Northern Thailand Cultural Exchange & Study Tour

Appreciating Natural and Urban Landscapes in Northern Thailand

12 – 18 June, 2017
Tour Co-ordinator: Dr. Alvin Tang

Famous for its unique mountainous characteristics, Northern Thailand offers a variety of choice for visitors who love nature expedition, trekking, adventure, religion, and the special hill tribe culture. During the summer break, a group of 15 students from Tree Management Concentration Studies had departed for Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai for seven days to explore this unique place.

The trip commenced with the study of plant biodiversity at the largest botanic garden in Northern Thailand – the Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden. Researchers were invited to share their views on the conservation of plant resources and findings of unique plants in Thailand. On the same day, we had also visited the Elephant Poo Poo Paper Park and Chiang Mai Night Safari to explore the potential of using fibers from elephant dung to make paper and to have the first sight of different wild animals including white tiger, hippo, zebra and kangaroo respectively.

After the comfortable city life in Chiang Mai, students were brought to a forest of Mae Taeng where they had been arranged to stay inside the primitive wooden chalets. The students were frightened by exotic insects, mosquitoes and leeches for two days. Nevertheless, the authentic jungle expedition was very unique and refreshing. The students were then arranged to visit Mae Fah Luang University at Chiang Rai where they had met professors and graduate students and had some amazing exchange activities.

Apart from academic exchange, they also had a chance to visit the Long-neck Village, Opium Museum and enjoyed the magnificent view from the Mae Kong River at the Golden Triangle where they had learnt the special history of one of the major opium-producing areas in Asia.

"The tour enriched my experience and vision."

Li Sze Man, Anna (Tree Management, Year 2)

During the seven days in Ching Mai and Ching Rai, we had visited various places such as Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden, Night Safari Zoo, Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Tribal Museum, Mushroom Research Centre, Mae Fah Luang University (MFU) and its Botanic Garden.

Through these visits, I found that the Thai loved and treasured their country and therefore paid a lot of efforts in environmental conservation. I had gained a lot of practical knowledge in agroforestry in mountain areas, management of trees and mushrooms species, cultivation techniques in orchids and horticultural practices in botanic gardens by attending the lectures and sharing the local professionals.

I enjoyed the trip so much as it had enriched my experience and vision. It was also meaningful to me in the way that I had overcome a lot of challenges such as fear of insects, adverse health condition and acclimation to exotic food. I would like to extend my gratitude to the tour guide Ms. Karn, our lecturer Dr. Alvin Tang and my fellow team members for making this trip an unforgettable one.