Nong Han Kumphawapi Lake

Destination Guide

Nong Han Kumphawapi Lake is a large fresh water lake located about 30 minutes south by road from the city of Udon Thani which is famous for its winter time bloom of red aquatic flowers.

About Nong Han Kumphawapi Lake

Nong Han Kumphawapi Lake stretches 12 km northwards from the small town of Kumphawapi. From October through to March every year a large part of the lake is covered in flowering red water lilies. The flower stems rise about 15 cm above the surface of the water, surrounded by green water lily pads which float on the surface of the lake. The best time of year to visit is from December through to February when the density of water lilies is at their greatest. The flowers themselves open at dawn and close around 11:00 when the sunlight becomes more intense and boat trips on the lake go out in the early morning for this reason. There are four piers from which tour boat services operate, the busiest of which is Ban Diam Pier because it is the closest one to the main road that runs between Udon Thani and Khon Kaen and thereafter on to Bangkok.

Nong Han Kumphawapi Lake near Udon Thani
Nong Han Kumphawapi Lake near Udon Thani

Boat tours of Nong Han Kumphawapi Lake vary in price according to the length of the trip and the size of the boat. A 45 minute trip on boat capable of holding 2 to 3 people should cost 300 THB for the whole boat and 500 THB for a boat capable of holding up to 8 people. Some boat operators offer food during the trip at an additional cost, typically they sell fish from the lake grilled and som tam made from lotus stems, along with the ubiquitous sticky rice.

There is a lot more to see on these boat trips than simply flowering water lilies. Nong Han Kumphawapi Lake is a shallow lake. no deeper than 1 metre, which creates a rich and unusual eco-system. The lake is full of fish, as well as parasitic liver flukes and other micro species (which is why you shouldn’t swim in it), and this attracts a enormous range of different species of birds. eBird, which is  a website where bird spotters share reports of bird sightings, lists a 165 different species of birds which have been spotted at Nong Han Kumphawapi Lake. Amongst the bird you may see at the lake during a boat trip are: the Asian Openbill, several different species of kingfisher, purple and grey heron, and lots of different raptors including the Common Kestrel, Brahminy Kite, Greater Spotted Eagle, Osprey and Peregrine Falcon.

Location of Nong Han Kumphawapi Lake

  • Nong Han Kumphawapi Lake is 48.2 km by road from Udon Thani Airport.

Google Map of Nong Han Kumphawapi Lake

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