Brighty Sunflowers Thailand Off The Beaten Track This Winter

Thailand’s winter season is here. Yupe, there is winter season, in addition to summer and rainy season. Surprise, dontcha?!

 

A smiley-sunflower (Photo credit: Mimi Ng)

Winter breeze has started blowing, and this means it’s time for brighty sunflowers!

 

Lopburi province, approx 150km north of Bangkok

Lopburi province is where you need to be. It is a small province in the Central region, around 150km north of Bangkok. It takes approximately 2.5-3 hours drive from Bangkok.

Due to its close proximity to Bangkok, many locals visit sunflower fields as day trip during winter season. Expect to pay a minimum 10 baht (no dual-pricing, foreigners pay the same price as locals), to enter the sunflower fields.

 

Elevated platform for photo op

Some farms even have props for photo, and there was even one field that provide elephant ride (tsk!).

 

Sunflower’s heads (where you pry out the sunflower seeds)

 

You may also find fresh sunflower vege, to cook at home

You will be able to buy sunflower-related souvenirs at these farms, such as sunflower seeds, umbrellas, t-shirts, etc.

 

Happily buzzing bee

 

Easy to navigate (Photo credit: Mimi Ng)

Many sites state that the Sunflower Festival is from November to March. I think, November to January would be the safe bet, when the sunflowers are in full bloom.

 

Brighty sunflowers (Product credit: Mimi Ng)

 

If you are lucky enough …(Photo credit: Pravich Vutthisombut)

But, the farms take turn in planting the sunflowers. This is to ensure that there are blooming flowers during this period. If you are driving (the best transportation method), just drive till you see farms with blooming sunflowers, whichever period you go.

Normally, you need not fret if you ain’t driving.

Kudos to the State Railway of Thailand, they have been running special tourist trains from Hualamphong station for few years.  The train goes only on the weekend and public holidays, and only in the month of December.

The route is as such that it departs from Bangkok’s Hualamphong station to Pa Sak Cholasit Dam. That train does not take the northern line to Lopburi, but rather the Northeast line toward Nong Khai (using the bypass over the lake formed by the Pa Sak Cholasit Dam).

The tickets normally sell like hot cakes. So, make sure you get yours as soon as you can. The train departs from Hualamphong station 6am+, and you will get back to the same station around 12 hours later.

 

Aarghh … no tourist train this year!

As I couldn’t find 2015 information in their website here, I called their hotline 1690 (Press 9 for English, and 1 for State Railway of Thailand). I was informed that there won’t be any train service this year, due to drought problem. There is a delay in blooming for the sunflowers.The staff told me that there might be other sunflower fields at Lopburi province. It is possible to take a train to Saraburi, but will need to make arrangements, to go to these fields.

Update Dec 2016

Again, I was unable to find any updated info on the State Railway of Thailand’s website. I called them on 1 Dec 2016 to find out if there’a any special tourist train to the sunflower fields.  It seems that State Railway Thailand still has yet to release any info until now … so, no boo … no train yet again. I was told that there is not enough water / water level too level at the Pa Sak Cholasit dam.

I was advised to take a train to Pa Sak Cholasit dam: Express train 75, 820am-11am, 2nd class ac @ 286 baht, based on my indicative travel date on 11 Dec. The ticket can only be purchased on the travel date itself at the train station.

I was attended by Khun Yutthana, who speaks seriously good English for a Thai nationality. He told me that he has only started work for 2 months, but yet he was able to provide detailed info. I wanted to send an compliment email, but there isn’t any channel to do so … aiks.

Update Jan 2017

The special train trips are back, and here are the dates: Jan 14,15, 21, 22, 28 and 29 and the ticket cost is 270 baht for a round-trip ticket. For more info, check here and here (in Thai).

Update Nov 2017

News about sunflowers in Lopburi has started appearing here … so, can start planning trip to the sunflower fields. The tourist train to Pa Sak Cholasit dam and Saraburi sunflower fields for 2017/2018 are confirmed on Saturdays and Sundays as below:

  • Nov 2017: 18,19,25,26 Nov
  • Dec 2017: 2,3,9,10,16,17,23,24 Dec
  • January 2018: 13,14,20,21,27 Jan

Price: 270 baht

Itinerary (Translated from Thai using Google Translate):

** Depart from Bangkok Station at 07.10 hrs. Stop at Samsen Railway Station, Bangsue, Bangkhen, Laksi, Don Mueang, Rangsit, Ayutthaya, Saraburi, Kaeng Khoi, The highlight of this trip is the view point. “Floating train” at Khok Salung Then, stop at Pasak Dam at 10.40 am.
In addition, the Lopburi. Organized activities such as the show of Thai Bang community lifestyle. Display and distribution of OTOP products. Visit the Museum of History, construction of the Pasak Dam, Aquarium, goat farm, sheep farm, sunflower garden. Horse-drawn carriage is also available. Tram service runs through the dam to worship the great Wang Muang. With Saraburi
** Return from Pasak Dam stop at 15.30 hrs. Stop at Kaeng Sua Pier, Kaeng Khoi, Saraburi, Ayutthaya, Rangsit, Don Muang, Laksi, Bang Sue, Samsen and then arrive at Bangkok Station at 6.30.

– Pasak Dam – Bangkok Baht 270 per person. No discount for all types (use a bogey ride, 3rd floor, renovation of the whole procession).
Ticket sales: Buy all stations nationwide or Reservations can be made by phone number 1690 (advance 5 days).
For more information, call 1690 hotline.

 

I’ll be back to see you, sunflowers!

Visited the sunflower fields twice, and it’s one of my top 3 favorites off the beaten track in Thailand! I was even thinking of going on a solo trip via tourist train … next year, then.

 

See you in 2016, sunflowers (Photo credit: Quin Low)

 

State Railway of Thailand
Hotline: 1690 (Press 9 for English, and 1 for State Railway of Thailand)
Website: http://www.railway.co.th/main/index_en.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pr.railway
Email: webmaster.srt@railway.co.th

Notyourtypicaltourist

Travel opens up a whole new world, which is cliche but true. I am a strong advocate for independent and solo travel. I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but now live in Bangkok, Thailand, resulted from a chance encounter in 2009 with my why-are-you-Thai bf. I am now split between two countries. One country for my bf, another for the family, for the occasional weekend together.

16 thoughts on “Brighty Sunflowers Thailand Off The Beaten Track This Winter

  • November 29, 2015 at 12:57 pm
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    Beautiful bloom..love to visit this someday 😉

    Reply
    • November 29, 2015 at 1:13 pm
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      Want to go this year ? *wink

      Reply
  • August 20, 2016 at 11:26 pm
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    Hi there! Do you know the name of sunflower farm where they offer elephant rides coz’ we would like to visit the place this coming Jan. or next. Thanks!

    Reply
    • August 22, 2016 at 10:13 am
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      Hi Riz,

      As the sunflower is seasonal, we usually do not have any specific farms in mind. Reason being a specific farm will be closed when the season has passed, i.e. when the flowers are no longer blooming.

      The good thing about these farms are they ‘space out’ their planting time. So, you’ll still be able to visit the next one down the road. That’s what my bf did, driving along the road till we find one with blooming sunflowers.

      Hope this helps.

      Reply
      • August 22, 2016 at 10:40 am
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        I see… ok, tks for the info!

        Reply
        • August 22, 2016 at 12:44 pm
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          No problem, Riz. Let me know if you need any other info, cheers

          Reply
  • January 22, 2017 at 12:04 pm
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    Hi there… wanna know your inputs which place better to visit inApril this year for sunflower : Saraburi or Lopburi ? I know the peak blooming has been over.
    does it easy to negotiate with taxi or songteuw to drive to sunflower field from train station ?

    Reply
  • January 30, 2017 at 12:45 am
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    Hello! Love your blog 🙂
    I would like to ask where to find out if there are still sunflowers by mid Feb 2017? There’s an upcoming long weekend and I’m planning to go to Lopburi again to visit the farms. It’s really beautiful. 🙂

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • January 30, 2017 at 12:57 am
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      Hi Vanessa,

      Thanks so much for your kind words – it means a lot to me 🙂

      Since the SRT (State Railway of Thailand) hv their special trains running until end Jan 2017, I wouldn’t be too worry about missing the sunflower blooms. In the past, the train usually run in the month of December. Unfortunate, there is no info hub to find out whether the sunflower is still in season … if I were in your shoe, I would just contact some travel agent online and check with them whether they have any tour ..that shall do the trick *wink*

      All the best .. let me know if you need any other info.

      Reply
  • April 23, 2017 at 10:07 pm
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    Hi, any idea if there’s any sunflower in mid august at khao Yai? 🙂

    Reply
      • April 24, 2017 at 9:19 am
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        Hi Yvonne,

        I am afraid that July/August are too early for the sunflower season, as it usually starts in Nov/Dec.

        Reply
  • October 2, 2017 at 10:04 pm
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    Hi, i really appreciate your update on this special train trips.
    i planning to go Bangkok this coming December and stay until new year.
    maybe perhaps you know the latest update for 2017/2018 schedule.
    will be a great help!

    thank you

    Reply
    • October 4, 2017 at 2:07 pm
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      Hi Exaty,

      I am afraid that State Railway of Thailand has yet to release info about the tourist train. I’ll make a note to check their website again ..

      Reply
      • November 10, 2017 at 10:18 am
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        Hi Exaty,

        Information on State Railway Thailand’s Facebook on 8 Nov 2017 https://www.facebook.com/pr.railway – The tourist train to Pa Sak Cholasit dam and Saraburi sunflower fields for 2017/2018 are confirmed on Saturdays and Sundays as below:

        Nov 2017: 18,19,25,26 Nov
        Dec 2017: 2,3,9,10,16,17,23,24 Dec
        January 2018: 13,14,20,21,27

        I’ve also updated my blog with the latest info.

        Happy planning!

        Reply

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