A short post this week, with plenty of beautiful photos, about my visit to the Chiang Mai flower festival, 6-8 Feb 2015. I caught the festival in between trips to the Middle East, where so far in 2015 I’ve been practically commuting, with a trip there every couple of weeks. It’s all good though, before you worry – I’m planning on attending one, possibly two blogging/personal development conferences in the States this year, and I’m squirrelling away cash so that I can both afford to go, and afford to take the time ‘off’. The CM flower festival is a bit like the UK’s Chelsea garden show, with people coming from different regions to exhibit all kinds of flowers and horticulture (including a bonsai tree competition).
The highlight of the festival for me was the floats, fantastic creations which depict elephants, rabbits, lions and all kinds of other creatures and vistas. I missed the parade of the floats, which was at 8am the day after I’d returned from my latest trip to Dubai, but happily for me, the floats were on stationary display for the rest of the festival.
The floats were beautiful in themselves – highly detailed creations with thousands of flowers and a huge amount of design flair in each. But it was also fascinating watching people take photos with the floats. Many people had no compunction standing children in or on the floats, or using the props which were on the floats in their photos. For example, the lady in the photo below picked up that red parasol from the float. I also saw a lot of selfie sticks that day!
As well as flowers and plants, the festival has a bustling market, filled with interesting food stuffs and the usual silk scarves and other popular Thai products. Across the time I was there, I had a pad thai, sticky rice and mango, and a passion fruit shake. I also bought a new pashmina (£2) as I find in Dubai the air conditioning is always turned up ridiculously high, and last time a delegate had to lend me a scarf as my fingers had turned a white-blue and my delegates were all worried.
The festival closes the moat road on the south west corner of the city, which causes a lot of problems with the traffic. I was thankful for my scooter in terms of getting in and out, and also in terms of parking. Yes, I still love my scooter. In this corner of the moat is the Suan Buak Had Park, a lovely green area, with a lake and on this occasion, plenty of flower displays and competition pieces. It also had a couple of massage stands set up, so I decided to treat myself, and ended up chatting to the masseur (who was excellent) and the two people having massages either side of me, all Thai. Apart from the lovely (if painful) massage, the highlight was the very attractive lady to one side telling me I had very beautiful feet. Ha!
One thing I didn’t manage to see was royalty. One of the Thai King’s granddaughters, a princess, was coming to visit the flower show. But by that time I was hot and tired, and when they announced she would be an hour late, and you weren’t allowed to take photos, I headed home. It did prompt me to look up the royal granddaughters though, where I found there were quite a lot of them, and also found that the King’s wiki page is blocked in Thailand. So that was my fun day out at the flower festival. Chiang Mai’s pretty good with festivals – there’s often something going on. It’s Chinese New Year this week, so we have some events going on for this (apparently, 90k Chinese tourists are here, and they have been given an ‘etiquette manual‘ which includes a reminder not to use public property as lavatories…).