The Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden is a wonderful escape to see the magnificent flora of Thailand. The location between Doi Suthep and Pui Mountain gives visitors a forest-coated mountainous view that is utterly incomparable.
The best view is from the elevated canopy walkway, about 400 meters long and 20 meters high, that recently completed construction. At the entrance of this walkway is a little cafe where food, drinks, and souvenirs are available for purchase.
The most popular part of the botanical gardens, known as the Glasshouse Complex, feature an array of plant preservation greenhouses made completely of glass. The four conservatories and eight glasshouses are organized by different habitats and plant species, labeled in both Thai and English. Some of these include carnivorous plants, an arid desert room, medicinal plants, a lotus garden, and a rainforest habitat. The rainforest glasshouse is massive, with an elevated walkway inside its walls and a showcased waterfall display.
This garden hosts the largest display of orchids in the country, numbering an collection of over 400 species. A natural science museum, rock garden, spectacular cliff outlook, organic learning center, and multiple walking trails also can be found on the premises. A year round river runs through the park, adding to the peaceful serenity and beauty. The sheer size of the park makes exploring all of it by foot quite the feat. The whole paved loop ends up being about 4 km long, with fairly brutal uphill portions. I’d definitely recommend driving or motorbiking from one section to the next, ensuring you have enough time to see the entirety of the 277 hectare preserve.
It is open from 8:30am to 5pm every day of the week. Give yourself at least half a day to explore this amazing plant sanctuary, and enjoy your time visiting this fairly unfrequented but altogether breathtaking garden in northern Thailand.
Written by: Grace Van Kirk
Photos credit: Grace and Review Chiang Mai