Lumpini to Queen Sirikit MRT stations
The Lumpini MRT station, as the name suggests, is located right alongside the ‘lungs’ of Bangkok, historic Lumpini Park. Any visitor to the capital should avail themselves of the opportunity to wander through this green oasis and thereby gain a different perspective on the city.
The park, named after the Nepalese birthplace of Buddha, and established in the 1920s, attracts a huge number of visitors each day, from people just coming for a stroll, to cyclists and joggers and others just out for a bit of fresh (ish) air.
There are squirrels and mollusks and, a major attraction, monitor lizards which inhabit the park and seem oblivious to the humans around them.
Near the impressive statue of King Rama VI (Vajiravudh) at the main entrance are plenty of street vendors plying a variety of take-away meals. The park is open every day from 4:30am until 9:00pm.
There are three exits from the Lumpini MRT, one into Rama IV Road, another into Wireless Road near the Suan Lum Night Bazaar and another into South Sathorn Road.
Anyone coming to Bangkok with a need to go to the Austrian, Danish or German emabssies or the Joint US Military Advisory Group (JUSMAG) office will find that it’s only a short walk from the Lumpini MRT South Sathorn Road exit to those places. Even the Australian embassy is not that far away for anyone who cares to take a bit of a stroll.
The next station after Lumpini on the MRT line is Khlong Toey. There are no shopping malls or any tourist-style attractions located near this station, but it does have one of the most important human welfare establishments in Bangkok: the Mercy Centre. Run out of the Khlong Toey slum by Father Joe Maier, the Mercy Centre, or Human Development Foundation, is a charitable organisation established in 1973 which has given many poor people a better chance at life. Former US president George W Bush is among many who have made a visit to the Mercy Centre; so while it’s not a tourist attraction and should not be viewed as some kind of human zoo, it’s certainly worth looking into if only to grasp the huge contrasts between the haves and have-nots of Bangkok.
The next station is the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, and, as might be expected provides a total contrast to the Khlong Toey MRT. The National Convention Center was the first of its kind in Thailand and opened in 1991. It hosted the Miss World pageant in 1992.
Benjakiti Park, which has been described as the prettiest in Bangkok because of its lake and fountains surrounded by flowers, is a short walk from the Queen Sirikit MRT station.