I’ve been a way for a while, but here I am with a new travel report. I planned for several months to visit Taksin Maharat National Park (named after a former king of Thailand) in Tak province where the Giant Krabak Tree is growing. Some previous research told me that the Giant Krabak tree (anisoptera costata) is a species of plant of the dipterocarpacease family. It’ s the largest tree growing in South East Asia – Costata in Latin (costatus) means ribbed and describes the venation of the leaf blades. Krabak trees grow in lowland evergreen and semi evergreen forests.
Enough talking for now…. let’s hit the road to one of northern Thailand’s lesser known national parks.
Taksin Maharat National Park is located in the Mae Sot district of Tak province, about 3 kilometers off the main road. It’s a well paved winding mountain road. I was surprised to the park’s access road which was in real good condition, and so I was cherishing the hope that all the park would be just as clean. And yes, after entering the park’s main entrance, I was taken-aback by a well maintained park where there was no litter to be found, amazing. This is very rare in Thailand. The Head Office is about 500m from the main entrance and I was welcomed by the ever-friendly ranger. The ranger told me that the krabak tree was approximately 2,5 kms away from the office – the first 1,700 meters could be done by vehicle and the rest on foot. The ranger told me that the krabak tree in this park, towering 58 meters high above the ground with a circumference of approx. 16 meters, is the largest of its kind in Thailand. I couldn’t figure out the age of the tree but it is probably more than 100 years old.
Stage 2 of my visit was a quick visit to the longest natural rock bridge (saphan hin) in Thailand. I wasn’t aware that there were natural stone bridges of this size in Thailand. The bridge is about 10 km away from the headquarters, but again a couple of hundred meters have to be done on foot. The natural rock bridge is a massive rock bar spanning a gap between two cliffs . The huge rock bridge measures about 30 meters in length and about 25 m wide. A stream flows around 25 meters beneath the huge rock structure. Heading towards the hot season, the riverbed was nearly dried out. The beautiful surroundings are ideal for picnicking and enjoying your day out.
There are several waterfalls to explore too, The Pang-an – Noi Waterfall is only 1 km away from the Giant Krabak Tree and certainly worth a visit. Several species of bird can be seen in the park. There is also an interpretive trail for hikers available with the path starting at the Visitor Center. It descends gradually into a savanna forest and then eventually into a Dry Evergreen Forest until it reaches the krabak tree 2,5 kilometers later. The trail then climbs up the road and follows the back to the head quarters .
The park has 9 lodges available for rent and also a canteen campground. As the campground is at the top of a mountain you can enjoy the view of amazing surroundings. I would really recommend a visit to this park.
The park is about 480 km away from Bangkok towards the north. Take the high road to Nakhon Sawan then turn left in the direction of Tak. Upon arrival in Tak, follow the road signs to Mea Sot. At about 45 km from Mae Sot you’ll see several signs pointing to the park .
If, after this park, you are interested in seeing more of the north, you can carry on to Chiang Mai following high Road 105 to Mae Sariang in Chiang Mai province. This is a breathtaking mountain ride and a perfect alternative route to going to Chiang Mai. A truly relaxing outing for tourists who want to go off the beaten track. See you again in a next episode of UNSEEN THAILAND