If you are a traveler with only a few days in Bangkok there are better ways to spend your time than exploring Lumpini Park. I went to check it out because I thought it would be a quick side trip on the way back to my hotel.
After my tour of the Jim Thompson house, I decided I had time for one more stop before heading back to my hotel. I jumped off the Bangkok Skytrain and started what looked like a short walk to the park. About half way there I was cursing myself for not heading home where I could be sitting by the pool sipping an ice cold Chang beer right about then.
Instead I was dodging traffic and hiking through a busy part of Bangkok (what part of Bangkok isn’t busy?) sweating my balls off. The sun was high in the sky at this part of the day and beating down incessantly, making me more uncomfortable with every step. I kept thinking the park must be right after the next intersection, but it never was. It was kind of like hiking a mountain, you see what you think is the peak in front of you, but when you finally reach it you see another peak has taken its place and you still have a long way to go.
When I finally reached the corner of the park closest to the park there was no entrance to get it. I wanted to turn around at this point, but being so close I had to see it through. I finally made it to the opposite end where I managed to slip inside.
To my surprise what I saw was – a park. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it was a bit of a letdown. Maybe I thought a Thai park would be more cultural, cooler in some way. Muay Thai fighters and Apsara dancers practicing on the back of Elephants, that would have got my attention. I have a park two blocks from my house back home. Looks pretty much like this one, minus the lake in the middle.
I took cover in the shade under the tree and tried to cool off. I sat and read a little. I watched the regular Thai folks go about their day, enjoying a little nature in the heart of a bustling city. I began to relax a little too, enjoying the park for what it was meant to be, an oasis of green and calm away from the madness around you.
I took a walk around the park, observing as ordinary folks having a picnic with their families or sat and chatting with their lovers or friends on the bank of a lake. I stumbled on a group of dangerous, man eating Komodo dragons ready to eat passersby or maybe they were monitor lizards sunning themselves in the hot Bangkok sun. Who’s to say really? You have your stories, I have mine.
I had one final Clark Griswald at the Grand Canyon moment and I was off. Sweating and complaining on the way back to the Skytrain.
While I’m glad I can say I survived the man-eating dinosaurs roaming Lumpini Park, and that I can add it to my list of sights seen, there are so many great wonders to see in Bangkok. If you have already seen everything that Bangkok has to offer then by all means give the park a look.