In the 1930s, Englishman Dr. Kerr started a small botanical garden in this location 12 kilometers (7 miles) along the Mae Sa ... More
Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens
In the 1930s, Englishman Dr. Kerr started a small botanical garden in this location 12 kilometers (7 miles) along the Mae Sa Valley. The current garden was opened in 1992 and covers a large area that incorporates many vegetation types, including some rare species. It also houses research facilities, student accommodation and an information center. The mountain location makes it an enjoyable escape for everyone, particularly nature enthusiasts. The best time to see the flowers in bloom is during the cool season. Visitors can take a leisurely walk along the many winding nature trails and generally get away from it all.
This is a beautifully done garden world that lacks absolutely nothing when measured against any standard. Both the indoor exhibits and outdoor landscapes are executed professionally and with great care. Two observations in addition. (1) It is common for foreigners to pay more in Thailand. Perhaps Thai taxpayers have demanded this (this is just a guess)? After all, it is their tax money that supports many things that non-tax-paying foreigners enjoy. In any event, it is the reality of Thailand and hopefully will not discourage anyone from visiting the Botanical Gardens in particular. (2) Written information is conveyed almost exclusively in Thai. As an American from Minnesota, I have yet to encounter any public or private exhibit anywhere in the United States where Thai language is evident on any sign or page.
Having visited recently with a family visiting us we all agreed that it was okay, but not really worth the effort of visiting. All information is in Thai, which is a shame since foreigners are charged much more than Thais, as of January this year! Some nice views and some interesting plants, but really only for hardcore botanists... It is a very large area and extremely steep in parts, so most people seem to drive around and get out from time to time. There are better botanical options closer to Chiang Mai that I will take visiting friends to in future...
My husband and I went to the gardens on a Wednesday morning and we were the only ones there ! ! Amidst the lushness and vivid colors, the azure blue skies with cotton ball clouds and the chorus of birdsong the day was surreal. We chose to walk the entire day, took our time, explored the beautifully manicured lawns, the ponds, the waterfalls the nurseries then had a scrumptious lunch of Pad Thai noodles served with welcoming smiles. Why can't the rest of the world be like this? If you are adventuresome you can get to the gardens without "the tour group experience". You need to get to Chang Puak Bus station in Chiang Mai and from there take a yellow Song Taew and for 80 bahts for two one way you will be taken there. Thai people take care of us bumbling 'falangs' so have no fear and enjoy yourselves. The entrance fee is 40 baht per person and there is no two tiered admission cost (like at other national parks etc.)
It is a really beautiful place up in the hills where the air is fresh. There are buggies with english speaking guides to bring you around for a small fee if you don't want to walk that much. Its worth it as it saves time, energy and the visit is more focused. You can see the Thai people's love for their Queen, as there are various parts of the Garden (eg the fountain pond) build by the people for the Queen. A half day trip here should also be made together with a trip to Wat Phrahat Doi Suthep as it is along the way.
Thailand's first true botanical garden situated in the lushness of the Mae Sa Villey just 27 km from the heart of Chiang Mai city. The complete route through the garden takes up to two hours.
This is a beautiful place and perfect for half day trip.
To any person with an interest in horticulture this place is a dream. I only spent two hours there but when I return to Chiang Mai this will be a day visit for me. The grounds are extensive, as are the greenhouses. All plants are labelled in Latin, Thai and English. The are about 6 walks which each take up to 45minutes and have specific themes. The entrance fee was 30 Baht and when I visited in Dec was not crowded. Make sure you take your camera or video.
Perfect for a half day trip, plenty to see and plenty to photograph at the centre is a large greenhouse with very high humidity and it's own waterfall to recreate a tropical rainforest.
Other greenhouses have cacti, orchids and ferns. After here travel a few metres down the main road and you come to a group of small restaurants on the bank of a stream at the roadside, excellent food and not expensive!
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*Terms & Conditions: Savings calculation is based on Flight + Hotel vacation package bookings for a 3 month period for 2 adults with a 2+ night length of stay compared to price of the same components if booked separately during same period. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, travel dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.