Doi Angkhang is an attractive tourism destination, well worth the trip up to
Fang from Chiang Mai, where tourists can leave behind the bustle and heat of
the city and experience cooler weather, as well as having the opportunity to
see various kinds of exotic flowers. In addition, there are several
different hill tribes living on the mountain, including Black Lahu, Yunnan
Chinese, Tai Tribe and Palaung; earning their living working on the Angkhang
Many years ago, the King and Queen visited Doi Angkhang and saw the hill
tribes who lived there planting opium, but they were still poor and their
farming methods destroyed forest and affected the water sources that are
important for the ecology of the area.
The Royal Couple said, “Hill tribes are farming incorrectly and improperly,
so if we help them to live permanently at this place and to farm properly,
they will have a better livelihood and conserve the forest and soil that
will be of further benefit to the country”. They spent their own money to
purchase land at Doi Angkhang and set up the Royal Project there in 1969,
appointing HSH Prince Bhisadej Rajani to be responsible for it under the
Royal Project Foundation.
Jing Hamon, leader of the Palaung who emigrated from Burma in World War II
to live in Naw Lae Village, near the Thai-Burmese border at Doi Angkhang,
has stayed there for more than 20 years; and recalled that the Palaung
people were forced to work very hard while living in Burma. They were used
as slave labor during the war, so they decided to immigrate to Thailand,
wishing to live under the graciousness of the Thai king. When they first
settled here, they planted opium and it was very hard for them to earn a
living because it was illegal, but later the Royal Project Foundation helped
them to grow temperate plants and to sell directly to the Royal Project.
Today they are growing such plants as strawberries, sweet lettuce and
temperate fruits, and especially tea that brings them a good income. He said
with some pride that the Royal Project had given them the opportunity to
escape from drugs and have a better livelihood; and they would always
remember that this was due to the graciousness of the King and Queen.
(photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)
There are many interesting things f or visitors to see and do in the
Angkhang Royal Agriculture Center, especially during the winter season.
Visitors can enjoy the cool weather whilst strolling among beautiful flowers
planted in a huge plastic dome. Here you will find many kinds of flower, for
example orchids, begonias, moss and ferns; and as well as viewing, some
varieties are available for purchasing. The sales-point for the products of
the Royal Project is in front of the dome, where one can pick up a basket
and walk round the gardens choosing your purchases, much like a supermarket.
Furthermore, there is a thriving bonsai garden at Doi Angkhang, containing
dwarf temperate trees and shrubs, a conservatory of rare, exotic plants of
tropical origin, mini bonsai (mume bonsai) and an insectivorous plant
One more attractive point that visitors should not leave without seeing is
the 80 Year Garden, so named to honor the age of president of the royal
project, HSH Prince Bhisadej Rajani. This garden, laid out in the British
style is the highlight of the Angkhang Royal Agriculture Center, displaying
temperate plants e.g. cabbage, abutilon Chinese rose and real sakura from
Japan. Plants in this garden are rotated all the time and it is still
beautiful, even during the summer or hot season, because the weather at Doi
Angkhang is always cool.
Entrance of Angkhang Royal
Agriculture Center (photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)
Swiss chard. (photo by
Various types of flowers.
Flower seedlings for sale.
The Royal Project products.
Organic strawberry bed
irrigated by using biologically treated water to prevent insects. (photo by
Jing Hamon, leader of the
Palaung tribe (left).
Temperate flowers at the 80