The centrepiece of the Royal Flora Expo was the Royal Pavilion, constructed in the exquisite Lanna architectural style, right in the heart of the event site. This had a display of artworks dedicated to the king as well as an exhibition of his contributions to Thailand's industry and agriculture.
The building was stunning and could be seen from most parts of the Expo. It was built on high ground at the end of the main Expo spine. The ground floor displayed the King’s initiatives and activities focusing on the agricultural projects. We and most other visitors were surprised by the countless ways in which the lives of the people have been positively affected by His Majesty the King’s work and his dedication to the Thai people.
The upper floor was a spectacular space. Inside were decorative works created by the renowned artist Associate Professor Precha Thaothong. The most spectacular is the 10-virtue tree, made up of 21,915 leaves, representing each day of the 60 years King Bhumibol has been on the throne. The tree was constructed in clusters of lotus blossoms, nine blossoms per cluster. Bodhi leaves of copper, silver, and gold were attached. On each leaf was crafted one of the 10 Royal virtues which the King has exhibited in ruling his subjects for the past 60 years.
From the upper floor of the Royal Pavilion, there was a good view over the Thai Tropical Garden. This was a colossal 100,000 square metre area where visitors were able to witness first-hand an extensive variety of tropical horticulture encompassing fruits, plants, flowers, and herbs. This was the largest area of the Expo and the garden contained a range of exhibits including the Shaded Paradise, Grower House, Sky Walk, Biotech Greenhouse, Tropical Dome and Sunken Garden. Collectively, these exhibits gave a great insight into the development of new varieties of plants, the importance of horticulture in Thailand and how soiless technology is being developed.
Another highlight was the performance of the marching bands from the Royal Thai army and many schools which was held on the front path of the Royal Pavilion from 1 to 1.45pm on the day we were there. This complimented the daily cultural events which occurred at the Grand Amphitheatre and the Music Theatre. While we were there, the Kho Pai Thai musical band and the Spanish Caleidoscopia were performing in these venues.