Chiang_Rai_attraction_Doi_Tung_Royal_Villa_flower_Garden

A Mother’s Love is Everywhere in Chiang Rai

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.

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Srinagarindra, Princess Mother of Thailand” by The Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary – http://www.chiangrai.net/cpwp/?page_id=1424. Licensed under CC BY 1.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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.

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 Image source from herehttp://www.indochinaexplorer.com/ 

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!

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 Image source from herehttp://www.doitung.org/


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 flowerMorning 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!


The Museflower Project


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Discover Chiang Rai: Mon Fah Farm & Sacha Inchi Seed

“So where are all the good places to visit in Chiang Rai?” asked the traveler. 

Welcome to my first travel post on the Museflower Project blog!

Here I want to share what’s there to discover in Chiang Rai – this little city (though huge province) up in the north of Thailand. Most people know about Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Samui or Phuket, but poor “little” Chiang Rai seems to be off the radar.

I met a traveler the other day in Chiang Rai. He told me that he didn’t really like it here. He asked me what’s there to see, because all he could see is bar girls (in the only one street in town) giving happy endings to customers and drunk foreigners. I told him that from what I knew, there were only two streets like that in Chiang Rai, that were for tourists only. 

‘Oh then maybe that’s where I am staying, because that’s why that’s all I see’, said the traveler.

Uh-oh! But Chiang Rai is such a beautiful place to visit.

“So where are all the good places to visit in Chiang Rai?” asked the traveler. 

Chiang Rai definitely is not a typical tourist attraction because there are only so few touristy spots for photos, and it’s boring for most people who only like to take pictures and move on to the next spot.

But if you like to take a break from the city and come enjoy the countryside, Chiang Rai does have something to offer, like discovering new gems inside a cave. 

So, through this blog, I hope to post and share with everyone the ‘more fun’ places to visit in Chiang Rai. I am still a half-tourist here, so this is where I’ll put on my travel hat. I’d only write about places that I personally have been to (no commission whatsoever), and will be truly honest of my own personal experience there – knowing that everyone experiences differently.

Please bear in mind that my opinion and my experience may not be the same as what you may experience. I’m not a licensed tour guide, just someone who enjoys traveling and discovering new places. 

Hope you enjoy this half-tourist guide of Chiang Rai and Thailand! 

PS: Thank you to this traveler who eventually gave me this idea to write the travel blog (he is a real person, not an imaginary friend)


Mon Fah Organic Farm

(since there is no English spelling, I tried my best to translate the sound)

Location: Nanglae Nai Village, Nanglae Sub-District,  Muang District, Chiang Rai

It’s a journey itself to discover this beautiful farm, inside of Nanglae Nai, a small village off the Highway road on the way to Mae Sai (Phaholyotin Road) around the Nanglae District.

I was getting crazy (pretty much on a daily basis), and bought 5 books that I could not even read (!!!) on decorating with plants and gardens. All I could enjoy was the beautiful pictures for inspiration, and one could hope that my boyfriend would translate for me one day.

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Out of one of the books, my boyfriend saw this farm located in Chiang Rai, not too far from where he lives, so he suggested to take a visit.

We arrived on a Sunday, and at first we didn’t see anyone except a beautiful landscape that resembled a boutique resort.

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Then the owner appeared and came to greet to us like an old friend. The owner Mr. Wichai (or ‘arjan‘ means teacher in Thai) explained that all the workers were off on Sunday, so he brought us to this sitting and meeting area that was built on the lake.

We explained that we’d like to know more about organic farms in Chiang Rai, so Arjan shared with us his journey of how he used to an early-retiring professor from Bangkok, to an organic farmer at Chiang Rai for 15 years.

Arjan Wichai said he wanted “chivit thammada” (a normal life). The life in Bangkok had become abnormal. He was a professor in physical, and he wanted to plant and introduce a new super health food that was unique to Thailand.

That’s how he discovered Sacha Inchi seed (Thai people call it the “star nut” – such a cute name), and he brought the seeds over to produce different kind of products out of this super food.

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Sacha Inchi seed is from Peruvian Amazon originally. The seed is known as the Inca Peanut.

This small nut produces a high quality oil which has the following benefits:
– Its oil is high in Omega 3,6,9
– Antioxidant
– Contains vitamin A and E

It can be taken internally in the form of nut or oil, or externally as cosmetic products, such as massage oil or soap.

For more information about the Sacha Inchi seed, see here: http://www.inkanatural.com/en/sachainchi/sacha_inchi_oil.html
(the website of this farm is not available)

monfahfarm_sacha_inchi_plantmohfahfarm_sacha_inchi_seed_closeup

We bought a small bottle of oil, a massage candle, a bar of soap, and some snacks with the nut. 

I still haven’t tried out the oil yet- when I do I will share how it is!

Unfortunately we didn’t get to look at the farm yet since it ended up raining and really windy.

But Arjan Wichai gave us 2 seeds for us to plant as souvenirs, thank you so much!

mohfahfarm_farm_tour_beginningmonfahfarm_sacha_inchi_seed_souvenir

We will definitely go back to visit again, and maybe we will end up selling their products here at Museflower Retreat & Spa too (love discovering and sourcing local products and sharing it with our guests here), who knows?

I loved how serene the place felt, with the small reservoir in the middle, and the traditional bamboo bridge on top of it.

Arjan Wichai offers the meeting room (which is above the lake) complimentary for anyone who is interested to use. We can bring our own food (they do not serve food at the farm) but strictly no alcohol.

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He emphasized that serenity and the peaceful atmosphere at the farm should be kept at all times.That is the reason why he doesn’t want to promote or advertise his farm as a tourist attraction.

Everyone is welcome to visit his beautiful farm, as long as we enter with an open heart and respect to nature.

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Arjan Wichai is very hospitable and can speak some English. He is happy to share his knowledge about the Sacha Inchi seed products.

I prefer to share the location privately if anyone is interested to visit, in order to keep Arjan Wichai’s wishes to maintain the serenity of his farm.

I’m so thankful and amazed by how the Universe paves out new journeys and adventures for us to discover. If I never bought the books, then I would have never (or at least not now) discovered Mon Fah Farm, met Arjan Wichai, and got to know about Sacha Inchi Seed (which I never heard of before). 

Another example of saying ‘yes’ and following intuition in life, and what new adventure it leads us to. 

Thank you Universe and Arjan Wichai for the hospitable welcome!


Want to learn more about what’s there to do in Chiang Rai and  at Museflower Retreat & Spa? Visit our official website here.

The Museflower Project


 

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