by Grace T. Kim
Are you always stressed and don’t know how to relax? Forest bathing—known as the practice of taking a short, leisurely visit to a forest for health benefits—may be a simple solution.
There has been a long history of forest bathing in East Asia, but only recently has the global community taken notice of its health benefits. Since 2004, studies in Japan prove that forest bathing not only lowers your stress hormones (cortisol), but also your blood pressure, pulse rate, and regulate your nervous system. You don’t even have to hike or conscientiously meditate. You just have to be in the surrounded by an abundance of trees to receive the benefits. Let’s not forget that trees provide an abundance of oxygen, “life force” energy (qi), and an overall calming ambiance.
Apparently, the body reacts to the biorhythm of nature and the aromas from the tree’s oils that promote good health. Our bodies were meant to be in nature so it is no surprise that we would feel at peace while forest bathing.
You’re probably wondering where we could find a forest nearby? The obvious solution would be to travel up north to Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai, but how about something more convenient? There happens to be a secret man-made forest in Bangkok by Suvarnabhumi International Airport. It is called PTT Pa Nai Krung (or PTT “Forest In The City”), a 1.9-ha reforestation project developed by, the PTT oil and gas company.
Enjoy the 30-minute skywalk trail just above the canopies that takes you to a tower where you can get a bird’s eye view of the green space. Trails on the ground provide an optimal forest bathing experience with an open sitting space to admire the abundance of green while having a snack. Spend a weekend morning or afternoon at this mini escape from the concrete jungle. Breathe in the green, and recharge your batteries.
How to get there: Take the BTS Skytrain to UdomSok, then take a taxi to the location
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed on Mondays
How much: Free