Walking The Green Mile in Bangkok
Officially called the Bangkok Green Bridge, but more commonly known as The Green Mile, I was surprised I had never heard about this skywalk before- I had lived in the city for long enough, and spent countless afternoons chilling out in Lumpini Park. The bridge originally opened 18 years ago and has just undergone a massive restoration project.
Extended in length to 1.6 Kilometres (or one mile) and painted green from top to bottom. The bridge was successfully re-branded. I’d recently brought myself a new camera which I wanted to get to grips with, so I settled on the Green Mile as the perfect candidate for a shooting location.
What is The Green Mile Bangkok
The Green Mile in Bangkok (not to be confused with the Frank Darabont movie)! Is an elevated walkway passing through the urban metropolis of Bangkok. The skybridge is both a cycle path and a walkway- the trail is divided into two sections with one side for cyclists and the other side for those on foot.
The Green Mile connects two of Bangkoks’ most famous parks together, Lumpini Public Park and Benjakiti Park. It’s a fun place for a relaxed walk and to take in the views.
As you walk across the bridge from one park to another. You’ll get a unique insight into the local life of Bangkok’s residents. The route passes directly through a local community living on the canal banks. You’ll notice a huge contrast difference between modern Bangkok with the towering skyscrapers in the background and ‘Authentic’ Bangkok in the foreground, where people would have lived simpler lives.
From the walkway, there are many sights to behold- canals and klongs pass right below. And next to the trail, at some points. Artificial vines have been planted to grow over the top and provide cover and shade on the trail.
I get the feeling however that the local residents were not too keen on the construction of the Bangkok Green Mile- for some their homes were plunging them into total darkness with the walkway constructed above. For others, privacy was taken away with two-story homes now being at eye level from the walkway.
Food Vendors Along The Green Mile
While it’s evident some locals object to the bridge. Other residents along the route have embraced the Green Mile for what it is. Thai entrepreneurship is shining bright here.
About halfway along the bridge, we encountered a sign with instructions to ring the bell. Ring the bell for what, for why? Well, underneath the bridge there are a number of small shops, restaurants and market-type cook-to-order food stalls.
There is an XXL size menu strapped onto the roof of the building below and a pulley system with a rope and bucket.
You ring the bell to get the attention of the guy downstairs, ‘Mr Boy’ was his name(according to the sign). He will then hoist the bucket up on a rope, you write down your order on the notepad and place the money in the bucket. Your food will then be cooked, or items selected and hoisted back up to you on the Green Mile Skybridge! Incredible!
There’s always a business opportunity in Thailand, even on the Green Mile you can get Phad Thai and bottled waters!
When Did The Green Mile Open
The Bridge between Lumpini Park and Benjakiti Park originally opened back in 1999. But it wasn’t known as the Green Mile then.
As part of the restoration project which was completed in June 2022, the walkway was widened in certain areas and now includes resting points where visitors can take a break, enjoy the scenery, and take photos of the landmarks. The rivers and canals were also cleaned, and the bridge was reinforced to increase its strength and stability. In addition, street lighting was installed, CCTV cameras were added, and stainless steel fences were erected on the bridge.
The most striking change was the new color of the bridge, which was painted a bright shade of green. This color change spanned the entire walkway, giving it the nickname ‘The Green Mile’. While the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority officially named the walkway the ‘Bangkok Green Bridge’, the name ‘Green Mile’ quickly became more popular.
How to Get to The Green Mile
We started the walk from the Lumpini Park side of the Green Mile. The entrance is not obviously marked but it is easy enough to find. To find the entrance to the Bangkok Green Mile, walk to the North Eastern Corner of the park you should see the Lumpini Park School.
There is an exit right next to the school, you’ll need to walk out of Lumpini (actually leave the park onto the road)at the exit and turn to the left. After a few meters, the trail entrance can be seen. It starts with a bright green staircase which cannot be missed.
Public Transport to the Green Mile in Bangkok
We used the Bangkok BTS Skytrain at both ends of the walkway and it was definitely the most convenient mode of transport. We rode the BTS Ttrain to Lumpini and disembarked at Saladaeng Station which is closest. After completing the Green Mile walk, we boarded the BTS train again at Asok Station- a short walk from Benjakiti Park.
How Long is The Green Mile Bangkok
As the name suggests the Green Mile is precisely one Mile Long or 1.6 Kilometers. It is not a long walk and it can be completed in 20 or 30 minutes, but it is a pretty route. We stretched out the walk to more than an hour by stopping along the bridge to take photos and admire the views. We also spent a few hours just hanging out in Benchakiti Park when we arrived turning the walk into an almost full-day activity.
So that’s all you need to know about the Bangkok Green Mile, but if you’re looking for more inspiration for your time in Bangkok you might want to check out these posts too: