I loved Thailand the first time I visited it in 2010.
However, I never warmed up to Bangkok before, especially when my two credit cards got stolen (the first and only time I got robbed during my travels) in the hostel.
This time, however, with three weeks in Bangkok as a digital nomad with no fixed itinerary, I found myself loving the City of Angels more and more, especially after I had discovered the charms of Lumpini Park.
Lumpini (also spelled “Lumphini” after Lumphini District, the birthplace of Buddha in Nepal)—is a haven for runners, bikers, and anyone who’s looking forward to a bit of greenery in the midst of the city.
Comprising 57 hectares, it has been called the green lung of Bangkok, with enough flora and fauna and various animal residents (plus some really interesting sculptures too!) that can make your visit there more than worthwhile.
My favorite part of the park is its huge artificial lake. You can go boating there, or just sit by the bank with a special someone or even by yourself.
I also loved running in Lumpini. The outer route is over 2.50 km, and there are road markers to let you know the distance you’ve covered. Every day, you can see a lot of runners here, young and old, men and women, foreigners and locals. Even if you run by yourself, you can always find someone to run along with at your pace.
It’s very easy to be active in Lumpini. There is one free indoor gym, although foreigners do have to pay 40 baht per year. If you want the completely free one, there are a couple of outdoor gyms in the park, plus a number of exercise stations like parallel bars and stationary bikes.
You can go biking here until 3pm, but the fun starts at 5pm when the mass aerobic sessions begin. Beginners’ class starts at 5:30pm and lasts 30 minutes, while an advanced class goes on for 45 minutes from 6pm onwards. I had attended one on Zumba, and that was one of the most enjoyable (and sweaty) moments I’d had in Bangkok.
Humans aren’t the only ones who love Lumpini. If you go there often enough, you will inevitably meet its resident water monitor lizards who aren’t afraid of humans. I would have taken closer pictures of it, if I weren’t so wary of its darting tongue!
Aside from lizards, there are also quite a number of cats in Lumpini, cats which are way bigger than the street cats I’ve seen anywhere else. They’re quite friendly and fluffy, too. Once when I was running, I couldn’t resist from picking a black kitty up at km. 2 and running off with it, kissing its neck again and again without breaking my stride.
The longer I stay in Bangkok, the more I enjoy the city, especially when I find spots like Lumpini Park. It has everything to offer a digital nomad, especially for someone who loves cats (and running)!
How about you? What place do you love most in Bangkok?