The grounds where the public hippodrome has operated for 102 years in the Old Quarter will become a public park to commemorate the king.
Three years after the Nang Long Race Course was among several pieces of Dusit’s land reclaimed by the palace, plans for the location were finally revealed. In a recent video View the design of a new park due to be completed by 2024.
As would be expected of any garden honoring a royal, its new name is Mouth: Phrapat Somdej Phra Purumchanakathipet Maha Bhumibol Adulyadej Maharaj Purumnachapit Park. Good luck with that!
The 279 Rai (45 hectares) park is said to honor the late King Bhumibol, who died in 2016. It will contain a monument to the late king and a lake shaped like the Thai number 9 – the ninth in the Chakri dynasty. With two bridges overlooking it.
If that wasn’t enough, the place will have its own motto: “The Garden of Happiness and Sustainability.”
Noblemen opened Nang Loeng in 1916 after King Rama V imported his passion for horse racing from Europe. The racetrack sat amid large tracts of land that had been handed over from ownership for use by the public after the 1932 revolution that ended his absolute rule.
Beginning in 2018, under the new government, the Crown began restoring extensive estates in the old quarter and ending public access. The racetrack, operated by the Royal Turf Club, along with two universities and the 80-year-old Dusit Zoo have been vacated by the Crown Property Bureau. Soon, the former Vimanmek Palace, a museum and tourist destination, was also restored by the Crown. These moves are not discussed much in the public domain due to longstanding taboos. According to the Royal Family Office, the park was designed to reflect royal projects attributed to the late king such as chaipatana turbines (water fountains), flood control projects, and more.
However, the main interest for park-goers is likely to be the vast green space of the place, with around 4,500 trees, bike lanes and outdoor sports facilities expected.