As with any city, a couple of reviving, soothing hours in a central park can be just the thing for a sightseeing break, and luckily Bangkok has a few options. Our favourite is 57ha Lumphini Park, a sweet spot in the heart of the city easily accessed by public transport (MRT subway Lumphini station or BTS skytrain Sala Daeng Station). Here musclemen work out in an impressive outdoor gym, runners pant round the lake where swan-shaped pedalos bob about, groups play petanque and tennis, Monitor lizards gaze impassively at everyone, and perhaps best of all, an outdoor swimming pool offers a respite from the heat. You’ll need to wear a swim hat and speedo-style trunks, but once in the cool water doing lengths with the elderly gents around you, it will be heaven. Don’t be tempted to jump into the lake though; wildlife in it includes metre-long water snakes (easily seen if you sit by the water’s edge) and impressive turtles and fish.
Lumphini ParkSpot water snakes, Thai boxers and bathing gents in this bright green spot of teeming Bangkok
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