Green and calm in Bangkok
The bustle and noise of Bangkok is exciting, but every now and then you might want to escape it for an hour or two. Visit the luscious green spaces or take a breather in one of the quieter corners of the city. After some recuperation you will be ready to embrace hectic urban life again.
The easiest way to get some fresh air and take in green scenery is to visit one of the pretty parks in Bangkok. The largest of them is the Suan Luang Rama IX public park in Bangkok's Prawet District. It covers an area of 80 hectars and has six different sections with distinctive styles and lots of landscaped features such as ponds.
For plant lovers there is lots to see since the park also has botanical gardens and greenhouses. The park was built to celebrate King Bhumibol Adulyadej's sixtieth birthday and there is even a pavilion with nine mirrored rooms housing exhibits related to the king.
If you are looking to do something more active Benjakitti Park opposite Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre could be your choice. The park surrounds Lake Ratchada and it is designed to meet the needs of cyclists and joggers. An early morning run is recommended! Even the kids will love this park, since there are skate ramps and playgrounds to keep them entertained. A central pavilion has a courtyard ideal for picnics.
Another great space for outdoor activities is the popular Lumpini Park. Bangkok residents come here for aerobics, basketball and running, but the park is just as great for strolling along the artificial lake or bird watching. You could even rent a swan shaped paddle boat or eat in a floating restaurant!
Flora and fauna
Despite the big city vibes, you can still get a feel for the local flora and fauna in Bangkok. The Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium is a vast and versatile site where you can see butterflies (they might even land on you) and insects. The butterflies flutter around under a huge open-air dome filled with wildflowers. There is also an exhibition area that will give you in-depth information.
Birds more your thing? The best place for a bit of bird watching is Suan Rot Fai (Railway Park), which is a former golf course. The site is now a park and the home of about forty species of birds. The area is also visited by passage migrants a couple of times a year you might be able to spot a rare bird here. Suan Rot Fai also has a butterfly house, so you could split your day between bird and butterfly watching.
A sacred flower in Hinduism and Buddhism the red lotus is most certainly the one to spot when visiting Thailand. A slightly different way to see these flowers bloom is to take a day trip to the Red Lotus Floating Market, in the Nakhon Pathom province, about 60 km outside Bangkok.
The site offers boat tours onto a lake completely covered in lotus flowers. What most people want out of the boat trip is some fantastic drone photos taken of you in a boat surrounded by pink blooms. But even just enjoying the scenery is great. The site even has a cozy cafe serving lotus themed food!
Bangkok has several great spots where you can combine your love for scenery and delicious food and drink. The obvious way to escape the heat and noise is to head up - all the way to the rooftops.
Some of the best rooftops include Vertigo, where you can take in a full 360-degree view of the city - and eat fresh seafood. SEEN Restaurant & Bar Bangkok on the other hand has the best views over the Chao Phraya River. Bar9 is only on 9th floor but combines very good views with a garden like setting, making it ideal for relaxing.
If you prefer to stay closer to the ground you could try Baker x Florist, a greenhouse style bakery and cafe with bohemian vibes and amazing cakes. Real Zen mode can be achieved with a visit to Patom Organik Living, a truly lovely space surrounded by gardens. There is an excellent cafe that uses fresh local produce as well as a shop selling organic products.