Unique Thailand: Nong Harn Lake of Udonthani

Red water lilies spread out over the water of this lake famous for an ancient love story with a sad ending. A must visit destination selected by local people in Udonthani.

Click button to listen to Water Lilies in Udonthani download

Off the beaten track

27/12/2012

Earlier this year the Tourism Authority of Thailand announced the 'Miracle Year of Amazing Thailand' campaign under which all 77 provinces in the country were invited to list attractions and experiences unique to them and not found elsewhere. Listed here are the best tourism products from some provinces selected by local people - nature spots, as well as cultural spots.

The lake of red water lilies
Udon Thani

October through March, a huge freshwater lake in the province takes on a life of its own and turns a vibrant red as water lilies in the lake are in full bloom, becoming a vast recreational field.

Lake Nong Harn occupies 20,000 rai and is a significant source of water for the Nam Pao River, the lifeline of the province.

Starting in October the water lilies, long dormant, spring back to life sprouting new shoots that in due course become leaves and flowers. By December the entire lake is a vast patchwork of vivid red colours of stunning beauty and a playground for the folks who live in the vicinity. The flowers are in bloom from dawn until noon. The flowering season runs until March.

TRAVEL INFO

Boats taking tourists to see water lilies depart from Ban Diem in Kumphawapi district, Udon Thai. The province, 564km northeast of Bangkok, can be reached via Highway 2.

Call the TAT office in Udon Thani at 042-325-406/7

(Source: Bangkok Post, Off the beaten track, 27/12/2012, link)


Travel & Tourism Vocabulary

water lily - the lotus flower, a flower that is an important symbol in Buddhism ดอกบัว (See Wikipedia)
the lake of red water lilies

Nong Han Kumphawapi Lake - the lake discussed in article, a famous lake in Isan near Udonthani: the lake is very shallow, mostly not exceeding a depth of 1 meter. The open water area of 1.7 km² is surrounded by a wetland covering 4.1 km², including paddy fields", also the scene of a famous folk story, the story of Phadaeng & Nang Ai (See Wikipedia)

folk tale of Phadaeng & Nang Ai -  "Nang Ai was the beautiful daughter of King Kom who ruled the country of Chathida. Many wanted to marry her. Amongs those men was Prince Phadaeng, a man from another land, and Prince Pangkhii, who had wed Nang Ai in former lives but in this one was the son of Phaya Nak, the Grand Nāga who rules the Deeps. So many suitors desired to wed Nang Ai that her father staged a Rocket Festival competition, the winner to enjoy a royal wedding. But hopes were dashed when only rockets of her uncles make it aloft, and her father called the whole thing off. Naga Prince Pangkhii changed into a white squirrel to spy on Nang Ai but she saw him and had him killed by a royal hunter. Pangkhii's flesh magically transformed into 8,000 cartloads of meat. Nang Ai and many of her countrymen ate of this tainted flesh, and Phaya Nak vowed to allow no one to remain living who had eaten of the flesh of his son. Aroused from the Deeps, he and his watery myrmidons rise and turn the land into a vast swamp — of which this very Nong Han is a remnant" (See Wikipedia)

track - a path or walkway (that people walk along to get from one place to another place)
beaten track - a path that many people walk along (so it is clear which way to go)
off the beaten track - places that few people visit (not on the path that most people travel along)

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) - the state agency that promotes tourism in Thailand (See website)

campaign - a planned group of especially political, business or military activities which are intended to achieve a particular aim การรณรงค์
advertising campaign
promotional campaign

miracle -
อภินิหาร (อำนาจแห่งบารมี, อำนาจบุญที่สร้างสมไว้, อำนาจเหนือปกติธรรมดา)
'Miracle Year of Amazing Thailand' campaign

attraction - tourist attraction, places that are interesting to see (that tourists like to travel to) สถานที่ท่องเที่ยว
experience - ประสบการณ์, ความรู้จากประสบการณ์

unique - very special, unusual or good ที่มีลักษณะพิเศษ เป็นเอกลักษณ์
not found elsewhere - Same as "unique" (can only see here)

all 77 provinces in the country were invited to list attractions and experiences unique to them and not found elsewhere

local - in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about ท้องถิ่น
local people - people who live in a local area

a spot - a place

nature
(noun)
natural (adjective) - found in nature (not made in a factory by humans) ตามธรรมชาติ

culture (noun) -
วัฒนธรรม
cultural (adjective)

natural spots - a place that is good to visit because of some natural thing such as a wate4rfall, mountain, lake, etc
cultural spots - places that are interesting to visit because of cultural things such as a religious temple or

historical spot - places that are interesting to visit because of history (example: an important battle was once fought at this historical spot)

Listed here are the best tourism products from some provinces selected by local people - nature spots, as well as cultural spots.

freshwater -
water without as found in rivers and lakes (opposite: saltwater as found in the sea)
freshwater lake

takes on a life of its own - not depending on or relying on anything else

vibrant - full of energy ซึ่งมีชีวิตชีวา, สั่นสะเทือน, สั่น, กังวาน
vibrant colours -
colours that are full of energy, brilliant เจิดจ้า, สว่างไสว

vibrant red
turns a vibrant red

bloom (noun) - a flower ออกดอก
bloom (verb) - when the flower comes out and appears for the first time ออกดอก

in bloom - the flower of the plant is out now (can be seen)
the flowers are in bloom

in full bloom - the flowers on the plant are fully open (completely open, cannot open anymore)
water lilies in the lake are in full bloom

a huge freshwater lake in the province takes on a life of its own and turns a vibrant red as water lilies in the lake are in full bloom

recreation (noun) - something you do outside of work to relax and enjoy yourself (such as play golf or go shopping) สันทนาการ, นันทนาการ, การละเล่น, การพักผ่อน, การหยุดทำงานชั่วคราวให้คลายเหนื่อย
recreational (adjective)

field  -
a wide flat area of ground สนาม
recreational
field  

vast - very large; extremely large in area, size, amount, etc. ส่วนใหญ่, กว้างใหญ่, มหึมา มหาศาล
a vast recreational field

significant - important สำคัญ
source - the place or person something comes from or starts at, or the cause of something ต้นกำเนิด, แหล่งกำเนิด
a significant source of water for the Nam Pao River

lifeline - a thing that saves the life of something (needed for continued life)
the lifeline of the province

Lake Nong Harn occupies 20,000 rai and is a significant source of water for the Nam Pao River, the lifeline of the province

dormant - inactive, resting, not moving, active or growing ซึ่งหยุดการเจริญเติบโตชั่วคราว,  ซึ่งหยุดกิจกรรมชั่วคราว
long dormant - has been dormant for a long time

spring - jump suddenly, leap  กระโดด, ดีดตัว
spring back to life - suddenly come back to life

sprout (verb) - when a leaf or other part begins to grow on a plant (bud)  แตกหน่อ,  ออกหน่อ

shoot (noun) - new plant growth, early plant growth, they can include stems, flowering stems with flower buds, and leaves หน่อ, พืชที่งอกจากกอหรือเหง้าของต้นใหญ่ (See Wikipedia)

sprouting new shoots

in due course - after a period of time passes
new shoots that in due course become leaves and flowers

Starting in October the water lilies, long dormant, spring back to life sprouting new shoots that in due course become leaves and flowers.

patchwork - a mixture of different things
vivid - having or producing very clear and detailed images in the mind ชัดเจน

stunning - surprising; very impressive, beautiful and attractive สวยตระการตา น่าตะลึง น่าทึ่ง
stunning beauty
the entire lake is a vast patchwork of vivid red colours of stunning beauty

vicinity - an area near a particular place บริเวณใกล้เคียง
the lake is a playground for the folks who live in the vicinity.

dawn - early in the morning (when the sun first appears)
the flowers are in bloom from dawn until noon.

season - a time of the year (time period)
flowering season - the period during the year when there are flowers on plants
The flowering season runs until March.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Online Writer