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Visit Red Lotus Sea (Udon Thani)

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Red Lotus Sea

Thai name : หนองหานกุมภวาปี

GPS : 17.212371, 103.034122 (See on the map)
Udon Thani
Udon Thani
Udon Thani
Udon Thani


Nong Han lake, about fifty kilometers from Udon Thani, near the small town of Kumphawapi is a beautiful place to sail when from December to March it is partly covered with pink lotus flowers. That's what gave it its nickname Talay Bua Daeng (the red lotus sea) in Thai. The ideal time to see the lotus is in the morning between 6am and 11am when the flowers are open. The rest of the year Nong Han Kumphawapi Lake is certainly less interesting but remains a fishy spot with fishermen, a wide variety of birds and water plants.

All around the lake, there are several spots with boats offering 1h30 tours on the lake to tourists. The price is per boat or per person. The main pier is the one I give GPS coordinates below but there is one on the other side of the lake, just after the town of Khumphawapi, which is less well-known and where the locationfrom where the boats leave with the fishing huts is more beautful and much easier to reach by public transport followed by a tuk-tuk(see below). Moreover, wherever you choose to start your boat ride on Udon Thani red lotus sea, I recommend you to go to Khumphawapi city too. In the middle of the city, there is a park with monkeys in freedom, it is always fun to see.
I muss confess that over the years the lake which was almost entirely covered with lotus saw the surface they cover reducing drastically every year. Tourism activity and the choice to use motorboats rather than rowing boats is probably a big factor. If nothing is done, I fear, there will soon be more flowers to see at all. Let's hope that responsible management of the ecosystem of this exceptional place will be quickly put in place. From my point of view, it is urgent!

Practical information about Red Lotus Sea

There are several departure points for boat tours around the lake. The most important and well-known one is at Ban Diam(GPS coordinates that I indicate on this page). The boats are run by local people who offer either an average boat with a roof that can accommodate 8 people or a smaller boat without a roof. It costs 500 THB per big boat or 150 THB per person for a smaller boat if you are less numerous. The tour lasts 1h30 in general.
To get to Nong Han Lake, from Udon Thani's Bus Terminal No. 1, take the orange songthaew 4875 (pick-up truck) to Kumphawapi. The trip lasts about 1 hour for a price around thirty baht and a departure every hour. There, I advise you to go to the monkey nature park because you will be dropped next to it and then take a tuk-tuk to reach the nearest pier on on the lake which is only 4 km away (GPS: 17.1575095,103.0303951). The most convenient way to go to Nong Han Lake is obviously to have your own transportation or to go through an agency but few there are not a lot offering this trip to foreign tourists still very rare in this part of Thailand.
For more information, you can also contact Udon Thani office of the Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) at 042 325 406.

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