A low-key river town

Foreign travellers are still a novelty in the provincial capital of Tak, a laid-back town set along a scenic stretch of the Ping River in Thailand’s lower north. While there’s not a whole lot to do here apart from a few mildly interesting historical attractions, Tak could be worth a day if you’re looking to observe a typical Thai town with some friendly locals.

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Home to around 30,000 people, Tak town (or Amphoe Muang Tak) is the capital of the same-named province, one of the five largest in Thailand. It’s located in the province’s eastern lowlands and is more closely related to Sukhothai and Kamphaeng Phet than Mae Sot, Umphang and other parts of Tak province located closer to Burma. While those places host substantial Burmese and hill-tribe communities, Tak is more of a typical Thai town.

Old meets new. : David Luekens.
Old meets new. Photo: David Luekens

First settled by the Mon more than 1,000 years ago, Tak stood as a western gateway to the Sukhothai Kingdom beginning around the 12th century. Chinese immigrants arrived by the 17th century and played an important role in shaping the town, evidenced by some gorgeous heritage houses that have been preserved along Trok Ban Chin to the ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 700 words.)

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