This morning I went to check out Suan Luang Rama IX Park which is behind Paradise Park shopping mall. They have a food festival there this weekend and as I was a bit early I visited the park first.
Suan Luang Rama IX is a large park built to commemorate King Bhumibol’s 60th birthday in December 1987. It coves an area of about 200 acres which includes a large lake. It is popular with fitness fanatics who come here to run early in the morning or at the end of the day. It is also popular at the weekend for families to come here for picnics. There are paddle boats for hire which cost 40 Baht for 30 minutes. There is also a play area for children and fitness park for adults. I spotted a high hedge maze if you want to get lost for a while. The main building, bottom right, is called Ho Ratchamongkhon and houses a gallery and museum of the works of King Rama IX. There is also a botanical garden which is worth visiting though the best time to go is when they have a flower festival. I think it is usually in December. Click here for a report of my last visit. There are kiosks around the park where you can buy drinks and snacks. The park is open from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. However, the ticket office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Presumably, outside of these times it is free to enter. Ticket price is 10 Baht for adults/children, 10 Baht for your car, 20 Baht for vans and 5 Baht for bicycles. Although it looks like you can cycle in the park, there are some areas where you are not allowed.
Two massive shopping malls can be found to the West of the park along Srinakarin Road. You can get to them from Bangkok by taking Bus 145. The two malls are Seacon Square and Paradise Park (formerly Seri Centre). Either of these are worth visiting if you need some air-conditioning after the park. They both have cinemas with English soundtrack movies and numerous restaurants. Of the two, Seacon Square is more popular which is why I prefer to watch a movie at Paradise Park. The place is certainly more up-market since the renovation but it has some of the best selection of food to be found in Bangkok. Check out the restaurants on the top floor where the cinema is as well as the numerous stalls and the food court on the ground floor. It is here where they often have food festivals.