Nakhon Sawan officially opened a manmade riverside park that locals are comparing to Seoul’s famous Cheonggyecheon public recreation space.
Built along the banks of an estuary of the Chao Phraya River and terminating at the Pak Nam Pho waste-treatment plant, the kilometer-long urban park offers sidewalks, bridges and piers over the water and exercise areas.
Residents who have been to South Korea said the new landmark reminds them of Cheonggyecheon, a natural creek that ran through Seoul until after the Korean War, when the “khlong” was paved over and an elevated highway erected over it.
At the time it was hailed an example of efficient urbanization, but times changes and Seoul residents began demanding more parks and green areas. So the highway was torn down, the concrete ripped up and 120,000 tons of water pumped back into the now-putrid waterway to bring it back to life.
Being that the Pak Nam Pho Khlong is now an open waterway – water enters from the Chao Phraya but cannot exit – residents feared it would become stagnant and foul. But Nakhon Sawan officials said the wastewater treatment plant will help circulate the water, replacing river water with treated water.