Chatuchak Park is the first park that we visited in Bangkok; actually, it was the very first place we visited the day we arrived. Why did we pick this park? First of all, it’s very easy to get to – just three subway stops (we booked a hotel not far from the subway station Sutthisan). In addition, right at the exit of Chatuchak station, you find yourself at the park entrance, which is very convenient: no need to go anywhere or look for a taxi to get to the park. Thus, finding a park on the map, we decided that this park would be the first adventure.
It turns out that Chatuchak is one of the oldest parks in the capital; it was opened back in 1980. In the middle of the park there is a huge artificial lake, where you can ride a little boat. In addition, if you wish, you can feed the fish or just lie down on the soft bright green grass under the palm trees. There are many bridges, which cross the water and give you a chance to walk to the opposite side of the lake. There is also a playground and some fitness stuff.
On the first day we took rollerblades with us, but we were approached by a police officer who started waving his arms really actively and saying something in Thai. With all these cries and movements, we realized that we were not allowed to skate there. But many Thais and tourists even go jogging. You can skate in another park, located nearby. Chatuchak Park is quiet and calm with a pleasant tranquil atmosphere. People relax at the lake, eat and feed the fish – such an idyllic picture. Coming out of the park and passing the road, you will find a famous market of Bangkok – Chatuchak Weekend Market. It is open only on the weekends, but on weekdays you can find fruits and food there. However, in the evening everything is closed, so don’t come to the park hungry.
On the side of the market, if you walk a little bit down the road, you will find another park – Queen Sirikitpark with a magnificent botanical garden. There is another park; we went to visit the Butterfly Garden. After crossing the bridge, we turned right and after a few minutes we could see the building, where butterflies live, on the right. It is free to enter – you just need to write your name in a big notebook which you will be asked to do when you come in. When we came to the park for the first time, we did not know exactly where we could see butterflies, so we began to ask passers-by and they showed us the way. Fortunately, they know the word “butterfly”.
Regarding the garden of butterflies, of course we loved it! There are so many bright colors, colorful butterflies that sit right on your head, clothes and hands. Our daughter was ecstatic! Having experienced all of the magnificent vegetation and admired the butterflies, large and small, we decided to move on.
The park is huge, there is a playground and fitness area, and a little further on there is a track for racing children’s bicycles. We don’t know when they have competitions, but for sure, this event attracts a large number of young cyclists.
The park has many squirrels and chipmunks. Sometimes they come down on the ground, and visitors of the park can feed them or take a couple of photos. They are such cute animals. And what’s more, once when we were walking, a gigantic lizard crossed the road. It calmly crossed the road, just in front of us, leaving us with gaping mouths in astonishment. This was our first visit to the park, so we were so impressed. Now, we know that these “dinosaurs” live in all parks of Bangkok.
In every park in Bangkok at a certain time, people gather for exercise or gymnastics. Playing catchy music, the instructor gives an example of what to do and just in a few minutes a pretty big crowd turns up and people begin to exercise. It looks like fitness or step aerobics. People are happy to repeat the movements after the instructor and obviously enjoy the event. It lasts for an hour.
In short, Chatuchak Park, and the two parks across the street are a great place for relaxing, pleasant walks and even some step-aerobics. A great location (other than the subway, there is also a Sky Train station), a special atmosphere and a pleasant coolness that is a benefit of the lake and the palm trees make Chatuchak one of our favorite places for walks with our children. On the playground there are many Europeans and Americans with children. We even got acquainted with some of them. Also there are a lot of locals with the kids who are always smiling and extending friendly nods. We love all the parks of Bangkok, which we have visited, including the Lumpini and Benchasiri but Chatuchak Park is the closest to our subway station, and so we often walk here. In addition, the memory of our first day in Bangkok and those fabulous pancakes that we bought right here on our first evening in the Thai capital, has forced us to come here again and again and each time we get great pleasure from our walk in the park.