Don't we just love shopping at Bangkok's Chatuchak Weekend Market (a.k.a. Jatuchak Market)? Even the heat of the summer months deterred few from bargain hunting at its confusing maze of eclectic stalls. But what if there is a way to cool off and get away from the crowd and chaos for a while? The good news is, there is!
Upon existing from Mo Chit BTS Station or Chatuchak MRT Station, the weekend market is the only destination for many. But make a small sidestep from these exits and one would discover a vast expanse of green spaces to get lost in.
One of the older parks in Bangkok, Chatuchak Park was completed in 1980 with the Queen Sirikit Park and Wachirabenchatat Park added later to form a massive green lung in the city. The 2 newer parks are separated from Chatuchak Park by a small road (Thanon Kamphaeng Phet 3). See map at the end of this post.
So before getting into the hot and heavy shopping action on this trip, I checked out Chatuchak Park and the Bangkok Butterfly Garden & Insectarium located within Wachirabenchatat Park. Apart from capturing some of the seens and sights at these parks, this post also attempts to chart the way to the butterfly garden from Mo Chit BTS Station as there are no signposts pointing out the right directions.
|The park is landscaped to please and even though it receives quite a high volume of visitor traffic, the park grounds are clean and well maintained.|
|The park's manmade lagoon doesn't look inviting though and huge catfish lurks in the greyish water. Bought some fish pellets from one of the many park peddlers and teased this monster out for a shot.|
|Neatly pruned shrubs and floral arrangements decorate the park.|
|Many locals enjoy a pinic here or just laze by the waterside.|
|Here's a workout with a view!|
Previously a golf course, Wachirabenchatat Park is the newest of the 3 parks with refurbishment works starting in 1999.
|Bicycles can be rented at about 30bht to cycle around the parks but I have no idea where's the rental station. Next to the drinks stall is a bridge that links to another part of the park.|
|After crossing the bridge, turn right. Finally saw a sign that I suppose is giving directions about the butterfly garden. Would help if there's English on it.|
|Thick foliage and lush greenery. It is a totally different world from the frenzy at the weekend market.|
Bangkok Butterfly Garden & Insectarium
Finally locating the Bangkok Butterfly Garden & Insectarium felt something like a chance encounter because there were no clear and prominent signs to lead us or indicate the various park names. Anyway, ta-da... here we are!
|The enclosure looks pretty impressive.|
|Bangkok Butterfly Garden & Insectarium is open from Tuesday - Sunday, 8.30am to 4.30pm. Entrance is FREE!|
|Dead insect specimens only form a very small collection at the complex. The main feature is the walk-in enclosure.|
|A Common Birdwing Butterfly fluttering its wings while feeding.|
|There are quite a lot of butterflies to see but the species count is not very high.|
|The key attraction here is the Dead Leaf Butterfly (a.k.a. Orange Oakleaf). Their disguise is impeccable so look closely when you pass by a tree trunk or branch.|
|Fruit trays are laid out around the garden for butterflies to feed on and I got to photograph this critter really close. So awesome to see them live instead of pinned to a board.|
|Butterflies aren't the only flights of fancy in the enclosure.|
So the next time you are in Chatuchak, on top of shopping for clothes, bags, furnishings and food at the weekend market, shop for your senses amongst the serenity of the nearby parks and meet the winged locals too!