Bhutan is participating in the International Gardens category along with 29 other countries in the International Horticultural Exposition called the Royal Flora Ratchaphruek 2011 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The exhibition is organized to celebrate the three auspicious occasions of His Majesty the King’s 84th Birthday Anniversary, Her Majesty the Queen’s 80th Birthday Anniversary and His Royal Highness Prince Maha Vajralongkorn’s 60th Birthday Anniversary.
Bhutan is presenting the garden with the theme “Life in Harmony with Nature and Culture”. Some of the distinctive features of the garden are the boundary wall with carvings of the eight lucky signs, geykars and a main gate with bhutanese carvings; longlife prayer flags dedicated to the long life and good health of His Majesty the King, Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Prince of Thailand; a bhutanese altar with the statue of Buddha Shakyamuni; a chukhor mani; a sangthap; a bridge of friendship with carvings of the Blue Poppy, the Ratchaphruek (national flower of Thailand) and Thuenpa Puen zhi; replica models of the national symbols of Bhutan (national animal, bird and flower); a bhutanese model house and a pavilion displaying medicinal and aromatic plant samples from Bhutan.
The official flag ceremony was held on December 14, 2011 and the Bhutanese team at the ceremony was led by the Hon’ble Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Program Director, National Biodiversity Centre, Counselor, Royal Bhutanese Embassy, Thailand and the Expo Coordinator, National Biodiversity Centre.
The exhibition is open from 14 December 2011 to 14 March 2012 and the Bhutan Garden is already on the list of ‘must-see’ attractions at the Expo. Bhutan’s participation in the Expo will further strengthen the strong friendship and immense goodwill that exists between Bhutan and Thailand and is expected to boost national tourism.