01 The TripPacker's Review
Royal Flora Ratchaphruek 2011: Ending the year in bloom
The month of December is always one to look forward to. For Thais, it’s H.M. the King’s birth month, for foreigners it’s Christmas, and for everyone around the world it’s almost the beginning of a new year. During this season, the famous hot weather of Thailand dissipates and a cool winter breeze comes along. In addition, beer gardens are open and northern provinces become crowded with locals and tourists especially Chiang Mai. While the cold attracts plenty of visitors, it is also The International Horticultural Exposition Royal Flora Ratchaphruek 2011 that has everyone excited.
Ticket prices are the following;
- Adults (200 BHT)
- Kids/Students/Elderly/Disabled (100BHT)
- Unlimited Access Adults (800BHT)
- Unlimited Access Kids/Students/Elderly/Disabled (400BHT)
- Groups 15-20 persons: Adults (150BHT)
- Kids/Students/Elderly/Disabled (70BHT)
This year is the second time that Thailand has had the occasion to host the event. This goes to show that Thai’s really do have a green thumb and know how to put on a show. The exposition is also to celebrate three special occasions, 1) H.M. the King’s 7th cycle birthday, 2) H.M. the Queen’s 80th birthday, and 3) HRH the Prince’s 60th birthday. For such auspicious occasions, rest assured that this year’s expo is definitely grander than the first or any you’ve ever seen.
The highlights of this year’s expo include the Imagination Light Garden, the Giant Flora Wheel, and the Kids’ Eco Park. Inside the Light Garden, you will get to see butterflies and plants that glow in the dark. What you’ll find amazing is that the plants glow and flicker in accordance to the music being played. The Giant Flora Wheel, as the name suggests, is a 40meter tall Ferris wheel. From here, you’ll get the best view of the entire expo. Definitely must try. Lastly, the Kids’ Eco Park is an exhibit meant to educate kids (and grown-ups) about taking care of the environment.
Don’t think that the expo ends just here. While most of the plants in the International Garden are the same as before, you’ll find that the arrangements are different this time around. Go ahead and check out the rare plants that are new to the expo such as the Blue Poppy from Bhutan. The International Garden is divided into sections with plants coming from various countries all over the world such as Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Kenya, and Sudan just to name a few. In this zone, you’ll also find exhibits from The Royal Project Foundation, The Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden, Charoen Pokphand Group, and many other private sector businesses and governmental departments.
Visitors of the first expo will know that the Lanna-styled building (Hor Khum Luang) is the symbol of the event. Inside this magnificent building is an exhibition to showcase and pay tribute to the perseverance of the Royal family’s initiatives and projects. Around the building you will find the Lotus exhibit, the Orchid exhibit, the Insect exhibit, and many more. Some of these exhibits are permanent while others are temporary. Over the course of 92 days, the temporary exhibits will keep changing.
The expo is really massive but dont sweat it. Simply hop onto the train and let it take you to the exhibits you want to see. Restaurants and restrooms are scattered throughout the compound so dont worry if you get hungry or if you have a small bladder. The exhibits that you’ve read about in this article is but a glimpse at what you’ll really get to see at the expo. So pack your bags and get ready to be mesmerized by all the colors and shapes of mother nature’s flowers.
02 General Info + How to go
Royal Flora Ratchaphruek 2011
|Address||:||Royal Park Rajapruek, Mae-hia Sub-district, Muang District, Chiang Mai 50200|
|Contact no.||:||Call Center 02 610 2011, 053 820 7735|
|Fax no.||:||02 539 7790|
14 DEC. 2011 - 14 MAR. 2012
09.00 - 21.00 (Open until 22.00 on Public Holidays)
|Best time||:||Anytime of the day|
|Highlight||:||Hor Khum Luang, Imagination Light Garden, Giant Flora Wheel, Kids’ Eco Park, International Garden|
How to get there
From town, drive along Route 108 or 121 for about 10 kilometers until you reach the intersection of Ratchaphruek Rd. Turn right and continue driving until you reach the expo.