The 7 kings statue at Ratchaphakdi Park.

© VespaFoto9/Shutterstock

Ratchaphakdi Park

Hua Hin

Standing 14m high and weighing in at 30 tonnes each, the beautiful bronze statues of Thailand's most revered kings tower over this park with an impressive mountain backdrop. The US$22 million project south of town was built by the military government after the coup in order to inspire loyalty to the monarchy.

These seven kings – Ramkhamhaeng, Naresuan, Narai, Taksin, Phraphutthayotfa Chulalok (Rama I), Mongkut (Rama IV) and Chulalongkorn (Rama V) – from various kingdoms in what is now Thailand, were chosen to represent the most glorious periods of Thai history, and to hammer home the idea that only under a strong monarchy can the country prosper. There was controversy after it was opened due to claims of corruption in the park's construction, but the army investigated itself and declared that there were no irregularities.

Morning visits are best since they face east and there's no shade. They also look nice lit up at night.

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