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||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 Thailand's 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 Thailand's 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 Thailand's western border towards the northeastern region at Chong Mek (Mae Sot Sukhothai Phitsanulok Ubon Ratchathani - Laos).
Apart from Tak's 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.
||Covering some 105,815 square kilometers, Phitsanulok is 377 kilometers north of Bangkok. It borders Uttaradit Province on the North, Phichit Province on the South, Loei and Phetchabun Provinces on the East, and Kamphaeng Phet and Sukhothai Provinces on the West. Situated on a strategic location dividing Thailands Central and Northern regions, and connecting to the Northeastern region, Phitsanulok is undeniably an important hub and an ideal base for travelers wishing to explore the lower North and western Northeast. Phitsanulok, however, is not just a stopover for tourists, but is a province with promising tourism opportunities.
Phitsanulok City spans the banks of Maenam Nan and has Maenam Kwae Noi running through it. Therefore, it is locally known and historically referred to as Song Kwae City (song means two and kwae means a river). Most of Phitsanulok's terrain is flatlands, with one third of the area being mountain ranges on the north and the east. Its unique natural endowments including natural parks and waterfalls make a trip to Phitsanulok worthwhile.
Apart from its exceptional natural charisma, Phitsanulok provides visitors with an opportunity to explore notable chapters of Thailand's history. For example, remains of an ancient community dating back between 2,000-4,000 years, including old stone axes, was found here. In addition, the old temple of Wat Chula Mani, situated 5 kilometers south of the city, was built even before the Sukhothai Kingdom burst into power.
Phitsanulok prospered along with the powerful Sukhothai (1238-1378) and Ayutthaya (1350 1767) Kingdoms. In particular, it played a strategic role in the Ayutthaya era when it had become the Kingdoms royal capital for 25 years during the reign of King Borom Trailokanat.
Phitsanulok is also the birthplace of King Naresuan the Great (reigned 1590-1605) the legendary King who declared Ayutthayas independence from Burma in 1584. King Naresuan the Great is known for his victorious and honorable single hand combat on elephant back Yutthahatti against a Burmese Crown Prince. His heroic power and strong dedication to expelling the invaders from his motherland saved the country, and truly united the Kingdom which later was known as Siam and currently known as Thailand.
Phitsanulok was also a strategic location for other Ayutthaya Kings as it was a major center for military recruitment and a training camp when Ayutthaya waged wars with Burma.
||Geographically located in the Lower North on the bank of the Ping River, Kamphaeng Phet is 358 kilometres from Bangkok. To its East are riverine flatlands while the western areas are made up of high mountains lush with fertile forests where a number of national parks have been established.
Areas along the river bank at present-day Mueang district used to host several ancient towns which had played a major role as strategic front-line frontiers since Sukhothai was the kingdom's capital down through the times of Ayutthaya and early Rattanakosin (Bangkok) eras. In fact, the name Kamphaeng Phet actually means as strong as walls or forts make of diamonds.
Kamphaeng Phet covers an area of 8,607 square kilometres. It is divided administratively into 9 districts, namely, Mueang Kampheang Phet, Phran Kratai, Khlong Khlung, Khanu Woralaksauri, Sai Ngam, Lan Krabue, Khlong Lan, Sai Thong Watthana and Pang Sila Thong and 2 sub-districts, Bueng Samakkhi and Kosamphi Nakhon.
||Situated in the Lower North some 345 kilometres from Bangkok, Pichit is accessible by both road and rail. Nurtured by two rivers, the Yom and the Nan running parallel to one another north to south, the land is agriculturally fertile. Once the site of an ancient town dating back almost a thousand years ago, Phichit has played in a major role in the history of both Sukhothai and Ayutthaya.
Known as the land of the crocodiles, it has been home to this ferocious reptile which has thrived in its waters. There are today several fresh-water crocodile farms. Phichit features in the Thai epic Krai Thong composed by King Rama II which tells of Chalawa
Phichit is administratively divided into the following districts: Muang, Pho Prathap Chang, Taphan hin, Bang Mun Nak, Pho Thale, Sam Ngam, Wang Sai Phun, Thap Khlo, Sak Lek, Dong Charoen, Bueng Na Rang and Wachirabarami
||Nakhon Sawan Province, also known as Pak Nam Pho is where the rivers of Ping, Wang, Yom, and Nan converge and form the Chao Phraya River, the most important waterway of Thailand.
Nakhon Sawan is in the lower northern part of the country between the North and the Central Region. It is regarded as the doorway to the North and it is the hub of transportation in the Lower North.
||Uthai Thani is a province abundant in natural resources, such as forests and wildlife. “Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Reserve” here was proclaimed a Nautral World Heritage Site on 13 December 1991. The reserve has jungles, forests, plains, many streams, and most importantly, a number of rare and endangered animals.
Due to the verdant nature of the area, Uthai Thani is a province with unspoiled natural tourist destinations that are of interest to tourist everywhere.
Furthermore, visitors can see the different lifestyles of locals, such as the life of raft residents on Sakae Krang River, a waterway that aided the birth of the province and which has been a lifeline for its people since ancient times. It is also where provincial trading has flourished. Life revolving around the river eventually grew from a community into the major province that it is today.
The most striking indication of the bond between the people and the river since the old days is that in 1906, when King Rama V visited northern provinces and stayed in Sakae Krang village, the monk Phra Khru Uthai Tham Nithet (Chan) built 2 twin rafts to receive the king. This clearly showed the importance of the river and the lifestyle of the people living off it in that period.
In addition, at the end of the Buddhist Lent, Buddhists from all directions congregate in the province for a major merit-making tradition called Tak Bat Thewo at the foot of Khao Sakae Krang at Wat Sangkat Rattana Khiri. This festival has been held in Uthai Thani since ancient times.
Uthai Thani is located in the lower part of northern Thailand. Most of the province consists of forests and high mountains. It has a total area of 6,730 square kilometres. It is divided in to 8 Amphoe
||According to most historians, the ancient town of Kanchanaburi was located near Ban Lat Ya, a small village situated approximately 16 kilometers north of the present town. The site was repeatedly recorded in Thai history as an invasion route which the Burmese used to enter Thai Kingdoms.
Kanchanaburi, which has mostly mountainous terrain, covers an area of approximately 19,473 square kilometers and is the third largest province in Thailand after Chiang Mai and Nakhon Ratchasima. Situated approximately 129 kilometres west of Bangkok, Kanchanaburi shares a border with Myanmar to the west, Tak and Uthai Thani Provinces to the north, Suphan Buri and Nakhon Pathom Provinces to the east, and Ratchaburi Province to the south.
In north and west Kanchanaburi, the terrain is comprised mainly of mountains and high plains, with the Thanon Thongchai Range acting as a natural border between Thailand and Myanmar. The range is the source of Kanchanaburis two most important rivers Mae Nam Khwae Noi and Mae Nam Khwae Yai, which form the famous Maenam Mae Klong. As a result, several of Thailand's largest Namtok (waterfalls) and most extensive wildlife sanctuaries are found in this area.
The magnificent landscape and charming beauty of Kanchanaburi have resulted in major tourist attractions including several well-known waterfalls, caves which were once inhabited by Neolithic man, pristine national parks, tranquil rivers, virgin forests, and reservoir. Together, they offer an intriguing experience for first-time or repeat visitors. Whether its fishing, rafting, canoeing, mountain biking, bird-watching, star-gazing, golfing, elephant and jungle trekking, or even living in bamboo rafts, Kanchanaburi takes pride in offering them all.
The city of Kanchanaburi is located at the point where two tributaries, the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai meet and form the Maenam Mae Klong. This is the location of the notorious Death Railway and the Bridge on the River Khwae one of the worlds famous World War II sites which have been immortalized in print and film.
In economic terms, Kanchanaburi has been doing well on a national scale, with over 10 per cent growth annually. Important industries include sugar, agricultural products and jewelry. Tourism is also a main source of income for the locals as the provinces high tourism potential has made Kanchanaburi number one among the west provinces in having the highest number of visitors each year.
Residents of Kanchanaburi are engaged in agricultural activities. Most of the locals are of Thai ancestry with notable Mon and Karen minorities. Rural dwellers enjoy living simply and respecting nature. Moreover folk music and dances dating back at least 500 years are still performed today.
||Chainat is located on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River. The community was moved from the old site at Sankhaburi in the reign of King Rama IV. Chainat was an important town used several times as a base to confront the Burmese army. Every time, the Burmese were defeated, thus originating the name of Chainat which means a place of victory.
Chainat occupies an area of 2,469 square kilometres and is administratively divided into 6 districts: Amphoe Muang Chai Nat, Amphoe Hankha, Amphoe Manorom, Amphoe Sankhaburi, Amphoe Sapphaya, Amphoe Wat Sing, and 2 sub-districts: King Amphoe Nong Mamong and King Amphoe Noen Kham.
||Sing Buri is 142 kms. north of Bangkok on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. It was established in the year 1895 during the reign of King Rama V through a consolidation of three small riverside towns including Sing Buri, In Buri, and Phrom Buri. The province currently occupies an area of 822 square kilometres and is divided into six districts (Amphoes): Muang Sing Buri, In Buri, Bang Rachan, Khai Bang Rachan, Phrom Buri and Tha Chang.