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During much of the 13th century, Tak was a western outpost of the Sukhothai Kingdom. After the death of King Ramkamhaeng and the subsequent collapse of the Sukhothai Empire, the town came under the influence of the Lanna Kingdom to the north. Today Tak sprawls along the left bank of the Ping River, and much of the Lanna influence can still be seen in the teak houses hidden away in quiet lanes at the southern end of town. The houses here date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Wat Bot Mani Sibunruang also shows Northern influences with its finely decorated, Lannastyle bot and a small sala containing a much revered Buddha image called Luang Pho Phutthamon.

Nearby is a statue of King Taksin, a former governor of Tak, who, after the sacking of Ayutthaya by Myanmar in 1767, established a new capital at Thon Buri, now part of Bangkok.


The 40­sq mile (105­sq km) Lan Sang National Park has tracks leading to several beautiful waterfalls. These are best visited during or soon after the rainy season (see pp30–31); at other times of year there is little water. To the north of Lan Sang National Park is the Taksin Maharat National Park, the highlight of which is a steeply descending trail to the huge ton krabak yai, or big krabak tree, which is some 165 ft (50 m) tall, and has a girth of 50 ft (16 m). The park offers bird­watching opportunities, and boasts such species as the tiger shrike and forest wagtail. Also in the park are the nine­tiered Mae Ya Pa falls.

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