Whether it’s as part of a workout or simply as a way to beat Bangkok’s otherwise inescapable heat, heading to a refreshingly cool pool is a great addition to your stay in Bangkok. Many Bangkok hotels and condos come with in-house pools and gyms but, if you don’t have one on hand, these are our suggestions for the best swimming pools in Bangkok.
It might not be something you would expect, but tucked away inside the southeastern corner of Bangkok’s popular Benjasiri Park – itself a stone’s throw from downtown Phrom Phong BTS Skytrain station – there’s a public swimming pool just waiting for you to take a dip. This unheated pool is a lovely spot to cool down and, since it’s not particularly well known and so doesn’t get many visitors, you might just have it to yourself enough to be able to squeeze in a few laps.
While it’s not technically possible to pay a daily drop-in rate, the annual membership fee is so ridiculously inexpensive (50 baht) that it’s still totally worth it, and there’s then just a nominal 15-baht charge per visit. You’ll need to provide a copy of your passport and two passport-size photos, and have a quick, going-through-the-motions and equally inexpensive health check done for bureaucracy’s sake, but that’s possible at nearby clinics as well as hospitals across Bangkok (expect to pay around 150-200 baht).
Daily, 5am-9pm; between Sukhumvit Sois 22 and 24 (BTS Phrom Phong)
With a pretty special view over the huge expanse of green space that is Bangkok’s famous Lumpini Park, the SO Sofitel hotel in Sathorn is the home of monthly pool parties that are as much a place to be seen as they are anything else.
The parties attract a trendy, attractive crowd of models and others from the who’s-who of Bangkok life – but, even when there’s not a party on, the Sofitel’s pool is a great place to catch a few rays, take a dip, and enjoy a cocktail with a killer elevated view of the park.
2 North Sathorn Road (BTS Sala Daeng or MRT Lumphini); 02-624-0000; www.accorhotels.com
Newly opened Blue Parrot, out the back of popular Sathorn Latin bar Revolucion and run by the same people, is a French-inspired family-friendly spot that includes an all-day garden bar and restaurant, a petanque strip, and an attractive pool complete with floats and inflatables.
The pool itself is on the small side compared to many Bangkok hotels, but that’s more than made up for by the relaxed, kid-friendly daytime vibe, and it’s nevertheless a pleasant spot to take a dip. Solid European dishes and French-inspired wines, beers and cocktails are available – and the pool is open – from late morning until late night.
Wednesday to Monday, 11.30am-11pm; 50 Sathorn Soi 10 (BTS Chong Nonsi); 02-235-4822; www.facebook.com/blueparrotbangkok
A fairly new arrival, W Bangkok has shaken up the Thai capital’s high-end hotel scene with its trendy, classy and sophisticated approach – and that includes with the pool. This eye-catching pool is the perfect place to relax during the day, while of an evening it takes on a party vibe, with tunes to bring the place alive. And the party continues downstairs at Woo Bar, where weekly men’s and ladies’ nights are among the highlights alongside the stylish, cutting-edge design – it’s another of those places that you just need to be seen in Bangkok.
106 North Sathorn Road (BTS Chong Nonsi); 02-344-4000; www.whotelbangkok.com
Since drop-in rates for Bangkok gyms can be hard to come by, popping in to use the pool at the nearest fitness centre might not be the most convenient option for those visiting on a short trip. That said, it’s a good choice for those living in Bangkok but without access to a pool at a condominium or housing complex. Most high-end gyms in Bangkok have large, well-maintained pools, often complemented by hot tubs, steam rooms, and saunas.
At Expique, we’re experts at showing you the unique parts of Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand that most tours don’t take you to – and which you probably won’t discover on your own. Joining one of our tours or experiences (or having us create a custom tour for you) is a great way to make the most of your time in Thailand and ensure you leave with a memorable experience.
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Where is your favourite place to swim in Bangkok? Let us know in the comments!
Photos by Vee Satayamas; SO Sofitel; Blue Parrot; W Bangkok; WE Fitness Society
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