End of May I went down to south Thailand (Patthalung area) to do a several photography projects and one of them was visiting the Thale Noi Lotus Lake during sunrise. One of the most beautiful lakes I have seen in my life.
The Thale Noi lake is located in a national park area in the Phatthalung province in the south of Thailand (150 km away from the Malaysian border)
Let me start with some facts and details about the Thale Noi Lotus Lake –
- Size – 5 km wide / 6 km long and mostly not over 1.20 m deep
- part of a 450 square kilometre waterfowl reserve
- Thale Noi Non-Hunting Area provides habitat and breeding grounds for over 180 native and migratory bird species
- In 2019 there was a guess over 4-5 Million Lotus flowers inside the lake
- Designated 1998
Thale Noi Lotus Lake
I started my day at 4:30 AM to have enough time to drive down to one of the lake ports where some fisherman’s are waiting for customers. It was not overcrowded like many other visitor spots around Thailand. There was actually no one at this time which was pretty nice to have a more unique feeling of that boat tour.
There is also not a fixed price for this kind of tour. Just talk to one of the fisherman and negotiate a fair price with them. I payed 800 TBH for more than 3.5 hours on the boat which is a VERY fair price. On the end I even had to tell the fisherman to start slowly going back as I got quite tired after waking up so early.
What I absolutely loved was the fact that he enjoyed this tour so much and he was smiling during the whole time and explaining all things about the birds and plants which were located in this area. His knowledge was really incredible.
We started the tour at 5.30 AM which was perfect to get the best possible light during the sunrise. The colors, silence and atmosphere around this area got me already after the first second on the boat. What a magical place!!
One the way down the river we saw a few fisherman getting their nets ready to fish. Most of the time when they spotted our boat they gave us a smile and had a small chat with the boat driver.
I saw more different bird during this trip than I probably saw in my entire life. Incredible how many different colored species are in this area.
After being on the boat for around 30 mins we reached a more open water spot with some fisherman’s sheds and the light at this spot was something I haven’t seen in my life. I remember exactly my thoughts and feelings at this moment. I was really blown away with my eyes white open and I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was.
It was like you looking on a nice poster on someones wall with the only difference that it was real and right in front of me. On spots like this the boats driver always turned off the engine so we could enjoy the silence around this area.
After staying a while around this beautiful spot we moved on and the next destination was to see some water buffoons further north of the lake.
One funny thing what the driver mention was – He actually have been at this spot a few hours before on that day already and he saw the exact 3 buffalo’s which you can see above eating lotus flower since then. He said that they seem extremely hungry today!
It was fascinating watching them eating and swimming around the lake. Something I definitely haven’t seen before.
As the sun went up we were finally able to see the beautiful colors inside and around the lake. Another stunning moment seeing the lake in its pure beauty.
At this point we have been around 3 hours on the boat already and the sun started to burn down quite heavy and before we started our way back the driver showed me something pretty cool, a water plant which grows in this lake and which is actually eatable. He picked a few for me and showed me how I can eat them.
They tasted actually really good and I ate a good amount of plants on this spot 😀
One thing on the end was also something I wont forget. On the question why the driver was constantly smiling during this trip his answer was “If I see you smiling, I feel happy and I know I’m doing my job right” – Such an simple but beautiful way to answer this question.
I can only recommend to everyone of you who has the chance to go to the south of Thailand to visit this spot. Even its not a super famous spot – For me it’s one of the most beautiful ones I’ve seen.
Thanks for joining this little trip with me :)) I’m super stoked to finally release this report after working on it for a few weeks. I hope you guys enjoyed it :))