Mae Fa Luang Botanical Garden

 Mae Fa Luang

Located one hour north of Chiang Rai, Mae Fah Luang Garden is really a beautiful place to visit if you are in this part of northern Thailand.

The gardens are located on Doi Tung Mountain (at an altitude of about 950m) and visitors are rewarded with a superb screen of plants and flowers spread over more than 4 hectares of land, the pleasure gardens owe their existence to the Princess Mother (the late mother of the current King of Thailand) who wanted to give Thai people who have never travelled abroad the opportunity to enjoy a temperate flower garden. 

The decorative flowers at Mae Fah Luang Garden are cultivated and maintained by local villagers who take advantage of the income and tourism employment opportunities offered by the garden and associated projects.

Princess Srinagarindra, mother of the current King of Thailand and known as Princess Mother, was a frequent visitor to remote areas of northern Thailand in the 1970s and 1980s.
Given the lack of decent roads at the time, the helicopter was the only practical solution for the Princess Mother to visit communities in the mountainous regions. Thanks to this way of arriving there, the local ethnic populations affectionately called him "Mae Fah Luang" ("Royal Mother of Heaven").

The car parked in the parking lot, we head towards the entrance of the botanical garden....
small shops are on the side... it's called the Doi Tung Bazaar... we sell everything.
and I, of course, I can't help but draw a portrait of this very nice Akha saleswoman

Once inside the enclosure, thousands of flowers are on display for you to see.

There's plenty to enjoy and to take a few pictures, that's for sure!

A few minutes on the terrace with a coffee in the middle of this garden, certainly a good time

 Golden Triangle and Opium connection

Looking at the garden and the Doi Tung area today, it is hard to believe that it was once an integral part of the Golden Triangle with its thriving opium and heroin trade. The Mae Fah Luang Garden is located on a site that once housed Akha, these mountain tribes, and was a strategic location for those involved in drug trafficking. When Mae Fah Luang Garden was developed, the villagers agreed to move to a new site 500 metres away. As part of the Doi Tung development project, the new village was built with all the facilities they previously lacked, running water, electricity, an asphalt access road and land for expansion.