Sabai Dee Sundays at Rama IX Park and Nong Bon Lake
By David Nakayama - Published September 15, 2021
Text and Photos by David Nakayama, DET Corp Comms
Bangkok, Thailand, August 20, 2021- Feeling relaxed or “Sabai dee” is an all-important life goal in tropical Thailand and Bangkok’s parks offer a natural oasis from the stress-inducing heat and pollution of the city (or your day job).
So it’s no surprise that during COVID-19 more and more residents are choosing to spend their Sundays enjoying outdoor activities instead of getting lost again in IKEA.
Today we’ll take a look at Bangkok’s largest park and a water recreation center not far from our Delta Thailand head office. Suanluang Rama IX Park
Suanluang Rama IX Park is the largest park in Bangkok with an area of 500 rai (200 acres). It was built in 1987 to celebrate the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 60th birthday and features botanical gardens, a large lake, gardens inspired by countries around the world and a pavilion housing exhibits in honor of King Rama 9.
Located in the suburbs, this park is more of a local hangout compared with city parks in touristic areas around Sukhumvit Road or near Chatuchak Weekend Market. Admission costs around 10 baht and there is an annual flower festival in December. As soon as you enter you will see the large lake and circular pavilion with a spire that looks like a giant Atari Games logo. You can ride the peddle swan-shaped boats on the lake or wander around by foot or bicycle exploring the country-themed gardens scattered around the park. These include gardens for America, England, Japan, Italy, France and China. Dogs are not allowed in the park but there are plenty of families and people of all ages jogging, cycling, skating, playing Frisbee, doing aerobics, or making Tik-Toks.
As a regular park-goer, I’ve been to this park with my family a couple of times in the afternoon when the weather cools down. It’s a good place for the kids and we especially enjoyed wandering through the hedge maze and checking out the exotic plants and cacti in the hothouse. I even attended a wedding of a Thai friend once at the park reception hall. Nong Bon Lake & Water Sports Centre
Right next to Rama IX Park is the Nong Bon Lake & Water Sports Centre. The lake is actually a man-made reservoir which is a water sports center that offers windsurfing, kayaking, sailing and paddleboard. There are also basketball and badminton courts, open gyms and a ping-pong room along with paths for cycling, jogging, walking and dog-walking.
As a sailing beginner, I first paid a 40 baht annual membership fee, got a member card and took the introduction class to learn the basics of sailing the small 2-person Walker Bay type dinghy. After about a year of sailing practice, you can start learning wind surfing. Of course, you can start kayaking or paddleboarding immediately without training. You can borrow your boat or board and life jackets from the club or if you’re a real enthusiast you can bring your own. Windsailing training looks rather intense. The instructors sit on the shore and shout instructions to struggling learners (all in Thai) with a megaphone. If you capsize they will come out in a motorized rubber dinghy to angrily fish you out of the water.
On land, you can borrow an old bicycle or bring your own for a very enjoyable shaded ride around the lake. Dogs are allowed at Nong Bon Lake so many owners come to walk their dogs. Be careful of uncontrolled dogs roaming around when visiting with your children or your own pet. Bird watchers and nature sketch artists can also come for the water birds and other wildlife.
Both Rama IX Park and Nong Bon Lake are conveniently located near Delta Thailand’s head office making them a great place to get yourself and your kids moving outdoors and away from your phones.
From fitness and sports to active rest activities like cycling or walking your dog, there is something for everyone to pursue. You can even practice your golf swing for an hour or so at a nearby driving range or do your weekly shopping at a Big C supermarket in the neighborhood.
If content is king, there must be a kingmaker. And the universal theme in my favorite stories is our innate human desire for freedom. I have a master’s degree in Chinese education and experience spanning industries and countries. As the Comms guy at DET, I’m obsessed with the stories behind our products and people. Share your stories with me https://www.linkedin.com/in/yushi-david-nakayama/