Sanam Luang Square


Sanam Luang square is the main square of Bangkok and is in fact a giant green oval shaped field. The square is located in the historical center of the Thai capital in front of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the Grand Palace. Once a vibrant Sunday marketplace used to be here, then it was moved to Chatuchak and the site became a hippodrome and a golf course. Today the square is a regular place for the citizens and guests of Bangkok to spend their free time, and for the numerous merchants to sell their simple goods. Here you will see a lot of people coming for a picnic. And if you are lucky enough, you can come across a fortune teller who might reveal something interesting to you.

Already in the times of King Rama I Sanam Luang square was used as the royal cremation ground for the kings and members of their family, as well as an important ceremonial site. The square literary flourishes during the celebration days of king's or queen's birthday, as well as during the Songkran festival – Thai New Year celebrated on April 13-15. Moreover, the spectacular kite competition and the Royal Ploughing Ceremony (which helps to foresee the coming harvest) are also held here.

During the reign of Rama III Thailand was involved in a conflict with Vietnam. So, to demonstrate that Thailand is a fertile and prosperous land the king himself cultivated these grounds in front of the Grand Palace to grow rise! King Rama IV established Royal Ploughing Ceremony and the Ceremony of Calling the Rain here. King Rama V expanded Sanam Luang to celebrate city holidays, while the next ruler used this place as a golf course for the foreigners coming to the country.

The Royal Ploughing Ceremony and the Ceremony of Calling the Rain are annually held here by King Rama IX. In 1982 this place saw huge festivities on Bangkok's 200th birthday and a tremendous celebration of king's birthday. The last cremation took place here in 2012, when a daughter of Rama VI was cremated.

The locals mainly feed pigeons here and sell food bags for the birds, which are better to buy in advance.

Address: situated near the Grand Palace, Thammasat University, the National Museum and the Ministry of Justice.
How to reach: Maharaj pier
Coordinates: 13.7551, 100.49301