Untypical Thailand

Melbourne winters are cold. I don’t like the cold. Most of my work is freelance. Adding all those factors together, I built myself a strong case for spending a few months away from Melbourne – starting in Thailand, Chiang Mai to be exact. Although there will be a post or two about markets and other typical Thai activities, I thought you might like a glimpse into somewhere that may not come to mind when you think of a tropical Asian country (aka somewhere with no beaches, no buckets of beer and nobody trying to flog you cheap T-shirts).

That place would be…

QS13About half an hour out of Chiang Mai by car, the Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden is a vast expanse of land given over to greenery. You could easily spend an entire day there (or even stay there overnight as there is accommodation there apparently!) but I only had about two hours – which is about how long it took me to get through all the greenhouses, each of which has a different theme.

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This is the “arid plants” greenhouse…

QS1QS3Baby bananas in the biggest greenhouse which I think just had a tropical theme…

QS5 Orchids and their friends…

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One of the grounds staff…

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The lotus and waterlily greenhouse might have been my favourite…

QS10QS14 QS15 QS16 … although the bromeliad house was interesting too…QS12…plus, I made a friend there!

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Actually, this silly selfie just serves to show how few other tourists were around, because it’s not like I would have been doing this if someone was walking past every few seconds. I had the whole place nearly to myself, either because it was a weekday or because people were doing more typical touristy things. And no, I suppose botanic gardens aren’t exactly high on the hip list. But if you’re wanting to escape crowds and relax a bit, I can’t recommend this place highly enough. Speaking of recommending places, stay tuned if you’re a cat lover as my next post is all about where to go for your fix of felines in Chiang Mai!

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