However, the King Rama 9 Park on the eastern outskirts of the main city is a wonder to behold. Among tourists and expatriates who visit and live in Thailand, it is somewhat of a secret. This is probably because this park is off the beaten path of the Bangkok Skytrain System (BTS) and the Metro Rapid Transit subway system (MRT).
Even though this is the case, it is still relatively easy to get to and a must-see during your stay in Bangkok. It is the ultimate peaceful getaway because of its location on the outskirts of the city.
You have to get here by either taxi or if you are adventurous, the famous song taew (pickup truck taxi) that you see all over the streets here. Going by taxi costs about 100 Baht ($3 U.S.) from the Sukumvit Road area. Song taew is much cheaper. It costs between 10 and 20 Baht (not even $1 U.S.). However, the taxi is air conditioned and doesn’t make stops—unlike the song taew.
You want to pick up the song taew on On Nut Road (On Nut BTS Station) just across the street from Big C Extra. It will be labeled in English with Paradise Park. Get off at the Paradise Park Mall and walk on the road east until you get to the park. Don’t be afraid to ask anyone for directions. Thai people are very helpful to foreigners when asked directions.
Walking or Running Course
The Rama 9 Park is for serious walkers and runners. The path weaves through the park with alternate routes. In fact, it almost seems like one could get lost in it but no worries. Just find the center lake and you are back on course. The path goes through trees, sculptured shrubbery, and manicured flower beds adding to the relaxing atmosphere.
Orchid and Fern Garden
For plant lovers, there is the Orchid and Fern Garden off of the main walking path. Inside, it is even more peaceful with a large representation of the ferns and orchids that grow in the climate of Thailand.
You can get your exercise another way by hiring one of the duck or swan-shaped paddle boats and take it out on the water. The lake in this park is huge and makes for quite an enjoyable workout.
Paradise Park Mall
For those who like mall shopping to go along with their day in the park, there is the Paradise Park Mall just a short walk from the park to Srinakarin Road to the west. This is one of the premier, freshly-remodeled malls in this area of Bangkok.
Free Aerobics in the Evening
If you go to the park in the morning, you will see several groups practicing martial arts routines such as Tai Chi. In the evening, there are free aerobics classes beginning around 5.00 P.M. It is a good way to have fun, enjoy music, and get exposed to exercise Thai style.
Activities for the Children
There is a large children’s playground at the southwest corner of the park. It has various items of playground equipment for the kids plus a giant playhouse that is raised off the ground. There is fish feeding available for the children as well.
Just outside the park is a weekend market (only open on Saturdays and Sundays). You can sample some of the local fruits, food, and other trinkets on display by the vendors.
There are also gazebos at various points in the park where you can sit down, rest your feet, enjoy the shade, and have some lunch. During a typical day, it can get rather hot so these gazebos are a welcome sight.
The entry fee for pedestrians is 10 Baht (about 30 cents U.S.). This is a beautiful place to spend a day and it is the ultimate in serenity and getting away from the noise of the city traffic. The next time you are looking for something to do in Bangkok, you have to check this park out. At the end of the day, you will feel refreshed and have a new state of mind after relaxing at the King Rama 9 Park.