The spectacle of pink sakura trees in full bloom in the spring has long been a major draw card for tourists visiting Japan. Several locations in the hills around Chiang Mai feature groves of sakura cherry tree blossoms too. These provide a foretaste of the beauty of the Japanese blossoms. In addition to the two main viewing locations below, other places to see sakura blossoms around Chiang Mai include Doi Inthanon National park and Doi Mae Salong in Chiang Rai province.
Due to the warmer climate in Northern Thailand, sakura trees here flower earlier than they do in Japan. The best time to head up into the hills here is from mid-December, but the season is not fixed and this may vary a little. The flowers generally remain on the trees until the beginning of February but wilt by this time. To enjoy the sight at its finest the What’s Up recommends leaving it not much later than the middle of January.
The Agriculture Research Centre at Khun Chang Kian is home to a significant number of sakura cherry blossom trees. The centre is situated in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park and is 15kms beyond Doi Suthep Temple. The centre grows coffee too and sipping on a freshly brewed cup is very much a part of the sakura viewing trip. Khun Chang Kian is not on public transport routes. Tours, taxis or songthaews, or renting a car or motorcycle are the travel choices. Rentalcars.com is a preferred partner for What’s Up and is a global car hire provider offering competitive daily rental rates in Chiang Mai.
Doi Ang Khang boasts a cool climate when compared to the rest of Thailand and is Chiang Mai Province’s version of an old colonial hill station. The Royal Agricultural Station Ang Khang grows a large range of plants and trees. Among these are sizeable amounts of both Siamese and Japanese sakura cherry blossom trees. Doi Ang Khang is 140kms from Chiang Mai and accessible on public transport or by driving yourself. [Read more on Doi Angkhang]