Puet Suan Lok
The International Horticultural Exhibition Royal Flora Rajapruek (shortened to Royal Flora) is currently taking place in Chiang Mai. The festival began December 14th and is due to continue until 14th of March. This exhibition is referred to locally as Puet Suan Lok (พืชสวนโลก). The last Royal Flora attracted almost 4 million visitors and it seems likely that this year will build on this success.
Dedication and Purpose of the Royal Flora
The Royal Flora 2011 has been dedicated to Royal perseverance. It also commemorates:
- The 7th cycle of his majesty the King’s birthday anniversaries. His highness is now 84 years of age and this is considered a highly auspicious anniversary.
- This year also marks the 80th birthday of her majesty the Queen.
- Their Royal Crown Prince will also be 60 this year.
- The festival is also dedicated to celebrating royal initiatives and royal projects.
The aims of the Royal Flora include:
- To increase awareness of global warming.
- To showcase the abilities of horticulturists in Thailand.
- It is hoped that it will foster international cooperation.
- The Royal Flora aims to encourage tourism in the area.
- This festival also provides the opportunity for the sharing of knowledge about horticulture.
What to Expect at the Royal Flora
The event takes place on 80 hectares of land so there is plenty to see and done. Those who attend the Royal Flora can expect to see:
- Exhibitions featuring documentaries of the good work done by the Royal Family. This can be viewed in Expo Plaza.
- Floral displays from around the world – 30 international gardens
- Exhibits of local horticultural prowess
- Activities to entertain children of all ages – including a large Ferris wheel.
- Fireworks in the evening
- Cultural shows
- 2.5 million trees involving 2,200 species
- Thai tropical garden
- Garden for the King
- The Royal Pavilion is a great example of the best in Lanna architecture.
- Sculpture of a glass tree
- Light gardens that aim to provoke the imagination
- An electric parade
- The miracle of greenitude involves the use of multimedia to demonstrate how magical and wonderful nature can be.
- Garden of South Korea
- Garden of the Netherlands
- Orchid adventure tunnel
- The orchid zoo
- The Garden of Civilian Concepts showcases the use of robotics and other technology in horticulture.
- Bugs world
- Green tunnel and floral carpet
Visiting the Royal Flora
The Royal Flora is a hugely popular event in Thailand. It receives a great deal of media coverage and people from all over the country will visit it. This means that it can become quite busy; especially at the weekends and on public holidays. On a quiet day there will usually be around 20,000 visitors, but this can rise to about 100,000 people per day during busy times. The event is less well known among foreign visitors, but this may be changing. It is suggested that people book their tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. It is also a good idea to get to the event early in the morning before it gets too busy.
The opening hours for the Royal Flora are 8am to 6pm. The site can be found at The Royal Park Ratchaphreuk, Mae Hia Sub-District, Mueang District,Chiang Mai. A single entry ticket costs 100 THB for adults and 50 THB for children and those over 60 years of age. A multiple entry ticket (annual member) costs 400 THB for adults. Those who arrive as part of a group may be able to get further discounts. The Royal Flora website provides further details about ticketing and official accommodation.