Sunday, January 27, 2008

Botanical Gardens of Chiang Mai

Today we all had a great time in Chiang Mai visiting not one, but two of the regions largest horticultural attractions. We also visited a local market which sold produce and cut flowers, and we officially celebrated Barnabas’s Birthday by going out to eat at a Chinese Restaurant!

The first garden we visited this morning was Tweechol Botanical Gardens. We began our visit at the garden’s informational museum, which housed some local artifacts. Next we took a tour of the grounds by golf cart. The topiary at Tweechol were amazing, there were dragons, gorillas, dolphins and dinosaurs that were very accurate! The garden also had very interesting collections of tropical “house” plants, cacti, orchids and anthuriums. Tweechol also housed the first rose garden that we have seen all trip; the climate in Chiang Mai is much cooler than the other places we have visited, which allows the opportunity to grow a different selection of plants.

Our next stop of the day was Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens. We were met by Dr. Prachaya Srisanga who initiated our visit with an informational video, that gave us a great introduction to the garden. He then gave us a tour of some of the glasshouses of the upper garden, and answered many of our accumulating plant questions! We were so impressed with Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens that we decided to return to the gardens following lunch so that we could have more time on our own to walk around the lower portion of the gardens. This was a wise decision as we ended up enjoying a beautiful stroll through the garden’s arboretum and fern grotto.

As mentioned earlier we ended our day with a visit to a local market, where we bought some dried fruits and fresh flowers. Our evening went well with dinner for Barnabas, and some shopping at the local night bazaar. None of us knew what an incredible haggler Barnabas could be with souvenir prices!

I would also like to add that tonight was our last night of competition in the groups “Survivor Challenge”. I don’t want to toot my own horn but yours truly, (Jackie B.), has shot up through the ranks to take this honor home. Mom, I’ve visited Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand- but most importantly I’ve won first place against the other fellows and chaperones with my incredible shopping, drawing, spelling, clapping, object searching, and fortune telling talents. I hope you’re proud!

Barnabas, Dan, Jackie, Lorrie, Matt E., Matt Q., Yoko


Cheryl B- J's Mom said...

Jackie -I'm so proud of you...ha!
Love Mom :)

Lori - Cheryl's friend said...

Way to go Jackie!!! I have really enjoyed reading about your trip about a part of the world I will probably never get to visit..just a testament of how many beautiful places there are in this world.

Anonymous said...

There is another brand new and very interesting garden: Dokmai Garden ( A bartender serves you new fantastic drinks, they have aluminium signs with accurate scientific names and over 650 species, including 120 different vegetables. A very ecentric and sophisticated garden!