On traveling to Tak Province, expect to discover a place with long history, where natural wonders are magnificently enhanced by ethnic diversity.
Mostly forested and mountainous, Tak is a northern province peacefully situated on the Maenam Ping basin. The province covers an area of 16,406 square kilometers and is 426 kilometers north of Bangkok. As Tak shares natural border with Myanmar, it is highly regarded as a western gateway to Myanmar, and a northern doorway to Thailands major cities such as Lampang and Chiang Mai.
A province with a long history, Tak was earlier called Mueang Rahang. Historians believe it was built prior to the Sukhothai era and was treated as the western frontier of the Kingdom. Tak was also associated with Thailands former Great Kings, from King Ramkamhaeng the Great, King Naresuan the Great, King Narai the Great to King Taksin the Great. These four Kings usually called their troop assemblies in Tak. That is why the seal of the province depicts King Naresuan the Great on the royal elephant, pouring sacred water on the ground. This is a symbolic representation of the declaration of the independence of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya during the war with Burma in 1584. Tak was considered the first district to be liberated from the power of the Burmese Kingdom.
Today, Tak is no longer a strategic military frontier between two great nations. It is however a trading gateway to Myanmar at Amphoe Mae Sot, where lots of economic activities take place daily along the border. In addition, the province has the Asian Highway that runs from Thailands western border towards the northeastern region at Chong Mek (Mae Sot Sukhothai Phitsanulok Ubon Ratchathani - Laos).
Apart from Taks military and economic importance the province is also an environmental and cultural center with magnificent forests, spectacular waterfalls and caves and fascinating hill tribes such as Karen, Lisu, Musoe (Lahu), Akha, Yao and Hmong.
How to get there
From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 (Phahonyothin) and Highway No. 32 to Nakhon Sawan via Ayutthaya, Ang Thong, Sing Buri and Chai Nat Provinces, then take Highway No. 1 again and proceed to Tak via Kamphaeng Phet Province. The total distance is 426 kilometers.
From Bangkok: Air-conditioned buses depart from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Bus Terminal)to Tak between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. every day. The journey takes 6 hours. Call 0 2936 2852-66 or visit www.transport.co.th for updated schedules. Daily bus services to Tak are also available. They are operated by private bus companies such as Thanchit Tour (Tel: 0 2551 1307), Choet Chai Tour (Tel: 0 2551 1054).
From Bangkok: There are no trains going directly to Tak. The nearest train transfer station is Phitsanulok. From there, tourists can take a local bus to Tak. Contact Bangkok Railway Station Tel. 1690, 0223 7010, 0 2223 7020 or visit www.railway.co.th for more information.
From Bangkok: Thai Airways flies from Bangkok to Mae Sot, a district which is 86 kilometers from the City of Tak. For more updated information, call 0 2628 2000 (24-hour reservation center) or visit www.thaiairways.com. Air Andaman also flies to Mae Sot and to Chiang Mai every day except Saturday. Visit www.airandaman.com/Infomation.html or call 0 2229 9500 for updated information.
From Bangkok via Pitsanulok Province: and then transfer to the Pitsanulok-Tak shuttle. The flights are scheduled to run every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Call 02 628-2000 (24-hour reservation center) or visit www.thaiairways.com for more information.
From Bangkok to Umphang, Take air-conditioned buses, as well as flights from Bangkok to Mae Sot, and then, take the local bus to Umphang. There is now a charter flight operated by Siam GA Co., Ltd. The fare is approximately 9,000 bahts to fly directly to Umphang either on Monday, Wendesday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. For more information, call 02 5043320 ext. 197.
Travel from Tak to other Cities
Tourists who want to travel from Tak to Bangkok or any other city may choose to go by air or land. Car rental service in the City of Tak is also available.
By Air: The Thai Airways offers a wide range of trips from Tak and Mae Sot to other provinces, including Chiang Mai and Phitsanulok. For more information, call 0 2628 2000 (24-hour reservation center)
By Bus: Many governmental and private bus companies have regular and air-conditioned bus services to nearby provinces. For more information, call Transportation Authority of Tak, tel.
Loi Krathong Sai
Loi Krathong Sai ,Thailands lovely annual Festival of Lights on the full moon night in November, is celebrated in a unique manner in Tak. Local people thread together their krathongs which are launched simultaneously and appear as lighted necklaces on the Ping River.
Taksin Maharachanuson Fair
Taksin Maharachanuson Fair Celebrated annually from December 28-January 3 at the Taksin Shrine and provincial sports field, the fair features religious ceremonial and processions, displays and nightly folk entertainment.