Oct. 3, 2017

Bangkok's Hidden Gems: Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park

Bangkok's Hidden Gems: Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park

This week we uncover another hidden gem of Bangkok: a much needed and brand new green space that's oddly forward-thinking for Bangkok. But first, the tuk tuk scammers are actually giving out correct information this month. But that'll soon change!

Before we get started, we’ve a quick warning for visitors headed to Bangkok in October 2017. We don’t normally recommend listening to the tuk tuk drivers hanging out around the Grand Palace when they tell you that the attraction you want to visit is closed. But this month, they are correct. It’s the culmination of the year of mourning for Thailand, and lots of things are closed. But don’t turn to us for the latest info. You want Richard Barrow for that, as he has all the details of what’s closed and what’s open for your Bangkok visit this month. Today we are on location in an area of Bangkok known as Samyan. This area was first settled by Thai-Chinese people, which isn't all that surprising, seeing that Bangkok's Chinatown is just a kilometer or two up the road. In more recent times, Samyan had become synonymous with street food, supplying locals and attracting visitors from all over Bangkok. Then - and  stop us if you've heard this one before - the vendors were all given notice to pack up and move, and the bulldozers followed quickly behind, leaving many wondering what project was under way. The answer? Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park, which is more than just Bangkok’s newest green space. Listen in to hear us share our experience with this new but still hidden gem in Bangkok:
  • It sits on 28 rai of land, to form an "urban forest" concept
  • It features a specially designed wetland that includes a rain garden, retention pond, and underground water drainage system
  • Evo sharing some botanical knowledge (Fabacea family, not Cannabaceae, stoner)
  • Why the grass at CUCP is way more friendly on your feet than that in Lumpini park
  • But it’s more than just a park. CU sees the park as a an important component of their master plan to convert the Samyan area into… Thailand's Silicon Valley?
  • Other development in Samyan, either planned or underway, including Zy Walk, Samyan Mitr Town, and Suan Luang Square.

Love, Loathe, or Leave

Perhaps inspired by the beauty of the park, today we’re taking on an iconic food in Bangkok and all of Thailand: dragon fruit. It’s arguably the most beautiful fruit to look at. But the taste? Well, without giving the answer away, we’re at another split decision. Listen in and tell us where your taste buds fall on this issue. And which one of us needs to drink better beer.

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