CHIANG RAI – You don’t have to travel far to experience cherry blossom season. Each year during December to January, the highlands of Chiang Rai Thailand – where the weather is cold and the region is swept by the chill breeze of winter – transform into a fervent pink forest.
Witness as the wild Himalayan cherry trees dot the city in pink, imbuing a sense of romance befitting the season. Known locally as the “Tiger Queen” or Nang Phaya Sua Kroang, here are the best places to catch the blooming pink petals and other interesting sights for your next Instagram tryst.
Come December, the hills of coffee producing Doi Chang region come to life with pastel-coloured dreams that last until mid-January. Over 500,000 blooming cherry trees rain petals down the streets of this outskirt Chiang Rai district.
Interestingly, the flowers here were grown by the Chiang Rai Highland Agricultural Extension Centre for experimental purposes, as well as to attract visitors.
What’s a trip to a coffee region without sampling its finest offering? With cool weather all around, it’s the perfect temperature to enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee with a sight of beautiful flowers.
Located deep in the heart of Chiang Rai, this hilltop village is home to the ethnic Chinese minorities in Thailand, due to its proximity to the border.
Although fleeting, the cherry blossoms are widely celebrated here as part of the culture along with oolong tea – the village’s main income production. The Doi Mae Salong Tea and Sakura Festival falls from Dec 28 to Jan 2 with plenty of cultural activities and ethnic performances lined up.
The famous wild Himalayan cherry blossoms are blooming on Doi Chang in the northern province of Chiang Rai.
Visitors will also get to feel the cool breeze on Doi Chang where recorded temperatures range between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius due to its location which is nearly 1,500 meters above sea level.
Doi Chang is also the site of Chiang Rai Highland Agricultural Extension Center which is home to several flora species. The center was constructed in 1985.
It is expected that between the months of December and January, a high number of tourists will flock into the province to get a glimpse of mesmerizing flowers and a spectacular view from the top of Doi Chang.
By Geoff Thomas