Pa Nai Krung – Increasing Bangkok’s Green Spaces
Many people say Bangkok needs more green space. The award-winning Metro Forest Project by PTT is one new project adding greenery to the city.
Stroy by Morgan JT
Bangkok has 5.01 sqm of green space per capita (based on Bangkok’s population of 5,702,595 and 28,579,009 sqm of green space), according to data from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. Fortunately, many organisations are working on new green projects in the city, like the award-winning Metro Forest Project by PTT Public Company Limited, which received LEED Platinum NC green building certification.
The project transformed 19,200 sqm of abandoned land on Sukhapiban 2 Road into an educational centre, public park and outdoor exhibition space, with more than 60,000 trees (more than 279 unique species) planted in over 75% of the area. Its opening commemorated HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s 60th birthday while raising environmental awareness and educating visitors about local forest ecology. Construction began in May 2013 and the park opened to the public in 2015.
PTT’s then CEO Dr. Pailin Chuchottaworn adopted the afforestation method invented by the award−winning Japanese botanist Dr. Akira Miyawaki. The method involves planting multiple types of trees to create a forest-like ecology. This helps shorten the maturing time considerably (from what might have taken eight to 10 years down to only three to five).
This is but one of many of PTT’s projects. The company has been committed to afforesting more than a million rai across Thailand since 1994. And even after the project’s completion, Bangkok still needs more green space.
Over the past few years, the land has turned into a beautiful, luscious park featuring a 200-metre long skywalk 10 metres above the ground that leads to a 23-metre-high observation tower offering 360−degree bird’s-eye views of the park and even Suvarnabhumi International Airport, which is about 15 minutes away.
Guests can find information panels along the skywalk that provide details about the various plants. There is a healthy blend of vegetation in the park, which also includes a small waterfall, streams and lakes. There is also a path shielded by a tree canopy that visitors can walk through. There are also four 90-minute guided walks (9 am, 10:30 am, 1 pm, and 2:30 pm) daily and free of charge.
Inside the exhibition building, visitors will find exhibitions with details on afforestation, plant ecology and forest conservation. There are also activities for all visitors, such as taking home young seedlings to grow at home and create a backyard forest or bring them back to plant at the park after a few months to ensure the survival of the plant. On the rooftop of the exhibition building is a flower garden featuring various species of plants and flowers, including orchids. There are wooden seats for visitors to sit and enjoy the view. The rooftop garden has a purpose in itself. The green and colourful flowers help the building blend in with the forest while insulating it from the heat.
While the park is gigantic, the entrance is quite unassuming and easily missed, with only one sign in Thai to mark the spot. Upon entering, visitors are greeted with a seven−minute introduction video (available only in Thai). At the end of the video, the far wall that was the projector screen swings open revealing the entrance to the rest of the park.
Pa Nai Krung
8/6 Sukhaphiban 2 Rd
Take Airport Rail Link to Ladkrabang Station then take a short taxi ride from the station.
Open: Tue-Sun 9am-4pm