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For three years we traveled to all corners of Thailand. Even though we’ve seen and done so much, the beauty of the country still surprises us. This time we boarded a small boat and sailed through a sea of one million pink lotus flowers. It was incredibly beautiful, easily one of the most beautiful things we’ve seen in Thailand.

Online it looked spectacular: pictures of a lake full of pink lotus flowers; supposedly there were millions of them! But would it be just as beautiful in real life?

We decided to find out for ourselves and traveled to Udon Thani, a northeastern city in Thailand on the border with Laos.

What it was like? Amazing! Something you have to see with your own eyes!

A boat trip across the lake

If you want to experience the sea of pink lotus flowers in all its glory, you’ll have to get there early. The flowers open up just before sunrise and close again before the high midday sun comes out (6:00 AM to noon).

A little drowsy we got in a taxi to Talay Bua Daeng lake and arrived there little after seven o’clock. The boat was ready to go, and before we knew it, we were on the lake.

The water was muddy and shallow, only a few bundles of lotus flowers and fish jumping out of the water. It wasn’t all that spectacular, until fifteen minutes later when we were in the midst of millions of lotus flowers.

The pink flowers stretched out as far as the eye could see.


Red Lotus Sea in Udon ThaniRed Lotus Sea in Udon ThaniRed Lotus Sea in Udon ThaniRed Lotus Sea in Udon Thani

Thai tourists

The boat trip lasted about 90 minutes, during which you’ll no be treated to a romantic view of a sea of flowers, but also to passing boats filled Thai tourists. And, boy, do they know how to take a selfie.

Neung (1) … Soong (2) … Saam (3) … Smile!

And another one and another one, and so on; they couldn’t get enough of it.

We enjoyed watching the photoshoots around us; the perfect opportunity to have a chat in our ‘best’ Thai and exchange a few smiles!

Red Lotus Sea in Udon ThaniRed Lotus Sea in Udon ThaniRed Lotus Sea in Udon Thani

Want to visit the Red Lotus Sea?

We were amazed that Western tourists barely visit this unique attraction. Except for a few dozen boats of Thai tourists, we didn’t see any other tourists when we were there.

We’re aware that Udon Thani – and the Red Lotus Sea – are perhaps a little off the beaten track, but we didn’t think it would be as quiet as it was.

Seasonality probably also plays a big part: the best months to visit are December, January and (early) February. These are the only months in which to enjoy the Red Lotus Sea in its full glory.

Udon Thani is easily accessible from Bangkok or Chiang Mai by plane. The flight’s about an hour long, and a ticket costs about 1,000 baht. Book your tickets here!

You can quickly get a taxi to the lake from the city center or Udon Thani Airport. Taxi rides take an hour and cost around 1,000 baht, and can easily be arranged at guesthouses and hotels.

Costs for a boat trip across the lake depend on the duration of the journey and the type of boat you choose. We recommend choosing the biggest boat, which is the most expensive option. For 500 baht you’ll get a 90-minute tour across the lake in a comfortable, covered boat.

Mariska traveling with Nok Air to Udon ThaniRed Lotus Sea in Udon ThaniRed Lotus Sea in Udon Thani

Are you planning to see the Red Lotus Sea with your own eyes?


Author Sander

Former elementary school teacher, storyteller, sports enthusiast, and adventurer. Love to do the "impossible", which is usually the exact opposite of what’s expected.

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