Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Back to the Red Lotus Sea



 
 

Red Lotus - Nymphaea Lotus

This year on 23 February, we drove out to Thale Bua Daeng, "The Red Lotus Sea, to view the blooming water lilies.  As it turned out, we were at the very tail end of the blooming season of the flowers.  http://hale-worldphotography.blogspot.com/2014/02/sea-of-red-lotuses.html

The season is recognized as December to February.  We had enjoyed our visit in February and decided that we would return some other time when the flowers were in greater numbers and greater bloom.

This Sunday, we decided to return to Thale Bua Daeng to tour the blooming water lilies - this time at the start of the season.  Our 5 year old grandson, Peelawat, had spent the weekend with us and we needed to get him back to his village for school on Monday.  Stopping by Thale Bua Daeng is a nice side trip on our way out to Tahsang Village.

We arrived at Thale Bua Daeng around 7:00 AM.  I had failed to check on Sunrise time in order to determine our departure time.  Arriving at 7:00 AM in early December is not the same as arriving at 7:00 AM in late February ... echoes of Duang's  admonition "Thailand not same America"?  We enjoyed a spectacular sunrise as we DROVE to Thale Bua Daeng.  By the time that we arrived at the boat rental location, the brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows of sunrise had turned to warm white.  Memo to self:  Check sunrise time before setting departure time if you want sunrise photos at a specific location.

Tour Boats On the Red Lotus Sea

We rented a boat for the three of us - 300 Baht - roughly $10 USD.  The tour lasted approximately 45 minutes and the driver stopped where we asked him to in order for me to take some photographs.  The first boats leave at 6:00 AM so it is possible to get sunrise photos from on the water.



The north end of Nong Hon Kumphawapi, the geographical name for the Red Lotus Sea location, was filled with brilliant pink lily flowers, the mass of color penetrated by clear channels of open water that the boats traverse.  Small birds darted and flitted about the surface of the water and blooms.  The best time to view the blooms is from 6:00 AM to around 11:00 AM when the flowers close up due to the light and heat.


After about 45 minutes, we were back at the boat dock.  This trip was shorter and less expensive than our tour back at the end of February.  This tour also was to the left of the docking area whereas the first tour was off to the right.  I was curious about the possibility of chartering a boat for a longer period of time.  We went up to the area where you bought tickets for the tour.  Duang spoke for me and determined that:  1. You could not charter a boat for a longer tour on Saturdays or Sundays because of the number of tourists.  2.  You can charter a boat for the day on other days of the week for 1,000 Baht ($30 USD)  I am not sure what is meant by a "day" since by 11:00 AM the flowers have closed up.  Looking back, we had paid 500 Baht for 2-1/2 hour tour so it seems there is some latitude for negotiation when we return in roughly a month.


As we set off to complete our drive out to Tahsang Village, we passed many tourist vans and full sized buses headed to Thale Bua Daeng.

In January there will a festival to celebrate the blooming of the flowers.

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