Join the hundreds of locals who exercise in this lovely city park every morning.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Terrain: Pavement
- Length: 2.5km loop (approx.)
- Flow: Excellent
- Scenery: A landscape city park with gardens and city views
- Safety Issues: None
- Bathrooms: No
- Drinking water: No
- Transit Access: Yes
- Parking: Yes but seemed very full/crazy!
- Night Access: until 9pm
- Special Features: Locals doing tai chi and exercising every morning!
- Nearby Attractions:
I arrived in Bangkok jetlagged and with aching legs after an extra long day flying (made extra extra long due to a 4 hour delay on the place at the gate before departing!) I couldn’t wait to get in a little run. The first day I was too out of it to do much but drag myself around sampling delicious Thai food. By day 2 I knew I needed to get in at least a little run to shake out my legs.
From what I had seen of Bangkok I could tell it wasn’t going to be an easy place to run. The streets are busy, the sidewalks are often broken and the curbs are steep. Not to mention the pop up vendors and food stands that crowd most paths. These are some of the things that give Bangkok it’s charm and luckily I was staying not too far from a Lumpini city park and I had read that it was a decent spot for running.
I woke up at 7am (morning is definitely the coolest part of the day) and was pleasantly surprised to find it mild and not too humid (relatively). I headed down toward the park and as I got closer noticed some other joggers heading that way. That made me smile. I love hooking into the local running scene and I always know when I have found one of those spots! As soon as I entered the park I knew I had found a winner. There were hundreds of people there, walking, jogging, and exercising in various ways. A well marks pavement path circles the park and it has an easy to follow route that I figured made about a 2.5km loop. After the chaos of the city sidewalks, the park felt like an oasis of paved running trails! There were signs indicating that biking is permitted after 10am, so they weren’t even any bikes to dodge: the pedestrians had the circuit to themselves.
The park itself is quite pretty. There are lovely landscapes gardens, large trees offering some degree of shade (in some parts) and water features. There is a clock tower and shrine, lots of manual exercise machines that are filled with locals, and large grassy fields used for yoga and Thai chi. Beyond the park, the cityscape peaks out from the edges, with its tall building, but the noise is relatively distant.
There are no water fountains and I didn’t see any bathrooms either. I only ran 6km each time I went so I didn’t both bringing water, but if you want water, you should bring your own. The paved path is virtually flat, so I found it to be a very easy run. It’s also quite wide, so although many people are using it, it was easy to pass slower people and I never felt crowed.
One thing worth noting is that the Thai National Anthem plays on the speakers throughout the park at 8am and at 6pm. Everyone stops whatever they are doing and stands respectfully. Just something to be aware of if you suddenly noticed everyone has stopped! This happened to me and I didn’t realize at first what was happening because I had headphones in. Then I noticed absolutely everyone had stopped, so I did too, and taking off my headphones I realized why. It’s kind of cool actually, but definitely something good to know.
We stayed at the Marriot Mayfair Hotel. It’s an apartment hotel within a 10-minute walk of the park. It was a good hotel and it worked well for our family of 5 and we got a good rate through the Marriot website as members. There are several hotels in the area around the park. This area is within easy reach of shopping and the light rapid transit but is not near some of the major tourist destinations like the Grand Palace (but these are accessible via transit).
I am happy I found a good spot to run in this busy city. It was fun to feel like I was part of the local run scene. I will be back in Bangkok again and I am happy knowing I have a good place to run.