The large oval field in front of the Grand Palace is in effect the nation's front yard. Commonly called Sanam Luang, it's also called Phra Men Ground. The huge open space is the scene of national celebrations on the King's birthday and other important holidays. It's also the place for sad times as well, since it's where royal cremations are held.
Looking north across Sanam Luang
However, you will find people out for an evening stroll or a weekend afternoon picnic all year round. From late February until late April or May, the park is the main place to observe traditional Thai kite flying.
Kites for sale on Sanam Luang, with the spires of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in the background
Sanam Luang is ringed by at least half a dozen interesting places to see, in addition to the Grand Palace. See our Ratanakosin Island map for more information.