After following my career to Bangkok, my family and I wondered how we’d maintain our active lifestyle in the new city we now call home. At first glance, we weren’t sure if this concrete jungle would offer much for outdoorsy people like ourselves or if we’d even find our favorite health foods. As it turns out, Bangkok has everything we need and more!
Sports and activities
I underestimated Bangkok’s ability to provide nature lovers with such a variety of sports and recreational activities. Surprisingly, there are several city parks where you can join aerobic classes, hit the gym, or go boating or swimming. By chance I found a running club, the Bangkok Runners, on an afternoon stroll through Lumpini Park.
A place that’s really popular with bike lovers is the new 23 km trail circling the Suvarnabhumi Airport. Every weekend thousands of cyclists enjoy the undisturbed ride while runners get out and stretch their legs on the shorter 800 m circuit.
My family was also impressed by the variety of international sports leagues in the city. The list includes rugby clubs like the Bangkok Bangers, hockey featured by the Flying Farangs, a large variety of football or soccer clubs, and softball leagues. These organized groups meet regularly in the evenings and weekends and encourage expats to sign up and play their favorite sports from back home.
A quick Google search will reveal endless yoga, meditation, and massage courses in Bangkok. It’s hard not to try these activities because they are fantastic for reducing stress and encourage both the mind and body to relax. I never practiced yoga or pilates before but it has become one of my favorite activities to relax and rebalance myself.
Staying active goes hand in hand with eating healthy. Expats from all over the world can find many of their favorite health foods and supplements in Bangkok’s international supermarkets. With the variety of imported American and European products in Bangkok there’s hardly anything we miss because it’s available right at our fingertips. It’s even easier now to shop for organic produce and specialty foods such as gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free items and support my family’s healthy eating habits. Simply check out the farmers’ markets to get in touch with the many small retailers around the city.
Many expats also agree that there’s something about eating familiar foods that helps them settle comfortably into their new life abroad, especially if its culture is quite different from your own. Bangkok does an amazing job in providing what expats need to feel at home.
Living in Bangkok can help you stay active in Bangkok
I found some of these activities on my own but I also had help from the Living in Bangkok fair. Hosted every year by Bumrungrad International Hospital, this is an entertaining and resourceful event that showcases local community groups and businesses and their expat-friendly resources, activities, and products. You’re in luck because this year’s focus is on staying active! A variety of vendors will be promoting outdoor activities and clubs while others will be showcasing excellent places to shop for healthy foods.
For specific club names, organizations, and events, learn more at Bumrungrad International Hospital’s Living in Bangkok fair. This event will be hosted on Saturday, September 19th 2015 from 9am to 5pm at the Conference Center of the Bumrungrad Clinic Building (21st Floor). In a city as diverse as Bangkok, showing up to the Living in Bangkok fair is a surefire way to discover how easy it is to be active in Thailand’s capital. Register today and join the fair!
By Christine Valencia, a professional writer from the USA who relocated to Bangkok in the summer of 2014 with her husband and two sons. Since then she's embraced her new way of life and finds joy in navigating the environment, culture, and daily challenges of Thailand, the country she now calls home.