John Quinn

A splendid horticultural experience

A day out at one of Chiang Mai's finest horticultural expositions

It's been a while, but I have finally found time to put finger tips to keyboard and write another blog. This one is about a beautiful and enjoyable day I recently spent at the Royal Flora Ratchaphreuk horticultural exposition in Chiang Mai. It's a mix of pavilions, gardens, events and activities all nestled into a small valley off the irrigation road around 15km south of the city.

Arriving at these sorts of places I am immediately on the defensive in case they charge me more than other Thai tax payers because of the colour of my skin and length of my nose. Fortunately, for my wife at least, there wasn't a tantrum from a farang at the ticket office. Entrance is a reasonable 200 baht for adults with flat or long noses. The entrance fee gives you access to the whole exposition; however, there is an extra charge of 120 baht for the big wheel and 40 baht for a jump-on-and-off electric tram which circumnavigates, without missing anything, the whole site. Children receive big discounts, so the whole day including lunch with my brood of wife and two toddlers in tow cost under 1,000 baht. This is around the cost to my dad of taking my brother, sister, mum and me to Windsor Safari Park way back in 1974.

You can read the objectives of the exposition from the official website As this is a Thai event, the focus is on commemorating important milestones in the lives of members of the Thai royal family. Horticultural knowledge and technologies and other stuff, such as global warming, are also mentioned.

The centre piece of the site is the Royal Pavilion. It's a stunning building and the layout of the site allows a range of breath-taking views of this building. Although it looks exactly like a Buddhist temple viharn, the interior contains no Buddha images. I guess it hasn't been consecrated as a religious building. Instead, where a Buddha image is normally placed is a piece of modern sculpture called the Tree of Boromaphothisom. From a brass-plate inscription just inside the entrance, it seems that the art is representative of key dates and times in the King's life. Adding to the theme, the walls are covered in beautiful hand-painted aspects of the King's life.

There is a range of national and corporate gardens to view. I liked the national gardens as they were showcases of those countries. They are situated around the big wheel and Green Tower Lake. Countries which have good international relations with Thailand such as Japan, China and Bhutan had prominent positions. The USA was, unfortunately, only represented by the high-calorie soda drinks sold at the food concessions. The UK fared even worse. Surely, we could have printed some more money to pay for national gardens to promote our pursuit of peace and democracy across the oil producing nations of the world. I was so disappointed I needed a cold beer - Chang of course.

The corporate gardens were just that - corporate. CP's had a nice restaurant area where you could indulge in plastic sausages and fetid cold meats. I am embarrassed to admit though that it all went down well with the cold Chang.

I have added a photo album to the ajarn Facebook page as I'm sure they are far more interesting than my ramblings and give a far better picture of the place. If anyone is up this way, Royal Flora is well worth a visit. You need to hurry though, as it closes for this year on the 14th of March.

John Quinn is the course trainer at SEE TEFL in Chiang Mai


No comments yet

Post your comment

Comments are moderated and will not appear instantly.

Featured Jobs

NES Teachers

฿47,000+ / month


Essay Editor, Writing Coach, IELTS/SAT/GMAT Tutor

฿50,000+ / month


English Teachers for May Start

฿35,000+ / month


Fun Native English Teachers

฿44,000+ / month


Full-time NES Teachers

฿47,500+ / month


NES English, Science & Math Teachers

฿42,300+ / month


Featured Teachers

  • Khin

    Myanmarese, 31 years old. Currently living in Myanmar

  • Adonis

    Filipino, 26 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Julian

    British, 61 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Maria

    Filipino, 53 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Alex

    Russian, 39 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • David

    American, 56 years old. Currently living in Thailand

The Hot Spot

Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.

The cost of living

The cost of living

How much money does a teacher need to earn in order to survive in Thailand? We analyze the facts.

Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.

The Region Guides

The Region Guides

Fancy working in Thailand but not in Bangkok? Our region guides are written by teachers who actually live and work in the provinces.

The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?

Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?

Need Thailand insurance?

Need Thailand insurance?

Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Ricky Batten from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.

Air your views

Air your views

Got something to say on the topic of teaching, working or living in Thailand? The Ajarn Postbox is the place. Send us your letters!