Posted: Nov 06 2014
Bangkok has a fervor to it, a frenetic energy, at once exciting and stimulating, but at times overwhelming. For a moment’s or half day’s respite, few destinations trump Lumpini Park for a chance at some relaxation and rejuvenation.
From near Soi 8, both the BTS Skytrain and MRT can deliver one to Lumpini within minutes. Cool mornings and evenings are the times when the park is most crowded, with groups of locals young and old alike, as well as the occasional foreigner, engaged in practices heralded as beneficial to longevity such as Taichi and Chi Kung.
If a more intense sort of fitness and elevated pulse remains a resolution, one can change from cool and casual linen attire into activewear, as Lumpini has many areas with weights and pull-up bars, and even an indoor gym and a pool. Or simply jog around the circumference of the facility, a scenic and shaded lap of 2.5 kilometers.
Along the route a walker, runner or biker can listen for the calls of the birds, and appreciate the lack of traffic noise. Keep an eye out for monitor lizards that seemingly walked out of prehistory, some even beyond a meter in length. While imposing in appearance, they always run away or slither into the lake when a human approaches too close.
Convenient food stalls offer snacks and meals, as well as hydrating beverages such as coconut water, called nam maphrao in the Thai language. The vendors always smile and laugh, as life can not get much better than working in such a mellow and pleasant environment by day.
Lumpini is a favorite of Bangkok natives and after a visit it’s easy to see why. For the sake of one’s health as well as an opportunity to take in a fascinating cultural attraction, an excursion to the biggest park in the city is always well worth the trek.