More open space for the public on the former Tobacco Monopoly land
Landscaping of the 170-rai area, which includes lots of water features and man-made hills, is being supervised by the Royal Thai Army. Known as the Benjakitti Forest Park 2, it features many of the mature trees that shaded the factories in the Tobacco Monopoly grounds.
Right now, during construction, this vast project resembles a lunar landscape, with its numerous varying contours.
But its natural look will be in stark contrast to the first phase which is much more formal, with most of its recently planted trees arranged in neat rows. Species from every province in Thailand are represented.
This latter 61-rai park is already proving popular with cyclists, who are no longer permitted on the original lakeside park. It also boasts a concrete path for joggers.
Benjakitti Forest Park 3 is expected to open to the public early 2022.
It is believed that the third 89-rai phase will feature museums, solar panels and a tower to serve as a Bangkok landmark. No date has been given for its completion.
The Tobacco Monopoly, which once owned the entire 450-rai plot, moved its headquarters to Rojana Industrial Park in Ayutthaya back in 1991. In 1992, 130 rai of the land was turned into the current Benjakitti Park, most of which is the lake. The total area is considerably bigger than Lumpini Park, which covers some 360 rai.
Elsewhere in Bangkok, the Royal Turf Club on Phitsanulok Road, is to be converted into a public park devoted to the memory of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, it has been reported.