Photo: Tak's famous footbridge.

Introduction

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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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Keep reading to learn more about Tak!

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. Photo taken in or around Tak, Thailand by 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 south of town.

Tak is well known among Thais for its role in the life of King Taksin, a Chinese-Thai who served as governor of Tak during his early career -- hence his name meaning “Sin of Tak.” As a military commander who often led on horseback, Taksin was instrumental in repelling Burmese forces from Ayutthaya in the late 1760s. He then became king of Siam for 15 years, moving the Thai capital south to Thonburi in what’s now a part of Bangkok. An elaborate shrine to the King stands on the north side of town and a huge riverside pavilion was built to resemble his signature ... Travelfish members only (Around 700 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Tak.
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 Read up on where to eat on Tak.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Tak.
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