Suan Rod Fai, literally meaning Railway Park, is my all time favorite park not only because it is close to home, but mainly because it is one of the few parks in Bangkok where there is a dedicated bicycle lane, which means you don’t have to worry about running over people.
But first there is something you should understand, Suan Rod Fai isn’t the official name of the park, the proper name is Wachirabenchathat Park, which is pronounced Wa-Chee-Ra-Ben-Cha-That …. and that is the reason why everyone uses nicknames in Thailand instead of trying to remember proper names, so Suan Rod Fai it is.
Another important thing to know is that Suan Rod Fai is one of 3 parks which are interconnected. If you are coming via BTS Sky Train (Mochit Station, Exit 3) or MRT Subway (Chatuchak Station, Exit 2) you will first arrive at the Chalermprakiat Park (aka Chatuchak Park), this connects to Wachirabenchathat Park (aka Suan Rod Fai, and Queen Sirikit Park (no aka’s here) respectively. So in essence you could spend the whole day wondering around the 3 parks and getting lost not knowing which way is out 🙂 But not to worry, there are plenty of kiosks selling water, ice cream and snacks dotted around Suan Rod Fai, and to the far northwest corner of the park you’ll find 3 restaurants … which is also where the bicycle rentals are. Speaking of bike rental, you are only allowed to ride bicycles in Suan Rod Fai, it is forbidden in the other two parks because they do not have dedicated bike lanes.
If travelling with children, they will enjoy the excellent Bangkok Butterfly Garden & Insectariu, and the Children’s Discovery Museum, I know my kids did as we kept returning.
The bicycle track is approximately 3 kilometers long and the running portion is about 2.650 kilometers, though that has recently been extended so it could also be approximately 3 kilometers too now.
The park is open from 4 am to 9 pm, generally it is busy in the early morning hours and after office hours up until about 7 pm. Generally no one hangs around once it gets dark because poor lighting means it is quite dark in some parts of the park, and security might be an issue, though I have never heard of any problems, but better safe then sorry. Cyclists who bring their own bikes tend to continue riding until closing time because they have lights, and also because it gets a bit competitive at night.