Travel

Flower Festival, Chiang Mai 2015

Destinations

Chiang Mai

Joanna Horanin

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Weather in Chiang Mai

Partly cloudy

32.4

Temperature

Feels like 48.1☢️

6

UV index

High

1

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Good

Last updated at 16/06/2024, 12:30

Hi, I'm Joanna, the author of The Blond Travels. In the worlds of Thailand and Portugal, I feel like a fish in water - and it's no coincidence! I've been exploring Thailand for over a decade, and I've settled in Portugal for 6 years now. My mission is to support Dreamers - just like you - in discovering these fascinating countries and helping those in love with them find their own place on Earth, preferably for good! Let's uncover these unique corners of the world together.

Flower Festival takes place in Chiang Mai during the first weekend of February. It is the time when most of the exotic, colourful flowers bloom in the valleys near the town, and Thais love them as much as they love their food.

The festival features a big parade, which starts from Nawarat Bridge and goes to the Tae Pae Gate. It takes around two hours for all the floats, bands and people dressed up in traditional costumes, to walk that short distance. The parade shimmers with gold and all the colours you can imagine. The floats are decorated with flowers, each one of them different, and carrying a beauty pageant contestant.

Last year the parade took place in the afternoon, so I didn’t have a problem with getting to the Nawarat Bridge on time. This year, however, it started at 8 am, and I only realised it after waking up and reading about it on the internet…at 9:30 am! I got to the Tae Pae Gate on time to see the last float entering the square. I took some photos of it (not very good ones), and then had a chance to snap a few shots of the people walking around the gate.

A float carrying one of the beauty pageant contestants

A float carrying one of the beauty pageant contestants

A street seller

A street seller

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A portrait of the Princess arranged from flowers

A vintage car - part of the exhibition

A vintage car – part of the exhibition

Another one of the street sellers. This one was selling cold drinks

Another one of the street sellers. This one was selling cold drinks

The floats were all decorated in butterflies and birds - all sparkly and shiny

The floats were all decorated in butterflies and birds – all sparkly and shiny

Young ladies dressed in traditional costumes

Young ladies dressed in traditional costumes

After a while I grew tired with the growing crowd and went to wander around the small sois (streets). In one of them I encountered a group of performers and I asked one of them if I could take a photo. It wouldn’t have been anything special had I not asked in Thai – I was really proud of myself.

A Thai woman dressed in traditional costume

A Thai woman dressed in traditional costume

After wandering around some more, I met my friend for a coffee and spend an afternoon sitting in one of my favourite cafes in Chiang Mai – Mo Rooms.

At around 4 pm we made our way to the south east part of the city, where we could see the floats up close and enjoy the market and the local food.

Would you believe that this is all made out of flowers, except the umbrella, of course

Would you believe that this is all made out of flowers, except the umbrella, of course

Another lovely flower statue. I wonder how long it took someone to make it

Another lovely flower statue. I wonder how long it took someone to make it

There is something stunning about this peacock

There is something stunning about this peacock

This is my glass noodle salad with a lot of seafood and spicy chillies

This is my glass noodle salad with a lot of seafood and spicy chillies

Quails for dinner anyone?

Quails for dinner anyone?

Crowded market in the south east of the city

Crowded market in the south east of the city

We also had a nice walk in the park, just next to the market. The park is really tiny and it takes 5 minutes to walk around, but because of the festival it was full of people. There was a large group of hippies practising yoga and chilling out, and a lot of locals, sitting around and spending quality time with their families and friends.

The park was buzzing in the evening

The park was buzzing in the evening

This is an option if someone is looking for a Valentine's Day activity

This is an option if someone is looking for a Valentine’s Day activity

A really good day overall. Shame I couldn’t make it to the parade, but then 8 am with the hazy skies we have had recently is not the best hour to take photos. Let’s hope next year the organisers will move it back to the afternoon.