Where cherry blossoms bloom in Thailand

photos courtesy of TAT

The month of January is quite a good time to enjoy blossoms. Many places offer an impressive flowery atmosphere.

From mid-January to mid-February, the mountain of Phu Lom Lo, in the Dan Sai district of Loei province, will turn pink with cherry blossoms. Prepare your picnic set and you can spend a sweet day out among the stunning flower scenery.

More than 100,000 wild Himalayan cherries, planted in 2010, now span over the mountainous area of Phu Lom Lo and Phu Khi Thao in Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park.

Normally, the wild Himalayan cherry can be found in northern Thailand. For its pink flowers, some Thais call it sakura, though it is a different species. The trees are grown in the former cabbage plantations of Hmong farmers, with hopes of making it an attraction for the national park.

Doi Inthanon, Thailand's highest peak, is another famous site for the wild Himalayan cherry. The pink blossom can be found right on the roadside. But the most scenic place for the flower is at the Khun Wang Royal Project. Located in Doi Inthanon National Park, at 1,400m elevation, the centre offers a stunning scenic road under the pink shade of the flowers. It also impresses visitors with a beautiful garden of temperate climate flowers and fresh produce from the research farm.

You may be surprised that Uthai Thani province has a nice place full of temperate climate flowers. Situated at 700m above sea level is Kaen Makrut -- or Ban E-mad -- in Ban Rai district. Cool weather allows the people of Kaen Makrut to grow flowers. Eventually, it has become a nice place to linger among the picturesque blossoms. The weather also enable farmers to grow strawberries.

Besides the flowers, tourists can get a glimpse of the Karen lifestyle, spending a night in a homestay, trying ethnic cuisine and local coffee.

Talay Bua Daeng, in Nong Harn Lake of Udon Thani province, turns vibrant from December to March, when millions of red water lilies are in full bloom, spanning over 22,500 rai.

From dawn till 11am is the best period to enjoy the flowers in bloom. Tourists can explore by boat, and the tour takes 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the boat's specifications. The cruise trip will feature elements of the local lifestyle, such as people collecting water lilies, fishermen at work and different kinds of swamp birds.

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