The Bhumibol Dam (named after king Bhumibol Adulyadej, the old name was Yanhee Dam) is located in Khao Kaew Tambon (sub-district), Amphoe Sam Ngao (district) of Tak and was built from 1958-1964. It stops the river Ping, one of the two sources of the Chao Phraya river. The artificial lake created covers an area of 300 km² and is the largest in Thailand. The Taksin Maharat and the Lan Sang National parks are also located in the province. Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary share half of the lake front with Kanchanaburi and Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary at the border with Uthai Thani and are World Heritage Sites.
King Taksin was vice-governor of Tak before the Ayutthaya kingdom fell during the war with Burma. As his name was Sin, he became called Tak-Sin during his time in Tak.
Tak is a key communication and transportation center of the North, with three Asian highways passing through the province. AH1 enters through the Myanmar-Thai border at Amphoe Mae Sot; AH2 passes through the province from north to south. Also AH16 terminates at Tak. Tak is located 426 km from Bangkok. Daily flights were also between Bangkok and Mae Sot by Phuket Air but now the service has been stopped. The flight takes one and a half hour.
|The seal of the province shows King Naresuan on the royal elephant. Sometimes below the elephant a garuda is depicted, as the garuda is the state symbol of Thailand. King Naresuan is shown pouring consecrated water on the ground, a symbolic act to declare independence. This refers to the war of 1584 with Burma, when Tak was the first border town to be liberated from Burmese control. The provincial tree is the Asian Jatoba (Xylia kerrii), the provincial flower is the Orchid tree (Bauhinia sp.).|
King Taksin the Great Shrine (ศาลสมเด็จพระเจ้าตากสินมหาราช) In 1947, the people in the town considered that the existing shrine did not receive appropriate honour, they, therefore, built a new shrine and commissioned the Fine Arts Department to sculpture an over life-size statue of King Taksin the Great in a sitting position with a sword across his lap.
Wat Bot Mani Si Bunrueang (วัดโบสถ์มณีศรีบุญเรือง) The Ubosot (ordination hall) was built during the reign of King Rama IV. There is a Mon – styled pagoda that enshrines the Buddha’s relics in its umbrella-shaped top. The Wihan or Vihara hall houses the magnificent principal Buddha image called ‘Luangpho Phutthamon,’ which was built during the Sukhothai period.
Wat Doi Khoi Khao Kaeo or Wat Phrachao Tak (วัดดอยข่อยเขาแก้ว หรือ วัดพระเจ้าตาก) The important ancient places are the Ubosot (ordination hall) with double-slab-boundary stones signifying royal patronage, the Buddha’s footprint in the Ubosot, and two Chedis (pagodas) where the ashes of King Taksin the Great’s father and mother are contained.
Wat Mani Banphot Worawihan (วัดมณีบรรพตวรวิหาร) It is a provincial royal monastery and an example temple of development. It has an angular Mon-styled Chedi (pagoda) with 16 indented corners at the back. Inside the Ubosot (ordination hall), there is a portrait of King Rama V royally given to this temple, and a Buddha image “Phra Phuttharup Saengthong.”
Wat Sitalaram or Wat Nam Hak (วัดสีตลาราม หรือ วัดน้ำหัก) The Ubosot (ordination hall) and a wooden building were built in the European style of art. The ordination hall once burnt and rebuilt has a wood-carved gallery in the front and houses a Buddha image of the Ayutthaya period.
Trok Ban Chin (ตรอกบ้านจีน) This place is near Wat Sitalaram. Until the extension of the Ping River, the area had been a trading area and on a distribution route of goods and consumption products from the Pho estuary in Nakhon Sawan to Ban Tha Chin.
Wat Khao Tham (วัดเขาถ้ำ) Inside the temple, there is the Lord Buddha’s footprint, Phra Sangkatchai, and Kwan Yin (Goddess of Mercy). Luangpho Thanchai, the stucco Buddha image sculptured within one day, is housed in the Ubosot (ordination hall). There is a Chedi (pagoda) atop the hill overlooking Tak town.
Lan Sang National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติลานสาง) It covers an area of 65,000 rai. Various types of forest, such as rain forest, coniferous forest, hill everygreen forest, deciduous dipterocarp forest, and mixed deciduous forest, are found in different geographical areas. Wild animals found are common wild pig, barking deer, Siamese big-headed turtle, serow, civet, Black-crested Bulbul, flying lizard, etc.. Interesting Places in the Lan Sang National Park:
King Taksin the Great National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติตากสินมหาราช) There are many types of forest: hill evergreen forest, coniferous forest, rain forest, deciduous dipterocarp forest, and mixed deciduous forest. The weather is cool all year round with an average temperature of around 20°C. Places of Interest in the King Taksin the Great National Park:
Wat Mani Phraison (วัดมณีไพรสณฑ์) Within the compound, there is a unique building called ‘Chedi Wihan Samphutthe’ which contains 512,028 Buddha images and has 223 small pagodas on its outer surface. The ancient Ubosot (ordination hall) is more than 200 years old.
Wat Chumphon Khiri (วัดชุมพรคีรี) It is an ancient temple of more than 200 years old. A newly-built Chedi is an imitation of Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar. The principal Buddha image in the Ubosot (ordination hall) is of the Mara-subduing attitude. An ancient drum of more than 200 years old is kept in the Wihan (image hall).
Namtok Mae Kasa (น้ำตกแม่กาษา) There is a path leading the way up to a high mountain. A cave in front of the waterfall has a 5 m wide stream of water which serves as an entrance to the waterfall.
Bo Nam Ron Mae Kasa (บ่อน้ำร้อนแม่กาษา) This hot well of 2 m wide is located in Tambon Mae Kasa, right in the village. Hot and cool streams flow to meet at this well.
Hill tribe Development and Assistance Centre and Tak Plant and Production Factor Service Centre (Doi Muser) (ศูนย์บริการวิชาการด้านพืชและปัจจัยการผลิตตาก (ดอยมูเซอ) In the centre, the ‘Ban Umyom Hilltribe Cultural Centre’ was established to give knowledge and advice to hill tribe leaders in tourism management. There is a display of clothes, jewellery, and household utensils, and an imitation of the Muser’s house. Outside the cultural centre, there is an imitation of a “Chakhue” dancing ground. (Chakhue is a dance of the Muser). Doi Muser Horticultural Experiment Station (สถานีทดลองพืชสวนดอยมูเซอ) The station conducts experiments and research on coffee beans, tea, fruit, vegetables, and temperate flowers. During November to December, the area around the station is beautifully covered with Mexican sunflowers in full bloom.
Doi Muser Hill Tribe Market (ตลาดสินค้าพืนเมืองชาวเขาดอยมูเซอ) Located on the roadside of the Tak – Mae Sot route (Highway No. 105) around km 29.
Chaopho Phawo Shrine (ศาลเจ้าพ่อพะวอ) The story has it that Chaopho Phawo was a Karen warrior who was appointed by King Taksin the Great as chief of the Mae Lamao border pass to protect the land. Some told the sacredness of the shrine that if anyone went hunting on Phawo Mountain, they usually encountered irregularities, such as car trouble, sickness, or became lost.
Amazing Hill (เนินพิศวง) Here, a car can be astonishingly seen going up the hill without switching on the engine. A scientist gave an explanation that it was an illusion.
Wat Phothikhun or Wat Huai Toei (วัดโพธิคุณ หรือ วัดห้วยเตย) The interesting feature is the Ubosot (ordination hall). The boat-like Ubosot has three storeys. The ground storey has no decoration. Decorations were made to the walls, ceiling, and heads of the posts on the second storey. On the third storey where religious ceremonies are performed, it was finely decorated on the walls, posts, and ceiling, with the arts of bas-relief, painting, glass inlaying, and gilding.
Wat Thai Watthanaram (วัดไทยวัฒนาราม) This is a temple of the Mahayana Buddhism (Great Vehicle) of the Thai Yai people. Inside the temple, there is Phra Phutthamahamuni, an imitation image of the sacred Buddha image in Mandalay, Union of Myanmar, which gains great respect from the people of Tak.
Thai – Myanmar Friendship Bridge (สะพานมิตรภาพไทย-พม่า) The bridge is located in Tambon Tha Sai Luat, across the Moei River between Tak’s Mae Sot district and Myawadi in the Union of Myanmar.
Rim Moei Market (ตลาดริมเมย) It is a community on the bank of the Moei River. It is also a market of local products of Thailand and Myanmar, as well as a market of gemstones from the Union of Myanmar.
Phrathat Hin Kio (พระธาตุหินกิ่วที่ดอยดินจี่) It is a miracle of nature that a gigantic rock can stay on such a cliff. The rock is so slim at some point that it seems to be parted into two pieces. A Mon-styled Chedi was built on the exact width of the rock.
The Moei River (aka Thaungyin in Myanmar) (แม่น้ำเมย) This river is the borderline between Myanmar and Thailand. It is 327 km long, flowing towards the north unlike a river in general.
Amphoe Mae Ramat is another district of Tak that borders Myanmar, 120 km from Tak town. Most of the areas are forests and mountains. It was presumed that the Mae Ramat district was a community of the Karen.
Wat Don Kaeo (วัดดอนแก้ว) One of the three marble Buddha images built at the same time in a Burmese style of sculpture was invited from Yangon to house in the Wihan (image hall) here.
Mae Tuen Wildlife Sanctuary (เขตรักษาพันธุ์สัตว์ป่าแม่ตื่น) Most of the areas are a range of high steep and complex mountains where there are different types of forest: hill evergreen forest, dry everygreen forest, mixed deciduous forest, and deciduous dipterocarp forest. Places of interest in the Mae Tuen Wildlife Sanctuary:
Places of interest in the Khun Phawo National Park:
Places of Interest in the Namtok Pha Charoen National Park:
Amphoe Umphang It is a district bordering with the Union of Myanmar and the largest district of Thailand. Umphang was once a gateway town on the western border subject to Uthai Thani Province. It was also a checkpoint for the Burmese people who crossed the border to trade in Thai territory.
Ban Boran The houses built on stilts have an open ground floor. There is a set of stairs in the front of the house. A bench is set in parallel to the portico.
Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary It covers a total area of 1,619,280 rai and has been maintained as a conservation forest to preserve natural resources. This western woodland is also an origin of a World Heritage Site. Most trees are species of a rain forest and a deciduous forest. Wild animals found are clouded leopard, Malayan tapir serow, hawk, pelican, etc. Places of Interest in the Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary:
Amazing Hill This is the second amazing hill of Tak.
Amphoe Ban Tak It was once a city of Tak and an important gateway to the west of the Kingdom of Sukhothai.
Wat Phra Borommathat The Ubosot (ordination hall) has a beautifully carved-wooden door. The old Wihan (image hall) has a high ceiling with double tiers, and is well equipped with ventilation channels so that it is cool inside. A gilded stucco Buddha image is housed in the Wihan. This temple is among the ones of great archaeological value.
Chedi Yutthahatthi or the Chedi in Honour of King Ramkhamhaeng the Great This Sukhothai – styled artwork stands on a cement square base of 12 m in width. There are traces of repair over the past time, but the pagoda still remains in its original form.
Petrified Wood This is the largest fossil of plants in Asia. It is a kind of fossil produced by nature by means of soaking decaying plants in ground water which contains silica. It was presumed that the formation occurred in the Quaternary Period, about 2 million years ago.
Mae Salit Stone Mortar and Production Site is the largest granite mortar in Thailand. The fact that the village of San Klang is where the famous stone mortar ‘Khrok Ang Sila’ is made as an OTOP handicraft, is known to a few.
Pha Sam Ngao There, three deep holes were carved into the cliff at the mountain foot, and a gilded Buddha image is housed in each of the three niches.
Doi Soi Malai An interesting thing here is a salamander or water lizard, a rarely seen ancient creature; its pink body is similar to the lizard’s. Most areas are covered with a pine forest.
Wat Chonprathan Rangsan The temple was established to replace the eight temples which were flooded in 1959. Important items of each of the eight temples were moved to be maintained in this temple.
Wat Phrathat Kaeng Soi It was presumed by the Fine Arts Department that this area was probably an important gateway town of the Hariphunchai Kingdom, named ‘Wiang Soi,’ over 800 years ago. Nowadays, the archaeological evidence of the town lays underwater, and it can be seen only when the water recedes just to a very low level.
Bhumibol Dam or Yanhi Dam It is the first multipurpose dam in Thailand. This large curve-shaped concrete dam is the highest one in Thailand. The dam is used for electricity production and irrigation. The area around the dam is used for recreational purposes and as a breeding site of freshwater creatures. Places of Interest at Bhumibol Dam:
Kuaitiao Phuen Mueang Remarkably, noodle soup here is cooked with small flat threads. Other condiments are powdered dried shrimp, small pieces of crispy pork skin, shallot, fried garlic, chopped pork, sliced cow pea, granulated sugar, lemon juice, and fish sauce.
Kabong Cho This kind of snack got its name from Burmese words: ‘Kabong’ means a pumpkin and ‘Cho’ means being fried. Pumpkin is coated with flour and fried until crispy. The tip of crunchiness lays on flour called ‘Paemong’ from Myanmar which is made from young soybeans. Nowadays, besides pumpkin, other vegetables, such as raw papaya, gourd, bean sprout, etc., are applied. The fried vegetables are eaten with sweet and sour dipping of which ingredients are tamarind juice, sugarcane juice, salt, ground peanut and garlic.
Seng-phe and Halawa These are typical sweets of the people of Thai Yai. ‘Seng-phe’ looks like red sticky rice conserve, cooked from sticky rice, sugarcane juice and coconut milk, and baked or grilled until its coconut creamy topping turns brown. ‘Halawa’ is cooked from rice flour, granulated sugar, coconut milk, and tapioca, and topped with coconut cream like Seng-phe. Both of them have a sweet and creamy taste.
Taksin Maharachanuson Fair and Red Cross Fair King Taksin the Great who returned independence to the Thai nation had his background closely tied with Tak. The people of Tak, therefore, organise a traditional fair ‘Taksin Maharachanuson’ to honour him and publicise his heroic deeds. There is a light and sound presentation held as offerings to propitiate his soul, exhibitions, entertainment performances and booths of agricultural goods and OTOP products. The fair and the Red Cross Fair are an annual event held together during 28 December to 3 January at the King Taksin the Great Shrine.
Khuen That Duean Kao Tradition This merit making event is held to worship the Lord Buddha’s relics on the fourteenth waxing moon day and the full moon day of the ninth lunar month of Thailand’s North, which coincides with the seventh lunar month of Thailand in general, or around late May or in June. There are processions of long drums, offerings, money donation trees, ‘Pha Pa’ robe trees and victory flags, and a robe to cover Phrathat (the pagoda where the Lord Buddha’s relics are enshrined), starting from Nong Lem, Saphan Bun, to Wat Phra Borommathat. A ceremony is held to offer the pagoda robe. On this occasion, a ritual is done to propitiate the Chedi (pagoda) built to the north of the temple by King Ramkhamhaeng to mark his successful elephant-back fight against Khun Sam Chon, the ruler of the city of Chot. Also, the traditional merit-making by giving offerings to Buddhist monks is held at the temple.