Thailand: Udon Thani – Red Lotus Lake
I didn’t know about this until I got to Udon Thani and it turned out to truly be on the hidden gems of Thailand, still absolutely undiscovered by tourists. The large lake is about an hour drive southeast from Udon (easy roads, so rent your own wheels) to the village of Ban Diam. Here you get into one of the longtail boats and launch into the vast lake. Large parts of the lake are covered with red lotus flowers. Actually, these are not lotus at all, but rather pink water lilies, and when in bloom (nov-March) and fully open (sunrise), they create a panorama of pink as far as the eye can see (most were closed by the time o arrived). There is a portion of the lake where you can also see a large batch of red lotus – those rise well above the water and have massive pink flowers. And another section has white and blue water hyacinths. It’s spectacular nature experience, gliding in your boat past the tranquil waters and pink flowers, and a definite must-do in Udon Thani – just come at sunrise!