Part way between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai you find this lovely garden that is located on land that was originally the Akha village of Pa Kluay. Doi Tung Royal Villa and Mae Fah Luang Garden are among the most famous tourist attractions of Chiang Rai province. These two places are located on the slopes of Doi Tung Mountain. With an elevation of 1,630 metres above sea level, the mountain is located in Mae Fa Luang District, about 60 km. from Chiang Rai town. To get there, take Highway No.110 for about 48 kilometers and turn left onto Highway No. 1149 and go on for 15 kilometres. The route winds through beautiful scenery with many interesting sites including Doi Tung Royal Villa, Mae Fah Luang Garden, Phra That Doi Tung, and Akha and Musoe tribal villages.
This village used to be an important route for opium caravans and those involved in heroin-related trafficking and weapons. Situated in a deep gorge where the Akha lived in a dense settlement without the possibility of expansion, there was little space for hygiene, trash or wastewater management. At the request of the Doi Tung Development Project, the villagers agreed to be relocated to a new site 500 meters away. This site sits on a hill with expansive land. It has running water, electricity, and a paved road into the village.
Back in their former settlement, a garden of temperate flowers was built over 10 acres of land in accordance with the Princess Mother’s wish, to give Thai people who have never traveled overseas an opportunity to enjoy a temperate flower garden. In the middle of this garden stands “Continuity”, a sculpture by the late Misiem Yip-In-Soi. The Princess Mother gave this name to the sculpture to draw attention to the fact that continuity ensures the success of any endeavor.
The decorative flowers in Mae Fah Luang Garden are grown and nurtured by local villagers. The Garden brings substantial income to the area, directly as job opportunities for the locals, and indirectly as a tourist destination. It is a lovely place to visit and explore in a very relaxed fashion as well as photographer paradise. Some photo memories of our trip:
There places to eat, some shopping and just a nice place to chill and smell the roses (if they are in bloom). We have been here a few times now and enjoy each visit.