Thung Bua Tong

Sunflower view blooming on the hill ,Thung Bua Tong Mae Hong Son, Thailand

The blooming “Thung Bua Tong” in Mae Hong Son

The last period of the rainy season and the cold climate just about to start is the symbol for the locals in Mae Hong Son, knowing that here comes the winter. Notably, the particular flowering plant “Bua Tong,” a golden yellow flower which grows explicitly in the land of Mae Hong Son blossoms in the winter annually. Remarkably, at “Doi Mae U-Kho” in Khun Yuam district, which features the vast Bua Tong field claimed as the largest one in Thailand and once in a year to witness this lovely flower blankets all the mountains here. 

What is “Bua Tong”?

Bua Tong, which known commonly “Tree Marigold,” a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae that also called in other names, including Mexican tournesol, Mexican sunflower, Japanese sunflower or Nitobe chrysanthemum. Originating in Mexico and Central America, however, the plant has a nearly pantropical distribution as an introduced species found in the north of Thailand, too. 

Bua Tong, yellow Mexican sunflower field in Mae Hong Son

Every year, when entering the cold season from November to December, the northern region of Thailand welcomes the blooming golden blossom of “Bua Tong,” another highlighted attraction drawing many tourists to see its beauty.

And the best location to see the beautiful “Bua Tong” meadow in Thailand definitely is “Doi Mae U-Kho” in Khun Yuam district, Mae Hong Son. Well-known as “Thung Bua Tong Doi Mae U-Kho,” the place recognized the most expanding tree marigold field in the country which covers more than 800,000 sqm on the mountainous land with over 1,600 meters above the sea level.

About Thung Bua Tong at Doi Mae U-Kho

Literally, Thung Bua Tong Forest Park – Doi Mae U-Kho, about 25 km away from Khun Yuam district administrative office, one of the top-list natural attractions in Mae Hong Son. The site is high, and green mountainous land alternated by the tree marigold fields resulted in the bright yellow flower carpets all through the mountains. As the most abundant tree marigold field in Thailand, Thung Bua Tong Doi Mae U-Kho blossoms in the mid of November in the estimate and lasts only two weeks! Undoubtedly, the place will pack with the crowds to see the lovely flower field, and there’s the “Bua Tong Blossoms Festival” as an annual event, as well. 

“Bua Tong Blossoms Festival,” besides the tourists indulge the vibrant tree marigold blossom, metaphor the yellow paints all over the hills. The fair provides lots of local goods included OTOP items, agricultural products, and local foods, as well as classical performing shows to entertain the visitors, too.

Landscape Tung Bua Tong or Mexican sunflower field in Mae Hong Son

Doi Mae U-Kho presents the picturesque golden meadow and heart-stopping scenery that anyone can’t resist this beauty creating by nature. Predominantly, the viewpoint pavilions scattered around the site for the tourists to enjoy the magnificent landscape of the tree marigold field in 360 degrees with no any blockage. Also, the path to walk around the venue with many photogenic corners to snap the pictures.

The best time to visit here is in the morning and in the late afternoon with a more comfortable climate, whether the gentle sea of mist and cooling air in the morning or warm tone of the sky before sunset with the silhouetted mountain at the back is remarkably stunning.

Nonetheless, we recommend coming here in the early morning since the weather at the location is mild cold with the gentle mist blanketing mountains, and the first light of the day is breaking, plus the towering mountains as a perfect backdrop are the heart-taking moment, indeed.

Neighboring Sightseeing

At Doi Mae U-Kho is not famous only the tree marigold field, there is much sightseeing that would be thrilled and has waited for the real explorers to visit, including;

Mae U-Kho Waterfall

Mae U-Kho Waterfall in Mae Hong Son

A beautiful waterfall was discovered in 1987, situated in the area of Doi Mae U-Kho only 3 km from the high mountain. Mae U-Kho Waterfall is a single cascade with approximately 30 meters high and falls from the broad ridge. In the middle of the stream is wide stria, which allows the visitors to walk to the fall. The best time to visit the venue is in the rainy and cold season.

Mae Yuam Luang Waterfall

Mae Yuam Luang Waterfall Mae Hong Son

Another interesting waterfall site that is about 11 km from the Bua Tong Field. Departing the center town of Khun Yuam and passes a junction to access Doi Mae U-Kho in about 500 meters is the entrance of the place. Mae Yuam Luang Waterfall is a small cascade with a low splash, surrounded by the rock ridges and bamboo wood.

Accessing the waterfall needs to cut through the bamboo forest; however, it’s not far from the effort to reach the heart of the location. Mostly, the waterfall welcomes lots of tourists who favor the site for picnic and relax resulted from the tranquil and pleasant atmosphere.

Mae Surin Waterfall

Mae Surin Waterfall in Mae Hong Son

Significantly, the location is recognized as one of the highest waterfalls in Thailand. Mae Surin Waterfall is about 12 km from the tree marigold filed features up to 220 meters high of the splash. Although it’s just the only single level, it doesn’t compromise in power and elegance. The grand waterfall welcomes tourists all year round; nonetheless, the most beautiful period of the year is between November and December, annually.

Whichever spot at the venue is charming and attractive for the visitors to see, whether the scenic corners set up by the park or close up to the splash. Otherwise, for one who seeks a bit adventure, the nature trail here is a good idea to enjoy the site just contact the park office. 

How to go to Thung Bua Tong Doi Mae U-Kho

By Car:

Direction 1:

From the center town of Mae Hong Son, drives on highway number 108 to the 201st km of burrstone, then enter the road number 1263 and continue driving in about 12 km. So, drives to enter road Ban Na Ngew – Ban Hua Ha in about 14 km more, and you will arrive at the destination. 

Direction 2:

From Mae Cham district, Chiang Mai drives on highway number 1263 (Mae Cham – Khun Yuam) until you arrive at the junction to enter Ban Na Ngew – Ban Hua Ha, which is 76 km in its distance approximate. Then, drives from the intersection about 14 km more, you will reach Doi Mae U-Kho. 

Thung Bua Tong Doi Mae Ho

Mae Hong Son is not only the tree marigold field at Doi Mae U-Kho; actually, there’s another tree marigold meadow that is not less beautiful known as “Thung Bua Tong Doi Mae Ho.” The tree marigold here blossoms quite at the same time as Doi Mae U-Kho that is in November to the first week of December, yearly. 

Thung Bua Tong Doi Mae Ho predominantly blooms like the golden carpet on the roadside of highway number 108 at the 84th of burrstone in Mae Ho subdistrict. The location well-known as the office of Mae Hong Son Hill Tribe Welfare and Development Center, as well as a tourism route,  targets the town of Mae Hong Son, too.

Heart-stealing scene of the bright yellow Bua Tong flowers all along both sides of the way with more than 2 km distant, hard to resist to stop by and capture some cute pictures of this beautiful flower field. Unfortunately, the lovely meadow here considered as “flowers along the roadside” among the travelers who destine to the Mae Hong Son city only.

Well, we convince that the venue is brilliant enough for you to stop by and indulge in the lovely tree marigold landscape here before continuing the journey to the city town. More than that, many other tourist spots around the area are fascinating to visit, such as “Mae Sawan Noi Waterfall” in Doi Wa Klu Jo, where the site provides a magnificent sunset watching spot. Also, the fascinating sea of mist in the morning is another reason you should not miss the place, plus homestay experience, camping site, restaurant, and coffee shops.

Neighboring Sightseeing Doi Mae Ho

And other places would be great to add on your itinerary, including;                                       

1. Wat Kittiwong

Formerly knows as “Wat Chai Songkram,” located in Mae Sariang subdistrict. The Buddhist temple housed the Buddha’s relic that Phra Kru Kitti, the abbot of the temple, invited from Wat Sri Suwan in Chiang Mai. More than that, an ancient scripture, discovered in Pha Daeng Cave nearby Salween River in 1968, recorded historical stories regarding the relationship of the Lanna Kingdom and Burma.

2. Wat Jong Soong  

pagoda of Wat Jong Soong, Mae Hong Son

Also called “Wat Utthayarom,” situated in Mae Sariang subdistrict. The temple is remarkable with the magnificent and elegant pagoda with more than a century of age. Also, the sanctuary in a unique design, right combination of Burmese and western art.

3. Phra That Jom Mon

Phra That Jom Mon, located at Ban Kat subdistrict, considered the worshipful grand pagoda and the traditional celebration event in July annually.

4. Ban Kariang Pamolor

Ban Kariang Pamolor (Pamolor Karen Village), sited at Ban Kat about 7 km away from Mae Sariang Fresh Market.

5. ham Ngao (Ngao Cave)

Tham Ngao (Ngao Cave), located in Ban Kat subdistrict about 4 km from Mae Sariang town. Inside the cave is a respectful Buddha image that is esteemed among the locals.

6. Salween National Park

Sited on the riverbank of Salween River, the borderline of Thailand – Myanmar. The park covers the vast area on the right of Mae Yuam Forest and Salween Forest with more than 721.52 Salween National Park was proclaimed as the national park on November 9, 1994.

7. Wat Phra That Jom Chaeng

A Buddhist monastery situated on the hill at trisection to enter Mae Sariang district and junction to go to Sob Mei district. The beautiful ordination hall and double pagoda housed over the plaza with satellite chedis are elegantly housed inside the monastery compound.

So, if you are taking a tour in Mae Hong Son, do not skip Doi Mae Ho from your list. We guarantee you will not waste time to explore this place, indeed.


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