If you ask people what they associate with Thailand they are more likely to say beaches and tropical islands than they are flowers. Nevertheless, flowers are very much a part of everyday life in Thailand. Flower garlands can be seen in most taxi cabs and buses and at most statues and memorials as well as spirit houses. Visitors to the southern islands and beaches may also notice the colourful garlands on the prow of some longtail boats. Flowers are used to make offerings in Buddhism and you’ll see plenty of lotus flowers and jasmine at any Thai temple. Small flowers are even used to garnish drinks ranging from fruit shakes to cocktails and in some hotels and guest-houses, orchids may be arranged on your bed when you first arrive.
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Flowers used in Buddhist offerings at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai.
The annual Chiang Mai Flower Festival is held over the first weekend in February featuring floral floats which are paraded through the streets of the city.
Flower garlands for sale at a roadside market.
Water lilies at Jim Thompson’s House in Bangkok.
The beautiful gardens at Mae Fah Luang in Chiang Rai.
Two salas set amongst the flower beds at Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden in Chiang Mai.
Royal portraits and wreaths on sale for Chulalongkorn Day.