For a city with such a staggering population (more than 8 million people as of 2010), Bangkok, Thailand has surprisingly few public parks. Situated in the center of the city, Lumphini Park is one of the best and the biggest.
Named for the birthplace of the Buddha in Nepal, Lumphini was constructed on royal property in the early 20th century at the behest of King Rama VI.
Within the grounds, a man-made lake provides recreational enthusiasts with opportunities for row boating and communing with the considerable population of turtles that flock like waterfowl to the lakeshore in pursuit of breadcrumbs and other snacks.
From November to February (during which the heavy rains that plague the region relent), an assortment of musical groups perform classical music and traditional Thai tunes beginning at 5 p.m. every Sunday. The park is also home to Bangkok’s first public library and an oft-used dance hall.
The pleasant lawns and trees are dotted with playgrounds that make Lumphini a popular destination for people with children to entertain during hotter times of the year.
Though cycling is strictly regulated (no biking after 3 p.m.), and dogs are not allowed, the roughly 1.5 miles of graded paths make it a preferable option for joggers looking to avoid Bangkok’s congested streets and pedestrians walkways.
Lumphini Park is easy to find and is accessible by way of the city’s underground metro system (MRT), as well as the elevated “Skytrain” system.