Last century, in times when the wealthy travelled by train the Royal Siam Railway built hotels in Hua Hin and one in Chiang Mai just across the road to the North of station.
The Chiang Mai Railway Hotel is long gone but the land where it once stood and to its West and North which still has some of the many Rain trees planted there long ago remains to this day on the Railways Department land register.
Transformed into a park at a cost of 299 million baht by the government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra nearly 20 years ago , has had its ups and downs, but now the park is now derelict.
Never-the-less the tree planting activities organised by Gum Hak Doi Suthep have been largely successful and with Chiang Mai emerging from restrictions on movement during the Covid-19 public health emergency , perhaps the time has come to reassert community control over this precious piece of open space in our park poor town ?
So with the rains having at last arrived I have done a little tree planting again. Tiny by the standards we set a decade ago when 30 species were planted there as his time over two visits only six trees were planted.
Those volunteers who participated years ago may recall the difficulty involved. At that time many huge dead and dying Rain trees dominated the site. They had been killed during development of the park as around a 30 centimetre , or one Foot , layer of stony fill and building waste was spread across the site.
To dig through this layer to find native soil in which water may penetrate and tree roots may grow is Hard Labor.
It is ten years since municipal elections were held in Chiang Mai and surely time has come for the populace to wake up and help ensure improvements in the management of our town , its open spaces and nature.
Let’s get talking.