Tribal Culture & Mexican Sunflower Blossom Chiang Rai: A Celebration of Thai Culture in the Blooming Sunflower Fields

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There are several reasons why Thailand is one of the world’s most frequently visited travel destinations. If you are living in Asia, it is one of the region’s most easily accessible countries with year round good weather allowing visitors to explore all that Thailand has to offer ranging from bustling streets and boutiques in Bangkok to the beautiful beaches of Phuket and the majestic rock formations in Phang Nga. Another addition to Thailand’s list of must-visit cities is Chiang Rai situated in North-Western Thailand.

Lying 860 kilometers to the north of Bangkok and just shy of the Thai-Myanmar border, Chiang Rai is the largest city in northern Thailand home to many Chiang Rai Hotels. Founded in the mid-13th century, Chiang Rai city is the heart of Thai culture and its surrounding limestone hills are home to the country’s hill tribes who guard a culture that is uniquely their own. If you are on a cultural tour across Thailand, make sure to visit Chiang Rai in the months of November and December when the city celebrates the Mexican Sunflower Festival in the fields some distance away from Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort.

The blooming Mexican Sunflowers in the fields surrounding Thailand’s Northern Province is a breathtaking sight that must not be missed with the large Mexican Sunflowers, known locally as bua-tong, colouring the hills near Chiang Rai with their characteristic yellow hue. A seasonal flower that blooms only for a month, the Mexican Sunflowers is a proud symbol of northern Thailand. To celebrate the highly anticipated Sunflower blossoming, Chiang Rai hosts the popular Sunflower Bloom Festival in the Sunflower field in Ban Pong Village. The festival includes tribal sports competitions and dance performances in addition to numerous cultural shows and competitions and as a tribute to the blossoming Sunflowers, a Sunflower painting contest. Here, food stalls sell a range of delectable traditional dishes and also a few tribal dishes. The Mexican Sunflower Festival is followed by the Chiang Rai Flower Festival that includes flower processions, Miss Thinn Thai Ngarm Contest and also an agricultural and flower fair.


Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.


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