Hi everyone and welcome to my very first guest blogging weekend! I am so excited for this new venture and hope to make it a long running series to get all of you involved! Read until the end to find out how YOU can be involved in my next weekend! For my first post I have a wonderful piece about The Red Lotus Lake by That Silver Lining! Enjoy!
THE RED LOTUS LAKE
Far away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and well off the beaten track lies the Red Lotus Lake. One of Thailand’s little hidden gems and a very worthwhile spot to visit.
An Early start
A five-thirty in the morning and right on time my Tuk Tuk driver was waiting for me. He couldn’t speak a word of English, so Thai would be the language of our 15km trip together. Luckily, I have gained enough Thai for a reasonable conversation.
It was a chilly morning, as is the norm in the Northeast of Thailand at this time of year. More the better for it, as Thailand can be a little too hot at times. Of course, this is from an Englishman where our summer is a whole three days.
The cooler weather (December to February) is part of the reason why I ventured here. With it comes the blooming of one of Thailand’s little surprises and far from the usual tourist routes and destinations: The Red Lotus Lake.
After some short and limited talk we were off in the pre-dawn half light and along pot-holed and bumpy roads for 15km until we reached the lake. The sky was slowly turning a paler blue but due to the clouds, there wasn’t the usual orange haze that typifies a Thai sunrise – it’s fair to say Thailand has some spectacular sunrises.
The roads wound on, past small sleeping houses and villages until we reached the lake itself at around 6.20am. People were already there but not so many. The early morning at around 6am is the best time to visit because it’s cooler and quieter.
On the lake
At the lake there are two options available to get onto the water. A smaller wooden boat not unlike a canoe for 150 baht and a larger boat for 500 baht. Both of these prices are per hour.
Being just me, myself and I, I opted for the smaller boat and got a toothy grinned boatman with a fair grasp of English to ferry me around.
They also take your photo and you can buy it later for a 100 baht if you want another memory. I actually passed on that.
Anyway, all set with life jacket on and camera ready, it was time to go. The lake itself is home to some varieties of birds as well and they add to the experience but the main reason for travelling here are the beautiful flowers that are in bloom and the peacefulness of the lake.
It’s a short trip from the pier to reach the part of the lake where the flowers are most populous and the views that can be seen there are absolutely stunning. The rows of flowers combine with the early morning sky to create a spectacular view. Great for any photographer, traveller or just a selfie lover.
Once you get to the main area, the boatman turns of the engine and then the calmness and tranquility of the place sinks in. It’s a great place for contemplation.
The place is a marvel with the numerous rows of flowers giving way to Thai countryside in the distance. Birds flutter around and land on the flowers and if you’re lucky you might just be able to capture one in a photograph. I got close but not quite clear enough.
Having visited this place, my only regret is that it took so long to come here. I’ve lived less than 50km away for the last three years but this was the first visit. It’s funny how we can neglect things right in front of us.
If you love Thailand, Asia or unusual attractions then this will definitely be for you.
The hour seemed to fly by and when it was up, it was a short trip back to land. After tipping the boatman (I feel it’s important) and declining to buy the photo it was time to go back. There are restaurants and shops there should you want to eat or buy something but my driver was waiting and it was the end of the particular adventure.
A Breakdown of the General Info and Getting There.
The lake itself is in Udon Thani, part of Thailand’s Isaan (Northeastern) region. This region has its own customs, cuisine, traditions and dialect which differ to to other parts of Thailand.
It’s about 700km northeast of Bangkok and reachable by train, bus or several low cost airlines which fly into Udon Thani’s airport.
From Udon Thani it’s a short 30km journey south to a town called Kumphawapi and the lake. You again take a bus, minvan, train or if you’re feeling adventurous you could travel like a local and take a special red Truck which costs 30 baht (around $1, 80p).
That’s what I did and you can find them and minivans from the main bus station or opposite Udon Thani’s Rajabhat university.
The vans, buses or truck can drop you off on the Mittraphap road towards Khon Kaen and you can take a Tuk Tuk to complete the journey. Also, it would be possible to hire a taxi from Udon Thani for the trip depending on your budget and idea.
You can also choose to stay in a nearby town, that’s also what I chose to do. I stayed in the nearby town of Phan Don at the KP hotel and they organised the early morning Tuk Tuk. The room was 750 baht and the Tuk Tuk costs 500 (The driver will wait for you at the lake).
You can check out hotels in Udon Thani on Agoda here.
Thanks for reading and I hope you feel inspired to check out this great little place.
I’m sure you will all agree that that post was such an inspiring and wonderful read! Thank you so much for sharing! Here are the links so you can check out more of the inspiring content the site has to offer:
Tomorrow’s guest blogger will be @withthedevaulls so make sure you stay tuned for that Sunday 6th January 2019 at 5pm!
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