Almost all areas considered “Khao Lak” are in the Takua Pa district, except for Lam Kaen, which is in the Thai Muang district. The Takua Pa Old Town is about 30 kilometers north of La On (GMap).
Takua Pa used to be a crucial tin-dredging area in the first half of the 20th century. The area prospered and developed quickly. Nowadays, all the mining operations have stopped. Plantations, mostly rubber, are now covering large areas of Takua Pa.
Takua Pa town isn’t a typical tourist destination, but it’s uniquely situated to experience real local Thai culture.
Before we dive in we a bonus tip for coffee lovers, don’t miss it at the end of the article!
Takua Pa Old Town
The beautiful old Chinese-style arcade houses, shrines, temples, and the famous historic Sunday Market (GMap) make this place well worth visiting. Treat yourself to a real authentic Thai experience and try out a variety of food. Discover crafty shops and find local souvenirs.
There are a few points of interest worth the trip. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has provided a nifty looking map of Takuapa Old Town:
Where is it? Takua Pa Old Town is the historical center of Takua Pa and is a bit hidden. If you follow highway 4 to Takua Pa, passing the hospital, you can completely miss the old town. The old town and town walls lie about 7 km to the south (GMap) along the Takua Pa river. The best way to explore this area is by booking a trip with a local guide. Trips to the Old Town are often combined with other fun activities and sights.
Best time to go? During the high season from November to April, every Sunday.
Chinese-Thai Tea Houses
If you are going to the Takuapa Old Town area, it has a fantastic range of Chinese-Thai tea houses that are perfect for sitting back, having a drink, and watching the locals go about their daily lives.
Boon Soong Iron Bridge
In for a bit of history and architecture? Enthusiasts will love to see the Boon Soong Iron Bridge on the way to the Takuapa Old Town.
Bridging the Past and Present. The Boon Soong Ircon Bridge was built in 1965 by the “Boon Soong” family during the heyday of Thailand’s tin-mining boom, it features early 20th-century bridge engineering. The bridge is made from decommissioned tin dredging vessels. Spanning 200 metres over the Takua Pa River, it serves as an important transportation network, contributing to the town’s growth and development. Apart from being an essential part of the town’s infrastructure, the Takua Pa iron bridge is also a symbol of the town’s heritage, bringing a greater depth to the local culture.
Where is it? Following Highway 4, passing the Takua Pa hospital, take a right at the intersection and drive about 4 km along the Takua Pa River. You will arrive at the Boon Soong Iron Bridge. Gmap
Best time to go? The Boon Soong Bridge is not time-bound and opens its path to all the cross-overs.
If you’re searching for a stunning viewpoint to soak in breathtaking vistas and capture memorable moments, check out this scenic point, perched atop the Bangmara Hill in Takua Pa. It is not just a vantage point; it’s a destination in itself, offering a delightful blend of history, recreation, and panoramic views of Takua Pa that will leave you in awe.
With access to pools, rooms to stay, a restaurant, a coffee and shake bar, a theme-styled playground for kids, it’s the picture-perfect place. Bangmara Hill has everything you need for a day of leisure and entertainment with your friends or family. If you’re not ready to say goodbye to this enchanting place, Bangmara Hill offers cosy bungalows and tents for overnight stays. Imagine falling asleep to the soothing sounds of nature, surrounded by mountains, and waking up to a breathtaking panorama view on top of Bangmara Hill.
Where is it? Following Highway 4, passing the Takua Pa hospital, take a right at the intersection and drive about 4 km, just in front of the Boon Soong Iron Bridge is the stairs to picturesque Bangmara Hill (Gmap). You can also go up the hill by car if you take this road up (Gmap).
Best time to go? Open every day from 09:00-21:00
The “Little Amazon” kayaking through the mangroves
Thailand is home to many beautiful mangrove forests. Paddle through wildlife and spot snakes, exotic birds, fruits, and exotic flora. The massive banyan trees, interconnected through an immense root system, are an extraordinary sight. Some trees are over a hundred years old with various mangrove species. During a one-hour paddle, you can spot a wide variety of life and take your time to shoot pictures (a zoom lens would be best). It’s a relaxing and educational activity for young and old.
Where is it? The Little Amazon is near the Takua Pa bus station. Here is the exact location on Google Maps.
You could drive yourself and pay on the spot or book a tour in advance and combine it with other fun activities. The price difference won’t matter much.
Best time to go? The Little Amazon isn’t bound to a season and is open year-round.
Kirinara Golf course
Do you like to play golf? You can enjoy a beautiful 9 hole golf course surrounded by nature.
Where is it? Kirinara Golf Course is located a few kilometers right outside Takua Pa Old Town and less than 20 minutes from the beach. (GMaps)
‘Kiri’ means mountain and ‘Nara’ refers to water or prosperity. It’s a great name for the surrounding scenery.
The golf course was designed with the intent of preserving the surrounding nature. An untouched stream from the mountain is the main source of water that feeds into the 9 hole golf course. The combination of long and short holes, dense palm trees, water hazards, tough greens, and mountainous slopes calls for an exciting round of golf.
You can visit their website for opening hours and rates.
You probably won’t drive 40 minutes just to get some coffee, but if you’re in the area, or just a die-hard coffee lover, go check out the Coffee House. (GMaps)
Quality coffee for a good price, and a delicious assortment of cakes. You can check out the vibes, drinks, and sweets on the GMaps link above.
Bonus for coffee lovers on the way to Takua Pa
If you are such a fanatic coffee lover and like to have excellent homemade pastry or premium ice cream on the side (or in your coffee). Be sure to check out Garang Artisan Ice Cream, coffee, and bakery beach cafe on Bang Sak beach. It’s on the way to Takua Pa. (GMaps)