3 Mar 2013

A quick visit to Benjakiti Park

The plan was to go to the cinema to watch Park Chan-wook's latest, his Hollywood incursion Stoker; however, we were a bit early so, in order to kill some time before the movie started, we went to the nearby park for a short half an hour stroll. Benjakiti Park is a medium sized park next to the Asok BTS station, but in such a high-rise, developed area of the city, any small oasis of green is more than welcomed. Surrounded by skyscrapers and occupied by a large lake in the center, Benjakiti Park is a peaceful retreat for the urbanites who need a short break from their busy lives.

City palette, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

Most of the people come to this Park in the late afternoon and early evening, once the weather is more bearable; the scenery is very well looked after, there are colorful flowers all around, and the grass looks always green and fresh, the perfect place for a bit of silent reading, for a walk, to take some pictures or, of course, to do some healthy exercise.

Taking turns, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

There were plenty of kids playing in the playground areas, mothers in circles chitchatting nearby, lone walkers, timid couples and fast bikers passing me by but, in a quiet corner, suddenly I could feel how the activity and liveliness of the environment had faded, how the calm was surprisingly pleasant and the motion of the city had completely slowed down to its bare minimum; in the midst of this retreat, some people were praying at a small shrine in utter silence.

Recess, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

There are a few constructions in the park, apart from the shrine, such as some small fountains, a few gazebos for occasional concerts or as refuges agains the usual monsoon rains, a public toilet's stand, and, scattered throughout the gentle slopes and winding walkways, some sculptures and adornments of different kinds.

The elephants & the wheel, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

Even though the park is by no means big, and it is located very near the city center, it actually gives a high sense of isolation: the trees are tall and, when you are walking under their branches, all remains of urban life fade away; only a few concrete sights appear between the leaves, every now and then, to remind us that we are just mere meters away from civilization, after all.

Beyond the fence, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

We had roughly time enough to complete the walk around the whole perimeter of the park in 30 minutes, walking at a photographic speed, which means, as you can guess, slow (the camera would be the substitute of the shell of the snail, in this analogy). The movie would start soon and night was already growing, so we hurried a bit at the end, and left the park exactly when the lamps were being turned on.

Receiving the baton, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

As soon as we left the park gates and entered the underground cave leading to the trains, colors shifted drastically and greens were replaced by grays, sedated breeze replaced by metallic noises. Thats the kind of sharp contrast this city offers to its guests. One of many. 

The circle in the land of lines, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

The circle in the land of lines II, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

Oh! And the movie was not bad, by the way!

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