Benjasiri park (aka Queen’s Park) is the local park for most Sukhumvit-ites, but despite this slightly bias fact, I honesty feel it is the best park in Bangkok. While the better known parks are Lumpini Park, or maybe even Chatuchak Park, they don’t really come close to Benjasiri Park for me and the main reason is, that they’re just too big. They go on forever, with no real interest along the way. For me Benjasiri is compact, picturesque and well maintained and perfect for a quick visit or escape. It is also easily accessible by Skytrain located directly next to the Phrom Phong station in the mid-Sukhumvit Road area. So the park follows a circular path, centring round a large pond which is home to large fish and turtles. Feel free to feed them. It is also busy throughout the day, unlike other parks. There’s always some aspect of local life going on. During the day the park caretakers, with their straw hats, wheel their green leaf bins. Mum’s with young kids play in the playgrounds and swing on swings. It is the perfect place to be in the daytime well sheltered with walkways under diverse indigenous trees and cool winds gusting off the central lake. Park’s in Bangkok aren’t really for sunbathing (unlike western parks) and are more the opposite as people come to shelter from the scorching midday heats, sat on park benches. Draw a picture, read a book, chase the pigeons, throw food to the squirrels. Benjasiri Park is just a nice place to relax and immerse in local park life. Opening Hours are between 5.00am and 21.00pm.
Evenings are the better hours to visit Benjasiri Park, so much so that I’ve added it to my Top 10 Attractions in Bangkok. Evenings are the cooler hours, and after work hours, when the park comes to life with residents arriving from surrounding Sukhumvit areas to relax and, or exercise. There’s too many activities to list but some of the more common and interesting activities include Tai Chi at the front square, joggers circling the perimeter, aerobics near the back, Sepak Takraw (Thai foot volley) and basket ball in the back courts. Feel free to join at no cost. Otherwise it’s just perfect to sit back and immerse in people watching from the sideline bench. Bangkok’s unique park life is a little bit fascinating.
The front entrance and squares of Benjasiri Park occasionally host free events and shows to the public. The park is also used by locals for annual Thai celebrations where it often makes more sense to join quieter and less crowded events locally than to follow the crowds elsewhere in the city. An example below is the Loy Krathong festival where locals come to float their ‘baskets’ on the central pond. While events are quieter and less crowded than the popular areas of Bangkok it is also best to get in early as they do pack out quick. Benjasiri is also very foreigner friendly (as is all of Thailand) where the surrounding Sukhumvit area has somewhat suburban residential areas popular with expats and even tourist ans travellers. (Full post on Loy Krathong at Benjasiri Park).