One of the most visitor-friendly cities in Asia, Bangkok has a staggering array of attractions for travelers of all stripes. Widely reckoned by meteorologists to be the world’s hottest city, Bangkok is also an easy place to get dehydrated and thoroughly worn out.
Exhausted visitors who find themselves near Khao San Road just north of the city center (typically budget-conscious backpackers in search of the incredibly cheap accommodations available in the district) can head for Santichaiprakarn Park, a small but pleasant spot situated along the Chao Phraya River. The breezy, relaxed atmosphere makes Santichaiprakarn a perfect place to escape the fumes and racket that plague more congested areas.
Typically peopled with a assortment of international travelers, the park is also popular with locals, who amuse themselves by relaxing, juggling or practicing tricks. The park sits between the Chao Phraya and Fort Phra Sumen, one of just two remaining forts in central Bangkok and itself a worthwhile destination for tourists in the area hoping to recharge their batteries with a day by the river.
Constructed in the 18th century, the fort was sited at the confluence of the river and the second of a series of defensive canals designed to defend the old city. From the top of the fort’s two main levels, one can take in a wonderful panoramic view, watch the river traffic go by, and observe the majestic Rama VIII suspension bridge in the distance. Don’t forget to hydrate while you gawk at the sheer humanity of this vibrant city and admire one of the few remaining legacies of a bygone era.
Photo courtesy of Erik Jaeger via Flickr ~ used under CC-BY license