Admission: 10 Baht
Built on the outskirts of central Bangkok in 1987 to commemorate King Bhumibol’s 60th birthday, King Rama IX Park (also known as Suan Luang Rama IX) is the largest green space in Bangkok, with pretty lakes and botanical gardens that draw on influences from all over the world. The park is often refreshingly free of tourists and you’ll be treated to a taste of what the locals do in their spare time. They come to exercise, relax, and have picnics in their special retreat from busy Bangkok life. People say it is an oasis of calm in the midst of busy Bangkok.
The park hosts a spectacular flower festival every year in December but there is lots happening to keep you entertained all year round. In fact, visiting in winter time is also a great time, as it isn’t too hot to keep exploring all day. The magnificent golden spired pavilion that is the centrepiece of the park is by the lake. It’s beautiful curves gracefully reach for the sky and inside is a gallery and museum in celebration of King Bhumibol, including photos, paintings and information about royal projects. The pavilion is air-conditioned which is a nice break from the heat. Because most of the information isn’t in English, your guide will help you understand the significance of its contents.
Things to do and see in King Rama IX Park
Thakon Phrakia Pavillion is an excellent example of Thai design and stands impressively in the middle of a lotus pond.
Look out for the abundant birdlife, water monitors (lizards), and squirrels.
Take on the challenge of negotiating the shrubbery maze.
Public Tai-Chi or aerobics classes.
Watch the locals participate in their daily exercise activities.
Outdoor gym with fun exercise equipment suitable for adults and children.
The many different parts of King Rama IX Park
You can check out the themed gardens from all over the world. England and Japan both have special gardens set aside. The Chinese garden features a wooden pavilion hidden in a walled garden, complete with lily pond and tiny bridges. The American garden is situated inside a dome and is reminiscent of the Nevada desert with plenty of sand and cacti. The Italian garden features ornate fountains and beautifully looked after rows of hedges. The French garden is dominated by a very French colonnade and a Rodin style statue.
Inspect the large Thai botanical garden. The large botanic garden is home to a huge range of beautiful Thai trees and flowers, along with orchids and indoor plants in greenhouses.
Walk the boardwalks of the water park in King Rama IX Park. Meander through the lily ponds and swamp forest to observe a wide variety of plants and birdlife.
Follow the many flower trails, especially in December and be amazed by the beauty.
Enjoy the sight of the colourful bridges as they cross the ponds and waterways filled with impressively huge lily pads.
Ask your guide for ways to help you make the most of your visit to King Rama IX Park.
Getting around King Rama IX Park
Walk or run the well looked after paths through the park. There are organised early morning runs that you participate in, usually for a fee.
Get out onto the lake on the good old duck and swan paddleboats lining the jetty.
Hop on the small train that takes visitors around the popular sites and picnic areas.
Things to remember about King Rama IX Park
There’s a café, and plenty of stalls selling ice-creams and drinks inside King Rama IX Park. If you are hungry for something more substantial then you can get hot food and snacks from stall holders at the park entrances. Better yet, let your guide incorporate a visit to King Rama IX Park with a visit to some more well-known foodie hotspots nearby like Khao San Road or Soi Rambuttri. The Rod Fai Night Markets, which feature bars and eateries, fashion, antiques and memorabilia, are also nearby.
The park will take a couple of hours to explore.
There is a small charge to use the toilets.
You can rent picnic rugs for a small fee.
The park is fifteen minutes from central Bangkok and is easily reached by taxi. Ask your guide for the best ways to visit King Rama IX Park.
As always, be respectful and wear appropriate clothing and footwear. The park is a beautiful and respectful tribute to the late King Bhumibol’s life and reign.
King Rama IX Park is open from 5am – 7pm every day. Bangkok is home to some amazing parks and gardens. If you enjoy visiting parks and gardens then some others in Bangkok that you may like to explore are: