This is the picture I have in mind when I think of Bangkok traffic: a dense conglomeration of vehicles! The pedestrian walkways are not much better during rush hour: people thronging on the uneven pavement, stopping occasionally amidst the push & pull of the crowd to buy food or knick-knacks from carts which line the busier streets.
The thought of running in Bangkok was little daunting with this in mind. But we thought we would try on a Sunday morning with the hope that traffic on the road & pavement would be minimal.
We had a very good run to Lumpini Park, which was about 2 km from our hotel, Marriott at The Empire Place. The park, though small, was charming and we found the Sunday morning runners to be extremely disciplined and considerate. Everyone ran in the same direction and in such an orderly fashion. There were also fun & lovely sculptures to be viewed. One-lap around the park is about 2.5km.
Emboldened by this success, we ran again on Monday. We decided to start out earlier at 6:30am in the hopes of pre-empting the crowds. It was fine on our way out but was tricky coming back.
We managed a run to Benjakitti Park later in the week. A much smaller park than Lumpini but a beautiful, green respite from the city and its traffic. One-lap around this park is about 1.8km.
While we had good runs on this trip, we decided that between the pavement conditions and fumes from cars, it would be difficult indeed to sustain road runs for a longer period of time.
Feature Photo: taken from the overhead bridge at Empire Towers, Sathon.