Lopburi is the second capital after Ayutthaya and known as the monkey Kingdom because of the many monkeys that can be seen in the city, especially around the Prang Sam Yot (a Khmer temple) and Sarn Phra Karn (a Khmer shrine). These monkeys are fed 3 times a day as to not disturb the visitors to the city. However, Lopburi province is also home to the biggest sunflower fields of Thailand.
It is believed that sunflowers were first domesticated in what is now the Southeastern USA, roughly 5000 years ago, there is no evidence that it may have been first domesticated in Mexico as far back as 2600 BC. One thing for sure, they aren’t just in Kansas anymore as the Lopburi Sunflower fields attest.
Thousands of acres are filled with these beautiful bright yellow flowers that are in blossom between November and January. The largest field is located in Phatthana Nikom district, a little over 40 kilometers at the east of the provincial capital. Although a beautiful sight that has become a tourist attraction, the sunflowers are grown to produce sunflower oil used for cooking and for their seeds which are eaten as a snack.
Every year from November to February the Thailand sunflowers put on a festival of sorts because it is the period when the sunflowers are in full bloom. All the way from Mae Hong Son in the north to south of Bangkok these big-headed beauties raise their faces to the sun. Off the tourist trail near Lopburi, Thailand, not far from Bangkok, is the most famous sunflower filed in Lopburi. Since Sunflowers can grow in dry conditions farmers often plant their fields with them instead of corn.
The festival highlights include photography, scenic, train, bicycle in the sunflower field, the distribution of OTOP products, such as tours of soldiers living in the wild for recreational boating, tires, etc.