Apr 30, 2019

Let's admire Banana Flowers and Thai Orchids on the Foothills of Doi-Suthep-Pui National Park and enjoy the Canopy Walkway

See the location on Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden Google Map by #treasuresofthailand

Picture by marhas
Banana flower on Banana Avenue in Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden

Just a short trip from Chiang Mai, on the Mae Rim-Samoeng road, you will discover Thailand's oldest botanic garden: Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden (สวนพฤกษศาสตร์สมเด็จพระนางเจ้าสิริกิติ์), previously named Mae Sa Botanic Garden, ranges between 600 and 1,200 meters across 2,600 forested acres, clinging to the foothills of Doi-Suthep-Pui Mountain and National Park. Dedicated to the conservation of Thai flora, it holds collections of, and carries out research on rare, endemic and endangered species as Thai orchids, cycads and palms and is a centre centre for scientific research.

You will not only find four exhibition conservatories and eight glass houses, but also a network of trails for walks through the forested area. There are three trails, each one for 30 to 60 minutes long walks, taking you to the Thai orchid nursery and a rock garden, passing by the Mae Sa stream and Mae Sa Noi waterfall, or taking you to an arboretum (banana, palm, pine) and a collection of vines or climbers (weak-stemmed plants that attach themselves to other plants or objects). Along the trails you will see many of Thailand's flowers, trees, plants and herbs in their natural surroundings.

Picture by marhas

At the top of the hill lies the vast Greenhouse complex, opened in 2001 by HRH Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, and comprising four exhibition conservatories and eight display glasshouses containing a myriad of indigenous and other exotic plants.

The Tropical Rainforest House: Native palms, ferns and plants of the ginger family.

Picture by marhas

Picture by marhas

The Aquatic House: Over 100 species of water plants that grow in water or at the edge of the lakes, rivers, streams and marshes, for example water lilies, aquatic ferns and water hyacinths.

Picture by marhas
Water lilies

The Arid House: Here you see impressive Cacti collections and agaves from America, euphorbias and aloes from Africa and native euphorbes as well as a collection of Cycads.

Picture by marhas

Picture by marhas

Picture by marhas

The Orchids and Ferns House: The main focus is on the native orchid species for which Thailand is renowned, with more than 350 species on display.

Picture by marhas

Picture by marhas
Carnivorous orchid

Picture by marhas

The name Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden has been established in 1992.

The newest attraction is the Canopy Walkway with a height of over 20 meters and a length of more than 400 meters. It snakes its way along the treetops in the forest area. The iron grating walkway has steps at some points, two observation places with glass floors, four gazebos on the ground as well as restrooms. It has been opened on Dec 1 2015. The aim is to educate visitors about the variety of plants in this rainforest. Also bird watchers will like the way. The QSBG plans to add a suspension bridge.

Located directly across from Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden, the Botanic Resort offers 60 rooms. Quite good reviews on tripadvisor.com.

The Mae Hong Son Loop

View from Kiu Lom Viewpoint towards East

View from Kiu Lom towards West

View towards a Village near Soppong

Read more:
Your Guide to Chiang Mai
Your Guide to Pai
Your guide to Mae Hong Son

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First impressions of Pai

See the locations on Pai and Soppong Google Map by #treasuresofthailand

After landing in Pai Airport. You fly from Chiang Mai with www.sga.co.th SGA

A quiet day on Thanon Chaisongkram in the centre. Hilltribe-women are selling their handicrafts.

Bridge over Pai River, seen from River Corner Resort.

Bamboo Rafting on Pai River, picture by dav

One more quiet street in the centre.

Bags to buy

When the night falls in Pai, picture by Plynoi

Picture by Plynoi

Landscape around Pai, view from Bella Villa Resort. Pai lies 508 meters above sea level. The highest mountain, Doi Jik Jong, is 1972 meters from sea level.
Find Map of Pai Town and Maps of Pai Town and District.
And more about Geography and Nature. And then read about the development of tourism: Pai's Growing Pains.

Discover more:
Your Guide to Pai

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Buses from Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son to Pai

Buses from Chiang Mai to Pai: From Chiang Mai's Arcade Bus Station without and with Aircondition: 7 am, 9 am, 10.30 am, 12.30 am, 2 pm and 4 pm daily. For the 134 km you take three hours.

Buses from Mae Hong Son: 8.30 am. 11 am, 12 am, 2 pm and 4 pm daily. These 111 km take three to four hours.

Buses in Pai for Chiang Mai or Mae Hong Son: 8.30 am, 10.30 am, noon, 2 pm and 4 pm.

See Busstation in Pai on Pai Google Map.

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Nan น่าน - beautiful nature and wonderful temples

See the locations on Nan Google Map by #treasuresofthailand
See the Thai Meteorological Weather forecast for Nan
See Your guide to Nan น่าน

Picture mauve55

Picture Adrian Whelan
The hills of Nan

Picture fredalix - อาลิกส์

Did you ever hear about Nan? No? You are among many tourists, who believe they know Thailand well - and have no idea of this provincial capital with around 25000 inhabitants in a quite secluded valley in Thailands remote north, flanked by mountains, near the Lao border. So you cannot imagine the treasures you will discover here. Who visits Nan is rewarded: by a spledid nature, formed by rivers and evergreen mountains, and by cultural riches as superbly-crafted Buddha images, vibrant murals and elegant temple architecture. Nan has long been a crossroad of cultures, with people from nearby lands — modern-day Laos, Myanmar and China — arriving here to trade their goods for the local salt, which is still mined near the headwaters of the Nan River to the east of town. A local historian dated the founding of the town to the mid-14th century. Nan has been strongly influenced and sometimes controlled by the nearby kingdoms of Sukhothai, Lan Na, Lan Xang (Laos) and Burma - and by the ethnic group Tai Lue: people, who immigrated from southern Yunnan in China, somtimes forced, sometimes voluntarily. This immigration continued until the 1950s. Read more about the ethnic groups in the province of Nan on nantouring.com. See also the video Unseen in Nan แอ่วน่าน

Does all this sound promising to you? Then follow my litte guide to the treaures of Nan.

The National Museum

You start by looking at the beautifully restored colonial building in the centre of Nan, erected in 1903 by Phra Chao Suriyaphong Pharitdej (Nan’s then independent ruler). Inside you find textiles and household implements of local ethnic groups like the Tai Lu, Htin and Khamu as well as a variety of Buddha images. And a black elephant tusk is thought to be over three centuries old; it is held aloft by a garuda and has become Nan’s principal icon.

Temples in Nan

Wat Chang Kham วัดช้างค้ำวรวิหาร: Built from 1406 onward. The "Monastery of the the Relic Supported by Elephants" stands near the National Museum. The first building was the chedi (behind the viharn). Below a guilded upper part you discover a square base with six elephants on each side. "In Buddhist cosmology this represents a the structure of Mount Meru, the central world-mountain whose base is supported by elephants", explains orientalarchitecture.com. Inside the viharn you find a massive gilt Buddha showing influences from Chiang Saen, Sukhothai and China on a platform between richly-decorated pillars. He is flanked two bronze Buddha images from 1426-1427 (Sukhothai period). To the east of the viharn stands Thailand's largest ho trai (library) with two garudas on the front facade.

Picture mauve55
View from the ground of the National Museum

Picture marhas

Picture marhas

Picture marhas

Wat Hua Khuang วัดหัวข่วง : Across from the museum. This name means "The Monastery North of the Plaza". The main buildung functions as viharn and ubosot. "Its most attractive feature is the front gable with a richly carved eyebrow-shaped pelmet that hangs in front of the portico", notes orientalarchiceture.com. There is a small chedi and a wooden ho trai (library), serving as monks quarter today.

Picture marhas
See also picture by D33montri.ka

Wat Phumin วัดภูมินทร์: Opposite Wat Chang Kham, Nans most famous temple. The monastery was foundexd in 1596. But its present dates from 1867-75, when it was renovated during the reign of Chao Anantaworaritthidej (more about the history on orientalarchitecture.com).Viharn and ubosot are in one building. Very special is the cruciform shape of the wat. Inside you discover four buddhas sitting back to back and famous mural paintings, covering the interior walls, depicting not only scenes from Buddha’s life, but also battle scenes, festival celebrations, the arrival of foreigners in town and locals flirting. Several sections of the murals, which were painted in the late 19th century, have faded, but what remains "shows a high degree of artistry", notes E-Magazine. Read also article on cnngo.com

Picture marhas

Picture Justin Gaurav Murgai
Wat Phumin Wihan

Picture marhas

Picture Nicolai Bangsgaard
Murals at Wat Phumin.

Picture jobjob

Picture jobjob

See also picture by D33montri.ka

Wat Ming Muang วัดมิ่งเมือง: Just 100 metres west of Wat Phumin, in the heart of the city, with Lak Muang City Pillar, read more on orientalarchitecture.com. Wat Ming Muang is a modern temple with freshly painted murals. The City Pillar has faces carved on it, and is known as Mukhalinga.

Picture mauve55

Wat Phra That Chae Haeng วัดพระธาตุแช่แห้ง : Now you cross to the east of Nam River to get deep into history. Wat Phra That Chae Haeng was built from 1354 onward on another location and then moved two times to the present location (read more on orientalarchitecture.com). On a hill beyond Nan River southeast of Nan. A broad stairway is guarded by two huge nagas. Then you cannot overview the slender, 55-metre gilt stupa, built in the Haripunchai style. Have also a look at the mondop and its roof in rustic style. See pictures on baekpae.blogspot.com

Picture fredalix - อาลิกส์

Picture fredalix - อาลิกส์

Picture Pruet

Wat Phra That Khao Noi วัดพระธาตุเขาน้อย : From here, a couple of kilometres southwest of the town, you have the most stunning panoramic view of Nan - and you share it with a huge image of a walking Buddha, who seems to guard the valley. And sunset can be overwhelming here!

Picture by Adrian Whelan
Standing Buddha

Wat Phayawat วัดพญาวัด): Here you find a chedi in Mon style, but constructed after the occupation by the Mon, during the 17th or 18th century. "It is nearly identical in appearance to the Chedi Mahapol at Wat Ku Kut in Lamphun", knows orientalarchitecture.com. See picture by Pisanu

Wat Suan Tan วัดสวนตาล: "The Monastery of the Sugar Palm Grove". Behind the not so old viharn you find a Sukhothai-style chedi from the 14th century. More pictures on orientalarchitecture.com. See picture by martinsilverston

Picture sluj78

Wat Hua Wiang Tai วัดหัวเวียงใต้:

Picture Adrian Whelan

The King of Nan's Teak House

Picture marhas

The Teak House of Nan’s King (Mahaprom road, opposite the rear entrance of Wat Phra That Chang Kham) was built in 1866 with pure golden teak. It has been renovated in 1941.Today it is the home of Chao Sompradhana Na Nan, a woman and her husband. Inside you find various antiques, ancient weapons and original photographs of King Rama V. For visiting contact the owner (Tel. 054 710 605). Read about the history of the kingdom of Nan.

Picture marhas

The House of Chao Fongkham โฮงเจ้าฟองคำ

8 Soi 2 Ban Phra Kerd, Sumon Devaraj road. Museum open daily from 10am to 5pm. A large teak house in classic Northern Thai style set in a beautiful garden, built about 150 years ago. Chao Fongkham was a descendant of Chao Anantaworarithidej, the 62nd Lord of Nan and the father of the last two Lords. In the oldest parts of the house you see planks formed by axe and knife. It is probably the best preserved such noble house in the province of Nan. Read more and see pictures on The Noble House โฮงเจ้าฟองคำ on Facebook. See the gallery by visanu_euarchukiati

More temples in Nan Province

In Tha Wang Pha:

Wat Nong Bua วัดหนองบัว): The "Lotus Pond Monastery", built by the Tai Lue people from 1862 onward, around 40 km north of Nan. Wat Nong Bua is well known for its mural paintings. The Tai Lue people emigrated from southern Yunnan in China, read about the history on orientalarchitecture.com. In the village around the wat you find Tai Lue textiles, which are produced at a cooperative.

Picture sluj78

Picture sluj78

In Pua ปัว:

Wat Ton Laeng วัดต้นแหลง:

Picture Bleumontagne

Picture Bleumontagne

Picture Bleuemontagne

Picture Bleuemontagne

Wat Prang วัดปราง : Here you find Ton Dik Diem (also called Di Diam, Dip Diam or Dik Doi). If you touch this tree, its leaves will shake. See also this video on youtube.com
See more pictures by sunshinethailand

Picture marhas

Wat Phrathat Beng Sakat วัดพระธาตุเบ็งสกัด: The main Buddha image in the local style resides on the so-called Chukkachi base. The back of the Buddha image is decorated with a mirror. That comes from the belief of the Thai Lue people. The Phrathat and the Viharn were completed in 1283, but the current Viharn is not that old. It is located on a hill. The arch on the main doorway shows an image of the god rahu, holding the sun in his hands. See picture by encyclopediathai.org

Picture supercar

Rafting on Nam Wa ล่องแก่งน้ำว้า

You can go for white-water rafting on Nam Wa River from September to February, but be aware, that this can be difficult and dangerous. There is even a Nam Wa Rafting Club. Read more on nantouring.com, siamrivers.com and thailandtraveltours.com. See galleries by Jiffy Gnosty and nantrip.com

See videos by mrkatchai, somchai153 and moohinvideo

Picture pleroma
Nam Wa River

Other attractions in Nan Province

Phu Fa Palace พระตำหนักภูฟ้า: Residencve of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

Silaphet Waterfall น้ำตกศิลาเพชร: You find it southeast of Pua, just off the road between Pua and Ban Nam Yao.

Picture นักล่าน้ำตก
More pictures: See Pong's Site

Doi Phu Kha ดอยภูคา National Park: Mainly forests on limestone mountain ranges, with sources of several streams, for example Pua river, flowing into Nan River and several scenic waterfalls. Doi Phu Kha is elevated 1,980 metres above sea level. Here you can find the Chomphu Phu Kha tree, whose pink flower bunches are in full bloom during February. which - together with Caryota gigas (palms) and Acer wilsonii - can only be found in this park. In the morning you will see a sea of mist drifting across the valleys. You can stay at the national park, see ภูคา 105/1 (นางพญาเสือโคร่ง).

View from Doi Phu Kha in the morning

Caryota giga palm

Comfortable accommodation at Doi Phu Kha National Park.

Khun Nan National Park ที่ทำการอุทยานแห่งชาติขุนน่าน: It lies in Bo Kluea district and Chaloem Phra Kiat District, in the Thai/Lao border area. Sapan Waterfall is the most important waterfall in the park; Huai Ha waterfall has water throughout the year. 1,745 m high Doi Phi Pan Nam is the tallest peak. The Wa River has its sources in the park and flows through it. Resorts at Bo Kluea can be used as a base for visiting the park.

Sapan waterfall

At the shrine of Chao Lung Phu Kha you find a very rare tree, threatened from extinctiont: Chomphoo Phu Kha (Bretschneidera sinensis), whose pink and white flowers bloom in February and March. (See the flowers on tatnews.org and on youtube) Once this tree was found in Southern China and the northern part of Vietnam. Then it was disappeared, until the Thai botanist Tawatchai Santisuk discsovered one of these treets on Doi Phu Kha. Studies show that this tree can prosper in hilly evergreen forest at heights above 1200 metres, it needs high humidity and low temperature throughout the year. Read more on dnp.go.th

There are also several scenic waterfalls.
Read about Ban Mani Phruek Security Development Projekt.

In Bo Kluea บ่อเกลือ you can observe tha traditional salt gaining process. According to a legend a hunter obeserved wild animals drinkinh from the stream. He tasted the water himself and learned, that it was salty. Chao Luang Phu Kha and Chao Bo Luang heart about this discovery and founded a community here. Today an annual ceremony is held to remember the two founders. Today the salt production is still done in the traditional way: It starts with an offering ritual, when saline water is drawned from the pit. Then the water is boiled in woks during four hours. The gained salt is put into baskets to dry. After boiling the woks are immersed in the river for three weeks. The lime stone is now scraped off.

Mae Charim National Park:

Nunthaburi National Park:

Si Nan National Park: A good place to see the mountain mists is Doi Pha Chu Viewpoint, where you get a cliff-top view and see the Nan River winding its way in the valley below.

Tham Sa Kern National Park:

Map of the Northern National Parks here

Ban Pak Nai: A fishing village on the bank of the fresh-water lake above the Sirikit Dam. There are restaurants and accommodations on Rafts.

Travel Agents in Nan:
Lanna Touring
Nan Amazing Tour

Read more about Nan:
nanvisit.com: Guide for Nan in Thai
The Treasures of Nan
Markets in Nan
Bo Kluae salt
Pua and around
Backpacker's Secret Guide: Nan
Nan's Cultural Riches
Tourism acitivities in Nan
Festivals in Nan
A trip from Lampang to Nan

Travel Agents in Nan
GT Riders Touring Guide to Nan
Map of Nan Province
Nan Thailand Map
Map of Caves in Nan
Nan HoboMap

How to get to Nan

Three airlines are flying to Nan: Nok Air Mini from Chiang Mai (daily), Happy Air from Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) on Fridays and Sundays and Solar Air from Bangkok Don Mueang on Fridays and Sundays from 3. December 2010.

Border crossing from Nan to Laos

Possible between Ban Huay Kon (Thailand) and Muang Ngoen. Visa on arrival for Laos seem to be available. Read more on travelfish.org. And annainasia.com describes, how she got visa at the boarder, wanderingstraycat has informations about the transports to the boarder and into Laos on lonelyplanet.cpm/thorntree.

Discover more:
Your guide to Nan น่าน

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