Blooming Bua Tong flowers brighten the hills of Doi Mae U Kho in Mae Hong Son

Flower Festivals in Thailand

Words: Sirimaya
Photos: Phuwadol Jankhum
Published: November 30, 2018

The hills and valleys of Doi Mae U Kho in Mae Hong Son in Northern Thailand are annually brightened with bright yellow Bua Tong flowers, but only for a few weeks during November to December.

The Bua Tong hills and valleys at Doi Mae U Kho in Khun Yuam district was the last stop of our four-day Mae Hong Son trip. We arrived at about 10 am on November 22, just at the perfect moment to see the Bua Tong flowers turning their bright faces towards the sun.

We even snapped a few shots to show you.

Blooming Bua Tong flowers brighten the hills of Doi Mae U Kho in Mae Hong Son

Throughout the four-day trip, which we traveled from Chiang Mai to Mae Taeng, then turned on to highway 1095 to Pai and Mae Hong Son town, before continuing to Khun Yuam and Doi Mae U Kho, we saw lots and lots of blooming Bua Tong flowers. They brightened up the windy road and picturesque scenery along the way, more like a great appetizer to this spectacular bright yellow hills and valleys.

To get the vast horizontal views such as this, you’ll need to endure a flight of stairs to the top of the hill.

Blooming Bua Tong flowers brighten the hills of Doi Mae U Kho in Mae Hong Son

For those who are not physically fit, just stick to the base which offers as many as social-media-ready photo opportunities to share with friends and followers. There’re also photo spots at the Tourist Information counter, where you can enjoy freshly-brewed coffee or water for free.

Blooming Bua Tong flowers brighten the hills of Doi Mae U Kho in Mae Hong Son
Blooming Bua Tong flowers brighten the hills of Doi Mae U Kho in Mae Hong Son

The ladies at the counter told us that this year the Bua Tong flowers may wither earlier than expected because it has been raining in recent days. So, we were quite lucky to arrive at the fields on such a bright, sunny morning, and were able to witness the grandeur of the natural scenery rain-free.

The Bua Tong flower in Mae Hong Son only blooms from November to December, and the local administration annually holds a festival to celebrate the amazing natural sights. This year, the annual Bua Tong Blossom Festival 2018 is scheduled from November 1 to December 10.

If you’re planning to visit Mae Hon Son, and want to include a stop at the Bua Tong Fields, mark these months on your calendar – best period should be from mid to end of November. Be sure to book accommodation in advance as there’s a limited number in the area. We stayed in Khun Yuam. But we saw tourists camping tents in the area near the flower hills, so go camping can be an option.

Blooming Bua Tong flowers brighten the hills of Doi Mae U Kho in Mae Hong Son

Down the Bua Tong hills and valleys, there’s a famers’ market selling farm fresh produce and locally made fruit and food products, hill tribe clothes (yes, in case you need a change of clothes for your social-media-ready photos!), scarfs, bags etc.

Blooming Bua Tong flowers brighten the hills of Doi Mae U Kho in Mae Hong Son

There’re also roadside eateries if you fancy a meal, or just grab snacks on the go like barbecue potatoes or husk-on grilled corn or even whole grilled chicken. Behind some of these stalls are flower gardens with beds of pink and purple cosmos, orange marigold and bright red cockscomb as well as the bright yellow Bua Tong flowers. You can walk around these gardens for a fee of 10 baht.

Blooming Bua Tong flowers brighten the hills of Doi Mae U Kho in Mae Hong Son