Nong Prajak Park is the largest municipal park in Udon Thani City and the main leisure facility for the city’s residents.
Nong Prajak Park is open daily from 04:00 to 20:00 and admission is free. There is a strict prohibition on drinking alcohol in the park which is actively enforced so its not a good idea to go there to drink beer.
About Nong Prajak Park
Nong Prajak Park is located in the city centre near Wat Pothisomphon, around the edges of a large man made lake. The most famous features of the park are the four large yellow plastic ducks floating in the lake installed, rather shrewdly as it turns out, as a tourist attraction.
Nong Prajak Park is named after the founder of the city, Prince Prajak Silapakom. Prince Prajak Silapakom was the 25th son of King Rama IV who was given command of one Siam’s armies at age of 20, in 1885, and sent to repel Chinese bandits who had invaded the North Eastern Region of Thailand. Prince Prajak Silapakom achieved a quick victory and was thereafter made Governor of the Region. In 1893 he moved his capital from Nong Khai to the area which later developed into the city of Udon Thani.
Nong Prajak Park features a running and cycling track around the outside of the park with a one way system in place; people using the track must travel anti-clockwise or alternatively use the pavement which runs alongside. A lot of people use this track early in the morning and at dusk.
There are also two landscaped recreational areas in Nong Prajak Park protruding into the lake, one on the west bank of the lake and the other on the east bank, which are joined by two bridges spanning central parts of the lake.
The municipal authorities have made significant and largely successful attempts to make Nong Prajak Park a tourist attraction. The park features, in addition to the oversized yellow plastic ducks, a sign that lights up at night saying ‘@Udonthani’, a large statue of an ancient vase of the same style as discovered at Ban Chiang, and a floral clock surrounded by the flags of the member states of ASEAN.
Nong Prajak Park is intended to be a place that people use rather than a botanical garden where you look and don’t touch. The east side of the park has several children’s play areas. Some of the play areas are old and rather than maintain them, the authorities have simply installed newer equipment nearby leaving the older equipment to collect dirt and sit unused next to the functional equipment.
Near the children’s play equipment in Nong Prajak Park are outdoor gym facilities which are also free use. If you go to the park in the early evening you will notice parents making use of the equipment whilst their children use the play areas, which again appears to be another success on the part of the city’s authorities in designing Nong Prajak Park.
Location of Nong Prajak Park
- Nong Prajak Park is located 4.6 km from Udon Thani Railway Station.