Many of Bangkok’s better parks are found beside Skytrain or Subway stops along Bangkok’s convenient rail networks. Favourites include Benjasiri Park (BTS: Phrom Phong), Lumpini Park (MRT: Lumpini) and Chatuchak (MRT: Chatuchak, BTS: Mo Chit). Today we call in at Chatuchak Park after a sweaty morning at the neighbouring JJ Weekend Market. The last time I visited was 10 years ago. Long overdue and I was amazed nothing had changed. The park is still quiet, tranquil and local. Tourist free and romantic. Reminds me of why I love Bangkok.
With no plans our preparation we arrive hands empty expecting to be fed and made comfortable. Easy. The beautiful lady below leased a blanket for the day (50 baht) and we pick up street food out front (Khanom Jeen and Som Tam Korat). For Western tastes there are scores of street food vendors surrounding the park and hundreds next door in JJ Market (weekends). Hawkers conveniently circle the park. Slight mark up on prices but beats hauling you ass up to find your own. We buy boiled monkey nuts (20 baht a bag). Among hawker treats are crisps, mamuang man (unripe mango), boiled eggs and drinks.
No Ball Games Allowed
We setup next to the central pond and waste time feeding birds, squirrels, fish and turtles. Cute. Peaceful. Antsy I take out my Takraw Ball (bought from JJ Market) and show off my silky ball skills. Lasted about 3 minutes. The jolly Park Ranger below scolded me (probably jealous of my skills). There are places for ball games in Chatuchak park – just not where we were sat.
Areas closer to JJ market are busier – popular with passersby and lazy adventurers. There is a complete contrast at the far side. This is where we sit. The park empty, tranquil and interesting. The locals stretch their legs, exercise and do other local things.
Romance in the Park
I take a walk round the park and find a lot of romance. An escape for young couples to cuddle, smooch and ride the pond on peddle powered ducks. Single ladies in search of Prince Charming. Girls love me here. Smiling eyes, giggles, ogled from every direction. Nice girls – Not the money grabbing bandits of Bangkok tourist areas. Despite Chatuchak Park’s convenient Skytrain location it is far from the city centre. If it weren’t for JJ Market the area would be completely empty of farang visitors.