This is Thailand's greatest flower show, featuring a parade of
floats made with colorful flowers, beautiful Thai and hill tribe
girls in traditional dress, a Miss Chiangmai Flower Festival
beauty contest and loads of exotic plants and flowers on
The Chiang Mai Flower Festival this season is Feb. 7 - 9,
Every year during the first weekend in February is the
Chiangmai Flower Festival. The city is awash with
vibrant colors ranging from the electric orange and
lilac colors of the bougainvillea to the velvety
blossoms of petunias in all shades of pink, white and
purple. The strident red of the poinsettias, bought by
many at Christmas and New Years, is echoed by beds of
scarlet Salvias. Homes and shop owners alike line the
city streets with colorful flower boxes. The sheer
profusion of color that the flower festival and carnival
brings to Chiangmai aptly gives the city its name "Rose
of the North".
On all three days of
the festival, prize blooms are on display at Suan Buak
Haad near the city center. Every type of flower, miniature
tree and orchid is put on display for the judges to choose
the best of the species. Landscape specialists put on an
elaborate display, which includes patios and waterfalls
with exotic decorative plants and flowers.
The best part of the flower festival is on Saturday.
This is when we load our lawn chairs and ice chest in
the pick-up and head to D.K. Bookstore along the moat in
the city center. We go there because there is plenty of
parking and excellent coffee and pastry shops.
On the way we passed the flower covers floats, Hill
Tribes and Thais in their traditional dress and
uniformed marching bands all getting in line to start
the parade. We had to leave the house before 8 AM as the
parade start around 9 AM. Although it would not be until
10 AM until the parade reached us we had lots of fun
eating food from local vendors, relaxing in our lawn
chairs at curbside and watching the world go by.
The parade lines up from the train station to Narawatt
bridge so the police close most of Jarenmuang Road around
8 AM. The VIP viewing stand is right next to the bridge in
front of the Chiangmai Governor's home. The Parade route
goes down Thapae Road to the Gate and turns left and
follows the moat to Suan Buak Haad City Park.
hspace="5" vspace="3" The parade moves at a slow pace and
stops several times so there is plenty of time to take
pictures of the colorful floats, pretty girls and hill
tribe people in costume. The people in the parade hand out
roses to spectators lining the road.
When the parade finishes everyone heads to Suan Buak
Haad where all the floats, award winning flower growers
and landscapers projects are all on display. There are
plenty of food stalls located in the park and in late
afternoon the Miss Chiangmai Flower festival starts. The
party goes well into the evening until the new Flower
Festival Queen is chosen.
This is a great time to visit Chiangmai, as the air is
cool and the evenings fresh and clear. If you want to
see the festival make sure you book your hotels and
flights well in advance.