Photo: An inner city escape.

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Sanam Luang

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Sanam Luang (Royal Field) is a 30-acre flat oval of grass rimmed by several important shrines and buildings, including the Grand Palace to the north. When not occupied by ceremonies or royal funerals, it’s simply a public park hosting picnics and joggers at sundown.

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The space was used to grow rice for nearly a century following the founding of Bangkok in 1782, and it’s still the venue for the Royal Ploughing Ceremony. Held annually in early May, this holiday officially marks the beginning of rice growing season and is presided over by the king or crowned prince. Also hosting elaborate royal funerals, the field is alternately known as Thung Phra Men (“Cremation Ground”). For months after King Bhumibol died in late 2016, a streams of black-clad mourners waited here to pay their respects.

Fly a kite. Photo taken in or around Sanam Luang, Bangkok, Thailand by David Luekens.

Fly a kite. Photo: David Luekens

Sanam Luang also draws revellers for holidays such as King Bhumibol’s birthday on December 5 and the Western New Year. On evenings like these you’ll find loads of food and traditional Thai performances that attract travellers, working-class Thais and government officials showing off their uniforms. From mid-February to April, the field hosts hundreds of kites flown competitively and for leisure.

While the heat can be unbearable on the shade-less field at midday, dawn and dusk are great times to relax on the grass while gazing at the ornate spires and chedis of Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace. Important buildings to the west of Sanam Luang include the National Museum, Wat Mahathat and Thammasat University, while Thailand’s Supreme Court convenes to ... Travelfish members only (Around 300 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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How to get there
The northern side of Sanam Luang is located at the west end of Ratchadamnoen Avenue and the giant field is impossible to miss while exploring Bangkok’s historic district. The closest express boat piers are Tha Chang and Maharaj.

Sanam Luang
Between Ratchadamnoen Nai Rd and Na Phra That Rd
Open sunrise to sunset, daily
Admission: Free

Location map for Sanam Luang

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