As if Thailand’s Chiang Mai was not beautiful enough, the town really springs to life in the first weekend of February as public parks and shops display thousands of bright colored flowers for the Chiang Mai Flower Festival.
Celebrating the end of the cool season, the Chiang Mai Flower Festival transforms the town into a floral Mecca, with beautiful petunias, Damask roses and sterling white and yellow chrysanthemums. With several events throughout the weekend, be sure to head over to Charoen Muang Road for the Flower Festival Parade, which features several decorated floats and tribal Thais adorned in traditional garments.
Where the store fronts and streets are sure to be laden with floral décor for the weekend, all the best action is surely at the public parks, such as Suan Buak Haad, the Ratchapruek Royal Park and the Orchard Gardens, where one can see literally hundreds of species of plants, including ones that are particular to Southeast Asia or are rare hybrids.
For something that would appeal more to the kids, the Tweechol Botanic Gardens on Doi Saket Road has its own petting zoo, museum and camping facilities.
Access to some of these events is fairly easy to sort out, just note that for a few places, like the Queen Sikrit Botanical Garden, access by motorbike is forbidden so be sure to book a taxi. Ratchapruek Royal Park, meanwhile, is located 20 kilometers, or about 12 miles, southwest of Chiang Mai along Canal Road, so once again, your best course of transport is to book a car if possible.
- Contributed by John Reality