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Benjakitti Forest Park

Thai. Name of a public park in Bangkok's Khlong Toei (คลองเตย) District, initially known as Suan Benjakitti (สวนเบญจกิติ) Park, i.e. ‘Five Cycles Park’, and built on land formerly owned by the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly (fig.), which at the time possessed 600 rai (96 hectare) of land, of which it presented ca. 420 rai (67.2 hectares) to Queen Sirikit for the occasion of her 60th birthday, i.e. the year in which the Queen celebrated her 5th birthday cycle according to the Chinese zodiac, and hence the name of the park. When it opened in 1992, initially an area of only 120 rai of the 420 rai land donated was used and consisted of just a narrow stretch of park alongside a 200 by 800 meter long artificial lake, with some walking paths, a cycling track, and an outdoor exercise. When the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly in 2020 moved house from its location in the heart of Bangkok’s central business district to a 220 rai (35.2 hectares) plot of land at Rojana (โรจนะ) Industrial Park in Ayutthaya, the remaining 300 rai (48 hectares) of the donated land was developed into an expansion of the park, introducing wetlands, rare plant areas, and elevated walkways, whilst the original section of the park was simultaneously refurbished. The park officially reopened in 2022 as the Benjakitti Forest Park and soon became a popular destination for outdoor recreation. Officially, the original park is still called Benjakitti Park and the new extension Benjakitti Forest Park, but since the adjacent parks are connected, the names are often used interchangeably. The only reminder of the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly today is a discarded factory building that currently houses the Benjakitti Forest Park Museum and The Bangkok City Model, a huge scale model of inner Bangkok (fig.). In the north, the Benjakitti Forest Park is linked to Lumphini Park (fig.) by an 1.25 km pedestrian bridge with a bicycle trail, which has a green surface and is hence nicknamed the Green Mile. WATCH VIDEO.