK and Terminal 21, two large shopping malls with food courts and copious shopping, are an interesting 30-minute walk. It takes almost the same time to go by MRT.
Also near Lumpini Park, you’ll find a health spa, a geological museum (on the east side of the park), and even a snake farm (on Rama IV Road). The Bangkok “CityCity” gallery is a 10-minute walk south of the park.