Every year, during winter time, some parts of Chiang Mai mountains turn pink and welcome the blossoms of Sakura cherry flowers. Like in Japan or Washington D.C., these beautiful flowers are picturesque and attract thousands of visitors. The variety of Sakura growing in Thailand is the Wild Himalayan Cherry (Prunus Cerasoides). The best time to see this fabulous pink scenery is during the month of January, when flowers usually bloom for one week only. But nobody knows exactly when mother nature will decide to work so, best is to check with your hotel’s reception; this is a very famous attraction in Chiang Mai and they will know for sure about dates.
There are five to six places around Chiang Mai city from where to admire the beautiful blossom. The closest place being the gardens of Khun Chang Khian Highland Agriculture Research Center, located about an hour drive up the mountain. First the road passes Doi Suthep temple, then Phuping Palace before arriving to an arch to Doi Pui Hmong Village. A right single lane takes you to Khun Chang Khiang Highland Agriculture after about three kilometres. Only good drivers should drive there as the road becomes a narrow little trail that can be very dangerous when driving quickly. Visitors with little driving experience can hire a songthaew (red taxi), directly from Chiang Mai or from the area in front of Doi Suthep temple.
Walking in the gardens, you will also see a coffee plantation where to taste locally-grown coffee. Vendors sell local specialities and strawberries, so you will find plenty of
dishes to enjoy.
This half-day trip will surely become one of the highlights of your Chiang Mai visit.