In a picturesque celebration that has been a tradition for 15 years, Ms. Woraphan Chaisamut, Head of Huai Nam Sub Wildlife Sanctuary in Bangsapan, Prachuap Khiri Khan, recently unveiled the annual event, “Ascending Hills, Burning Fields, Admiring the Beauty of Wild Sunflowers.” This cultural extravaganza, deeply rooted in the community of Sophaephet Village, Thong Mongkol District, Bangsapan, takes place every February 10th. The occasion serves as a warm welcome for tourists arriving to witness the spectacular bloom of the elusive Centennial Wild Sunflowers, locally known as “Dok Gasalong.” These radiant blossoms, adorning the slopes of the Pu Dang Grandfather Mountain, grace the landscape only once a year during the transition from winter to summer.
Currently, hundreds of these wild sunflowers have begun their vibrant display, casting hues of orange and red across the Pu Dang Grandfather Mountain. Recognized as a rare botanical marvel in Thailand, these flowers are not easily found and are particularly sighted along the limestone ridges in the southern regions of the country. The Huai Nam Sub Wildlife Sanctuary stands out as the singular location in Prachuap Khiri Khan province where one can marvel at the blooming of the Centennial Wild Sunflowers.
As part of this year’s festivities, beyond the ascent to witness the blossoming beauty of the Centennial Wild Sunflowers, the local community engaged in a unique tradition of burning fields. Villagers enthusiastically participated in a friendly competition, creatively crafting “Kao Larm” or sticky rice towers, using coconuts and glutinous rice, which were then distributed to the visiting tourists. This ritual not only marks the commencement of the Pu Dang Grandfather Mountain’s floral spectacle but also symbolizes the communal spirit of the locals.
In ensuring a holistic experience for visitors, the sanctuary’s management has orchestrated meticulous arrangements, offering a 360-degree panoramic view of nature’s splendor. This annual event has become a hallmark for both the local community and tourists, exemplifying the harmonious coexistence between culture and the environment. As officials and community members joined in the festivities, the “Ascending Hills, Burning Fields, Admiring the Beauty of Wild Sunflowers” celebration continues to enchant all who seek a glimpse of Thailand’s natural wonders.