Despite being lesser known than Bangkok’s other parks, Suan Luang Rama XI Park is the biggest in the capital at over 200 acres big. With a plethora of themed gardens and a huge flower display in commemoration of the King of Thailand, a visit to the park makes a refreshing rest from the craziness of Bangkok city.
King Rama IX Park
Close to the entrance of King Rama IX Park, you’ll find a hedge maze, a huge lake and an S&P restaurant. The S&P restaurant has a small terrace overlooking the lake if you fancy fuelling up or cooling off in the air con before taking a walk around the park. If you feel like it, you can even take a quick ride on the rather aged pedalos just outside the restaurant.
Just beyond the lake, you can see a prominent futuristic-looking building which houses a museum dedicated to the King. I’ve not visited myself, but for anybody interested in Thailand culture and the King it might be worth a look.
Past this point of the park it’s ridiculously easy to get lost in the hugeness of the grounds. Deep within the grounds though, there is plenty to explore: a plant nursery, botanical gardens, an outdoor gym, tai chi classes and, best of all, a beautiful Thai pavilion that sits right in the middle of a peaceful lotus pond.
King Rama IX Park is also home to a number of themed gardens from around the world including an Italian garden, French garden, a Japanese bonsai garden, American cactus garden and even a garden of giant topiary animals.
December Flower Festival Bangkok
The best time to visit King Rama IX Park is during December, the King’s birth month, when the park comes alive with amazing, colourful flower displays. The flower displays are absolutely huge and offer a mix of both tasteful flower beds as well as other quirky plant-related scenes. From sun flower gardens and rainbow patterned flower beds as far as the eye can see, to life-sized flower people, flowerpot Wellington boots, giant heart-wreaths of roses, and quaint little ‘play house’ style settings.
However, during the flower festival in December, King Rama IX Park is considerably busier than the rest of the year. The park grounds are teaming with local kids on school trips, camera-trigger happy Japanese tourists and teams of wedding photographers snapping photos of young couples.
In fact, I’ve never seen so many brides in one place as I have at Rama IX Park during the Bangkok flower festival – I must have seen five different wedding couples in the space of one hour. Despite the hugeness of this flower festival though, there are still a few Western tourists that seem to visit the park.
How to get to King Rama IX Park
The King Rama IX Park is only really reachable by taxi as it’s about a 15 minute drive away from the nearest BTS skytrain station. The nearest BTS skytrain station is Udomsuk station – from here, it’s best to catch a taxi. Ask the taxi driver to take you to ‘Suan Luang Rama gao’ and he should know where it is.
Suan Luang Rama IX Park is located close to Paradise Park Mall and should cost around 70 Baht for the journey. Once you get to the park, you will have to pay a 10 baht entrance fee – can’t really complain about such a cheap entrance fee…