Lumpini Park in Bangkok

Full travel guide for Lumpini Park and the Monitor Lizards

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Hi! Welcome to Complete City Guides!

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My name is Patrick, I'm originally from Sydney (Australia) - 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.

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Lumpini Park and The Monitor Lizards

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.

Lumpini Park
Lumpini Park

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.

Lumpini Park Grass Walk
Lumpini Park Grass Walk

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 Facts You Should Know: Don't smoke in Lumpini park! It is forbidden. Did you know it is named after where Buddha was born in Nepal? It was created in the 1920s.
Lumpini Park Reptiles

Where is Lumpini Park?

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.

Lumpini Park Shrine

Lumpini Park Opening Times

Lumpini Park Reptiles
  • Opens every day at 4:30am
  • Closes every day at 9pm

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.

Lumpini Park Sign - Floating Island And Playground

What can you see and do at Lumpini Park?

Walk around

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.

Lumpini Park  Lake

Go for a run 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.

Lumpini Park

Rent paddle boats in the artificial lake in the park

You can also rent a swan paddle boat for just 40 baht.

Lumpini Park - Peddle Boats For Hire

See the sculptures

Check out the sculptures and views in the park

See the fish

Lumpini Park Fish

Look closely into the lake and you can guarantee that you'll spot some fish. Some of them are impressively huge too!

Lumpini Park - Spotting Fish
Lumpini Park Fish

Take note of the grass

This one isn't too exciting or anything, but the grass is just weird here.

Lumpini Park Funny Grass

(Compared to grass back at home, anyway)

See the mascot guys

Lumpini Park Mascots
Lumpini Park Mascots

If someone knows what these are about, please leave a comment!

See people exercise - or even join in a class yourself!

Lumpini Park  Tai Chi Club

Watch people (or join in) doing Tai Chi, yoga and other exercises

Lumpini Park  Tai Chi Club

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.

Eat!

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.

Cats

See some cats! There always seems to be a few cats along the way that are quite friendly and you can play with.

Lumpini Park - Always Full Of Cats
Lumpini Park Cats

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.

Or see some birds in the park

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.

Lumpini Park Bird Breeds
Lumpini Park Bird Breeds

But if cats and birds aren't interesting for you, then what about the tortoises?

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.

Lumpini Park tortoises

Workout in the free outdoor gym in the park

Lumpini Park  Free Outdoor Gym

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 don't forget about the scary looking monitor lizards

And of course, check out the famous monitor lizards and other wildlife in Lumpini Park.

Lumpini Park Monitor Lizards?!?

As I said above, the highlight for me is the fact that the park has Monitor Lizards.

Lumpini Park

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!

Lumpini Park Monitor Lizards

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!)

The Thai word for monitor lizards is 'hia', which is also a rude word (see here for details)

Are the Lumpini Park Monitor Lizards safe?

Lumpini Park - Monitor Lizard
  • Yes, they are safe!
  • They might look like small crocodiles, but as mentioned above they eat dead fish, birds and turtles!
  • I've been close to them (not stupidly close, but maybe a meter or two away) and they don't seem to care. I would definitely not want to touch or provoke them though.

They don't attack humans and are safe to be around. But you should still keep a safe distance from them!

Lumpini Park - 2 Monitor Lizards (one Hidden)

Where are the reptiles in Lumpini Park?

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!)

Map of where to find monitor lizards in Lumpini Park

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.

Lumpini Park - 2 Monitor Lizards (one Hidden)

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.

Date Posted
May 10th 2018
Tags 
AnimalsAsiaTravel
Cities 
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Exploring Bangkok's Lumpini Park and The Monitor Lizards

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