June 17, 2024


The Best Park & Gardens In Chiang Mai






Main Entrance – Royal Park Rajapruek

  Royal Park Rajapruek in Chiang Mai Thailand is an expansive complex located only 14 km southwest of the city.  It’s a short drive by car of motor scooter.  The park is also served by Uber.  Just tell them the name of the park and you are off.  That, of course may be easier said than done.  The park’s name – Royal Park Rajapruek – is not the easiest to pronounce for out-of-towners.  But not to worry – simply saying “Royal Park” should get you where you want to go. The cost of Uber is reasonable – usually less than $5.00 – but that depends on where you start from of course.  The park is about a 22 minute from Tha Phae Gate in the Old Walled City of Chiang Mai.  

Chiang Mai Area Map 





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Royal Park Rajapruek was built to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Thailand’s King taking the throne as well as celebrating his 80th birthday in December of 2007.  It’s an expansive and impressive park presenting various sections or garden areas with displays from different countries and climates.

Royal Park Rajapruek – Small Temple Garden

Visitors can easily spend a half day exploring the various areas of the park.  It’s a good place for a leisurely walk and affords lots of opportunities for the photographer.  The park is large and it would be a challenge to thoroughly see it on food.  Fortunately there is a “hop on – hop off” shuttle system which moves visitors from area to area.  The shuttle driver also gives a running narrative of the area as the journey progresses.  Unfortunately, at least on the shuttles I used, this narrative was presented only in Thai so it wasn’t of much help.  Still, the shuttle helped out greatly in moving the rather considerable distances from area to area around the park. The orchid gardens and display areas are especially enjoyable and pleasant. They afford visitors the opportunity to wander small, meandering and shady pathways through large and varied hanging gardens of multi-colored orchids. The pathways are punctuated with small ponds and waterfalls. The orchid colors are vivid and striking.  

Royal Park Rajapruek – Orchids


Royal Park Rajapruek – Orchids

  The park is fully of beautiful and shady spots to sit, think, and relax. Take your time, there is no need to rush. It’s a great place for a snack or picnic.  But there are few food options available in the park.  Best to bring your own.  Sit back, relax and enjoy!

Royal Park Rajapruek – Small Lake & Building

  The gardens are a popular location for couples and family to have their portraits taken.  The couple below was having wedding photos taken at various locations throughout the park.

Royal Park Rajapruek – A Great Setting For Portraits

    The Royal Pavilion is the central and most dominant feature in the park.  It sits at the rear of the park at the end of a long walkway and promenade which extends from the parks entrance to the Royal Pavilions main entrance stair case.

Royal Park Rajapruek – Royal Pavilion Sing

  The main entrance  to Royal Park Rajapruek (as with many monuments is Thailand)  is guarded by dragons.  There is a main central walkway leading from the entrance to the Royal Pavilion which is barely visible at the center of the image below.  The building at the top of the hill in the background is Wat Phrathat Doi Kham, a gorgeous and interesting Buddhist Temple.  For a very interesting and colorful day just south of Chiang Mai you might consider  combining your explorations of Royal Park Rajapruek  with a visit to Wat Phrathat Doi Kham.

Royal Park Rajapruek – Main Entrance Gate

As you walk further into the park along the main promenade the Royal Pavilion becomes more prominent.  (Again – Wat Phrathat Doi Kham on the hilltop in the background.)

Royal Park Rajapruek – Central Gardens & Walkway

  Getting closer to The Royal Pavilion ………………

Royal Park Rajapruek – Central Walkway Approaching Royal Pavilion

    Closer still ………. Royal Park Rajapruek – Royal Pavilion with Wat Phrathat Doi Kham On Hilltop And finally there.   The interior of the pavilion houses displays honoring the Thai royal family.  While interesting, the temple style building and it’s architecture are more of an attraction for most.

Royal Park Rajapruek – Royal Pavilion Main Stairs

 The Royal Pavilion is visible from most areas of the park.  It’s a beautiful and striking monument.

Royal Park Rajapruek – Royal Pavilion

Did I mention that the park is a great place to rest, relax and have a snack?  The image below shows the view from the shaded, grassy hilltop where I had my lunch when I visited the park.  A nice breeze, a great lunch which I had brought with me – read my book for awhile and then a nice brief nap.   Doesn’t get much better! Highly recommended.

Royal Park Rajapruek – Royal Pavilion & Reflection.

Royal Park Rajapruek is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.  There is an admission charge : Thai adults – 50 Baht, Thai children – 25 Baht / “Foreigners” – adult – 100 Baht, children 50 Baht.  (Currently 100 Baht = $3.20) Some sites indicate there is a small charge ( @ 20 Baht)  for the shuttle but during my visit this did not seem to be the case. You apparently can also rent a golf cart to self drive for @ 60 Baht/hour or rent a bicycle for @ 20 Baht/hour.




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