One of the biggest events of the year for Chiang Mai is the International Horticultural Exposition Royal Flora 2011. It was originally intended to open during November, but due to the flooding situation in Central Thailand, it was decided to move the event to December. This is not because the site was flooded, the organizers just felt that with rail and bus transport affected, it will be difficult for some people to go. The event will now take place from 14 December 2011 to 14 March 2012.
I visited the expo site last weekend as it is open for preview at the moment for the media and travel agents. It is about 90% finished but already looking very beautiful. The Expo is spread out over an 80-hectare area and features a display of colorful plants and flowers and greenery from Thailand and 30 other countries. The expo is aimed to mark and celebrate the three auspicious occasions – HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 84th birthday anniversary in 2011, Queen Sirikit’s 80th birthday anniversary and Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn’s 60 birthday anniversary in 2012.
Highlights of the Royal Flora Ratchaphruek Fair include the Giant Flora Wheel, Imagination Light Gardens and Kids’ Eco Park. The 40-meter high Giant Flora Wheel allows visitors to enjoy the panoramic view of the entire park. The Imagination Light Gardens has millions of lights and luminous butterflies dancing around to the accompaniment of music. The Kid’s Eco Park features exhibitions and fun activities about global warming to help create the nature loving generations.
The Royal Park Ratchaphruek occupies 80 hectares of land in Mae Hia district in the provincial town of Chiang Mai. It is only 8 kilometers from the airport and has ample parking spaces. Tickets can be bought at the expo at 200 Baht for adults and 100 Baht for children. Tickets can be bought for half price from now until 13 December. The admission is free for senior citizens and children under 100-cm tall. For further details please contact the Information Center of the International Horticultural Exposition at Tel: +66 2 610 2011 (every day from 08.30-19.30 hrs.) Website: www.royalflora2011.com