Suan Santi Phap park in Bangkok

February 12, 2013

Going for a stroll in Bangkok is quite hard because most sidewalks are in a deplorable state, are filled with people selling stinky shit, and are filled with Thais walking in an irritating low pace blocking you everywhere.  In a stroke of genius some people even set up food-stalls on the smallest parts of the sidewalk to make sure everybody has to slow down and look at their stuff; they only forgot nobody can stop there to actually buy something because then they will block the people coming from two sides. When I feel cooked up from sitting in my comfortable air-conditioned room I need some space and nice surroundings to stroll around. Luckily living at 21 Living Place has one big perk, and that is the nearby park!

A = Victory monument; B = 21 Living Place; c: Suan Santi Phap park

A = Victory monument; B = 21 Living Place; c: Suan Santi Phap park

Located just 200 meters from my apartment building is Suan Santi Phap park, which is a quite lively park in the middle of Bangkok. Many people go here at the end of their working day to just relax, stroll around, or do some exercise.

Suan Santi Phap, with the Bayoke skytower in the background.

Suan Santi Phap, with the Bayoke skytower in the background.

Throughout the park there is a road which doubles as a footpath and a running track with markers every 100 meters. The total track is about 750 meters long and you can easily follow the other 50-100 runners zigzagging between the people just strolling around.

The 400 meter marker, just 350 meters to go and you completed a round through the park.

The 400 meter marker, just 350 meters to go and you completed a round through the park.

But there is more: around 5PM a small group of  70+ year old ladies start doing Tai Chi exercises in the middle of the park. I am not sure if this is open to everybody or that the old lady showing the rest what to do is actually paid by the other old ladies, but if you want to try out some Tai Chi you can always secretly join their club by standing 20 meters away and denying to copy them if they demand money.

Not sure if dogs are allowed in the park, but I am sure you are not allowed to let your fish and turtles out for a swim. And it is also prohibit to give your spouse flowers here.

Not sure if dogs are allowed in the park, but I am sure you are not allowed to let your fish and turtles out for a swim. And it is also prohibit to give your spouse flowers here.

At 6PM sharp, the guards of the park blow their whistle and everybody stops to listen to the national anthem for a minute. But right after the anthem the most popular activity in the park starts: aerobics. In the middle of the park is an open terrain with two huge boxes, accompanied by a small stage, where one guy is performing exercises which the crowd can follow. The only thing louder than the high-speed music coming from those boxes is the instructor’s homosexuality. Sometimes over 200 people gather there to move along on the beat and it looks quite impressive when you see a group this big doing those moves almost synchronized.

Aerobics in Suan Santi Phap park, on a good day there are over 200 people joining.

Aerobics in Suan Santi Phap park, on a good day there are over 200 people joining.

For questions/remarks you can contact me at: eric@stuckinthailand.com

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