Visiting Royal Park Rajapruek

Trip Start Oct 02, 2010
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Trip End Oct 23, 2010


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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weatherwise going to chiang Mai was the best decision I could have done: Whereas it's raining almost everywhere in the country and some parts being even flooded the weather in Chiang Mai ist still good, hardly any rain at all.
Saturday morning I decided to visit Suan Rajapruek (Royal Park Rajapruek) in Chiang Mai. It was already hot in the morning.
In 2006 the Royal Expo Flora was held there:>see the following wikipedia entry
The Royal Flora Ratchaphruek was a flower festival held 1 November 2006, to 31 January 2007, in the Thai city of Chiang Mai that drew 3,781,624 visitors. It was one of the grand celebrations being hosted by the Royal Thai Government in honor of King Bhumibol, the world’s longest reigning monarch.
The Ratchaphruek (Cassia fistula L.) or Golden Shower Tree is the national flower of Thailand.
It is also named "Khun" or "Chaiyaphruek". The reason that the
Ratchaphruek is used to symbolize the nation lies in color: its yellow
blossoms match the yellow of Buddhism; furthermore, the Thai people
regard yellow as the color of the King as well. Moreover, all golden
shower trees bloom at the same time; this unity in flowering is felt to
reflect the unity and identity of Thais.
The event was located in 80 hectares of land at the Royal Agricultural Research Center in Mae Hia sub-district, Mueang district, Chiang Mai Province in northern Thailand.
The 92 days of the expo featured 30 international gardens reflecting
nations such as Japan, South Korea, Belgium, Netherlands, South Africa,
and Canada; more than 2.5 million trees of 2,200 species of tropical
plants and flowers are presented to the world in this exhibition. The
AIPH, the Association of International Horticultural Producers, gave
this expo A1 status, its highest level; such an exhibition occurs only
once a year throughout the world. In addition, a host country can only
hold one such exhibition once a decade.
The festival included many highlights to attract tourists:
  • Gardens for the king There were two features in this zone: one was International gardens, which were presented by 30 participating nations and covered 21,000 square meters; the other was Corporate gardens,
    which covered 27,475 square meters, and were presented by both Thai
    state enterprises, and domestic and international major corporations.

  • Ho Kham Royal Pavilion This building featured Lanna
    architecture, the architectural style of northern Thailand; inside,
    visitors saw pictures of King Bhumibol's works and his dedication.

  • Thai Tropical Garden The enormous 100,000-square-meter garden
    showcased the diversity of tropical horticulture: fruit varieties,
    plants, flowers, herbs, and rare plants.

  • Expo Plaza This was the focus of the exposition's fun-filled
    activities, amenities, and services. Visitors were able to purchase
    products from the Royal Projects and authentic local products from Chiangmai such as handicrafts, paper umbrellas, and souvenirs.

  • Cultural shows A total of 45 cultural shows from various regions of Thailand
    were performed here, including traditional music and dance. In
    addition, cultural performances from other nations were presented in
    this place.

The Thai government had expected an average of 20,000 visitors per
day, with over 100,000 visitors on a crowded day, and 3 million visitors
in total to attend the Royal Flora Ratchaphruek 2006. At the
exposition's conclusion, organizers claimed that the exposition had
injected 27 billion baht into the regional economy.
The Thai government has proposed transforming the site of the
exposition into a permanent training center. Despite some complaints of
corruption and substandard facilities, organizers believed the
exposition achieved its goals of promoting tourism and developing Thai
horticultural industries1.
1"Expo closes with ceremony of allegiance to His Majesty"

The park was open to the public in 2008 with many of the past
highlights still very much in evidence, especially the fascinating
international exhibits. It is thought that it will remain to stay open
as a valued addition to things to do in Chiang Mai. Currently, admission
is free, though this will most likely change. The park receives around
500 visitors a day at the moment, mainly Thai.
It is a very large park with beautiful  landscapes. International different gardens reflecting each the characteristic of the nation. The park is large, too big to walk, especially when the sun is out. It is not a major tourist attraction but popular for Thai visitors on the weekend. Getting there was a bit a pain in the ass, it was hard to find a Songthaew to take me there since it's off the beaten track. Admission now is 50 Baht for Thai people and 100 baht for foreigners. Neither are there any cultural shows anymore. for those interested in something like that I highly recommend Suan Nong Nooch in Pattaya, which is similar beautiful A friendly "Sawasdee krap" from my side and the woman at the counterasked me whether I lived in Thailand, I said yes.
that small lie made me pay only the Thai price again.
Since the Park is quite big I was happy to take a tram around. But that's the reason for the poor quality of the pictures. Most are just snapshots being taking out of a ongoing tram.I hope you excuse that fact. Still I think they give an impression of the beauty of that place. I stayed there for about 2 hours and when it was close to noon I wanted to go back since it was very hot. Next time I'll get there even earlier and I highly recommend to get there by car or motorbike by oneself too!
Getting back was even more complicated than getting there. When I asked the staff at the entrance about a Songthaew he worried about me because there were not any. In the end he gave me a lift on his motorbike for about 3 kilometers down to the main road from where I took a Songthaew back to town. Another great example of true Thai hospitality:)
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