Orchids in Bangkok

Thailand has long been synonymous with orchids and for a good reason. Not only do orchids abound naturally, but there is a long history of orchid cultivation. Now, cattleyas, and other non-native orchids, are grown alongside local varieties. Wherever you go in Bangkok, you see orchids, whether in a fancy arrangements in a hotel lobby, hanging outside in front of a modest home, or simply growing epiphytically on trees for the pleasure of all who pass them.

These photos were taken in Thailand last fall, mostly at the weekend Chatachuk market where people converge to buy orchids, from cheap dendrobiums to highly sought rarities. (Also see our earlier post, Tropical Houseplants in Bangkok)

Cattleyas for sale
Cattleyas for sale

I’ve seen more cattleyas in Thailand then anywhere else in south-East Asia. Granted I haven’t been to Malaysia, but even in Indonesia or Singapore, they are not as common. Thai growers will have many different types for sale-they are so ubiquitous that they often do not have name tags attached!

Gorgeous cattleya orchid for sale. Price? About $5!
Gorgeous cattleya orchid for sale. Price? About $5!
Cattleya orchid
Cattleya orchid
purple cattleya
purple cattleya

Vandas are native to south-east Asia, but are slow growing plants. They demand bright light, heat and humidity and are grown to perfection in Thailand and other south-east Asian countries.

A Vanda orchid for sale-about US$10
A Vanda orchid for sale-about US$10
Mini dendrobium phalaenopsis (bibbigum type) by the box
Mini dendrobium phalaenopsis (bibbigum type) by the box
cut orchids-buy by the bunch!
cut orchids-buy buy the bunch!

Below are some more unusual orchids. Paphiopedilums, phalaenopsis, bulbophyllums and many other unusual orchids can also be found at the weekend market.

Cycnoches hybrid
Cycnoches hybrid
Slipper orchid hybrids and species(several are native to Thailand)
Slipper orchid hybrids and species(several are native to Thailand)

(Below)This type of Vanda hybrid, probably a Mokara, is very common through south-east Asia. They are the equivalent of carnations (though much more exotic) and you will seem them widely used as cut flowers often in huge bunches. They come in a variety of colors from the yellow through red part of the spectrum, often in rich oranges and sunset shades with darker spots on the blooms.

Specimen vanda hybrid!
Specimen vanda hybrid!

7 Replies to “Orchids in Bangkok”

  1. Hi Adrian, I spent one day in Singapore last month and was very impressed with National Orchid Garden! There are many reputable orchid growers in Bangkok that you can find online, and you should be able to find some white cattleyas through them. Most are set up for export and can provide the phytosanitary certificates you would need to import them, though I’m not sure what other requirements Singapore might have for bringing them in. It would probably be more cost-effective if you’re ordering a large number of plants. if you get them in flask as young plants, you may not even need a phytosanitary certificate, but you’ll have to check. Good luck!

  2. Hi I’m looking to get White Cattleya but it is quite difficult to find them in Singapore. Any recommendations for me to find some in Singapore or order from nearby countries? Thanks – Adrian

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