Nong Bon lake park was a very pleasant surprise for us on a sunny Bangkok weekend.
Situated about a 25 minute drive from central Bangkok in Prawet district, Nong Bon lake park is a rarity in these parts – a green space designed with cycling and activities front of mind.
With the clue very much in the title, Nong Bon lake park is and expansive green space surrounding and even more expansive lake. Along with our mates who have quickly become the encyclopedia of fun things to do in and around Bangkok, we donned our most stylish outdoor gear and enjoyed a few loops around the verdant greenery at Nong Bon.
A paved loop of around 4km runs right round the outside of the lake, with a further straight path running up a central path to a small scenic area built into the middle of the lake. The views are lovely all the way around the lake, with lots of trees and plants left to grow mostly unhindered.
The cycling route is well-paved and on a Sunday was very quiet, mostly with families pootling along on the rickety bikes available for hire at the entrance.
There are very few hazards en route – the park is closed to cars – barring the occasional weaving child learning to ride a bike, a sauntering monitor lizard or two, and the odd excitable dog – Nong Bon being one of the few dog friendly parks.
The central offshoot is worth venturing down, it’s just off to the left about 300m after the main track begins. It runs a few hundred metres to an unmade path with a dead end, but is nice and quiet and out in the middle of the lake, with lots of birds around.
The bikes are just 50 baht for two hours, have zero gears and are just about worth every satang.
The loop around Nong Bon lake park is predominantly flat, except for a rather steep bridge where you’ll wish the bikes had more than one gear and were not made of pig iron.
You can obviously get off and push, or evoke a previous life of all-conquering cycling dominance (spoiler: not all-conquering, not dominant) and push for the top, panting ‘Chapeau! Chapeau!’ at anyone you pass as you tackle the fearsome 5 metre-ish climb.
We spotted one or two serious cyclists about the place, but mostly it’s very much in the leisure category.
There are a good number of spots to stop and relax around Nong Bon lake park, with many shady spots from the abundant trees around. There is a good breeze even at the height of the day so you shouldn’t boil, but be sure to bring water, a hat and sunscreen.
The top of the bridge is also good to stop and watch the water sports on the lake – there are plenty of small boats and rowers out and about, and even a few paddle boards kicking around. We didn’t visit the watersports centre but I’ve read elsewhere that it’s cheap and easy to become a member here.
Getting to Nong Bon lake park and useful info
Here’s a little more info about Nong Bon lake park, which is well worth the short trip to enjoy some peaceful surrounds and a stretch of the legs.
You’ll probably be driving in one way or another, and by taxi or under your own steam the best place to aim for is the Happy Bike shop (called Happy Bike on Grab) which is at the main entrance to Nong Bon lake park.
As you turn off the main road at Chalerm Prakiat 43, you’ll probably be doubting that there is a large, lake-based park anywhere near, but a few hundred metres down the road is the main entrance.
If you are driving there is a car park at this entrance.
If not, hop out at the Happy Bike shop and pick up your steed for the day – the supply of bikes is from those short-lived Ofo shared bikes which seemed like a great idea and then ended up in vast mountains of abandoned bikes, remember that?
You’ll pay a mighty 50 baht for two hours of rental which is plenty. No deposit or ID or anything, to be fair the bikes do not seem to be a theft risk and if you did try the getaway would be painfully slow.
Slightly smarter bikes looked to be available at the water sports centre inside the park.
There’s no entrance fee to the park so the bike will be your only outlay. There aren’t any food and drink facilities to speak of but the Happy Cup cafe attached to the bike shop does cold and hot drinks, pastries, snacks and a small selection of meals.
Nong Bon lake park is a very pleasant way to spend a few hours and is very easily accessible downtown Bangkok. Along with Bang Krachao and the airport Skylane, it’s one of the few places to jump on a bike in Bangkok without a lot of traffic or obstacles.
But more than that, Nong Bon lake park is just a very tranquil, green and enjoyable place to visit to escape the hustle and bustle of Bangkok for a few hours. A lovely, easy and cheap weekend activity for the whole family.