Valentine’s Day on the Red Lotus Sea

Red Lotus Sea in Thailand

Red Lotus Sea in Thailand

For three months a year, Lake Nong Harn near Udon Thani in Northern Thailand (about 350 miles north of Bangkok) becomes awash with millions of vibrant pink lotus flowers. It seems appropriate that the peak time for witnessing the display on the “Red Lotus Sea” (in Thai, Talay Buadaeng) occurs near St. Valentines Day.

Red Lotus Sea in Thailand

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The best way to see the lotuses is to hire a small boat to take you into the central part of the 80,000-acre lake where in addition to the spectacle of the lotuses you are surrounded by rare species of marsh birds, strange aquatic plants and other wildlife. The best time to see the flowers is in the morning, because like sunflowers, the blooms tend to close during the afternoon.

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When Sarah and I visited earlier this week we were the only westerners on the lake. It was quite and adventure and I must admit somewhat romantic as well. Apparently Talay Buadaeng is famous among locals, who say the lake originated due to a tragic love saga, but it has not been well known to foreigners. That may be about to change as Travel + Leisure Magazine recently named the Red Lotus Sea the world’s second strangest lake after Jellyfish Lake in Palau.

View from the Boat on the Red Lotus Sea

View from the Boat on the Red Lotus Sea

Our Driver on the Red Lotus Sea

Our Driver on the Red Lotus Sea

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Author: Jonathan Look

In 2011 Jonathan Look decided to change his life and pursue adventures instead of comfort and possessions. His goal is to travel the world solo; one country at a time, one year at a time. To accomplish this he got rid of most of his possessions, packed up what little he saw as necessities and headed out. His goal is to spend ten years discovering new places, meeting new people and taking the time to learn about them, their values and their place on this tiny planet. He embraces the philosophy that says a person is the sum of their experiences and rejects the fraud of modern consumerism that makes people into slaves of their consumption. He doesn't intend to be modern day ascetic, just more mindful of his place in the world and to make decisions according to that new standard.

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