Tak - Trundling Around - Some Highlights.

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by DavidFL, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    The GTR dinner for November was on in Tak on the last Wednesday of the month = 28 November 2018.

    From Chiang Khong it was just on 500 kms ride down the main highway. Departure time from Chiang Khong was a leisurely 10AM & arrival time at the Home Inn in Tak was 4pm.

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    It's not the most exciting ride in the world, but it can be good for cleaning your spark plugs perhaps.

    It's a lot cooler further north, and so it was, hot & bothered I arrived in Tak at the designated hotel - the Home Inn
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    only to find that there was no room at the inn for the last arrival!
    But, but I'd been the very first one to book & recommend the place to everyone else.?
    Oh well....somewhat exasperated, a lively debate followed with a satisfactory result - I finally got a room in the owners quarter's
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    - a private guestroom I understood; and the old fellah was happy again.

    Happy Hour was immediately underway with the Ambassador's supervision.. DSC_0494.JPG
    such was the joy & satisfaction of the location on the east bank, that the four musketeers continued on all night until 1.30AM, with no need to venture off sampling the culinary & musical delights of Tak.
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    To be continued..
     
  2. DavidFL

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    #2 DavidFL, Dec 4, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
    While the jury was debating the merits of Tak & riverbank locations, some of the troops set off for a dinner rendezvous on the other side.
    It wasn't far just a ride across the upstream bridge & then make a turn. You can't go wrong. Just one turn.
    So the Kiwi Cruiser went right & dined at the Lyrawadee & the others went left & dined at the Ton Folk. Whilst google maps can be quite clear, it is also important to agree clearly on the destination. Now having spent 2 nights in Tak & dining at both the Ton Folk & the Lyrawadee I can say that the Kiwi Cruiser was the clear winner in the food & ambiance stakes; however I maybe a winner with the staff at the Ton Folk.

    Check out the Ton Folk & Lyrawadee here
    Tak Restaurants

    Retreating from the cross river confusion we discovered the Zinzano folk pub for some light relaxation.

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    The Zinzano tried & tested, the remaining outlying troops retired back to the Home Inn where the heavy duty musketeers were still in full swing debating bikes & Tak city.

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    Tomorrow would be another day, moving on or trundling around Tak.
     
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #3 DavidFL, Dec 15, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
    Day two in Tak city off to the wat for some culture and history.

    Wat Bot Manee Si Bunruang

    Wat Bot Manee Si Bunruang was originally two adjoining temples Wat Bot Manirat & Wat Si Bunrueang.
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    They date from 1857 AD, and were separated by a wall. However, in 1954 the wall was removed the two temples became one: Wat Bot Manee Si Bunruang.

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    It is interesting how some temples are a bit scruffy & others perfectly looked after with nice gardens.
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    Wat Bot Manee Si Bunruang is one of the smart ones & it I had a fascinating chat with the monk responsible for manicuring the gardens - he's at it for 2 hours a day with the old hedge clippers.

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    Wat Bot Manee Si Bunruang is at the north end of town 3 blocks off the river.
    The google maps location: Google Maps


    more to come..
     
  4. DavidFL

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    #4 DavidFL, Dec 17, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
    At the other south end of town lies the classic old Chinese trading street. Trok Chan Bin & another old wat, Wat Sitalaram.

    Wat Sitalaram is Tak provinces oldest temple and has an some interesting European style buildings.
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    Once upon a time this temple used to very close to the river & it was called Wat Nam Hak with a pier near the river.

    Trok Ban Chin is a fabulous old narrow street lined with beautiful classic old wooden houses.
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    The Kiwi Cruiser got the jump earlier on me writing it up in March this year on GTR here The Ping River Loop: Tak, Li, Hot, Mae Sariang...

    Decades ago Tak was a major trading port on the Ping river, and Trok Ban Chin was actually a river front road. All the Chinese traders and businessmen set up shops and houses in the lane. The main pier received good by boat from Pak Nam Pho in Nakon Sawan.
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    Trok Ban Chin was started by a Chinese trader named “Cheen Teng” who had moved from Bangkok to Chiang Mai & ended up in Tak. In Tak he joined forces with two other Chinese businessmen - Cheen Boon Yen and Cheen Tong Yoo. These eventually became government oficials, Cheen Boon Yen as “Luang Nara Pitak” Tak’s Chinese immigrant officer and then “Luang Chitchamnong Wanich” the East Trading Bureau officer; and Cheen Tong Yoon was entitled “Luang Borirak Prachakorn” the revenue officer.

    Teng set up a partnership with Boon Yen & Tong Yoo called Kim Seng Li. In Chiang Mai there was a Kim Seng Li store that operated with a monopoly tax collection in Chiang Mai, & the Tak partnership soon persuaded Chinese Merchants in Chiang Mai to move to Tak.

    Under King Rama V, Cheen Teng became Luang Bori Rak Prachakorn to collect taxes on opium alcohol, gambling and lottery, however in 1909 the tax collection reverted to the government.

    More Chinese moved to Trok Ban Chin and the street boomed as a major business centre.

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    It was divided into three communities - Sao Sueng Village, Pak Klong Noi Village, and Ban Cheen Village.

    There was a canal separating villages & a resident Granny Tong Ma, financed a bridge made of a telegraph pole across the canal, but in 1952 the local government took down the bridge & filled in the canal to become a road.

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    In WW2 with the Japanese occupation, most of the Chinese moved their businesses out of Trok Ban Chin, to the North.

    The street was left lone for decades, but the families that owned the houses still kept them. Most of the houses are owned by just a few families, relatives of each other.

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    In recent years there has been a conservation project to restore the buildings to their previous glory.

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    This building was the Siam Commercial Bank once upon a time.
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    I love this classic old street. It is real, a living museum, unlike the over rated hip town of Chiang Khan with many new buildings built in the old style. Ban Trok Chin is the real deal. Check it out sometime.

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    A nice contrast of old & new colour schemes,
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    Thank you Brian for sharing the lengthy amble we had in Tak. I enjoyed the pace of it all & appreciated your patience.

    Apologies too for the poor images, I had some trouble with moisture on the lens.

    For more details & much better written info check out Ben's report here:
    The Ping River Loop: Tak, Li, Hot, Mae Sariang...
     

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