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Thailand: Taking a stroll in Lumphini Gardens, Bangkok

Date: 06 April 2015

Today was my last day in Bangkok. Being a short layover from my Japan trip, I still managed to go to the Maeklong Train Market and Amphawa Floating Market — two attractions I hadn’t been to before. I wondered what else to see before leaving Bangkok. And so I looked at the map and decided to head to Lumphini Gardens, Bangkok’s largest public park.

The easiest way to get to Lumpini park is to take a BTS to Sala Daeng Station and leave via Exit No.6.

But before entering the park, I stopped by Burger King to have lunch.

Burger King whopper meal Bangkok
Burger King doesn’t sell beef burgers back in India, so this would be my last before departing Bangkok
Lumpini park entrance Bangkok Thailand
After lunch, I walked across Rama IV Road to the memorial statue of King Rama VI.
Lumpini park map Bangkok Thailand
A map of Lumpini Park
Cycling in Lumpini park Bangkok
Lumphini is a multi-purpose park, popular for cycling, jogging or simply relaxing
Lumpini lake panorama Bangkok city
There is an artificial lake
Monitor lizard in Bangkok public park
Which has a surprising number of monitor lizards
Lumpini park monitor lizard Bangkok
Who all appear to be an attraction at the park
Monitor lizard approaching man Bangkok
Except when they get a little too close to humans… that freaks some of us out
Monitor lizard Lumphini gardens Bangkok
They are the second largest lizards only after the Komodo Dragon
Swan boats Lumpini park Bangkok
You can rent these pedal boats to go for rides across the lake
Lumpini park bridge Bangkok
I walked around some more
Lumpini park children play area
Lumpini park is a multi-purpose park, with sections for children…
Performance dome Lumpini park Bangkok
… amphitheatres for live performances
Lumpini park garden Bangkok
…and plenty of lawns to relax in the shade
Water sprinklers Lumpini park Bangkok
It was really hot today so I walked closer to the sprinklers
Lumpini gardens hearts Bangkok Thailand
I’m guessing this area is popular for wedding photography
Chinese Tower Lumpini gardens Bangkok
There is a Chinese pavilion
Lumpini park two way Bangkok
It was scorching hot and I found myself walking towards wherever it was wet
Cycle track Lumpini Park Bangkok Thailand
Or walking in the shade
Lumpini gardens BTS station Bangkok
But I was bored and decided to leave

Lumphini Gardens isn’t much of a tourist attraction but if you want to see some greenery away from Bangkok’s concrete city center, or if you want a quiet place to cycle or skateboard around, then this public garden is worth visiting. I took the subway and went to a mall just to kill time before I headed to the airport to catch my flight back to Bangalore.

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Thailand: Amphawa Floating Market in Samut Songkhram

 Thailand: Maeklong Railway Market in Samut Songkhram

Amphawa floating market boats Thailand

Thailand: Amphawa Floating Market in Samut Songkhram

Date: 03 April 2015

After seeing the oddity that was the Maeklong Railway Market, the next stop on our tour was Amphawa Floating market. I had been to the more popular Damnoen Saduak floating market back in 2010 but I heard that Amphawa was the floating market that more Thais visit.

It’s also a lot bigger.

After we got out of our tour van, we were told by the guide that we could roam freely for up to an hour or so. We would then meet back to go for a boat ride to see fireflies.

Amphawa floating market fruit vendor
At first glance it didn’t appear as too touristy as Damnoen Saduak
Aamphawapanich eatery Thailand
But you realize soon enough that there is no shortage of cafes, eateries and stores largely catering to tourists. There’s a good number of Thai visitors too.
Amphawa floating market stalls Thailand
You also had shopping centres like this one which sold knick-knacks, souvenirs…
Dunk Thai girl Amphawa market
… and games like ‘dunk tank a girl’
Boat ride Amphawa floating market
We could pay extra to have a boat take us around the river. I don’t remember how much it was cost per person but it wasn’t too high.
Amphawa floating market canal Thailand
The boat cruises along very slowly through these canals

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Maeklong railway market train

Thailand: Maeklong Railway Market in Samut Songkhram

Date: 03 April 2015

The few days I was in Bangkok after my amazing first visit to Japan, I made the most of it and saw some places I hadn’t been to yet. I had been longing to visit the famous but not-easy-to-get-to Maeklong Railway market (Talad Rom Hub in Thai) in Samut Songkhram province, just outside Bangkok. So I was happy to get a tour which combined the railway market and Amphawa Floating market in one day tour. It cost around 1700 baht but I felt it’s better than trying to go there myself on my own.

Fortunately no early morning pick-up for this tour. We were told we only need to be at Maeklong post noon as that’s when we could see the train depart. The train departs from Maeklong station just a few times a day. We would witness the last train departure for today.

Maeklong railway crossing Thailand
We reached the railway crossing at around 3PM. We were directed to the left side first.
Maeklong railway station Thailand
This is Maeklong station, from where the train departs. Now more of a tourist commercial zone than a rail station.
Maeklong Ladyai station board Thailand
The train departs from Maeklong four times a day according to this timetable on Railway Thailand’s website
Maeklong station Samut songhkram Thailand
I walked across to the other side
Talad Rom Hub railway track market
Talad Rom Hub, as this place is called locally, is like no other fresh market I’ve seen
Seafood railway market Samut Songkhram
I’ve seen stuff being sold on railway platforms and at rural stops before… but never this close to the railway tracks or on it!
Prawns Crabs market Maeklong Thailand
Lots of fresh seafood
Talad Rom Hub streetside vendor Thailand
And cooked seafood
Frogs Maeklong fresh market Thailand
And… frogs
Vegetables market Maeklong Thailand
I wonder how many locals shop here though
Samut Songkhram umbrella market Thailand
Most of the crowds I saw were tourists
Shop umbrella maeklong market Thailand
These shopfront umbrellas would be going up in a bit
Folding umbrella shops Maeklong Railway market
The horn was blown from the station and the vendors knew it was time
Maeklong railway market tourists Thailand
And tourists like me all prepared ourselves to capture the train passing through
Maeklong railway market Samut Thailand
Here comes the choo-choo 🙂

Here’s a short video I made. Observe how tight the gap is when the train passes through!

It was short but still felt worth it. Ever since I’ve heard about the Maeklong train market, I have really wanted to come and see this train pass through the market first hand. Satisfied, we re-grouped and headed back to our van.

Next, we would stop at Amphawa Floating Market.

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