Time for The Sunflower Season in Central Thailand

Time for The Sunflower Season
Time for The Sunflower Season in Central Thailand

The sunflower season in Thailand or when the sun-loving flowers commonly bloom starts around November and goes on until about January or February, depending on the weather. The best places to see the sunflower fields are in Lop Buri and Saraburi, just a short drive northeast of Bangkok. Each farm in the two provinces takes turns in planting the sunflowers so that there is at least one area of blooming flowers during this period.

Each sunflower field lasts about 10 days, and is normally filled with locals and tourists alike wanting to take pictures amid the vast landscape of beautiful yellow flowers as they turn their bright faces to follow the sun. Nong Khaem sub-disctrict in Lop Buri, about two hours by car from Bangkok, is normally the first place to see the sunflowers in bloom. So if you want to catch the first sunflowers of the year, set your compass toward that direction.

Most farms offer free entry, some might provide extra services; such as, pony riding and exploring the field on a mini tractor. There are also booths selling sunflower oil and seeds as well as fruit, food and beverages. The best places to visit the sunflowers fields in Thailand include: Lop Buri offers the first places to see the sunflower fields in Phatthana Nikhom, Chai Badan, and Khok Samrong districts. Saraburi is another home of sunflower fields in Thailand. Travelling by car is recommended as you’ll need to drive along the areas: Khao Din Phattana in Amphoe Chaloem Phra Kiat; Nayao in Amphoe Phra Phutthabat; Hinson in Amphoe Kaeng Khoi, Salaengpan in Amphoe Wang Muang, Ban Kluai in Amphoe Nong Don, and Mittraphap and Amphoe Muak Lek.

Pa Sak Cholasit Dam: During December, the State Railway of Thailand organises sunflowers festival trips from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Station to Pa Sak Cholasit Dam in Saraburi at a reasonable price. For more information of the trip, please contact the State Railway of Thailand at +66 (0) 2225 6964. See more at: http://www.tatnews.org/time-to-escape-and-enjoy-romantic-thainess-asthe-sunflower-season-starts-in-central-thailand/#sthash.hwkKYxiQ.dpuf About The Sunflower The sunflower or Heliathus annus is known as Thantawan in Thai. When the plant is in the bud stage, it tends to follow the movement of the sun from the east to the west, in order to improve the efficiency of photosynthesis. Once the flower fully opens, it will face east and there will be no movement anymore.

A sunflower can grow to 5 metres tall. Its green leaves are in the heart shape. Normally each cultivated sunflower plant has only one flower, but the wild species have multiple flowers. The flower has yellow or reddish-yellow petals around a brown disc. In each disc, there are several hundred to a thousand florets that are hermaphrodite. Its fruits or seeds are various in colour– pure black, black with gray or white stripes and white with gray stripes. This depends on the species.

Like the Soya bean and the oil palm, the sunflower is a commercial oil crop that plays an outstanding role in the world market. There are two types of commercial sunflower, viz. Oilseed — Its small black seed is very high in oil content. It is processed into sunflower oil and meal, and is also used for feeding birds. Non-oilseed (confectionery sunflower) — Its larger black and white striped seed is used to make a variety of food products from snacks to bread. A Brief History Universally, the sunflower is the flower of pride and cheerfulness.

There is a legend based on Greek mythology that tells us the origin of the sunflower. The legend has it that once upon a time, Clytie, a dryad, deeply fell in love with Apollo, the God of the Sun. But Apollo felt no love for her. Hence, all she could do was just sitting and fixing her eyes only on her beloved sun from sunrise until sunset.

Magically, the body of Clytie was changed into a sunflower. Her legs turned to be the stem while the face became the flower. Her gold hair became the yellow petals. Though in the form of a flower, Clytie still turned her face to the sun all the time. That is why the sunflower always turns its head to the sun. Actually, the sunflower is a native plant of North America. It is said that the plant was cultivated, in about 3000 BC, by Indians in the area which is the present-day Arizona and New Mexico. Then, around 1500 AD, the sunflower was taken to Europe by Spanish explorers.

There, it was planted as an ornamental plant. This exotic flower, later, gained its popularity as a commercial crop when it was brought to Russia. Sunflower Cultivation in Thailand Thailand started planting sunflowers as a commercial crop in 1988, with a total area of 12 sq. kilometres. Last year, the area of sunflower fields increased to about 800 sq. kilometres that gave over sixty thousand ton of sunflower oil. The plant is commonly grown after the farmer harvested their main crops (corn, Soya beans, etc.). Generally, farmers will grow sunflowers during the period from late September to November. Then the plants will be in full bloom around November and December.