Pink flowers of Japanese cherry trees, or sakura, start to bloom in the Royal Agricultural Station Angkhang, in Chiang Mai’s Fang district.

The station planted about 1,800 cherry trees after buying seedlings from Japan in 1997 and Taiwan in 2002. The full bloom of sakura is expected next month.

Angkhang Royal Agricultural Station is the first royal research station founded in 1969 by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great. The king’s objective was to find alternative crops for farmers, most of whom were ethnic people, to grow and earn incomes instead of opium poppy.

The centre is located 1,400m above sea level covering about 20,213 rai of land.

The station plants many cold-climate fruit trees, vegetables and flowers. It also transfers knowledge to farmers and encourages them to follow food safety standards like Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and organic standards. Produce from the station varies and it includes peach, Japanese apricot, avocado, arabica coffee, organic vegetables and more.

The station is open to the public daily from 6am to 6pm. For more information, call 053-969-476.

BMA brightens up Bangkok

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has launched the Bangkok Flora Festival in five public parks.

Vachirabenjatas Park, or Suan Rot Fai, has a 4 rai field of 30,000 sunflowers, a garden of zinnia (dok bancheun), a rice paddy and lotus ponds. Queen Sirikit Park in Chatuchak district will display hollyhocks and Siam tulips under the concept of “Colourful Valentine”.

The sunflower bloom at Vachirabenjatas Park or Suan Rot Fai in Chatuchak district. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

The 60th Anniversary of Queen Sirikit Park in Lat Krabang will organise a vertical garden and show various kinds of cacti. The HM King’s 80th Anniversary Park in Sathon will host a lotus festival while Lumpini Park in Pathumwan district will be decorated with numerous colourful flowers.

The BMA will also host a series of flower events next year. Starting from Wanaphirom Romklao Park in Lat Krabang, it will display a garden of West Indian periwinkle, or pinkle-pinkle (dok phaengphuai), from Jan 12-31. Mahakan Fort Park will be dotted with yellow and pink cosmos flowers from April 10-20.

Chatuchak Park will have a display of cosmos, marigolds and Marguerite daisies from June to July. From September to October, Lumpini Park will be colourful with plumed cockscomb (dok soi kai), wool flowers (dok ngon kai) and pinkle-pinkle flowers.


– Thai Airways will resume two domestic routes from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket, starting on Jan 1.

The services will be available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from New Year’s Day to Feb 28.

The flight to Chiang Mai will depart Suvarnabhumi airport at 12.10pm and the return flight will depart Chiang Mai airport at 2.30pm.

For the Phuket flights, the outbound flight will depart Bangkok at 12.05pm and the inbound flight will depart from Phuket airport at 2.20pm.



– The Okura Prestige Bangkok Hotel on Wireless Road has launched “12.12 Super Deal” to offer a promotion on rooms.

The rates start from 4,500 baht a night for a Deluxe room. The offer also includes breakfast for two, early check-in at 12am, late check-out at 6pm and a hotel credit during the stay which can be redeemed at food outlets and thee spa.

Booking period is available until Dec 23 for stay until April 30 next year, except Dec 24-25, Dec 30-Jan 2.


– Anantara Hua Hin Resort introduces the “Festive” package for guests to celebrate Christmas and the New Year.

Room rates start from 6,633++ baht for a night stay on Dec 24, 26 and 31. The prices include daily breakfast, 20% off the spa on any single treatment, Christmas Eve dinner on Dec 24, seafood barbeque on Dec 26 and New Year’s Eve dinner on Dec 31.


– Samui Bayside Luxury Villas introduces special rates for Christmas and New Year.

The property is a collection of 11 private holiday homes, offering choices from three to five bedrooms. Each villa is fully furnished and has a fully-equipped kitchen and a private pool.

Prices start at 6,500 baht a night and include airport transfer, housekeeping services, on-site villa manager and a digital concierge app for food delivery or booking for taxis and tourist attractions.


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