Exciting Ways to Explore Nature in Bangkok
Published on: April 09, 2021
Finding an area of greenery in a metropolitan city like Bangkok is challenging but not impossible. In this article, Juliet lists some of the places she loves and tips on how to make the visit worthwhile when you plan to bring kids.
By Juliet Perrin
There is something just so delightful when you are out in nature exploring and the child you are with discovers a bug in the grass, a butterfly fluttering by, or an insect on a leaf. The awe, wonder, and excitement are fantastic to watch and the interest (and questions!) that these little discoveries can make often leave even the most knowledgeable of aspiring entomologists baffled at times.
As a mum and an Early Years Educator for quite a few years now, I love how a discovery in nature can open a world of conversations and questions. The language-rich opportunities these discoveries make can lead to articulate and inquisitive children, which I know is what I want for my son and for the children I teach at Bangkok Prep.
But how do we go about making these discoveries in Bangkok? A huge, busy, and exciting city where apartment living for many means the lack of huge gardens to explore, rocks to turn over, leaves to closely observe, or places to create and grow a vegetable patch. What to do? Where to go?
I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to explore a few places here in Bangkok with my family and friends where nature can be found and all those exciting bugs, butterflies, insects, and critters can be discovered and observed.
We visited the Sansiri Backyard T77 Community next to Bangkok Prep’s Secondary Campus on Sukhumvit 77 where we took a lovely afternoon walk. We not only searched for little critters but we picked our blackberries and tomatoes too. There is so much to see and you do forget you are in the middle of Bangkok.
Suan Luang Rama IX also referred to as Rama IX Park is a favorite of ours. A beautiful park where there is plenty of space for a picnic, a scooter ride, and gorgeous gardens full of flowers. You can spend the better part of the day here pottering about in this peaceful park.
Bang Kachao, known as Bangkok’s Green Lung is also a favorite of ours — hiring bikes when you arrive by boat and then set off for an adventure for the day. It’s usually a hot day out but it is worth it to get out and spend the day leisurely riding around in nature.
Before embarking on an adventure of this kind, be ready, be prepared, and remember to be kind to the environment and the little critters you find. A great way to learn about insects, butterflies, and bugs is to just spend time observing them in their natural habitat. See how and where they live and what they do as you carefully and quietly watch them with your child. Ask questions! How many legs does it have? Can it fly? How do you know? What does it eat? Where does it sleep? What do you already know about this insect? Asking open-ended questions uncovers a great opportunity for dialogue and discovery. There is nothing more rewarding than spending time with your child and finding out what they know and what they want to know.
Should you want to look at a bug more closely, carefully capture them using a net or scoop it up in your hands with the soil it is in and pop it in a jar with holes in the lid. These jars can easily be made at home and are a great way to recycle jars and be environmentally friendly. Carefully show your child how to hold the jar to not hurt the little bug, butterfly, or insect you have found. Showing our children early on how to look after animals, no matter the size is a great lesson in empathy and responsibility.
So what happens then at the end of this great adventure and day out? You have this great experience observing and collecting bugs, insects, and butterflies. It’s been a wonderful day outdoors with your child but how do you end a beautiful experience? You can start by suggesting to put the little critters back where you found them. Depending on the age of your child this may be a very easy process or a heartfelt meltdown having to give something up that they so desperately want to keep. While it is a hard lesson, along with the empathy of looking after these little critters comes the responsibility to ensure that they are not harmed in any way. My top tip for the latter, having experienced the absolute heartache and the almost meltdown to follow of not keeping all the bugs, was to compromise with my then 4-year-old. We took photos of all the bugs (and I mean all the bugs) we had discovered and then created an ‘Insect Photo Display’. This was featured on our wall in the lounge area for quite some time (I wanted it gone), but I’ll take a featured insect photo display in our home over a dead bug or butterfly in a jar any day.
Good luck with your adventures and have fun!
Places to Visit:
- Sansiri Backyard T77 Community
91 Soi Rim Klong Prakanong, Phra Khanong Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110
- Bang Kachao
73 Soi Wat Rat Rangsan, Bang Kachao, Phra Pradaeng District, Samut Prakan 10130
- Suan Luang Rama 1X
Chaloem Phrakiat Ratchakan Thi 9 Rd, เเขวง หนองบอน เขต ประเวต, Bangkok 10250
- Lumpini Park
Rama IV Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330
- Benjasiri Park
สุขุมวิท22-24 Khlong Tan, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110
Photo from Unsplash
About the Author
Juliet has been an Early Years Teacher for over 20 years and has lived and worked in Australia, England, and Turkey. She has been in Thailand for nearly 12 years and lives in Bangkok with her husband and son, and is currently working at Bangkok Prep International School.
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