Bangkok may be more famous for its skyscrapers and cityscape, malls and restaurants, there are still places in the hectic city where you can enjoy the outdoors. You may have to travel a short distance to find some green space, but it is there for the taking. And you will also find spots to relax under the sun, or be active playing sports outdoors.
Enjoy one of Bangkok’s large parks with plenty of trees and grass to relax on, there are outdoor markets, jogging paths and cycle paths, and even an island where you can enjoy a car-free day away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Check out these things to do outdoors in Bangkok, and get a well-rounded view of the city on your vacation.
1) Lumpini Park
This is the best-known piece of green space in the city and was created in 1932. It is right in the middle of the city and is a great place to come to get some space and relax among the greenery. Cycle on the bike paths, take a leisurely jog or join in one of the aerobics classes around sunset. There is also a lake, playgrounds for children, outdoor gym equipment, and a collection of wild monitor lizards.
Image via Xavier Sandel/ Flickr
2) Flowhouse Surfing
Think you can’t surf in Bangkok? Think again! Here at Flowhouse is a perpetual wave generated for people to get surfing or onto body boards at a special city beach club. As well as the surfing there are bars and cafes, an air-conditioned space to escape the heat, plus changing rooms and showers.
3) Chatuchak Weekend Market
You may not be getting back to nature but you are getting out of the air conditioning and into a part of Bangkok that is a feast for the senses. The outdoor market is one of the best places for shopping and the largest market in the whole of the country. There are over 5,000 stalls selling everything from clothes to suntan lotion, shoes to antiques. And there are many different foods and drink stalls for sitting watching the world go by with a coffee or a beer. While the market may be touristy and no longer dirt cheap, it is a good spot to be outdoors while looking for souvenirs to take home.
4) Nighttime Grand Pearl Cruise
The Grand Pearl is one of the most famous river trip excursions in the city, and the best way to experience this outdoor adventure is at night. When you sail on an evening cruise you get to see the sunset over the river and the famous landmarks of Bangkok like the Grand Palace and Wat Arun lit up and shining in the night. On board, there is a buffet meal serving Thai and western food, entertainment, and a live band. It may not be outdoors all of the time, but you can enjoy the river breezes and have fun.
5) Ko Kret Island
A river island in the north of Bangkok, Ko Kret is a small, intimate and car-free island. You can walk around, rent a bike, browse in the pottery shops and eat seafood – a great escape into a rural life that is easy to access from the heart of the city.
Image via drburtoni/ Flickr
6) Bicycle Tours with Grasshopper Adventures
Take a bicycle tour with the small company Grasshopper Adventures, and see more of the city from the saddle. There are excursions to historic parts of Bangkok as well as rides that take you further out of the city to explore the smaller fishing villages and the old canals on the edges of the Gulf of Thailand.
7) Dusit Zoo
Take a look at the animals here at one of the oldest attractions in the city. Dusit Zoo is a large space with lots of animals, birds, and reptiles. You can easily spend the day here and take in all the wildlife, plus the train around the edge of the zoon and a lake to paddle in.
8) Suan Rot Fai
Also known as the Train Park, Suan Rot Fai is situated to the northeast of Chatuchak Park and is over 150 acres large, with a lot of fresh greenery and unspoiled nature. At the weekends you are not likely to get the place to yourself – it can get crowded – but on weekdays you will experience the quiet. Take a bike around the paths, eat a picnic, and look at the butterfly gardens which are home to a myriad of exotic species.
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