Sanam Luang

(Thai: สนามหลวง) is an open field and public square in front of Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand

Sanam Luang is located in the Phra Nakhon district, the historic center of Bangkok.

Sanam Luang is a rare green space, totalling around 30 acres and originally being used for the cremation of members of the royal family. Today it is used for the Royal Ploughing Ceremony, when the King opens the rice-growing season each May as well as for the ritual bathing of monks during Songkran. 
For the rest of the year, the flat field is used for strolling, picnicking, football playing, the occasional concert and political rally and flying kites. The latter is particularly popular in February and April. Various hawkers, selling everything from fortunes to amulets, dot the outskirts of the park including the footpaths on either side of the road.

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The roaming stall vendors or most interesting to tourists in the evening with less heat of the day and a sense of romance with soft lighting among the trees and the stalls overhead.

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The park is ringed by a metal fence, which is closed at night, but entry is free during the day.The heart of royal prestige, Sanam Luang is an oasis in the middle of Rattanakosin Island. It offers splendid views of the Grand Palace, Thammasat University and the National Museum. The space is part park, part parade ground and part paved walking area and is used for large gatherings. Recent events show that the place is very popular, with mass cycle events starting from here, exhibitions and royal events

History:  Sanam Luang has been used since the time of King Rama I. It was the place for royal ceremonies and functions. Including the cremation of the Prince of the Palace to the Front, who was Rama I's brother. King Rama II followed this example of performing royal ceremonies there, including the cremation of the Prince of the Palace to the Front of his reign, who was also his beloved brother. The Royal Chronicles mention the close link between the two brothers as follows :

In 1855, King Rama IV changed the name from Thung Phra Men to Thong Sanam Luang, but the name is now shortened to Sanam Luang.Sanam Luang was officially known as Thung Phra Men (the royal cremation ground) (Thai : ทุ่งพระเมรุ). It has been used as a site for the cremation of kings, queens and high-ranking princes since the reign of King Rama I.

The present king uses Sanam Luang annually on 11 March, for the Ploughing Ceremony and the Ceremony of Calling the Rain. There were various ceremonies performed at Sanam Luang, including the Bi-Centennial Celebration of Bangkok (Thai : พระราชพิธีฉลองกรุงรัตนโกสินทร์ครบ 200 ปี), in 1982, the grand celebration to the king's birthday (Thai : พระราชพิธีกาญจนาภิเษก) and the cremation for Queen Rambhai Barni of King Rama VII, in 1986.
The last cremation that took place there was for the King Rama VI's only daughter, HRH Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda in 2012.

The Fine Arts Department has listed Sanam Luang as a historical site in 1977, announced on 13 December 1977, according to the Royal Decree (book 94 part 126). The area of Sanam Luang is about 30 acres (74 Rai 63 Wa).

It was written in the Royal Chronicle as follow that : "In front of Wat Mahathat, Sanam Luang lies between the Royal Palace and the Front Palace. When royal cremation was held at the Phra Men Ground, the pyre set up in the centre with the Royal Palace Pavilion to the south and the one of the Prince of the Front Palace to the north. The music from the Royal Palace and from the Palace to the Front would be played on opposite sides of Sanam Luang".
Sanam Luang was officially known as Thung Phra Men (the royal cremation ground) (Thai : ทุ่งพระเมรุ). It has been used as a site for the cremation of kings, queens and high-ranking princes since the reign of King Rama I.
In 1855, King Rama IV changed the name from Thung Phra Men to Thong Sanam Luang, but the name is now shortened to Sanam Luang.

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Sanam Luang known as the Royal Fields is a huge park opposite the grand Palace open to the public and home to festivals and royal occasions, SM hub

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