So there we were, minding our own business in Lumphini Park, when suddenly this ****ing HUGE Water Monitor Lizard clambers up the bank and starts heading straight towards us!

Lumphini Park is a large green space in the heart of downtown Bangkok. With ornamental lakes, trees and pavilions, it provides a calm oasis in the middle of this tumultuous city. It’s frequented by cyclists, joggers, Tai Chi enthusiasts and people simply out for a stroll.

Chinese Pavilion, Lumphini Park
Chinese Pavilion, Lumphini Park

There’s a thriving population of water monitors in and around the lakes, and the relationship between lizards and humans seems to be one of healthy respect, with each keeping a safe distance from the other. And OK, I’ll admit the monitor wasn’t a complete surprise – we had heard about them in advance of our holiday, and set out quite deliberately in search of them!

Lumphini Park, Bangkok
Lumphini Park, Bangkok

The park is readily accessible from the BTS SkyTrain at Sala Daeng station. Also nearby is the Patpong area, famous for its night market and a rather raunchy nightlife. Maybe a bit too lively for our tastes though, so instead we headed out to Asiatique for the evening, a huge shopping and dining experience a short distance downriver. Asiatique is a redevelopment of several large former warehouses on the river front, and is easily accessible either via the Tourist Express or the free courtesy ferries to and from Sathorn Central pier. It opens each evening at around 5pm, and is popular with Thais and tourists alike.

 

Tomorrow, we venture further afield.