Sunflowers

Sunflower field panorama between Saraburi and Lopburi

As one moves from the flat central plains towards the East the landscape changes. The road climbs and craggy limestone hills jut from the ground. This makes the area perfect, it appears, for the cultivation of sunflowers. The area between Saraburi and Lopburi has many large fields and for the few brief weeks the flowers bloom each year, attracts hordes of domestic tourists.

The first I knew I was approaching a flowering field was crazy men in the road waving red flags. My initial thought that there were roadworks ahead, or a bad accident. But no. At the side of the road there were cleared fields where one could park, and beyond vast swathes of the yellow flowers right up to the edge of the hills beyond.

Sunflower fields in the shadow of a hill near Lopburi

At the entrance to the flower fields there’s a small market selling sunflower-related knickknacks and local products such as wild honey, fruit wine, dried fruit and (of course) sunflower seeds.

Small market at the entrance to a sunflower field near Lopburi

In the fields people wander along the paths and into the blocks of sunflowers taking photos of their companions.

There are also a few elephants giving rides.

Elephant in a sunflower field near Lopburi

(The large metal sunflower on the right of the picture is to poke your head through to have your picture taken.)

Everyone seems to cheerful. It truly is a happy time and place.

A perfect sunflower in a field near Lopburi

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