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Lumphini Park

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Bangkok's Most Beguiling Green Space Bangkok  Thailand
Take a Break and Discover Lumphini Park Bangkok  Thailand
Get Away Bangkok  Thailand
Breakfast (and Some Exercise) at Lumphini Park Bangkok  Thailand
Bangkok's Most Beguiling Green Space Bangkok  Thailand
Take a Break and Discover Lumphini Park Bangkok  Thailand
Get Away Bangkok  Thailand
Breakfast (and Some Exercise) at Lumphini Park Bangkok  Thailand
Bangkok's Most Beguiling Green Space
In a city where gold-spired temples are much more ubiquitous than green space, Lumphini Park is a veritable oasis in the heart of Bangkok. Established by King Rama VI in the 1920s and completed after his death, the 142-acre chunk of tropical greenery is a treasured spot. One of the few parks of any size in central Bangkok, Lumphini is well used: In the morning, tai chi practicers arrive, while in the early evening, joggers monopolize the main path that runs around its perimeter. Even so, there’s ample room to get away from the crowds here. More than 30 species of birds flit among the park’s giant trees, and monitor lizards and turtles inhabit its waterways. Other attractions within the park include a public library, a youth sports center, and swan paddleboats in the man-made lake.

Take a Break and Discover Lumphini Park
Lumphini Park provides a much-needed break from the pavement and chaos of the city. It's easy to unwind while strolling around the lake or watching locals practice tai chi. Make sure you take in the view of the Bangkok skyline over the lake too. As a resident of Bangkok, I want people to know about some of the amazing things to do here rather than just sticking to Khao San Road. Take some time to travel off the tourist track and you'll be amazed what you discover.

The nearest station is Silom on the MRT, but the easiest way here is to jump in a taxi, tuk tuk, or motorbike if you're brave enough!

Get Away
Lumphini Park is a great way to experience Thai wildlife in the heart of Bangkok. Take a stroll and enjoy traditional Thai architecture, locals relaxing, and freedom from the busy streets. Monitor lizards can be found in abundance and will excite even the most well-traveled tourist.

Breakfast (and Some Exercise) at Lumphini Park
In the heat of Lumphini Park and over a wave of synthesized electronica, a fitness instructor leads exercisers through an aerobics class that is part step, part calisthenic, part line dance. The class is free to those who join (a 7 a.m. start) and come ready to groove. Afterwards, if you still have energy, you can run twice around the park and complete your own 5K, join an in-progress tai chi class, or hire a swan-shaped paddleboat to cross the lake. If you are fortunate, you may end up burning enough calories to offset (more or less) the great food you will find (and subsequently eat) at Lumphini.

At the main entrance, a concentrate of stalls serve fried rice, pad thai, steamed dumplings, and fruits. But to find the best eats, head toward Thanon Sarasin along the park’s northern quadrant where busy sidewalk vendors sell sesamed patongo (fried dough), ba-mee-hang look-chin moo (egg noodles with pork meatballs served dry), somtum (papaya salad). All are highly recommended. Go early because most vendors there close by 11 a.m.

The pièce de résistance is the stall serving banana roti, a crispy square crepe oozing with ripened bananas and condensed milk. (They also have a chicken roti if you prefer protein.) Mounds of dough are readied and filled while cars are parked with hazards blinking as their owners await their orders. But I found it better to slip in under an umbrellaed table, order a roti, wash it down with a Milo, and begin anticipating tomorrow's workout.

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