Window to Chiang Mai Thailand
Orchids are epiphytes (plants that grow on other plants, but are not parasitic) that were once common in the perfect conditions offered by the mountains of northern Thailand.
The demand from orchid growers for wild stock, however, has meant that their occurrence in the wild is now severely threatened. Collection from the jungle is banned and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) bans trade in wild-collected plants.
The export of plants propagated in nurseries is legal however. To export them a phytosanitary certificate and CITES certificate must be obtained from the Chiang Mai International Airport Plant Quarantine Office (Tel: 053277182).
The orchid farms in the Mae Sa Valley exhibit and sell plants, but you should also visit the Kamthian Market in Chiang Mai, where a large number of garden shops sell a big variety of plants.
The most comprehensive collection of plants including orchids, however, may be seen at the Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden in the Mae Sa Valley.