Thailand Pages; Lumpini Park, Bangkok - a Travel Guide
Introduction to Lumpini Park in Bangkok
Anyone who visits Bangkok, capital of Thailand, for more than one day, will return home with memories to last a lifetime. It is a city unlike almost any other. Think Bangkok, and you think of shiny gold-leaf adorned Buddhist temples, bustling street markets, and the ever so slightly notorious nightlife. The temples are all fascinating, the markets are of constant interest, and the night life is - well - eyeopening, Bangkok is colourful, vibrant, exotic, and entertaining, and I like it. But it is also noisy, hectic, stiflingly hot and it is full of gas fumes. If your visit is for just two or three days, the memories will usually be good, but if the visit is for longer, well, the good thoughts may fade as the weariness sets in. The culture shock and climate shock can be too much for a quiet, slow-paced farang (foreigner), and you may feel the need of a break. There is a place in the centre of Bangkok where you can take a break; it is an expanse of greenery called Lumpini Park.
All the photos on this page were taken by the author in Lumpini Park, Bangkok.
What Is Lumpini Park?
If you need a respite from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok life, Lumpini Park is the place to find it; an oasis in the heart of the city's business and commercial centre. And remarkably it is just 400 metres from the famous night market district of Patpong.
The park - the oldest and largest of Bangkok's open spaces - was opened in the 1920s by King Rama VI and it comprises 58 hectares, or 142 acres, of parkland, ornamental lakes, and walkways. It is noted for its wildlife and flowers.
Lumpini Park is purely for recreation and relaxation, and entrance is free. Each year, classical and other concerts are held in one of the gardens in the park.
The name Lumpini, is taken from the birthplace of Buddha, in the Rupendehi district of Nepal, where he is said to have grown up and lived until the age of 29.
What Facilities are to Be Found in Lumpini Park?
Lumpini is an entirely man-made park, consisting of extensive lawns, and a large boating lake with paddle boats for hire. There are trees of course, though sadly not enough to provide very much real shade. What there is, is plenty of grass, and plenty of paths to walk, and plenty of water.
It's a place where you can relax and walk in peace and tranquility. It is also a place to 'people watch' - mostly just local Thais and tourists getting a bit of almost-fresh air away from the city fumes, whilst pursuing their various pleasures, such as picnicking on the lawns, practicing tai chi, or jogging (but why anyone would want to run in 90 degrees of heat is beyond me). You may also see small groups of Thai children having informal dance or music lessons, and there's a keep fit area with a few bench presses and other equipment.
Refreshment facilities are limited, but you may be able to get a drink or snack at one or two slightly run-down little outlets. Better to take your own food and drink. Weekdays, probably are the best time to visit, as the park is more crowded at the weekends.
The Architecture and the Monuments of Lumpini Park
The southern entrance to Bangkok's Lumpini Park is guarded by a quite imposing statue of the founder of the park - King Rama. The monument was erected in 1941, and a photo is included on this page.
There are a few ornamental gazebos and pavilions and similar architecture in Thai or Chinese style, such as the one depicted below. These are quite attractive, and also offer some shade from the mid-day sun.
There's also a public library, and a few other community buildings including Lumpini Hall, a cultural centre. There is also a clock tower, and of course several administrative buildings.
Birds of Lumpini
Nature in Lumpini Park
As well as the ubiquitous feral pigeons to be found in most cities, many fairly tame and colourful birds live in the park among the ornamental trees and flowers. Squirrels are also common rummaging for food on the ground, and climbing the trees. If you have an interest in such things, you can spend a pleasant few hours discovering the wildlife and the plants.
But the park is most famous for its impressive lizards. The water monitor, Varanus salvator, makes its home in the park, and it is seriously big, yet seemingly quite harmless. Adults up to two metres long are easily seen basking in the sun by the edge of the lake, and can be approached almost to within touching distance before they flee to safety in the water.
I have written a page detailing all aspects of the life of this great lizard, with my own photographs: The Asian Water Monitor Lizard: Varanus salvator
All cities need a breathing space - somewhere to get away from the noise, the polluting car fumes, and the stress of urban life. And no city needs this more than Bangkok. Lumpini Park is the lungs of the city and a valuable sanctury of calm for all who live here. I hope you enjoy this little photo-essay about Lumpini Park, Bangkok. If you are ever in the city, I think a brief visit to the park may be well worth your while.
Please feel free to quote limited text from this article on condition that an active link back to this page is included
All My Pages About Thailand
- Thailand - A Travel Guide with Links to other Pages about Thailand
This page includes a brief resume of the key facts about Thailand, major tourist attractions, the people and culture. Also included are links to all my articles about Thailand
All My Other Pages ...
- Greensleeves Hubs on HubPages
As an Internet writer I have written articles on many subjects including science and history, politics and philosophy, film reviews and travel guides, as well as poems and stories. All can be accessed here
Other Pages About Bangkok
- The Asian Water Monitor Lizard; Varanus salvator
Varanus salvator is one of the largest lizards on this planet. And in Lumpini Park, Bangkok, you can get up close and personal with these reptilian giants
- The Erawan Shrine; Buddhists at Prayer in Bangkok
The Erawan Shrine is a treasured sacred place, incongruously to be found on one corner of one of the busiest junctions in the city
- Shows, Entertainments and Attractions in Bangkok
An appraisal of Bangkok tourist attractions, including Ocean World, Siam Niramat, Safari World and Madame Tussauds
- Muang Boran; Architectural and Cultural Museum of Thailand
Muang Boran should be on any list of must-see sites. This 240 acre site is a celebration of Thai history, culture and architecture
© 2011 Greensleeves Hubs