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“For a Reasonable Lung Space in Chiang Mai” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Tweechol Botanic Garden

Tweechol Botanic Garden
118 Moo 7 | Cheng Doi, Doi Saket, Doi Saket 50200, Thailand
053-868891-3
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Ranked #3 of 9 things to do in Doi Saket
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Bucharest, Romania
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“For a Reasonable Lung Space in Chiang Mai”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2014

The Tweechol Botanic Garden in Chiang Mai is a passable attraction as a reasonable lung pace in the city. The botanic garden consists of a swimming pool and several small water bodies, including a boating lake. The boating is very basic with a few paddle boats to entice the tourists. The pool is very inviting and for a good swimmer it would be a great place as not many people use the pool. The rest of the gardens are made up of topiary and old trees and new trees planted recently. The topiary is again basic with deer, dolphins, dinosaurs, dragons and gorillas. The other vegetation that can be recognized and admired is the herb garden and the cactus garden. The small zoo with animals such as ostrich, camel, birds and swans is nothing to write home about. A rudimentary museum with exhibits of historical significance is also on the premises.

Visited February 2014
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37 reviews from our community

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English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“great experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2014

entry 80 bht. / bike rental 70 bht

Im not exaggerating when I say that this place was on a power with the London Royal parks or something you might see in Paris.

Take a songthaew from Worrorot market - at the northern end of the road that borders the market and runs along the riverside. The gardens are only 30 minutes from downtown CM
There is a lot of topiary. There is a sort of zoo experience with the following ; 6 ostrichs, many deer, 1 cassowary, many different peacocks and 4 camels. There are many small lakes and an orchid garden as well as a large and impressive cactus garden. It seems to be a stylish hotel/conference centre/ wedding venue.

This is a large and pleasant space to chill out away from tourist scene in downtown CM. The beautiful large swimming pool was empty and looked very appealing but unfortunately I had a cold that day.

Definitely rent a bike.

Visited January 2014
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Chiang Mai
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Quiet gardens are part of a resort - but you'll not be troubled by that”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

Relatively expensive by Thai standards: THB140/100 for adults and children respectively; THB180/140 with buffet.
The buffet was good value though the only drink available was water - quickly topped up for you as soon as the glass was emptied. The chef, anxious to impress, came over to speak to me but spoke almost no English – but certainly more than the paltry number of words that I know in his language. His potatoes were disappointingly undercooked, but the fried fish in caper sauce was superb as was the mushroom and cream soup. There were separate sections for salad, sushi (miniature pieces my ten-year-old found appealing), Chinese, Lao, Thai desert and fresh fruit though the latter, disappointingly, only had three types, with the pineapple not so ripe as to be able to enjoy the centre bit too like I normally expect in this part of the world.

So, good value, so far.

We rented bicycles (THB50/40 adult/child respectively, for 2-hrs (and THB40 if you take your own) but these had been bought at Tesco, apparently, and it showed. Half of them didn't have a full complement of working brakes, and we struggled for several minutes to find one the right size for my daughter until the attendant realised we needed a child's bike and took us to where they were. I wanted to take the tandem so my wife could snap away with the camera from the back but gave up arguing that it "shouldn't just be for show," when I found the brakes weren't working. No evidence of anyone tasked with maintaining the bikes though none of the tyres were flat.
Golf buggies were available at THB 300/hour, and there were supposed to be busses around the gardens, though we didn't see any actually moving. We were given a (free) lift from the restaurant so we could rent the bicycles..

It was Saturday lunchtime on a lovely day, not too hot, with a faint cooling drizzle to begin with. We cycled around for nearly an hour (me struggling with the too small frame and low saddle - I'm 6'2"), enjoying the various arboreta, cactus area, herb garden where, inexplicably, the labels had the Thai and scientific (Latin) names but not the English 'colloquial' names, etc.
Lots of trees there, which appeared to have been relatively recently planted - more were being planted using a crane near the pool. This made for a relatively cool environment - lush and fed by the irrigation system throughout the gardens.
And the topiary. You know the kind of thing: a wire frame covered in foliage. There were deer, gorillas, dolphins, dragons galore, dinosaurs etc and though nothing like as desirable as having the actual creatures, made the overall atmosphere a bit more interesting, I might suggest, though personally I prefer the more traditional style perfected by the Victorians.

We didn't manage to go on the boating lake where the boats were the pedal type. This was, in part, due to everything closing at five o’clock sharp: the bike ladies came looking for their machines, though weren’t wanting extra money for going beyond our two hours; all the gardeners were driven off in the backs of pickups – no seat-belt regulations here; and I never even found out if there was a souvenir shop or what was for sale in the plant shop!

The staff don't seem to do 'friendly' or 'helpful' in the way Thais are so well known for, so I wasn't surprised to be informed they, including the gangs of gardeners, were from Burma - cheap labour that, disappointingly, seemed to provide little benefit or employment for local Thais.

The pool, access to which one would additionally require a day pass or club membership, was also expensive by Thai standards: THB130 & THB70 respectively for adults and children (though the sign outside said THB100). For this money I would normally expect towels! However, it was one of the best, if not the best, I have seen in Thailand. Not too hot, not too cool, spotless, probably 25 x 10 m, even the water tasted okay: my daughter said it tasted 'like milk', though I declined to taste for myself. No chlorine chemical smell here with only the lush air from the gardens and the occasional whiff of diesel fumes from tree planting nearby. But no attendant, nor was the adjoining club house open, so no ice cream.

This was a Saturday afternoon yet we saw no more than twenty others in the gardens. The pool had only a couple who appeared to be staying in one of the apartments for their honeymoon. The largest numbers were in the restaurant, most of whom were attending a conference in the same building.
One may wonder at the viability of such a place until you realise it is only part of the Horizon Resort and Conference Centre, which, according to the website, has 149 bedrooms and suites. Presumably the gardens are quieter at the weekend because there are fewer conference attendees.

Although it is only thirteen kilometres, as the crow flies, from Chiang Mai walled city, it feels further even if it is dual carriageway all the way from the Inner Ring Road. But not too difficult (or expensive) for visitors to the hotel to get taxis in and out of the city – probably less than THB 400 each way.
The resort will be well positioned for the new Chiang Mai international airport when it is eventually built - rumoured to be in this area. The existing airport belongs to the military.

Best visit now while it is still quiet and affordable, then.

Visited September 2013
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Hamilton, New Zealand
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great place to relax”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2013 via mobile

Very serene place. Great place to relax for a few hours. Hire a bicycle or a golf cart to get about in. It's a pretty big area. The only down side is the small space the animals are confined to. They all seem healthy though. It was nice to feed and pat them.

Visited September 2013
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Lome, Togo
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“This Garden is Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

The grounds of this garden are to be seen to be believed. Someone has loved this garden into existence. We were just in awe of the beauty and the planning that had gone into its' creation. A beautiful lake meanders around twists and turns, revealing more beauty around the corner. You can even hire a paddle boat by the hour for a different view.
The only negative is the thankfully, small, zoo. Camels, ostrich's, swans, peackocks, and others, kept in cramped, unnatural conditions. A big disappointment in otherwise perfect surroundings. Send the animals to a proper facility and it would only enhance life for them and would in no way detract from the garden experience.

Visited August 2013
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