The Orchid Forum, for the UK and Europe (previously known as The UK Orchid Forum) • View topic - Thailand trip, August 2013.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:46 pm 
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Hi all,

I thought I'd share some of the pictures I took on my trip to Thailand in August.

Although this trip was not designed around orchid hunting, I did get the chance to see loads of orchids. I won't bore you with all the pictures I took (over 1000 of them!), but I have selected a few of the pictures of flora and fauna that we saw whilst we were there.

The first few orchids I saw were all Dendrobium Phalaenopsis type hybrids. They are everywhere, in temples, on trees on the streets, hanging on baskets outside homes... Everywhere! This particular one was inside the King's Palace. Nothing to jump about, but it was the first orchid I saw there! ;)
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We also saw loads of orchids (and other interesting stuff) in one of the many floating markets, where you get taken around the market in a small boat.
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. One of the most typical plants you see around in flower are the wonderful frangipanis...
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Whilst in Bangkok, we visited the weekend market. A huge place with hundreds of stores and thousands of people shopping. To those who enjoy shopping in crowded places, a heaven... To me, a personal hell! However, amongst the many shops, there were a few dedicated only to orchids. Some rather nice plants to be bought, but the prices did translate into more or less what you would pay in Europe! (I wasn't asking prices, but heard someone trying to buy a Paph concolor and the price was roughly £20).
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Sadly, none of the plants on those stalls are labelled, although some are unmistakable! Like these rather nice plants of Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi!
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But anyhow, we did see much more than just plants. We saw plenty of temples, and many, many images of Buddha... Some were actually very pretty indeed!
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Some of the other plants we saw had rather interesting habits, like this tree with flowers all over the trunk.
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Or this multicoloured hibiscus shrub!
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And also this little aquatic plant growing outside a house on a terracota pot filled with water.
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Of course, the Dendrobiums are commonly cut and used as offerings for temple images.
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Or simply tied to trees on the streets and left to their own devices!
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Many of the temples have also orchids, like this cymbidium...
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But the trees still win hands down when it comes to weird and wonderful...
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More pictures to come on the second instalment!

Francis

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:15 pm 
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The flowers on the last tree were a little reminiscent of 'Little Shop of Horrors', don't you think?
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At the end of our trip we travelled to Mae Hong Son, on the border with Burma, as we had arranged a two day trek in a national park. The day before the trek we went up the mountain to see a temple on the top, and again, we could see loads of orchids that the villagers had found and brought home with them.
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And although not strictly wild, these cymbidium had obviously been growing on this tree outside the temple for a very long time... I wish I had seen it in flower!
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The following morning we headed off to the national park and started our trekking journey. Sensitive plants (mimosa pudica) were everywhere!
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But most of the trees were covered with different types of Dendrobiums and Bulbophyllums. Unfortunately, we did not see a single one of them in flower! :(
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And unfortunately, we seemed to be a little late to see this cymbidium in all its glory too!
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A surprising thing was that many of the orchids were actually so easy to reach, because we were told by the guide that many 'poachers' come regularly to the national parks and strip them off the trees to sell them at local markets.
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But it wasn't just Dendrobiums and Bulbophyllums we managed to see, we also got to see Papilionanthe teres (I think)
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Rhyncosteles (possibly gigantea)
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A huge specimen of Vanilla thailandica
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And one of the many leafless orchids. Notice the seedpod on this one!
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Not everything was growing as epiphites, like this Bulbo growing on leaf litter on a rock.
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And since many trees lose branches due to the extra weight, we found ourselves doing a little bit of 'conservation' work with some of the fallen orchids, too!
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Like this Coelogyne, which was actually in flower!
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And this cute Dendrobium...
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:38 pm 
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But some of the orchids we found were actually in flower, and looking great...

Habenaria aquifera
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And this Spathoglottis species
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Another interesting terrestrial, probably an Eulophia species?
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Another huge plant of Coelogyne, probably of the same species than the one we put back on a tree.
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And this, which was actually a little higher up, so couldn't really take a good picture, or get close enough to look at the flowers properly, so I don't even know what genus this could be.
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Oh, and a lovely specimen of Arundina graminifolia, the bamboo orchid, growing in the garden of one of the villagers where we spent the night!
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But of course, I don't just find orchids to be fascinating, and in fact, anything to do with nature would call my attention, like all these different gingers (over 200 species in Thailand).
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This one even looks like an orchid flower!
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The many different types of fungi and mushrooms (yes, I know one of them looks a little bit saucy :lol: )
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And the local fauna too!

Caterpillars...
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Beetles...
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And the stingless 'sweat' bees, which land on you to lick off the salty moisture from your sweat (Nice!)!
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And with that, it was time to say 'bye bye Thailand... We will meet again!'
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:16 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:57 pm 
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Wow what a fantastic experience you must have had! It looks an amazing place, some truly beautiful sites to see. Hopefully one day I will visit a tropical place like this.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:12 am 
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Great pics! I have loved looking at these photos of so much of what you saw. Thank you for sharing them with us.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:03 am 
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You look to have had a most interesting trip Terry. Thailand is quite some contrast to the UK? Any of their busy markets are really something to experience eh? (eyes, nose, hearing and mind)
Hopefully they will steadily improve the care they take of their wildlife treasures, though it would be churlish of anyone from Europe to be critical of them in that respect.
But anyone in Thailand who likes growing orchids simply needs to tie them to the nearest bush and away they go!

Alec


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:06 pm 
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The "cute Dendrobium" is, I think, an Eria. Not sure which one, though. And the tree is, appropriately, a Cannonball Tree, Couroupita guianensis.
Thank you for the tour. More, please!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:41 pm 
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The best time to go to the 'weekend' market is actually wednesday and thursday when it becomes wholesale plant market for the local trade, weekend is mostly for tourists and much less interesting.


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