It is a lush sprawling cultural park on the outskirts of Bangkok in Samut Prakan. It is a great way to see all the major monuments of Thailand in three hours or so. But more than this, it is a green, cool peaceful oasis. Try to avoid Thai public holidays as it can be crowded then. You can hire bicycles, take a golf buggy or hop on a tram. There are plenty of places to buy food around the park. There is a street market and floating village and prices of souvenirs are cheap. Children will love it as they can run around. In nine years of living in Bangkok this was always on my list of must-sees for visitors. At around 350 baht plus bike or golf buggy hire t is excellent value for money as you will spend at least four hours here.
The ancient capital of Siam, it's the same distance north of the airport as Bangkok is south.It is everthing Bangkok is not - rural, relaxing, peaceful, hassle-free and the only choice if you have small kids. You can even breath the air.
Once there, choose from a range of lovely, cheap family run guesthouses within walking distance of the crumbling golden wats, some over 1000 years old, that dot the canal girt plain. Built by the Khmers and destroyed by the Burmese only a couple of centuries ago, they make an ethereal sight as the dawn lights the mist through the banyans.
Just catch a train in the opposite direction from the front of the airport. On arrival, a tuk-tuk will take you round to the hotels on the opposite side of the river for a few baht.
Just a few blocks from the Blackpool-esque atmosphere of the Khao San Road, is the Phra Arthit Road. It has a variety of eateries where locals still go and a park with a sala at the end, by the little fort, which is a fantastic vantage point at night to watch the brightly lit riverboats and the smooching lovers. You'll even see aerobics at 6pm, but don't forget to stand for the national anthem. A haven.
Phra Arthit Road, Bangalamphu
The biggest park in Bangkok is an oasis among all the noise and pollution. I used to go there every week working in Bangkok and I found the best time is late afternoon. Take a walk around the park, have a spin on a pedalo and you may be lucky to see one of the park's resident huge lizards, play 'tak-kraw' the great Thai version of keepy-up, then watch the amusing aerobics which eerily comes to an utter standstill at six with the national anthem. Most of all, just relax in the (relative) peace and tranquillity.
Easy to find - it's on all the maps, near Lumpini Skytrain and underground stations.
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