Udon Thani’s Nong Prajak Park

Udon Thani’s Nong Prajak Park is one of my favourite places to visit in a city which to be fair, lacks a little in terms of things to do during the day. Udon Thani city snoozes during daylight and passionately dance’s through the night, and in many ways Nong Prajak Park mirrors the municipality in which it sits with a resplendent pomp and pride. Nong Prajak is a sleepy pleasure garden during sunlight hours and an energetic playground when the sun finally settles back down to sleep.

Nong Prajak Park

In days long gone, Nong Prajak was known as Nong Na Klua (salt swamp), but was renamed in honour of Prince Prajak Sillapakhom, the founder of Udon Thani city. The park’s main feature is a huge lake with lush gardens drinking at its water’s edge.

Nong Prajak Park is two to three kilometres from the city centre and its location is ideal for mid morning breakfast at one of many open air cafe’s facing the park. Its neighbourhood is also perfect for dining later in the day in an area which has a number of quality and not too expensive restaurants.

The park has a running and cycle track which are popular with keep fit enthusiasts both early mornings and evenings. The lake is stocked with fish, both coy carp and catfish, which you can feed with breadcrumbs but only if the lake’s ducks don’t win the race to get to you first.

There’s sunshine but no ‘moonshine’ at Nong Prajak by virtue of the park being an alcohol free zone which rewards families, friends and couples with a chance to peacefully stroll and picnic in a tranquil ‘green dream’ freckled with colourful flowers and shimmering water.

A children’s adventure playground lets kids bump, bounce and ride away their pent-up energy whilst parents grab a one-eye-shut 40 winks catnap under the shade of a tree, or simply delight in Nong Prajak’s picturesque views. It’s a lark in the park for kids and a reinvigorating chill pill for their elders.

When daylight stifles another yawn and settles its head on a soft feather pillow to sleep, Nong Prajak starts to tap its feet to the beat of the city’s evening music.

Aerobic classes are a regular evening event at Nong Prajak Park and there is also a mini night market whose main mix is food stalls and Thai body and foot massage.

The park’s major events centre on Thailand’s main festivals and no such occasion comes bigger than Loy Krathong, the Festival of Lights, which takes place on the night of the 12th lunar calendar full moon in November. Hundreds of Khom Fai (fabric candle lit lanterns) light up the sky, and candle bearing krathongs (a vessel made of banana leaves) are floated on Nong Prajak’s lake in honour of the Goddess of Water.

Loy Krathong at Nong Prajak is loud and colourful with music and food stalls locking horns to wrestle for the attention of thousands of revellers amid the deafening noise of brightly coloured fireworks whistling into the night sky. For many Thai people Loy Krathong is the best of all Thailand’s festivals and Nong Prajak is the perfect setting for it.

If you are planning a trip to Udon Thani then I can recommend Nong Prajak Park as a very worthwhile place to visit. Below are more photographs from Nong Prajak Park and the delightful breakfast cafe’s opposite.

A big thank you goes out to Udonmap.com forum members who provided me with some valuable information for this post. Thank you very much.

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Martyn

I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

11 Responses

  1. malcolm says:

    Martyn, beautiful park and will put on my list of places to see , we have a friend in Udon Thani , and my plans are to visit this winter if we find the time and money, thanks for the great pictures and the history too , not to long till your next trip to the LOS . Take care and Ciejay sends a big hello. Malcolm

  2. Martyn says:

    Malcolm thanks for the read and give a big hello to Ciejay from me as well.

    So you might be visiting Udon Thani. If you do then I’m sure your friend will take you to Nong Prajak and the city’s museum as well. Other attractions involve putting mileage between you and the city but try to visit the World Heritage site at Ban Chiang.

    Udon has a couple of great night markets which I’m sure you and Ciejay will love if you do make it to Udon this winter.

  3. Talen says:

    Martyn,
    great post and a very beautiful park. Nice to know there is no alcohol permitted too. The many times I have been to Nong Nooch Gardens I’m amazed that they sell alcohol there in every variety.

  4. Martyn says:

    Talen – I do like a beer myself but at places like Nong Nooch I tend to leave it alone or at least limit myself to one. A big public park is hardly the kind of place to encourage drinking and so having an alcohol free zone makes Nong Prajak a winner, especially for families and couples.

  5. Catherine says:

    Martyn, great post – I have a soft spot for Thai parks. We have a few in BKK that I visit for morning walks. And the Tai Chi is a personal aim… soon…

    My neighbourhood park, right above JJ’s, doesn’t allow alcohol either. The many signs stating just that are plastered everywhere.

    I haven’t been to the park in awhile because it’s mostly under water. The governor is promising a dry Bangkok by the New Year… we’ll see. There’s a lot of wet sitting over us at the moment.

  6. Martyn says:

    Catherine – I must admit the thought of taking part in a Tai Chi class in a public park wouldn’t appeal to me. I’d need some of the liquid that’s not allowed to get me over my bashfulness. I’d feel like a spare one at a wedding.

    That’s a long time for Bangkok to dry out and tourism will surely take a huge blow because of it.

  7. Stephan Hilson says:

    It had been a long time since I visited a local park before. But I remember how beautiful and peaceful it would be while staying in the park. I am glad that you have included pictures on your post. It is because it allowed me to capture the beauty and cleanliness of the Nong Prajak park. I wish I could visit Thailand someday and see this park personally.

  8. Martyn says:

    Stephan – Parks are peaceful places to visit and one which is an alcohol free zone helps on that score.

    Enjoy your next walk in the park wherever that may be.

  9. Looks a lot less busy than Lumphini Park in BKK 🙂 ..I’ve never really traveled outside of BKK in the 2 years I’ve been here. Maybe it’s about time to broaden my horizons.

    Footsteps in Asia

  10. Martyn says:

    Christopher – In many ways quiet beats busy everytime. I’ve never been to Lumphini Park but I would guess it’s hard to find a quiet patch in the Big Mango anywhere. To a certain extent Udon has its people free areas.

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