Chiang Mai in full bloom all February
THE ANNUAL CHIANG MAI FLOWER FESTIVAL will be held under the concept “Millions Of Blooms – Fascinating Wiang Ping” throughout February.
This month, Chiang Mai Blooms will showcase beautiful and exotic flowers and feature various flower-themed activities, including the legendary parade of floral carriages. And unbeknownst to many, the northern Thailand city has its own variety of cherry blossoms.
At the hill tribe village of Baan Khun Chang Kian, the landscape is an enchanting sea of pastel pink and a sight to behold as the Wild Himalayan Cherry (Prunus Cerasoides) blossom aka Thailand’s sakura.
Unlike the central and southern parts of Thailand, Chiang Mai is slightly cooler and enjoys a lower relatively humidity. In December and January, Chiang Mai experiences their own version of winter – sometimes as low as 10ºC at night, which is the ideal weather for the flowers to flourish.
Baan Khun Chang Kian, sometimes referred to as Khun Chang Kian Highland Agriculture Research Center, is run by the University of Chiang Mai’s Faculty of Agriculture. In an attempt to draw more visitors to the village, the Research Center planted the Wild Himalayan Cherry blossom trees – and it worked.
Today, Baan Khun Chang Kian sees a high number of visitors, mostly locals and a handful of tourists, especially during weekends in January and February.
Getting to Baan Khun Chang Kian could be a little difficult though as the roads leading up to the village are narrow, unpaved and damaged by potholes.
So for those planning a trip out, some research and planning will be necessary. Visitors should consider hiring a songthaew (red taxi trucks) from Chiang Mai City or Wat Phra That Doi Suthep or book a day tour.
Other routes to consider to witness the beautiful landscapes pinkened by the Wild Himalayan Cherry blossom are such as Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Bhubing Palace, and Doi Pui.
Aside from the Wild Himalayan Cherry blossoms, Chiang Mai Blooms has a calendar jam-packed with other activities and experiences for visitors to enjoy on each day of the month.
Several workshops will be held in line with the floral theme such as creating mocktails, tea recipe, fabric art, embroidery, cake decorating, terrarium-making, wood carving, and body scrub and spa.
For the more adventurous, Taweechol Botanic Garden will be offering hot air balloon rides for its Flower In The Air activity.
The month-long Chiang Mai Blooms festival is organized for the first time by the local administration, Thai Hotels Association (Upper North Chapter), and Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, with support from the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Thailand Creative and Design Centre Chiang Mai, and co-operation between the public and private sector.