Bangkok Lumphini Park
Named after the Buddha's birthplace, Lumphini Park is Bangkok's "green lung", featuring mature trees, lakes, lawns and gardens bounded by business, shopping and residential districts.
At its busiest (between dawn and 8.30am) thousands of citizens jog, stretch and practice t'ai chi en masse. The park has open-air gyms, courts for takraw (like volleyball with the feet) and badminton, and pedalos for heading out into the lake to feed the shoals of huge carp.
Sights include the statue of Rama VI facing Silom. It was Rama VI who, in 1925, donated the land to the nation as public park and showground. Until the King's death, the Siamrath Phiphitthapan Trade Fair was held there to promote Thai products. The only visible remnant of the fair is the Chinese-style clocktower built in 1925.
Between the statue of Rama VI and the Chinese pagoda in the Sathorn corner is a "perpetual motion" ball-fountain. On Koh Loy - the "Floating Island" - Rama VI planted native fauna from every region of the country, while the park also includes a stadium, where kick-boxing is a major feature, as well as Lumphini Park Public Library, the first public library in Thailand, which has 30,000 books
Open: Daily from 5am to 8pm. Admission to the park is free.