Talay Bua Daeng, also known as the Red Lotus Sea in English, is the main tourist attraction in the northern province Udon Thani.
This large lake of several square kilometres is covered in millions of beautifully coloured flowers which open at night and provide a spectacular early morning sight on a sunset cruise with a hired boat.
The Red Lotus Lake is located about 45 minutes south east of the city Udon Thani near the town of Kumphawapi.
Transort options include day tours, taxi or rental car.
Over the years most tourists used to stay in the city and get up well before day break for the bus trip to the lake and straight after return again. This was because there was a lack of qualtiy accommodation at the lake but with the establishment of Bua Daeng Homestay and some other places this has changed and more people now choose to stay near the lake so in the early morning you only need a few minutes to get to the boat.
At the lake there is an office which manages all the boat hire, buy your tickets here and they will assign you a boat, costs are about 300 to 500 baht for an hour, depending on the size of boat you will need with your group.
The blooming of the flowers is dependent on the weather, and most spectacular during the cooler time of year from November to February.
The flowers open at night and close during the day, hence the early start you need to make to see them around sunrise, around 11 AM they will be closed up again.
The boat hire office tends to close during the low season in the warmer time of year but at Bua Daeng Homestay the flowers open all year round.
During the closure in the off-season the locals take their boats out to fish in this lake.
Besides the lotus flowers this lake also has many birds to delight the bird watchers.
The lake and its surrounding area has been declared a Non-Hunting area and you will see fowl, egrets and herons.
The lotus flowers and stems are also edible and several restaurants in the area have them on the menu.
There are plenty of boats available to take you around the red lotus lake