GUEST BLOG BY MORNING GLORY
May is a month when most countries celebrate Mother’s Day, though not in Thailand. It’s not that we don’t celebrate mothers, but because we have our own Mother’s Day on August 12, which is the Queen of Thailand’s birthday. Since the royal couple are much cherished as the father and mother of all Thai people, then it seems only logical that we celebrate Mother’s and Father’s Days on their birthdays, doesn’t it?
Did you know, there is enormous mother energy everywhere in Chiang Rai! You might notice that the name Mae Fah Luang crops up everywhere – there’s a Mae Fah Luang university, hospital, botanical garden, and foundation, and all are named after the late Princess Mother, who was the mother of the current monarch. The Princess Mother was a trained nurse, a passionate environmentalist. and in the 1960s she started visiting remote hill tribes by helicopter, bringing doctors with her to give medical care to the mountain villagers. This earned her the name Mae Fah Luang, which means Royal Mother from the Sky.
The Princess Mother was especially passionate about flowers and collected pressed flowers which she picked and catalogued herself. She established Mae Fah Luang Garden so that local people who didn’t have a chance to travel overseas could enjoy flowers and get to see temperate flowers from other countries. It‘s filled with hundreds of different types of flowers and is considered the most beautiful garden in Thailand. You can also visit the beautiful Doi Tung Royal Villa, which was her home in Chiang Rai and is now a museum open to the public. She chose to live in Chiang Rai to be close to her royal projects, and it was her first real home of her own in Thailand since she had always lived in official palaces in Bangkok before that.
She was down-to-earth and loved nature, trekking, and plants and flowers, and donated vast amounts of land and initiated the Doi Tung Development Project, which promotes reforestation and the development of crops that help improve the lives and livelihoods of the hill tribe people. When you see the name Doi Tung around Chiang Rai, you’ll know that these products are from royally sponsored projects that are helping the lives of local people. Doi Tung coffee, macadamia nuts and cotton fabrics are wonderful, high quality gifts to take home from Chiang Rai!
Want to learn more about Doi Tung Royal Villa and Garden in Chiang Rai? Check out Chiang Rai’s attractions and tours available for our guests here at Museflower Retreat & Spa, Chiang Rai, Thailand? Find out more here.
ABOUT MORNING GLORY
Morning Glory lives in Bangkok where she takes care of her family and works as a writer and communications consultant.Her past struggles with stress, chronic fatigue and a spine injury led her on a journey in search of alternative healing, and she has travelled around Thailand, Bali, India and Sri Lanka exploring different types of healing retreats and techniques, and led her to practice yoga and Reiki.
Morning is her favorite time of day, when she wakes up to the sound of birds singing in the garden. This flower always reminds her of her childhood, and Thai sautéed “Red Fire Morning Glory” is one of her favorite vegetarian dishes!