Sanam Luang is the expanse of open land situated in front of the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo in Bangkok. The name Sanam Luang translates as ‘Royal Field’ and the thirty acre plot of land has been used for royal ceremonies and cremations throughout the centuries. The most recent royal cremation was for the king’s sister, Princess Galyani, with the ceremony held at Sanam Luang in 2008.
Major renovation and landscaping work began at Sanam Luang last year. The make-over is scheduled for completion later this month in time for this year’s Royal Ploughing Ceremony which takes place annually at Sanam Luang in May. It will be interesting to see what impact the restoration work has on the area which has always been a colourful place to visit. There has previously been an eclectic mix of astrologers, amulet sellers and food vendors who set up stall in the shade of the tamarind trees to take advantage of the auspicious location. Kite flying has also been a tradition at Sanam Luang from February to April. The restoration work has already had a positive impact for some of Bangkok’s homeless population who previously slept at Sanam Luang in the evenings. New shelters have been built in other areas of Bangkok for the homeless and it is hoped that the renovation work and new security measures (including CCTV and security patrols) will make Sanam Luang a pleasant and safe place to visit in the evening as well as the daytime.
photo from Bangkok Post