Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Thailand Winter Getaway Series Part 3: Sunflowers @ Lop Buri

Happy New Year everyone! It's my 1st post in 2014!

With winter slowly but surely coming to an end, I shall draw a temporary conclusion to my series with the my first getaway during the cool season: visiting sunflower fields in Lop Buri, which I did with my Singaporean friends Yaohui and Wendy (who are also proudly gracing my latest banner) before Li Li and Noah came back from Singapore.

The lame trio

It was not so long ago that I deliberately flew to the Netherlands to visit Keukenhof (and made some life-long vows there), the world-famous tulip garden which only opens a couple of months a year, and passed by endless yellow patches of canola while in the UK. Little did I know that I could have enjoyed similar splendor in nearby Thailand as well. One of the locations to witness this is in the province of Lop Buri, 3 hours drive up north from Bangkok, which is famous for its monkeys, Pa Sak Dam and most of all, sunflowers.

A bright yellow sunflower will never fail to brighten anyone's day

A sunflower field magnifies the happiness a million times 

Don't go too late because the sunflowers start to droop a little in the afternoon

There isn't much English information online with regards to the exact locations of the sunflower patches. Most instructions tell us to drive in the general direction of Lop Buri and watch out for signs, which are not necessarily useful because many signs will be in Thai. I did not drive, so unfortunately I cannot give you much information too, but I can tell you that you might want to go towards the direction of the city centre of Lop Buri. There you will pass by un-commercialised sunflower farms in front of bare mountains called Khao Jiin Lae.

The location of the sunflower fields we visited, if this means anything to anyone

If you headed the way we did, towards Pa Sak Dam (pretty decent local family hangout place but really nothing to shout about), you will only see a few smaller commercialised patches providing parking, toilets, photo-spots and sunflower-related merchandise in return for a small entrance fee. The size of the fields are pretty underwhelming though, but heck, since we went all the way there, we decided to make the most of our time and enjoy ourselves anyway. Besides, a sunflower patch, big or small, will light up anyone's day.

Yaohui and myself sharing a laugh in front of the short mini sunflowers


On our way back, we decided to make a quick stop at Ayuthaya since we were passing by. Ayuthaya is an ex-capital of Siam and had witnessed a lot of internal and regional warfare. Much of Thailand's history can be seen and felt here through the beauty and tranquility in its many temples and ruins.

Food-wise, Ayuthaya is most famous for its fresh river shrimp, as most of the best shrimp farms are located here. They are succulent, grilled-to-perfection, cheaper and easily found in many local restaurants.

Not been a fan of river shrimp, but those in Ayuthaya are really quite delicious

Overall, I must admit that if we had taken the correct route to Khao Jiin Lae, I might have felt that the sunflowers were much more spectacular and that Lop Buri is a must-go destination. Unfortunately, the route I went meant that there are many other places which might give you a similar view (see here, on the way to Jim Thompson Farm), though they are all relatively long drives from Bangkok.

If you couple your daytrip with a visit to the historical province of Ayuthaya, like us, then I would definitely say that it is a trip worth going, particularly during the cool winter, as the sunflowers only bloom for a month annually, and it's usually blistering hot or terribly rainy in Ayuthaya during other parts of the year.

Our only proper picture together, taken in Ayuthaya
I am very pleased with the new little series I have started, as it helps me preserve precious memories as well as give good recommendations to all my readers like you while you are making your travel decisions in Thailand. This is by no means the end of the series, as I will most definitely visit many more places when the next winter arrives.

Meanwhile, have a happy new year, and may 2014 be a year of joy and immense family bliss for all of you.

1 comment:

  1. Love your sunflower photos. We grow sunflowers to raise awareness of centronuclear and myotubular myopathy. Learn more and get involved at


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