» Heaven on earth and the land of sunflower fields



Heaven on earth and the land of sunflower fields   

                A golden colour of flowers blooming across the field is the symbol of the tourism industry distinctive for  Lopburi province, which attracts overwhelming visitors to flow in to the land of the monkey between November-January.

                Before visiting a sunflower field, let’s get to know something about this romantic flower. According to legend this flower somehow fell in love with the sun. No matter in which direction the sun turned to, this sunflower will turn its face facing the sun. The true fact, is it’s been like that ever since then, after blooming it will rarely turn its face to face the sun. After cross-pollination period, the older ones will turn their faces facing the East direction only until the sun wither and dies.

                Sunflower is an annual crop, usually planted in a slightly warm zone. Originally it came from Latin America.  Clear evidence shows that Mexican people have planted sunflowers for more than 2,500 years. For Thailand, sunflowers came in with French people during the period of Somdej Phra Narai Maharaj.

                Generally, sunflowers that are planted in Thailand are from various species. Mostly planted for agriculture purposes, like surgar cane , and popcorn fields etc., Sunflower is useful especially, the seed which can be processed for oil extraction unsaturated fatty acid. Sunflower also pays an important role in improving the soil. According to information, local people like to plant sunflowers after planting popcorn, because after the sunflower is cultivated they will plough the soil to cover the sunflower waste to fertilize the soil surface. In fact, sunflowers can be planted all year round, and take about 2 months to grow and bloom. Blooming period will last for about 2 weeks before withering and dying and that’s  when cultivation takes place. Farmers usually begin to plant this crop between September - October. Between November-December is when sunflowers fully bloom. 



                Lopburi province is one of the majority areas where sunflowers are planted in Thailand. This could as well be for agriculture purposes and also for soil improvement, preparation for planting different crops in the distant future, or planting to promote the tourism industry. To witness sunflowers you need to know your objective, as well otherwise, growing in a wrong period,  can cause you serious illness consequences, because you won’t be seeing anything except withered sunflowers or nothing,  as the farmers have already cultivated their crops. Regarding the tourism aspect, sunflowers are usually planted all year round in a small piece of land, from one to another, simply to draw tourist attention to come and take photos.

                By the end of 2014, sunflower fields that became the talk-of-the town were at Ban Hui Dong, Amphur Kok Samrong. Frankly speaking, farmers had been growing this crop for so long and recently joined hand with Sub-district Administrative Organization, and local sector to organize tourism festival.  This is the first year of event establishment and yet received tremendous response. The highlight is on an enormous size of 10,000 acres of sunflower fields. It’s hard to imagine is it really of how astonishing it would be? This area is also for agriculture crops cultivation purposes so, it’s really packed with sunflower stuff. Another highlight is when witnessing a sunflower field, you will be asked to sit on motorized cart (farmer’s truck) and experience real true country nature. The bad part is these gorgeous sunflowers will all eventually wither and died at the same period.  This will leave you to decide and perhaps rearranged your travelling schedule because sunflowers can remain at a very  short  period of time to enjoy.   Over the previous year, festival to visit sunflowers field at Ban Hui Dong opened in 15th November and closed 10th December 2014. Therefore, next year to come don’t forget to check it out from media exposure, and don’t hold on because sunflower won’t last forever.

                Another enormous size of sunflower planting field which is situated not too far from Ban Hui Dong is at Tambol Nong Kam, Amphur Kok Somrong (but is not as much as Ban Hui Dong). Blooming period is almost the same period as Ban Hui Dong but it’s more easily accessible because it situated along country highway road (good condition concrete road).

                Close to Lopburi city along highway road. 3017 passage to Amphur Pattanani Kom is another famous with a long standing history of one of the bets and the biggest sunflower planting ground ever.  It situated on Khao Jean Lae, in area entrance to Wat Weyru Wan. Following area has been divided in to 2 different zones. The first zone is for agriculture aspect and the second zone is for tourism purposes.  Here visitors will be able to witness sunflower all year round because each sunflower planting field is planted in different period. Photo shooting spot inside sunflower planting ground is provided at free cost.  What situated behind this field is Khao Jean Lae standing tall almost reach the sky.  Souvenirs and food to eat or take back home can be found along the street. This festival open for public at the beginning of December of each year, and more on to that it is pretty much easy to access.

                In fact, there are more sunflower planting grounds around following area including at Sabb Lek Reservoir, and Khao Takra Thong. To go in for sightseeing is perfectly O.K.  but please, don’t destroy the sunflower.

            Another popular spot is in Amphur Pattanani Kom, over entrance to Pa Sak Jolasid Dam. The highlight is to get on a train and witness sunflower planting ground or witness  Pa Sak Jolasid Dam.  Every sunflower planting ground comes with travelling programme to accommodate tourist. The best period is to come around the beginning of December until New Year falls. The good point is visitors will get a chance to see different species of sunflower, big and small ones including the red colour sunflower. Once again, a photo-shooting zone is provided at free cost. The bad part is each sunflower planting ground has a limited space when comparing with the one in Amphur Kok Samrong. Entry fees start from 5-10 baht. I suppose that is a good point because this place itself is so easy to access and it is a passage to Pa Sak Jolasid Dam.

                Pa Sak Jolasid Dam also offers a small size of sunflower planting ground for visitors to go and do photo-shooting rather than commercial value advertisement to promote tourism sector.

                Beside above mentioned sunflower planting grounds, other sunflower sites can also be seen from almost in every Amphur (district) including Amphur Muang and all the way down to Amphur Lum Sonti in a variety of different land sizes. Sunflowers are  considered as agriculture crops so, it is basically a common practice to see local Lopburi famers planting it elsewhere. In fact, anybody can step in almost at any sunflower planting grounds and take photos as long as they don’t destroy the crops.

                The winter wind starts to blow across by the end of each year. It’s a sign indicating that the sunflower tour season is just about to begin. So! please fasten your seat belt and prepare to take off, because the most gorgeous romantic sunflower planting ground covering in a bright golden colour that goes beyond your eyes witness limitation is just about to explode into your mind.


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