When most people picture Bangkok, they think of tall skyscrapers, congested roads, and the smell of street food wafting in the breeze. What they don’t immediately picture is the well-manicured parks and surprising amounts of greenery. The parks are superb places to take a pleasant stroll or a run for the more energetic. While the parks are relatively easy to find once you are in the city, one thing that is easy to miss is Bangkok’s Green Mile, an elevated walkway between two of Bangkok’s most scenic parks, Benjakitti and Lumpini.
Where is the Green Mile?
The Green Mile will undoubtedly allow you to see Bangkok from another perspective. You will see tightly packed shacks where locals live and the waterways (klongs), which give Bangkok’s its nickname of “Venice of the East”. You can enjoy the parks at either end, walking in the shade of the mature trees, all of which makes it a relaxing and pleasant experience.
From Benjakitti Park
The entrance to the Green Mile from Benjakitti Park is the easiest to find, so perhaps your best option if you haven’t been on the path before. It is signposted “Lumpini Park”, the downside is that it is in Thai “สวนลุมพินี”, but they are green signs with arrows! The entrance is at the northwest corner with Ratchadaphisek Road and the large lake behind you. When you come to a tall fence, turn right, and the entrance/exit will become more apparent.
From Lumpini Park
If you wish to enter the Green Mile from Lumpini Park, you will need to exit the park via the gate at the northeast corner, next to the Suan Lumpini School. Turn left, and follow the main road for around 100 metres when you come to an overpass with green steps and enter through the gate. It is a popular route, so there are likely to be crowds – follow them!
Walking from Benjakitti to Lumpini
It is probably fair to say that the first part of the walk is a little disappointing, but it is far more impressive once you get to the elevated portion. The path is well maintained and wide enough for people to easily pass and certainly doesn’t feel claustrophobic. You will walk past some slums that have character, although perhaps that is not how the residents view them. As you walk along the path, you will see numerous signs for local street restaurants, with the aroma from their cooking gently making its way to the pathway to whet your appetite and is well worth sampling.
The walk gives you the opportunity to see Bangkok as it used to be, while the skyscrapers in the background remind you that it is now a thriving, cosmopolitan city. The contrast couldn’t be starker. On the walkway, you will have the opportunity to purchase drinks from a small café to keep you refreshed on the kilometer or so long journey. It may not take you too long, but if you go at the right time of year, you can enjoy the blossoms in Benjakitti Park and generally appreciate the slower pace of life, away from your regular everyday routine.