Across Thanon Thongchai Mountain Range to Tak the Splendor of the Western Forestland

| March 7, 2016

Even though the entire route over Thanon Thongchai Mountain Range is presently in good condition, the difficult terrain through which it traverses makes it legendary as a big test for motorists. The rolling hills also provide a breath-taking view all through the route. Needless to say, you and your car need to be fully prepared and in tip-top condition.
Starting at the intersection into Highway 105, to the left of Highway 1 before reaching the city of Tak, the winding mountain road leads to Mae Sot District through gentle slopes. The first point of interest is Lan Sang Waterfall, within Lan Sang National Park. From the parking area near the tourist service center, walk up the slope for about 150 meters to find the waterfall. Higher up are three more waterfalls, Pha Phueng, Pha Noi and Pha Thae, requiring more trekking.
From Lan Sang Waterfall, follow Highway 105 for about 15 kilometers, the sign-board on the right indicates the Great Krabak Tree, Anisoptera costata, standing over 50 meters, with the trunk of about 16 meters in diameter, requiring 12 adults to form a ring around it. The tree is about a thousand years old, and is regarded sacred by residents in the area Not far from the site is a popular recreation place, Muser Market, offering temperate climate vegetables, fruits and flowers, as well as craft products and fresh-brewed coffee. There are now the old and new Muser Markets, set up about one kilometer apart on opposite sides of the road. In January and February, hill-tribe people in the area celebrate New Year with grand feasts and entertainment, in which visitors are welcome to join freely.

Doi Muser Hill Tribe Market Tak Thailand

Doi Muser Hill Tribe Market Tak Thailand

From the Muser Hill, the road traverses hillside plantations and lush forest, making the ride pleasant, especially in cool weather. At kilometer 62, a major shrine can be found on the right, It is the Shrine of Chao Pha Wo, built in the memory of Pha Wo, a Karen warrior who was appointed to be in charge of Mae lamao Pass by King Naresuan of Ayutthaya. He gallantly fought invading Burmese troops and was killed in the battle. Motorists sound their horns as they pass the shrine.
At kilometer 68, one comes across the Mystery Slope where motorists can turn off their cars and let them slide up the slope. In fact, the slope presents an illusion, as what is perceived as a high slope in fact lies at a lower altitude. Going another 15 kilometers further, one reaches Mae Sot, the border town on the west. The town is a busy center of border trade and tourism, with Rim Moei Market as the highlight. It is located next to the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge over the Moei River, linking the Thai border with Myawaddy in Myanmar. Mae Sot is charming with the blending o f different cultures and lifestyles. Wat Chumphon Khiri features a model Shwe Dagon Pagoda. Wat Mani Phraison, on the other hand, is distinctive with the Samphuttha Pagoda, surrounded by 233 smaller pagodas, and with niches housing a total of 512,028 Buddha images. Wat Thai Watthanaram is resplendent with Shan architecture. The presiding Buddha was modeled after the Maha Muni buddha in Mandalay.
From Mae Sot, return to the mountain road on Highway 1090, heading for Um Phang District, a distance of 164 kilometers. The trip of 3-4 hours starts the true challenge of the route, involving as many as 1,219 sharp bends along the steep cliffs. The road seems to disappear into the clouds at several points, earning it the name of Sky Road, the main fascination of the route.

Raft & Trek to Thi Lor Su Tak Thailand

Raft & Trek to Thi Lor Su Tak Thailand

At kilometer 26, a side road to the left leads to Wararak or Chedi Kho Waterfall, about 5 0 0 meters inside. About 10 kilometers further on Highway 1090. there is another waterfall, named Pha Charoen, a medium-sized waterfall cascading down a limestone cliff of over 97 steps, plummeting to the a large pool down below. A rest-place exists at kilometer 84.The sky road ends at kilometer 164 In Um Phang, a major tourist attraction of Tak Province. In winter, tens of thousands of visitors flock to the place. Eco-tourism services can be found in this small district. The man destination is Tilosu Waterfall, the largest waterfall of the country, touted as the finest in Southeast Asia. The waterfall is within Urn Phang Wildlife Reserve area, with a cascade of over 200 meters spanning across an area of 400 meters, leaping into a large pool with thunderous effect. The breath-taking spectacle of Tilosu Waterfall is presently widely known, making it one of the top six finest waterfalls of the world. Tilosu can be viewed at it best during the rainy season from June to November. The road is closed off during the period, leaving only rafting and trekking as the means to reach the waterfall. Rafting, however, should be taken after the rainy season, from November to May. Rafting programs are diverse, mostly through Mae Klang stream from Um Phang District to the Wildlife Reserve, with highlights as Pha Wo, Tolocho or Sai Fon Waterfall, Sai Rung Waterfall, Than Nam Ron, Kaeng Takhobi, Pha Phueng, Pha Lueat and Pha Bong, up to Tha Sai, a camping ground. On the next day, take a car trip of 30 minutes to the wildlife reserve office and trek for about 1.8 kilometers to reach the waterfall.

During December to May, drive up to the Wildlife Reserve Office, through Highway 1090, 1168 and 1288. The route is only provisional and condition should be first checked with local people especially with two-wheel drive cars. Several other attractions exist in Um Phang District, such as Doi Hua Mot, with the vantage points to watch the entire area at sunrise and sunset, the Karen Village, Ban Palatha, an establishment of over 250 years, with home-stay service. From here, rafting can be made to Tilolae Waterfall, a small cascade flowing gently down the cliff. For more excitement, opt for Urn Phang Khue rafting route, with strong current running through no less than 50 steep rocks and cliffs. Trekking on elephant-back can be taken to the Twin Marshes at Thirochi Village or to Raedongdu, a hermit Karen Village.
The tour takes one through Karen country and delicate ecological condition. Prior knowledge about the people and the area should be obtained to ensure full enjoyment and satisfaction of the unique experience.

Tak Map Thailand

Tak Map Thailand

Category: Tak