It seems like everyone and their mother is playing pickleball these days, and an equal number of people have no clue what the sport is or what it has to do with pickles. With the opening of the new Benjakitti sports complex and its five pickleball courts (which are rammed with players from morning till late) it might be time to give the low-impact sport a go—and in our experience it’s the type of game you can have a beer in between rounds if you fancy.  
What is it? 
Pickleball is often described as a mix of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton. You use ping-pong-like paddles to hit a plastic ball, the court is roughly the size and shape of a badminton court, but the rules are more like tennis. It’s best played with four players at a time, two on each side. Each team takes turns serving, and only the serve-side can score points during a round. Most games are played until one side scores 10 points, but you have to win by two points to end the game. A great way to start out is to join a pickleball group (there are several out there) or hit up one of the drop-in courts around the city—Benjakitti is our favorite right now. Drop-in courts are for everyone, so if you head to a spot alone or with one friend just ask others if you can join.
Low intensity workout
The game is approachable for all ages. We’ve played with college kids and retirees. The plastic ball has holes in it, which make it less bouncy and move slower through the air. The small court means there is also less ground to cover, so you are not going to be sprinting around like a tennis match. All that said, you will work up a sweat. An article in the New York Times late last year mentioned a few studies that concluded playing pickleball was the equivalent of a “moderate intensity workout” similar to hiking, yoga, or watersports. 
What do you need to start? 
Shirt, shorts, shoes, paddle, ball, and court. Some folks bring their own equipment, but every venue we’ve played at offers all the gear you need (except the clothes) for a cheap rental fee or sometimes for free. 

Where to play?

Know another public spot to play pickleball? Let us know at and we'll add it to the list here. 

Benjakitti Forest Park

Photo: Benjakitti's five free pickleball courts / Dietrich Neu

Location: North side of the park, past the parking lot. 
Price: Free
Open: 5am-9pm
Why you should go: The new sports complex at Benjakitti park is one of the best ways to get into pickleball. You will find a mix of new players and experienced veterans. They have both drop-in courts (great for folks looking for new people to play with) and courts you can book through this page. Fair warning, it gets busy here. If you want to book a court, you might have to do it a week in advance. 

Asoke Sports Club

Photo: Asoke Sports Club new pickleball courts / ASC Facebook

Location: Sukhumvit 16 (11/F, Foodland building)
Open: 8am-10pm
Price: B100/hour (drop-in court), B600/hour (private court indoors)
Why you should go: They recently renovated the indoor and outdoor courts here, but a price bump came with it. This is the best location in downtown in terms of pure quality. You get the basic equipment for free, or can shell out B100 premium paddles. Tables and chairs scattered around the club help it double as a social space (the fridge with beers starting at B80 help, too), so it’s not a bad spot to hang around for a bit after the games. They appear to have motel-style rooms here as well, but we’re not going to speculate why. 

Sirisuk Sports & Social Club

Photo: Pickleball courts at the edge of the Sirisuk Sports & Social Club tennis courts / Sirisuk Sports & Social Club Facebook
Location: Sathorn
Open: 7am-6pm
Price: B200/hour
Why you should go: For nearly four decades, this has been a nice little enclave off Narathiwas Road for tennis players of all skill levels. In recent years they added a couple of pickleball courts. At B200/hour, this is also one of the more reasonably priced options, especially in this neck of the woods. You have to rent the balls specifically (B60/ball), which is uncommon, but considering how easy those can get lost we don’t blame them. Paddles are free, though. There are no drop-in games here though so you’ll need to book in advance and show up with a crew. 

Santisuk English School

Photo: Parking lot pickleball courts at the school / Santisuk English School Facebook

Location: Bang Kapi
Open: Sat 8am-12:30pm, Sun afternoon-7pm.
Price: Free for first-timers, B200 after that. (All games are drop-in.)
Why you should go: The parking lot of the Santisuk English School might seem like an unusual place for two of Thailand’s national pickleball players to hone the game, but you will find them playing here. The school welcomes players of all skill levels to join drop-in games in the parking lot, which has been transformed into a place to play pickleball and basketball. They also have gear you can rent, borrow, or buy on site. 

Beat Discovery

Photo: Pickleball tournament held at Beat Discovery / Thailand Pickelball Association

Location: Udom Suk
Open: 7am-10pm
Price: B300/hour (before 5pm), B400/hour (after 5pm)
Why you should go: Beat Discovery is an indoor-outdoor sports complex that just opened this past May and specializes mainly in tennis, offering lessons for players of all ages and skill levels. They do have four pickleball courts, but you will be paying a premium for them. Right now, reservations happen through the complex’s social media pages, so you’ll need to DM one of them to get a spot. If you live outside of the city center on that side of town, this is a good option. 

Shot Selections Beach Club

Photo: Shot Selections Club / Facebook

Location: Ari
Open: 8am-8pm
Price: B400/hour, B450/hour (after 6pm)
Why you should go: Known by pickleball players all over the city as the place to play and get a very decent fish & chips, Shot Selections Beach Club offers space to play a wide range of paddle sports, like beach tennis, in addition to pickleball. The man behind the cafe is Piyatat “Ake” Surasawee, a well known tennis coach with over two decades of experience who is also a certified pickleball coach under the Professional Pickleball Registry. Rock up with the crew, smoke some games, and then kick back with some fish and chips and a beer—that’s the kind of pickleball we want to play.