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 ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 300 words.)

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