Tak (Thai: ตาก, pronounced [tàːk]) is one of the western provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighbouring provinces are (from north clockwise) Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang, Sukhothai, Kamphaeng Phet, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani and Kanchanaburi. The western edge of the province has a long boundary with Kayin State of Myanmar (Burma).
Map of Thailand highlighting Tak Province
|• Governor||Charoenrit Sa-nguansat (since 2016)|
|• Total||16,406.6 km2 (6,334.6 sq mi)|
|Area rank||Ranked 4th|
|• Rank||Ranked 49th|
|• Density||33/km2 (85/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||Ranked 75th|
|Time zone||UTC+7 (ICT)|
|ISO 3166 code||TH-63|
The Bhumibol Dam (named after King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the old name was Yanhee Dam) is in Khao Kaew Tambon (sub-district), Sam Ngao District of Tak and was built from 1958 to 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. Taksin Maharat National Park, Namtok Pha Charoen National Park, Lan Sang National Park, and Khun Phawo National Parks are all in the province. Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary shares half of the lake front with Kanchanaburi and Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary at the border with Uthai Thani and are World Heritage Sites.
On the western side of Tak Province the Tenasserim Hills meet the Dawna Range. One of the few transnational roads and cross-border points into Myanmar is at Mae Sot. Northwest of Mae Sot the main road on the Thai side skirts the border until it turns straight north towards Mae Hong Son.
Tak Province occupies 16,406 km2 and lies 426 km north of Bangkok.
Tak was a historical kingdom built over 2,000 years ago, even before the Sukhothai period. The ancient kingdom had its peak around the 1st century. By the 5th century the capital of this kingdom was moved south to Lavo (present day Lopburi Province). A city named Ban Tak was established by Jamadevi (พระนางจามเทวี), princess of the Lavo kingdom, around 663 CE. It became part of the Sukhothai kingdom through battles led by Ramkhamhaeng the Great and formed the main fortress on the western front. The city was moved further west and renamed Mueang Rahang when the Ayuthaya kingdom was lost to Burma during King Maha Thammaracha's reign. The city was moved back to the east side of the Ping River during the early Bangkok period.
Agriculture is a major part of the Tak economy. The province of Tak produces rice, corn, vegetables, fruits, beef, tilapia, and other foods. Industries in Tak include granite quarrying and jewelry. Zinc mining was formerly conducted in Mae Sot District.
Handicrafts and Myanmar products are also important for trade. The Bhumibol Dam in the northern part of Tak is its most popular tourist attraction. Tourism, especially ecotourism, in the southern part is seasonal with popular destinations such as the Thi Lo Su Waterfall, Thi Lo Le Waterfall, hiking and white water rafting in its various forest reserves. Tak is also known for its Loi Krathong festival where krathong sai (กระทงสาย) consisting of many krathongs are floated in a long line down the river. The Loi Krathong festival is held on the Ping River in Mueang Tak District on Loi Krathong night.
Tak is a key communication and transportation centre of the north, with three Asian highways passing through the province. AH1 enters through the Myanmar-Thai border at Mae Sot District AH2 passes through the province from north to south. Also AH16 terminates at Tak.
Tak Province is served by Tak Airport.
About a quarter of the population belongs to one of Thailand's hill tribes: Yao, Karen (Thai Kariang), Akha (Thai Akha), Lahu (Thai Musoe), Hmong (Thai Mong), and Lisu (Thai Lisaw). The largest tribe in Tak is Karen.
According to the UNHCR data of 2008, nearly 95,000 of Thailand's 121,000 registered refugees from Burma are housed in several refugee camps in Tak province of which Mae La camp is the largest with around 45,000 Karen refugees.
The provincial seal 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 slogan is, "A town of wonderful nature, huge Bhumiphol Dam, King Taksin The Great and beautiful forests".
- "Bhumibol Dam". Rid Go Th. Archived from the original on 17 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
- "Royal Irrigation Department River Gauges Report". RID Stations. 2002. Archived from the original on 14 August 2009. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
- "Chao Phraya River Basin (Thailand)". World Water Assessment Programme. Archived from the original on 8 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
- "Detailed Map of the Chao Phraya River Basin (Thailand)". World Water Assessment Programme. Archived from the original on 18 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
- "Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary". United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre. March 1991. Archived from the original on 2008-07-18. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
- "Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary". United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre. March 1991. Archived from the original on 2008-07-18. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
- "General Data". Tak Province. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
- "General Information - Tak". North of Thailand. Archived from the original on 12 June 2015. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
- "King Taksin the Great". Wangderm Palace. 2003. Archived from the original on 2002-08-10. Retrieved 2008-08-02.
- Wipatayotin, Apinya (14 November 2018). "Cadmium-sickened villagers awarded B16m compensation". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
- "Loy Krathong Sai". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 18 May 2015.
- "Mae Sot Thailand". Thaipro. Retrieved 2008-07-31.[dead link];
- "Travel Thailand: The Twilight That Tak Province". Thailand Live. Archived from the original on 2012-11-29. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
- "Mountain-Biking and Trekking in Northwest Thailand". Thai Cycling. Archived from the original on 30 March 2009. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
- "Myanmar Thailand Border: Refugee Population By Gender". The UN Refugee Agency. 2008-04-01. Retrieved 2017-11-16.