Where to Get Outdoors and Away from the Sprawl in Bangkok



While Bangkok is certainly more famed for its skyscrapers, shopping malls, and heavy gridlock, it's not to say that there aren't some decent spots to enjoy the outdoors in. The best outdoor activities in the City of Angels usually involve getting to the beautiful green spaces that are scattered around the city, the largest of which is Bang Krachao, also known as the "lung" of Bangkok, where you can find plenty of fresh air, bicycles to rent, lakeside canoeing, and more. Other top draws for greenery are the Suan Rot Fai Park, where there are kilometers of bicycle track, also a lake to boat in, and plenty of great picnic spots under the trees. Further in the heart of the city, Lumpini Park is the downtown top draw, and besides having a great jogging course, it is also home to the wonderful annual Bangkok Street Show, featuring avant garde artists, along with the weekend "Concert in the Park" series where you can relax to classical music and enjoy the green. In the north of the city, in addition to Suan Rot Fai, enjoy shopping outdoors at the always frantic Chatuchak Market, and if this gets a bit too hectic for you, continue further north, where Bangkok's island in the Chao Phraya, Koh Kret, makes for a great car free day, where you can walk, rent a bicycle, and truly relax.

Other outdoor activities in Bangkok involve cycling to hidden or lesser known destinations away from the urban sprawl, and outfitters like Spice Roads and Grasshopper Adventures can get you to all the top spots on two wheels or on foot. If being on the ground isn't your idea of fun, why not take to the water and enjoy Bangkok this way. Either head over to the little known floating market of Taling Chan, where you can charter a longtail boat to explore with or just eat to your heart's content, or if you are looking for something a bit more upscale, why not set sail on a dinner cruise with Grand Pearl Cruises.

For something really unique, head over to the Flow House, Bangkok's urban surfing mecca, where you can ride the waves and hone your boarding skills without ever leaving town. This is a real adrenaline starter and great way to beat the heat.

While Bangkok may be urban and gritty, you can still enjoy some outdoor pursuits and find your green space with this handy list.




While it isn't back to nature, for the city's best outdoor shopping, head to Chatuchak. Originally a flea market started in the 1950's by a former prime minister who wanted to put a flea market into every town in Thailand, Chatuchak, more...  Read More


Grand Pearl Cruise
Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis


Featuring beautiful yacht like cruise ships, the Grand Pearl is a mainstay in the Chao Phraya cruise industry. The company runs trips up to Ayutthaya, Nonthaburi, and other day excursions, but the highlight feature of the Grand Pearl, and one...  Read More


Grasshopper Adventures
Photo courtesy of courtesy of Grasshopper Adventures


Grasshopper Adventures is a small company specializing in bicycle, photography, and unicycle tours (talk about unique!). They have adventures throughout all of SE Asia, but here in Bangkok, they specialize in local jaunts featuring trips such as...  Read More




One of Bangkok's oldest attractions, the Dusit Zoo has been around for over six decades. It's located in the heart of old town Bangkok, near some more regal attractions like the Ananta Samakhom Throne Room and Dusit Palace, but the royalty here...  Read More


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Chatuchak


Suan Rot Fai (The Train Park) is located slightly northeast of Chatuchak Park, along one of the city's largest connected green belts. The park sprawls over 150 acres in a space that was once a golf course for the State Railway Association which...  Read More


Flowhouse
Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis


Urban surfing comes to Bangkok, at the Flow House, a city beach club where one can get up on a boogie board or surfboard on perpetual sheet waves created by the Flowrider wave generating machine, perfect for surfing and body boarding. The...  Read More




Created by King Rama VI in 1932, and named after the birthplace of the Buddha, Lumpini Park is an urban oasis, one of the city's largest parks located smack in the middle of central Bangkok. Besides offering plenty of shady trees under which to...  Read More




Ko Kret is an island in the Chao Phraya River at the northern end of Bangkok. Originally settled by Mons, it is famed for its earthenware ceramics and for the traditional Thai sweet, khao cher, rice served with fragrant water and side dishes...  Read More


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Outside the city


While many might think of Bangkok and nature in the same sentence as being an oxymoron, they probably have never heard of Bang Krachao. Bang Krachao, also known as "the lungs" of Bangkok is a vast area of green space just across the Chao Phraya...  Read More




Spice Roads is a leading bicycle touring company that takes riders of all abilities and shows them the best of Thailand, both cultural and physical, from the vantage point of two wheels. Their trips combine exercise with cultural endeavours,...  Read More


Map

Meet Dave Stamboulis

Dave Stamboulis is a travel writer/photographer based in Bangkok. Born in Athens, Greece and growing up in Berkeley, California, Dave first discovered Bangkok while on a 40,000-kilometer bicycle...  More About Dave

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