A time for lilies and lotuses

Thung Sam Roi Yot wetland. Photos © Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park

Pink lotuses and water lilies in Thung Sam Roi Yot in Prachuap Khiri Khan are now in full bloom. The Sam Roi Yot National Park has opened the site and resumed services to welcome tourists.

Thung Sam Roi Yot is a wetland covering an area of 69km² on the west side of the park and 53km south of the resort town of Hua Hin. Locals also call the site Bueng Bua, meaning a lotus pond. It is home to a variety of aquatic plants species including white and pink water lilies, more than 40 types of fish and about 150 types of bird such as river lapwing, little tern and purple heron.

The blooming of the water lilies is also a good indication of the quality of the marsh. Listed as a Ramsar site, the marshland had faced drought for several years due to the booming of shrimp farms in the past. It started more than three decades ago when locals converted their lands for farming shrimp around Thung Sam Roi Yot. The practice gradually changed the ecology of the wetland. About a decade ago, the Thung Sam Roi Yot marsh was dried up and was reported 100% arid in 2016.

Later when the shrimp farm business went bust, nature slowly recovered. The marshland today is full of water while aquatic plants and birds have also returned. At this time of year, you may even spot migratory birds.

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park

To facilitate visitors, the park has an elevated wooden walkway allowing visitors to be close to nature. Paddleboat services are available for hire for those who want to explore the wetlands and get closer to the lotuses. Locals offer the service from 8am to 4.30pm daily at a cost of 500 baht for about a 30-minute cruise. One boat can fit four passengers.

A good time to take pictures of the flower blooming is early morning.

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park also has other famous attractions including Phraya Nakhon Cave, Sai Cave, Khao Daeng scenic lookout point, a boat cruise along Khao Daeng canal, natural trails and beautiful beaches.

For more information, visit Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park’s Facebook page at facebook.com/KhaosamroiyotNationalPark or call 032-821-568.

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