When reading about Thailand, one frequently encounters terms such a “lush tropical vegetation”, “abounding in orchids”, and “beautiful natural flora”. It is little wonder then that Thailand has a wealth of flower and botanical gardens to delight the senses as well as educate about the environment.
In Northern Thailand are two outstanding examples – Mae Fah Luang Flower Garden in Chiang Rai and Dokmai Garden in Chiang Mai. Located in front of Dol Thung Palace,
Mae Fah Luang is a 25-rai park with both summer and winter blooms. Types of gardens include stone, water, palm and one dedicated to winter flowers. An early morning visit is recommended for viewing the mist rising above the village further down the slope.
Dokmai Garden is a privately owned and run botanical garden that boasts of 1000 flower species across 10 acres. Along with flowers, Dokmai (literally translates as flower) contains fruits, vegetables and trees. Orchids are
in abundance. This is a place to be
inter-active through harvesting, processing and cooking.
The island of Koh Samet is home to the Sopha Botanical Gardens and is believed to have the widest range of plants and trees in all of Thailand. Along with the flora, one can see traditional Thai architecture, art, pottery, and antiques. These are in the form of three traditional Thai houses, each approximately 100 years old, set amid the gardens and fully furnished in period style.]
One of the best-known gardens is located just 30 kilometers outside of Bangkok. The Rose Garden is a favorite tourist destination as a visit is often combined with a trip to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. With a lake as a central feature, the 75 manicured acres of the Rose Garden invite one to stroll at leisure and enjoy one of the nicest public gardens available.
The grounds and attractions also feature restaurants, Thai boxing, sword fighting and an elephant show.
Recognized internationally for study and research in biodiversity and environmental conservation, the Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden is an aesthetic oasis in the Doi Suthep Pui National Park. Educational activities include training for students, government officials and practitioners of traditional medicines. There are four main trails one may choose to walk. The Arboretum trial features trees grouped according to botanical families. The Climber Trail is a collection of over 200 types of climbing vines. The Waterfall and Ornamental Trail leads one past a stream and waterfall, on to ornamental flowerbeds, and arriving at the Thai orchid collection. The fourth trail is Medicinal Plants.
Additional areas of interest include the Greenhouse complex with a myriad of both indigenous and non-indigenous plants. The Orchid House contains 350 species of indigenous orchids. The Arid House features desert plants. Tropical orchids and ferns are found in the Orchids and Ferns House. Water lilies, water hyacinths, aquatic ferns and various other aquatic plants are in the aptly named Aquatic House.
Whether one’s objective is educational or sheer enjoyment of beauty, Thailand has much to offer. The natural splendor of Thailand is truly amazing.