Once again, Songkran was cancelled due to the pandemic and all public activities must be taken with extra caution. Now, we must use creativity to open up fun activities for ourselves when we feel cooped up in our homes. For a COVID safe activity, I suggest you take a drive to go view the beautiful Ratchapruek flower blooming all around Chiang Mai. The trees can be spotted almost anywhere in town; on the sidewalk, in parks, or even in backyards. A great place to go see the beautiful Ratchapruek as socially distanced as possible is to head downtown to the moat area and take a route similar to the one you would take to splash water on Songkran. It can also be spotted on Chetuphon road (main road to Chiang Mai International School before the intersection to cross the bridge) and other places around Chiang Mai as well. The trees, known as the golden shower tree because the yellow flower seems to be trickling down like water, is a pretty sight you don’t want to miss. Rachapruek is the sakura of Chiang Mai!
Did you know?
In Thai, locally known as Dok Koon (ดอกคูน) or Ratchapruek, the name means a royal tree. Its bright yellow colour is associated with Buddhism, the main religion of Thailand, and the colour of Monday which is the day King Rama 9 was born. In October 2001, this tree, scientifically known as cassia fistula, was named the national flower and tree of Thailand.
Go for a sightseeing drive-by, a socially distanced picnic if it is not too hot, or a photo shoot. A great excuse to get out of the house while staying waaay away from anyone else.