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Udon Thani is approx. 560 km northeast of Bangkok in Isaan. The city with about 150,000 inhabitants is an important trading town, primarily with Laos. The region is Thailand’s rice bowl. The Buddhism is the predominant religion.
We stay at the Charoen Hotel*, a modern block with a good view over the rooftops of Udon Thani. But, we are not in the mood for evening entertainment or a tour through the city. Our new guide for the next days comes to see us.
He has our program in hands and also a colorful leaflet. He showed us several other places of interest and offers us to see these, if we are ready to pay extra 2000, – bath per person. We find the proposal very strange, but, in the end, we finally agree. We did not regret it, but for us, the question remained, why these sights were not offered at the booking. One of these attractions is the Red Lotus Lake.
The next morning we head to the Red Lotus Lake. On the way, the guide always stops the car and gives us the opportunity to see the local population at their daily work. First stop is a paddy-field. The women still cut the rice with the sickle, an exhausting and laborious undertaking. The rice is not cut off directly at the root so that the water buffalo can graze the rest and at the same time fertilize the field.
Time and again we see people with their cows and water buffaloes on the road.
In front of a school, the headmaster gives his morning speech.
Interesting is a loom, where bamboo mats are woven. It seems striking that mainly women work in the farming and in the small trade.
As a rule, I give the women and men a small money for filming. And they are also pleased about it. But our guide criticizes me and says that I should give nothing to people. Later in temples, the same guide encourages us to donate something to the monks.
Red Lotus Lake – Talee Bua Daeng
After about 50 km from Udon Thani, we reach our destination in the district Kumphawapi, the Red Lotus Lake. Its Thai name is Talee Bua Daeng.
The rich flowering is from the water lilies, the red lotus blossoms (Nymphaea pubescens) are a subspecies thereof. There are also white water lilies in the lake.
Tall elephant grass covers the banks of the lake, so you can experience the full beauty only by boat. On our arrival, some excursion boats await already to drive the tourists across the lake.
The lake covers an area of 36 km². The main blossom period is from October to February. It is the beginning of November and the flowering has not yet reached its peak, yet it is impressive to see a flowering sea, as far as the eye can see.
The best time to visit the lake is early in the morning. From 6 am to 11 am, the red lotuses are in full bloom and the morning light creates a magical atmosphere.
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The lake also seems to be a biotope for birds like swallows and herons. Besides, we see people fishing fished, what indicates a certain richness in fish.
We can hardly get enough of this flowering richness.
In mid-January, the Red Lotus Sea Festival, also known as Talee Bua Daeng Baan Festival, takes place here. In mid-February, wedding couples can enjoy the romantic atmosphere at the Million Red Lotus Wedding Festival.
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