Travel Photo Thursday – February 13, 2014 – Chiang Mai’s 38th Annual Flower Festival

Posted by on Feb 13, 2014 in Destinations, Featured, Thailand - Chiang Mai, Travel Photo Thursday | 43 comments

Chiang Mai Flower Festival

This past weekend was the Chiang Mai Annual Flower Festival; 38 years and still going strong. Welcome to another week of Travel Photo Thursday (0ur 164th!).The gorgeous flowers, traditional dancing, marching bands, beautiful costumes. and a parade filled with spectacular floats made for an awesome weekend. Events this year were held between the Suan Buak Hat Park, in the old city, and Thapae Gate. The parade followed its usual route, winding through the city from Narrawot Bridge to Suan Buak Hat. The one big change this year was that the parade didn’t get underway until 4pm. In fact, it was closer to 5pm before things really started. Darkness had long fallen before we saw the final floats, and dancers!

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I visited Suan Buak Hat Park on Friday. Flower judging contests were happening. Food vendors were enticing attendees with loads of delicious food. There was a traditional market where you could buy everything from plants to puppies. The highlights for me were the orchids and  the  traditional dancing. Here are my favorite shots from the Friday.


The variety of orchids was amazing! I love these pink miniatures…


Pink Minature Thai Orchids


Flower judging is serious business…


Flower Judging, Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2014


More beautiful orchids…


Pink and Yellow Thai Orchids


Purple Thai Orchids


Suan Buak Hat Park…


Suan Buak Hat Park


Thai traditional dancers dressed to dance.


Thai Dancers


Aren’t they lovely?


Beautiful Hill Tribe Girls


This younger dancer knew exactly how to pose!


Young Thai Traditional Dancer


Concentrating on the performance…


Young Thai Traditional Dancers.jpg


Loved these masked dancers!


Masked Thai Dancers, Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2014


Saturday arrived, and the parade wound its way from Narrawot Bridge to Suan Buak Park. I have lost count as to the number of times I have seen this parade, and I never tire of it. Chiang Mai shines when it comes to putting on this annual spectacle. I wish I could show you all the great moments I managed to capture. but my blogging host would probably shut me down! I’ll try to post more in the weeks to come.


They love their marching bands. This all female group was amazing. They energized the crowd and never missed a beat.  Don’t you love the ears?!
Marching Band Chiang Mai Flower Festival


These Hill Tribe dancers boogied the entire length of Thapae Gate Road, and they were just getting started!


Hill Tribe Dancers


Loved these colorful tiger heads!


Tiger Float


There was no end to the beautiful floats! Well there was, but the parade went for at least three hours (probably close to four)


Floating By


The swan at Thapae Gate…


The Swan at Thapae Gate


And one last flower…


Delicate Thai Orchid


Travelers Tip 

The festival is a 3-day event, and is held either the first or the second weekend in February. If Chinese New Year falls on the same weekend (as it did this year), the festival is usually changed to the next weekend. The entire festival is free. Accomodation can be at a premium, so if you decide to attend, book early!


This is the 164th edition of Travel Photo Thursday. You can browse the archives here.


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  1. Orchids are my favorite flowers and I love your pictures of them, Nancie. What a great festival. That parade is pretty long but I’m sure time passed quickly seeing those beautiful floats. Those girls are just adorable. What an awesome experience to be in town for the festival.

    • Hi Mary! This is one of my fav festivals. There are no barricades, so photographers are usually right in the middle of the action. Getting good shots can be a challenge!

  2. I love the pretty girls,the coy looks, the gorgeous flowers – especially the purple ones and the sense of community conveyed by your photos.
    Looks like a great place to wander with a camera.

    • Hi Leigh! The biggest challenge is staying out of the way of all the other photographers!

  3. What a polished performer that little girl is already. I am glad you included the one last orchid. It is my favourite 🙂

    • Hi Jan! Glad you like the orchid. I have so many flower shots to go through, but that one really stood out for me.

  4. I love the flowers and the beautiful bright costumes. Your photos are gorgeous.

    • Hi Tonya! Thank you! This festival is just so beautiful. It’s impossible not to get some good shots!

  5. Beautiful images and lovely festival, I like their costumes.
    And I love the orchid photos – coincidentally, this week my orchid also bloomed… (^_^)

    • Orchids are one of my favorite flowers. Once I am living in a warmer clime full time I will try and grow them. Enjoy your blooms!

  6. I’m trying to grow orchids at home, and have an off on success with them in pots – but they are my favourite flower. So delicate, so colourful, so exotic – and I love the photos you have chosen for this post. Especially the last flower shot. What a fabulous festival and yes those two little girls in their costumes are gorgeous – the colours of their dresses are fabulous.

    • Hi Johanna! Thanks for your kind words. I want to try my hand at growing orchids once I am living in a warmer clime full time.

  7. I am with Leigh, those purple flowers win this one. All your photos are simply magic though, Nancie but there was just something about those purple blossoms that called out to me!

    • Hi Jackie! I like that shot too. The light was just right when I took that.

  8. Wow! beautiful orchids … beautiful photos … beautiful people … the festival, the costumes and the colors … just beautiful 🙂

    • Thanks, Rachel. I’m so glad you like them 🙂

  9. Orchids are my favorite flowers but unfortunately I don’t have a green thumb when it comes to keeping them in my home.

    I remember visiting an orchid farm many years ago in Thailand and I remember the vivid colors, the scent and the price – oh my. I ended up purchasing one for our hotel room for $3 USD and was sad to leave it behind when we returned home to Canada.

    What colorful and gorgeous photos of the festival. I can only imagine what it was like to see it all in person.

    • Hi Cheryl! I love orchids too, and looking forward to living in a climate where I can try my hands at growing them!

  10. Fantastic!!! this must have been a delight to see!

    • Hi Jackie! This really is a fabulous weekend and parade. I am always thrilled to be in Chiang Mai when it’s happening.

  11. Love all the bright colours here, Nancie – and dreaming a bit of Asia myself just now 🙂

    • Hi Sophie! Are you planning a visit sometime soon?

  12. Really awesome. Everything is awesome;flowers, attires, little girls, the dance and most of all, your pictures are really hot.

  13. I love visiting when there is a local festival or parade and this one is definitely a must see, amazing colors and beautiful people…what a festive and wonderful opportunity to capture some incredible pictures!

    • Hi Noel! Yes, a great time of the year to be in Chiang Mai. Lots of things going on that provide some great photo taking opportunities.

  14. Wow, I love a parade and this one is really grand. Love the floats and the orchids, my absolute most favorite flower. That last flower is so beautiful and those kids, so poised. That little girl is already a seasoned performer.

    • Hi Marcia! I can see that little one starring in her own movie someday! 🙂

  15. I was very much hoping that you’d show us pictures of last week’s festival. I remember how beautiful your photos from last year’s were. This looks like another wonderful parade. I didn’t realize that there were marching bands in Thailand, so I’ve now learned something new.

    • Hi Michele! I think there were five or six marching bands in the parade. They seem to be a big thing here, and I love them!

  16. Liked the shots of the dancers alot!

    • Thanks, Dick! I was happy with some of my dance shots. They can be so difficult to capture!

  17. Gorgeous pics of people and flowers alike. The intricate detail of the flowers is amazing and so well captured. The dancers are so beautiful, too.

    • Thanks Cathy! This festival captures so much beauty. Really a fun one to photograph!

  18. Beautiful. Love all the colours – in the orchids, dancer dresses, and floats.

    • Hi Donna! Thanks for dropping by. Yes, the colors are awesome.

  19. Thanks for sharing those beautiful orchids. I’m a hobby grower and in this dry climate, it’s been quite a challenge. The costumes are so very elaborate, are they handed down from other generations?

    • I would love to grow orchids. One of these days, when I move to a warmer climate!

  20. Gorgeous photos! The flowers are beautiful, but I really loved the photo of the traditional dancers and the very young dancer posing for the camera. When I was in Thailand, I remember thinking the Thai women were beautiful, inside and out.

    • Hi Patti! I agree, the Thai women are beautiful. Their dancing is awesome.

  21. As a visual person I love these photographic posts 🙂
    What a feast for the eyes – orchids and national costumes – beautiful!

    • Hi Linda! and thanks! I’m visual as well, and never tire looking at photographs.

  22. I was just expecting flower photos- which are lovely BTW- so was surprised to see people, parades etc. Love the people in traditional dress. That little girl with the flower is gorgeous!

    • Hi Frankie! I love how this festival is as much about the performers as the flowers.


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