Ride an electric bus around these huge grounds and get a closer look at the yellow ratchaphruek, Thailand’s national flower.
Royal Park Ratchaphruek is a set of botanical gardens with thousands of species of trees and plants spread across almost 200 acres (80 hectares) of grounds. It takes its name from the national flower of the country, which has a yellow blossom. Learn about the country’s range of eclectic plant life by spending some time in the large complex.
Get around the vast gardens on the electric tram and appreciate the views of the diverse vegetation. The trams have an open top and stop at several stations throughout the complex. Rent a bike for a dose of exercise, while you appreciate the tranquility and scenery of the park. The highlight is the ratchaphruek flower, which is also known as the golden shower tree in reference to its yellow appearance.
Stroll through the spectacular orchid pavilion that holds myriad colorful specimens. Reach the Ho Kham Royal Pavilion to see its wooden façade and tiered roof. Golden features adorn the tip of the roof. The design is typical of the Lanna Kingdom that ruled Thailand from the 13th century until the late 1700s.
Walk along the main paths, which are adorned with palm trees and water fountains. Appreciate the views of the mossy hills in the distance. Lay down a blanket on a sunny patch and enjoy a picnic in this tranquil garden. The park was inaugurated as part of the Royal Flora Ratchaphruek horticultural exhibition in 2006 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s reign.
The gardens open daily from morning until early evening. There is a small fee to enter the site, where the temperature is most comfortable early in the morning.
Royal Park Ratchaphruek is in the Mae Hia district, 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) southwest of Chiang Mai’s city center. Ride a tuk tuk for a reasonable fee from downtown to get here. Embark on the nearby Chiang Mai Night Safari and see the Wat Phra Doi Kham.