Monday, December 6, 2010

Royal Flora Ratchaphruek

Yesterday we headed out to Royal Flora Ratchaphruek. We were oblivious to the free entry and planned celebrations for the King's birthday, therefore, didn't realise that most of Chiang Mai would be accompanying us.
Ratchaphruek is the national flower of Thailand, AKA, (Cassia fistula L.) or Golden Shower Tree. From what I've read, this immaculately manicured garden park started out as a flower festival in 2006. Amongst the gardens stands the Lanna style Ho Kham Royal Pavilion (behind me in the distance - above). And a little bit closer, below.
Rehearsals were underway for an evening concert on the stage in front of the pavilion.
There were food stalls galore and product displays. We were a little surprised when a flock of these flew over. I'm not sure who or what they are, but they kept the crowd entertained for a good while, swooping and circling overhead. the way, notice the leaf like, ornate street lights! Attention to detail everywhere.
The grounds are dotted with sculptures, topiary plants, ponds, man made hills and of course flowers. It is also host to a lake, Chinese style garden and amphitheatre. My only regret was that I completely over looked the Thai Plant display section. Some photos for your viewing pleasure.
A grey scape
A cream scape.
The lake.
A lunar scape.
Part of the amphitheatre with rock surrounds
One of the ponds and Chinese garden in the background.

Even though there were thousands of visitors at the park, there was plenty of room for all. Some families came prepared and early, camping out and lunching in the back of pick up trucks in the car park. As we left at around 5 pm, the traffic was backed up for three kilometres or so.

Well worth the short trip out of Chiang Mai!

Snap's other blog Chiang Mai Thai


Paul Garrigan said... Best Blogger Tips

Great pictures. From some of those photos you would think the park was practically empty. It must be huge.

Lani said... Best Blogger Tips

We were there too! On Sunday, it's funny how we missed each other, then again, maybe not, the crowds were insane!!!

Mike said... Best Blogger Tips

Snap, lovely photos, the location looks great.

BTW the Ratchaphruek is also one of the three national symbols of Thailand.Along with the Asian Elephant and the Sala Thai.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

Paul the park is indeed huge, but it does pay to be patient (wait for a window of people-less opportunity) and learn where the cropping tool is in Photoshop ;)

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

Lani, yes the crowds were amazing...especially around the time we both left. Sort of glad I didn't stay for the evening festivites.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

*festivities* even :(

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Mike, I didn't know that and was just reading up on it. As a foreigner, I wouldn't have guessed the Ratchapruek flower and Sala Thai as being national seems to me there would be more prominent/well known buildings and cultural landmarks and there is of course the Thai Orchid? BUT...I'm not Thai, so am probably wrong!

I can definitely relate to the Asian Elephant. I'm surrounded by constant reminders (statues) here in Chiang Mai and am often tempted to take photos of them all...but I am only here for one year.

Luke said... Best Blogger Tips

Whats going on, no pictures of food, are you not eating or did you finally take the camera off gleg?

Lukey said... Best Blogger Tips

Hey greggy, i recognized you in the paraglider clip, that was you coming last.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

Lukey...Snap holds the camera ;) and has the food obsession.

Greggy says "weighing in at 85 kg, with one of those fans stuck up your bum, hanging from a would have been coming last too! At your weight, you would have done alright"