24-kilometer beach extends over Tambon Sai Wan, Tambon Sala
Mai and Tambon Chehe ending at the mouth of Maenam Su-ngai
Kolok. The beach has a long, powdery beach dotted by shady
pine trees that creates a relaxing environment. To get
there, take Highway No. 4984 (Narathiwat-Tak Bai) and
proceed for 20 kilometers and switch to the beach road that
runs for 1 kilometer.
The island is
located close to Wat Chon Thara Singhe. From Tak Bai District Market
intersection, there is a 345-meter long wooden bridge spanning Tak
Bai River to Ko Yao. The island’s attraction is its eastern seaside
section with a white sandy beach and cozy ambience. In addition,
most of the inhabitants are Muslim fishermen who dwell in simple
homes in coconut plantations.
This temple is at
Mu 3, Tambon Chehe, on the bank of Tak Bai River. From the town,
take Highway No. 4985 (Narathiwat-Tak Bai) until the Tak Bai
District Market intersection, turn left and proceed for another 100
meters to the temple entrance.
In 1873, Phra Khru
Ophat Phutthakhun established the temple and requested land from
Phraya Kelantan for its construction. At that time, Tak Bai was
still a part of Kelantan in Malaysia. This Buddhist temple, which
played an important role in the secession of land between Siam and
Malaya (then a colony of the United Kingdom) during the reign of
King Rama V in 1909, is located in a predominantly Muslim community.
The Thai side raised the fact that since this is a Buddhist temple,
it should remain with Thailand. The British relented and agreed to
use the Klok River (Tak Bai River) that flows through Tak Bai as the
boundary. Therefore, the temple is also called “Wat Phithak Phaen
Din Thai” or the temple that protects Thai sovereignty.
The temple is
generally peaceful and has a spacious lawn on the riverbank that is
ideal for relaxation. The chapel, built in the reign of King Rama V,
has murals drawn by monks from Songkhla. The paintings depict the
life of the Lord Buddha and the daily life of locals at that time.
It also houses a main Buddha image made of gold, which covers its
original features of a red mouth and black hair and situated on a
1.5-meter high base. From the style of the base, it is believed that
this is a Mon image. Another building housing a reclining Buddha
image has inner walls covered with old Sangkhalok porcelain.
To get there,
take a bus to Tak Bai district. Other transportation options are
mini-buses (20 bahts), vans (30 bahts and board at the roundabout in
town) and buses. If traveling by bus, get off at Tak Bai
intersection and walk for around 500 meters. Vans will take you
right into the temple.