Earth : Asia : Southeast Asia : Thailand : Northern Thailand : Lower Northern Thailand : Tak
Tak (ตาก) is a city in Lower Northern Thailand, and is the Capital of the Province of this name. It has an elevation of around 162 metres.
Tak is a city in the lower northern Thailand. Its former name was "Mueang Rahaeng". In the past, Mon (the ethnic group from Myanmar) lived here; evidence of Mon arts still remain. The Mon town was originally located at Ban Tak. It was established before the Sukhothai period. The town was an important gateway to the west during the Sukhothai period. Four great kings who had their army stay here are also associated with Tak; namely King Ramkhamhaeng the Great, King Naresuan the Great, King Narai the Great, and King Taksin the Great. During the Rattanakosin era, King Rama II had a royal command to move Tak town from the right to the left bank of the Ping River in Tambon Ban Rahaeng; it has been established there up to the present.
Tak is about 426 km from Bangkok, covering an area of 10,254,156 rai. Its geographical features are mountains and forests. This province has many national parks with pristine forest and nature, such as Taksin Maharat National Park, Mae Moei National Park, Lan Sang National Park, and Namtok Pha Charoen National Park. In addition, there are waterfalls, Namtok Thi Lo Su and Namtok Thi Lo Re, that adventure lovers and those who favour whitewater rafting must come to visit. Besides natural beauty, this province is famous for its produce, both flowers and fruits. Its large Thapthim fruit (pomegranate) is now very popular.
There is no airport and the nearest train station is in Phitsanulok, about 80 km from Tak.
From Bangkok, take Highway 1 (Phahonyothin Rd) and switch to Highway 32 (Asian Highway). Drive through Pratu Nam Phra-in, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Ang Thong, Sing Buri, and Chai Nat. After arriving in Nakhon Sawan, turn left to Highway 1. Travel through Kamphaeng Phet and head for Tak. The total distance of 426 km and takes around 5 hours.
The Transport Company Limited offers a daily bus service between Bangkok and Tak between 05:30–13:00 and 16:30–22:00, and between Bangkok and Mae Sot between 08:00–19:00. For further information, contact the Bangkok (Northern) Bus Terminal (Chatuchak) or Mo Chit Mai, Tel. +66 29 362852–66, or . For a private bus between Bangkok and Tak during 09:30–22:00, and between Bangkok and Mae Sot at 22:00, contact Than Chit Tour, Tel. +66 55 511307 or Bangkok office Tel. +66 2 9363210–13. For the service between Bangkok and Tak during 12:30–22:00, and between Bangkok and Mae Sot at 22:15, contact Choet Chai Tour, Tel. +66 55 511054, +66 55 511057 or Bangkok office Tel. +66 2 9360199.
Buses leave Bangkok's Mo Chit or northern terminal regularly and shouldn't cost more than 300 baht for an air conditioned bus. It will take about 7 hours but allow for those unforeseen hiccups and expect lots of stops at shops, etc.
Buses from [Mae Sot]] The Transport Company Limited and private operators offer air-conditioned and ordinary bus services between Amphoe Mae Sot (Tak) to Kamphaeng Phet, Nakhon Sawan, Phitsanulok, Lom Sak (Phetchabun), Lampang, Phayao, Chiang Mai, Mae Sai (Chiang Rai), Chum Phae (Khon Kaen), and Bo Rai (Chanthaburi). For further information, contact Tak Provincial Bus Terminal, Tel. 0 5551 1057; Mae Sot Bus Terminal, Tel. 0 5553 2949; and Thai Phatthanakit Khonsong Company on Intharakhiri Rd, Mae Sot.
A bus from Lampang costs B115 and takes 2.5 hours.
There is no direct flight to Tak.
Rental vehicles, including motorbikes, are non-existent in Tak. Tak town centre is not very big and you can easily walk around it in less than an hour. There are some Tuktuks which hang out outside the various 7-11s, and also motorcycle taxis.
When arriving at the bus station, there are tuk-tuks, which can take you into the City centre for B50 (ask first!). The bus station is some 3 to 4 km outside of the City just off the main 4 way intersection of the main roads. There is also an intown bus station towards the end of Jomphon Rd, but only local non aircon buses go from here.
In the City itself - in order from the river - is the river road, Kitti Kachon Rd; then Jomphon Rd. The Vieng Tak Hotel is here, and it is the main shopping strip. Then Taksin Rd, then Mahatthai Bamrung Rd. Both are narrow shopping streets. In the latter is the Soho Boutique Hotel in a lane next to the SCB Bank, and the Sangvanthai Hotel is in Taksin Rd.
There are reputedly some beautiful waterfalls scattered throughout Tak and there is a pretty cool Hill Tribe Market on the way to Mae Sot. Other than that, there are plenty of temples and the other run of the mill kind of Thai stuff, but it is unlikely that Tak will be the highlight of a holiday.
Within the town it's much of the same, temples and 7-11s. Tak's saving grace however is the riverside which is quite nice at sunset with the evening stalls also quite good shopping.
If you don't like shopping or eating or conversing with the locals stay inside. Probably the best (maybe the only) place to hang out during the day is Wat See Tarra Rahm. You can have an amazing Thai massage for 100 baht, and a hot herbal body scrub for 50 baht. They also have yoga classes every week night from 17:00 for an amazing 5 baht. Mondays and Tuesdays are taken by Kru Apple. You can also find Kru's Nid and Dang there. They run the town and Nid speaks good English if you're in desperate need of some translation or just a familiar language.
There are many morning, afternoon, evening and night markets the pick of which would be the Thursday night market. It's slightly out of town past Phadungpanya School and your best bet is a samlor (pedal tricycle).
Tak is full of street vendors. The Gai Tawt opposite Video Ezy is a good bet as well as some of the stalls in the afternoon market which can be found one two streets back from the river. There are decent stalls in the river Rd and also Jomphon Rd. Everything written in Thai but very little is spicy, except the Tom Yam stalls! (ask first!). Many of these have tables and chairs at the back, and if you want soft drinks or beer, buy at the 711.
For breakfast, there are also a couple of street stalls where you can sit and eat.
There are a lot of restaurants such as Ban Pek Mai restaurant, Thai Noodle Pikun, Jea Keaw Dessert. These restaurants are famous in Tak province. The famous food in Tak is herbs, nut, chili, paste egg and noodle. There are also a lot of delicious desserts, for example sweet meat coconut cookie.
There's the Viang Tak and other big hotels, but they're dark, loud and severely lacking in any character or charm. Tak is not the place to come if you're looking to party. Best thing if you've come in a group is head to 7-11, buy some beer, and find yourself a nice spot by the river.
236 Jomphon Rd. Phone 055512507. www.viangtakriverside.com
This appears to be the upmarket hotel within the City, and costs B1200 per night, including breakfast. It is a good,clean and well appointed hotel with excellent river views from the upper floors. Breakfast is very comprehensive, and you can have an omelette cooked to order if you want this. Restaurant was not open in the evening, but the main street eat stalls are to the left of the hotel a couple of hundred metres along.
This hotel is in Mahatthai Bamrung Rd (City centre) and looks to be mid range. 055513123
This hotel is in Taksin Rd (City centre) and looks to be the backpacker/midrange option. 055511153.
Bus to Chiang Mai(a few times a day, takes 4-5 hrs, 180-250B) (April 2016)
An aircon bus to Kamphaeng Phet costs B60. It is the Bangkok bus.