Just a few hours outside of Bangkok, revelers can forget they were ever in a booming metropolis as they visit one of rural Thailand’s popular sunflower fields.
In bloom now are the farms of Lopburi, just two and a half hours away by car. Offering photo opportunities aplenty, these fields will bloom until about January 19 and are one of the area’s big tourist draws, reported NNT.
Many of the sunflower field operators offer visits to their gorgeous, never-ending fields of flowers for free, with the hopes that revelers will spend money on food and drink available at the farms, pony or tractor rides, or souvenirs to take home, such as sunflower oil, seeds, and butter.
Sunflower festivals around rural Thailand happen between November and February and the farmers of each province work together to stagger their blooms so that each has a chance to be the main attraction, since the flowers are only in full bloom at each farm for about 10 days.
The currently-blooming Lopburi is home to the biggest sunflower fields of Thailand. There are literally thousands of acres filled with beautiful bright yellow flowers. The largest field is in Phatthana Nikhom district, 40 kilometers east of the province’s capital. However, the most stunning might be the fields in Khao Chin Lae, where limestone mountains provide an impressive backdrop for the vast landscape of oversized yellow flowers that turn their faces to follow the sun, according to the TAT.
Although the pretty fields have become a tourist attraction, the sunflowers are mainly grown to produce sunflower oil and seeds for food.
Sunflowers are a relatively new crop to Thailand. Native to North America, Thais began planting sunflowers commercially in 1988 on just 12 square kilometers.There are now over 800 square kilometers across the country that yield over 60 thousand tons of sunflower oil each year.
The fields are a gorgeous sight to see and a short, easy, budget-friendly road trip from Bangkok. If you don’t have a car, trains also run daily from Hua Lamphong station at 7am. They arrive at Lopburi station at 9:45am and cost just THB50.