Subject: Re: Another little tidbit
My son just got back from a month in Thailand/Malaysia/Singapore and he and his girlfriend claim to have found paradise in Ban Tak and have made me promise to go there myself! Here's his (first person) account of it: This was undoubtedly the highlight of our trip. An extremely friendly village spread out along the banks of a beautiful, palm-lined river, surrounded by rice fields and loomed over by emerald-green mountains. The people there were incredibly friendly. There's only one place to stay, the youth hostel, which is run by a British guy, Alvin, and his Thai wife, Petchat. She cooks tremendous food, and Alvin is a great conversationalist and can tell you anything you want to know about the fascinating surrounding areas. We made day trips to the amazing border town of Mae Sot, and to Taksin Maharat National Park. There are many other places accessible in a day trip from Ban Tak, including several hill tribe villages which have yet to be destroyed by tourists from Chiang Mai. To get there, you can take a bus from Bangkok (northern bus terminal), Chiang Mai, Phitsanulok, or Sukhothai to Tak, the rather boring capitol of the province, then ask at the bus station counter for the bus to Ban Tak (pronounced Baan Dahk). Just tell the driver that you wish to get off there, and he will stop without your having to worry about recognising it. Then you have to take a motorcycle taxi from the highway to the village. Ask for the Youth Hostel, Tambon Taktok, and they will drive you right up to the front door for 30 baht. Those who take the time to get there will not be disappointed, it is a fascinating and incredibly beautiful place. One more thing is that you may wish to call ahead as the hostel accommodates only a few (though you should have no problems) the phone number is (055) 591 286

Have a great time, Simona - whereever you get to (and please give me some notes for my Thailand book when you get back)!

Judy in Hong Kong