Last week I went to the bulb district or ‘bollenstreek’ in the west of the Netherlands to visit the famous tulip fields at the Keukenhof. As a plant sciences student from Thailand, tulips were one of my reasons to come to the Netherlands. I really like all kinds of bulbous flowers, so I have looked forward to spring since my arrival.
The garden itself is quite famous in my country and it attracts many tourists from Thailand and from all over the world. The tulip fields were spectacular and the beauty of the Keukenhof is breathtaking. However, I am surprised to learn that none of my Dutch classmates that I have talked with have been to the Keukenhof. Many told me that it is boring and that it is only for old people. And I found out they are right because there were many elderly people there, and most of the young visitors were foreign tourists. But although I am not old yet, I like the Keukenhof very much and I am looking forward to visiting it again next year.
In Thailand, people of all ages really fall in love with the charm of the tulip because it is colourful and exotic. Many gardens in the north of Thailand try to have tulips in winter to attract tourists and the flower lovers alike. My Dutch friend told me that my feeling when I saw a tulip for the first time might be comparable to his feeling when he saw a real banana plant for the first time, as the banana is an exotic fruit in the Netherlands. Maybe it would be spectacular for him to see a banana plantation in my country.
Surachet Chamontri, Thai MSc student of Plant Sciences