Spectacular lotus bloom turns this Thai lake into a sea of pink

The Red Lotus Sea, at Nong Han Kum Pavapi in the Udon Thani province. Source: panpilai paipa/Shutterstock

EVERY winter this freshwater lake in north-eastern Thailand turns into a sea of pink with blooming lotus flowers. But this striking display of mother nature’s beauty remains largely undiscovered by the majority of visitors to the country.

The phenomenon, known as the Red Lotus Sea, at Nong Han Kum Pavapi in the Udon Thani province, lasts for three months, from December to February, and while it’s now one of Isan’s top attractions, few Westerners ever make it there.

This year’s aquatic flowers have just begun to blossom into the famed vibrant pink carpet on the lake. To best enjoy the spectacle, you need to hire a boat to go out into the middle of the lake to the center of the bloom, and the earlier the better as the flowers start to close up around 10.30am and are completely shut by noon.

To encourage more weekday visits, the tourism board is offering 50 percent discounts to anyone who travelled to Thailand on Air Asia. By presenting a Thai AirAsia boarding pass, tourists are entitled to the discount on a half-day tour of the lake, the tourist board announced this month.

In addition to the Red Lotus Lake, the region boasts the archaeological wonders of the Unesco-protected Ban Chiang, where the world’s first Bronze Age civilisation is believed to have flourished more than 5,000 years ago.

The province can be reached by bus, train and air, with daily services from Bangkok’s main bus and rail terminals and Don Mueang International, Bangkok.

Anyone looking to work on their Instagram skills will have a field day. Not only is there stunning flora and fauna, but the several small islands on the lake, are home to Buddha statues, shrines, and pagodas.

The lake is also central to the survival of the surrounding local communities and local fisherman can be seen out working for their catch of the day.

If you’re looking to get away from the hectic hullabaloo of the festive period, these serene stretches of Thailand’s lesser seen areas seems like a perfect escape.