Photo: Street fare for Takua Pa's market.

Eat and meet

If you’re not into authentic (and often spicy) southern Thai food, Takua Pa could be a struggle. If you are someone who appreciates some serious local cuisine, however, Takua Pa is a fun place to eat.

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As soon as you get off the bus Takua Pa offers local treats. A small market and array of shop fronts offer southern curries, fresh fruit, and locally produced Chinese style cakes, which Takua Pa is famous for. Heading east away from the bus station there are several local restaurants that serve up barbequed seafood and a range of authentic meat and vegetable stir-fries -- a good place to put your Thai language skills to work.

Just across the street from Extra Hotel is the Puttachart Takuapa, a large open air gaeng khao (rice and curry/stir-fry) spot where you can choose from over a dozen local specialties with rice for around 40B per plate. We tried several sizzling hot curries that were all delicious, if you don’t mind shedding a few tears due to the spice. If you don’t feel like pointing your way through your order (all dishes are on display in large trays), they do have a small English menu and at least one member of the staff is excited to practice his English. Need a relief from the spice? An elderly woman runs a small display within the restaurant where you can sample Chinese style cakes and sticky rice sweets wrapped in banana leaves for extremely cheap.

Heading out towards Nam Khem there are a few tasty local boat noodle shops along the road that are worth a try, and if you happen to be there on a Sunday don’t miss the Sri Takua Pa market in the old quarter south of town. There you’ll find traditional treats like roast duck and rice, khanom pao lang (sticky rice stuffed with shrimp, pepper and coconut), khanom tao (bean filled sweet dumplings), khanom kiam koi (savoury rice patties topped with fried onions and spices) some silky and refreshing chah yen (Thai iced tea) and fruit shakes, locally grown cashew nuts, and traditional caramel-graham snacks, if you’re lucky enough to find them.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Takua Pa? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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