EXPLORING DOI TUNG ROYAL VILLA AND MAE FAH LUANG GARDEN
That was my first time in Chiang Rai. As a travel blogger, I always spread myself to any adventure and experiences that the station will offer.
Then, with much excitement, straight from the Chiang Rai Airport the TAT Newsroom Blogger Team was brought to our first destinations of the daylight, the Doi Tung Royal Villa and Mae Fah Luang Garden. These two are among the most celebrated tourist attractions of Chiang Rai.
The Doi Tung is an area of approximately 950,000 square kms that overlaps the mountains of three states of Southeast Asia: Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand. The old heart of the world’s opium trade.
The place has a hotel; restaurants where we enjoyed our lunch, a coffee shop which we breathed for a while and gift shops, and also holds an open-air market with food and locally-produced handicrafts.
The Doi Tung Royal Villa
Doi Tung Royal Villa
Upon arrival at the gate of the Doi Tung Royal Villa which is a few more meters from the building, you will get an attendant which will yield you denim pants and tops to use if you are not putting on the right garb. Proper attire means modest clothing – no shorts, no body-hugging or see-through clothing, etc.
While walking from the gate to the Royal Villa you can immediately see beautiful blooming flowers planted all over the place.
No shoes are allowed inside the villa and we are not allowed also the talk loud while inside the mansion. So we were given a headphone which narrates the descriptions of each part of the Villa. Unfortunately, no cameras are allowed inside the villa.
beautiful ornamental plants adorned the road leading to the Doi Tung Royal Villa
Doi Tung Royal Villa was the mansion home of Her late Royal Highness Princess Srinakarindra, the Princess Mother built in the Lanna and Swiss architectural styles. Her Royal Highness the Princess Mother and her daughter, Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana, personally created the concept of simplicity and multi-functionality for the Royal Villa construction. It is notable that some materials used in the villa were from recycled pine wood, which came from crates used for imported tools and equipment.
Built from the Princess Mother’s private funds, the Royal Villa was originally built on the concept that the local hill tribes would be honored by the royal presence and hoping that they will stop their opium cultivation.The Princess Mother considered the Villa as her first actual home in Thailand. It is said that she also remained in the place because of her desire to reforest the country and help to better the lives of the local Thais.
The exterior of the Doi Tung Royal Villa was made of concrete and decorated with wood slabs, cut from discarded teak trees, which came from forest thinning work by the Forest Industry Organization. While the gold teak wood was used for the flooring of the interior of the Royal Villa. The simple interior design exudes elegance and functionality, which reflects the nature of the possessor of the mansion.
taking our selfies outside the Royal Villa because no cameras are allowed inside
Upon entrance to the villa, one can see that the upper level of the building is divided into four sections. These include the late Princess Mother’s private area, a reception hall and kitchen, and the private quarters for the Princess Mother’s daughter, Her Royal Highness the late Princess Galyani Vadhana and Thanpuying Tasanavalaya Sornsonggram, Princess Galyani Vadhana’s only daughter. One outstanding feature of the interior of the Royal Villa is on the roof of the main lobby. It has handcrafted wood inlay of the Princess Mother’s favorite constellations illuminated by some Led lightings.
The environment of the villa is beautifully decorated with numerous variety of flowering plants which draw the place visually pleasing. Of course, we never left the villa without having a group photo for the TAT Newsroom Bloggers.
The TAT Newsroom bloggers enjoying some cold coffee after enjoying the Doi Tung Royal Villa
The Mae Fah Luang Garden
After exploring the Doi Tung Royal Villa, we rested for a while and have some cold coffee before we continued discovering the place.
Our next target was the Mae Fah Luan Garden which is settled in front of the Doi Tung Royal Villa, along with an area of hillside that was originally the Akha village of Pa Kluay.
Upon seeing the garden, I instantly reasoned that the Mae Fah Luang Garden is the most beautiful landscaped gardens in Thailand met with hundreds of dissimilar varieties of plants and blossoms; some sculptural and rock elements and water features.
This village used to be an important route for opium caravans and those involved in heroin and firearm trafficking.
A garden of mostly flowers growing in a gentle climate was established over 10 acres of land in accordance with the Princess Mother’s desire to give Thai people who have never traveled overseas an opportunity to see and enjoy a temperate flower garden. One eye-catching sculpture stands in the center of the garden. It is supposed that the Princess Mother name the sculpture “Continuity”, to draw attention to the fact that continuity ensures the success of whatever enterprise.
The colorful garden consists of several lawns with various types of annual and perennial flowering plants of which some of them are quite familiar to me as they also grow in the Philippines.
The garden is open every day, from 07.00-18.00 hrs. The entrance fee is 80 Baht. For more information about Doi Tung Royal Villa and Mae Fah Luang Garden, please visit www.doitung.org, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lunch at Krua Tamnak
After exploring the Mae Fha Luan Garden we gathered to enjoyed a feast at Krua Tamnak. This restaurant is found within the complex and offers a food variety of Thai dishes. Please bookmark this page, as I will be releasing an article featuring some of my favorite Thai Food which I sampled during our trip.
The TAT Newsroom Bloggers enjoying a feast at Krua Tamnak