Hi! Welcome to Complete City Guides!
My name is Patrick, I'm originally from Sydney (Australia) but grew up in England (my second home) - and I love exploring cities (and writing about it!)
I work online in marketing, which gives me the opportunity to travel around the world full time.
So while I am away, I keep this blog updated with full travel info. I tend to stay in a city for a few months at a time, to really get to know it - then I write guides on it.
Lumpini Park is often called "Bangkok's Central Park" - just, you know, with big scary looking Monitor Lizards! Read on to find out about what you can get up to in Lumpini Park, and how to get to Lumpini Park. And of course, important information to know about those scary looking reptiles!
It is one of my favourite places to go in Bangkok when I need to unwind. The park is huge and you can get away from the hectic streets (mostly, anyway!) and get some form of peace and quiet.
If you are ever in Bangkok and feel that you need to get away from the busy streets and relax, then I recommend you head over to Lumpini Park.
For me, the highlight is always seeing the monitor lizards (more on those later!). They look dangerous, but as far as I am aware they never attack humans. As someone who lives in Europe, seeing animals like this in the wild (if you can call the park 'the wild') is quite fascinating.
It is large - covering an area of 142 acres (58-hectare), and you can probably spend an hour or more walking around and not get bored. I think on my first visit there, I spent almost two hours walking around and seeing the sights.
Lumpini Park close to central Bangkok. When you are near it you will easily be able to spot it (especially if you are approaching from the side with the memorial statue of King Rama VI (see photo below).
It accessible by the Sala Daeng BTS station (leave the station via Exit No.6, and cross the street towards the King Rama VI statue), Lumpini MRT station (which is on the south-east corner of the park) and Silom MRT station (south side of the park).
Even with language issues, every single taxi or Tuk-tuk driver will know Lumpini Park.
On weekdays the park will be busiest from around 4pm-7pm. On Saturdays, it is busy from around 8am onwards until it shuts. Sunday mornings are really busy, but it dies down as the day goes on. While there are many tourists that visit, I would say it is primarily used by the locals.
Walk around! You can spend a long time having a nice walk around the park. I think that if you do a whole loop of the park you will probably walk around 2.5 to 3km (1.5 miles - 1.8 miles). But you will probably get distracted along the way and take some detours. It isn't a place where you need to particularly worry about what route you take, you can't really get lost in Lumpini Park.
Or if you are feeling more active go for a run around the park. The park is always full of many runners and joggers. The park is almost completely flat, and it is a great place to get some exercise.
You can also rent a swan paddle boat for just 40 baht.
Check out the sculptures and views in the park
Look closely into the lake and you can guarantee that you'll spot some fish. Some of them are impressively huge too!
This one isn't too exciting or anything, but the grass is just weird here.
(Compared to grass back at home, anyway)
If someone knows what these are about, please leave a comment!
Watch people (or join in) doing Tai Chi, yoga and other exercises
You could also join in (but check first, don't just turn up). There always seems to be a few westerners joining in some group activity in the park.
Get some food: There are multiple little stalls/mini cafes dotted around Lumpini Park where you can get some snacks. They are popular with locals.
See some cats! There always seems to be a few cats along the way that are quite friendly and you can play with.
They seem to like the attention of humans and are quite chilled out even if they're sat in the middle of where bikers want to go.
Birds love Lumpini Park. There are many different breeds (sorry for the lack of info here - I'm no bird expert), it can be nice to sit and watch them.
There are also the famous monitor lizards (more on those later) but you can also spot quite a few tortoises hanging out in the park near the water.
Use the free outdoor gym. I've seen it referred to online as Bangkok's Ghetto Gym. It has been a part of the park since 1979 and is one of the most basic gyms you'll ever see (it looks like what you see in prison movies). Everything stays out, 24/7, in all weather conditions. But as it is all made of metal everything lasts ok. It is completely free to use this gym, but if you want to work out in a proper gym then there is actually an indoor gym within the park (which is almost as cheap as free: as low as 50 Baht for foreigners).
And of course, check out the famous monitor lizards and other wildlife in Lumpini Park.
As I said above, the highlight for me is the fact that the park has Monitor Lizards.
These are up to 3m (10ft) in length and when you first see them they honestly look quite scary and like they could do some damage. They look like prehistoric crocodiles (maybe a little bit smaller?). But it turns out they're actually no threat to humans.
There are around 400 water monitor lizards in the park (although they tend to stick in a small area). You will definitely be able to find some in the park!
In September 2016 100 were removed to keep the population numbers down. They can cause quite a bit of damage to the park, so they aren't encouraged to grow to big numbers. You won't find them very far away from the lake in the park, and never outside of the park.
They survive by mostly eating dead fish, birds and turtles. (Not humans!)
They don't attack humans and are safe to be around. But you should still keep a safe distance from them!
If you stick to the lakes it won't be long until you see them! But see the map below (the red area indicates where you can definitely find some!)
Once you find one, you will probably see a few more in the vicinity. They don't move, and they do half blend into the background. There have been a few times where I was by the side of the lake looking one way, then I suddenly realised I was less than a meter away from one. But they just sit there, motionless, and I've never seen them try to attack anyone. People walk their dogs in the park quite safely too.
In the photo above there are actually two of them. It might not be a fantastic pic, but maybe this will show how it is easy to miss them if you are distracted by something else.
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