Perhaps one of my favorite places in Thailand, Pa Hin Ngam National Park in Chaiyaphum province is a truly wonderful place. The name mean Forest of Beautiful Stones. While there are really big and beautiful rock formations (an upcoming post), what I love about Pa Hin Ngam is the summer tulips, also known as the Siam tulip (the Thai call them dok kra jiao). These flowers are actually not tulips at all—they are related to ginger. In July, during the rainy season, the forest floor explodes with bright pink blooms.
The forest is actually quite high up in the hills, so it remains misty and cool throughout the year. I had hoped that the mist would burn off so I could get some photos without mist, but that did not happen. No problem, the mist was refreshing and definitely added to the atmosphere of forest. The park has a boardwalk so you can stroll through. You are supposed to stay on the path so the tulips are not damaged, but I saw several Thai people jumping over the little railings to walk on the rocks and to take photos in the flowers. *sigh* Of course, this does a lot of damage since the flowers are quite delicate.
This year there was not a lot of rain, so there were not as many tulips in bloom. According to the park staff, this has been the case for years. The weather has been shifting and so fewer and fewer tulips are blooming each year sadly. The park was not busy when I visited despite being the height of the tulip season. It is mostly visited by Thai and a few foreigners (I was the only foreigner there).