Chiang Mai Stories and Tips

International Pavilions

The Lao temple Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand

There was quite a carnival atmosphere at the international section of the Royal Flora. Lots of people gathered at the Netherlands pavilion. There were many tulips under shade cloth, I guess to protect them from the harsh sun that is here in Thailand compared to the kinds of conditions you might ordinarily see back in the Netherlands. It made a pretty display and the Thais loved it. There was a giant windmill creaking away in the background.

Across the road there was the Malaysian pavilion with its beautiful teak houses and tropical palms and the like, and along a bit was the Japanese pavilion.

Among the countries which showed their finest blooms and greenery were Japan, India, Indonesia, Spain, China, Vietnam, Bhutan, Qatar, Iran, Brunei, Turkey, The Netherlands, Mauritania, Gabon, Morocco, Trinidad and Tobago, Bulgaria, and Laos. All up there were 33 countries from 4 continents on display.

I particularly liked the Japanese pavilion with its large outdoor garden and its smaller indoor garden. Japan also brought in cultural performers and showcased the country’s traditions to join in the celebration for His Majesty the King of Thailand.

The Japan outdoor garden was designed in accordance with the theme of the Expo, "To Express the Love for Humanity," and with a view to wishing long life to the King. The highlights of the garden included a three-meter tall model of Mount Fuji, a pond that symbolizes the ocean, a "turtle" island symbolizing longevity, and a "crane" stonework symbolizing fortune.

Not only did Japan participate in the event on the national government level, the country's three prefectural governments; Hyogo, Kyoto, and Osaka, also joined to build a "Kansai Cultural Garden." This garden is a present the three prefectural governments have given to Thailand in return for Thailand providing assistance to the Hyogo prefecture when it was hit with an earthquake in the past. The garden was designed in a traditional "Karesansui Garden" style using a bamboo fence and stone garden.

Another pavilion that appealed was that of the Lao PDR. It was in the form of a Luang Prabang-style temple. While the Thai and Laos vegetation is similar, this style of temple is different to those seen in Thailand and many Thais commented that it was better than their own.

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