Suan Luang Park (Phuket Town)
On a beautiful clear morning last week I decided to check out the big park on the west of Phuket Town called Suan Luang or King Rama IX park. I have driven past hundreds of times, but it's not that close to our house, so not really convenient for morning or evening walks (we normally go to the Bang Wad Reservoir). I don't think I realised the size of the park. After half an hours walking around there was still more to see. It's a gathering place for locals in the mornings and evenings when it's cool enough to take walks or go jogging or ride bicycles. There were also some people playing badminton and a football match going on at 8am!
The main entrance to the park is on Chao Fa road, which heads out of Phuket town towards Chalong, but there are also a couple of side entrances. Just inside the entrance is a large lake, and you can turn right or left and start walking/jogging...
To the left is another small lake full of lotus flowers, and a maze of paths twisting and turning through the trees. Joggers passed by and a fair number of older folks out for their morning air - many of people had Chinese faces. Much of the population of the town is of Chinese descent. I had read that people come here in the mornings to do Tai Chi and had imagined huge gatherings of old Chinese people, but either they come another time, or not in large numbers. I did see a few here and there who had found their spot to relax.
The park seems to be well used, not just joggers and the like, but I found several greenhouses where plants were being tended to. Outside the greenhouses were Leelawadee trees, whose flowers have a beautiful smell.
It was a good bit of morning exercise for me, just a little detour on the way to work, and much needed, as I spend too many days glued to the keyboard. Might just take another walk around one day next week. It's one of those "locals" places. The people there all looked like Phuket people, not visitors or tourists or even people from other parts of Thailand who live and work in Phuket. A couple of folks seemed surprised to see a foreigner in their park. It's a place to go if you want to mingle with the local gentry.
Apparently, according to the Gay Patong website, Suan Luang Park is also a place to go "cruising"! It says "this is the place to meet"... must be an evening thing, as I don't think I saw anyone "cruising" at 8am.
Below - not sure a sign like this in England would use the same language. In any case I did not see any doggy doos in the park, or indeed any dogs. It's very clean and well looked after. There were gardeners at work while I walked around, and I can't say I saw any litter either which is a rare thing in these parts!
There's not much mention of this park on the internet as it's not really a tourist attraction, which is why it's on this blog! Rather like Bang Wad reservoir, Sapan Hin or Monkey Hill, its a place where the locals gather. Phuket has many green spaces like these around the town. I mean, much of the island is green, but in these places there are walking paths and views, great for some fresh air and exercise.