Tak Bai (ตากใบ) is a small town on the Southern Gulf Coast, 3 km north of the border with Malaysia. The local border crossing is at the village of Ban Taba (also known as Ban Ta Ba), and the nearest major town on the Malaysian side of the border is Kota Bharu, Kelantan's state capital.
Coming directly from Narathiwat airport, take a grey minibus to Taba (Tak Bai) checkpoint and get out in Tak Bai town. If coming from Narathiwat town, take a songthaew or a public bus. The ride takes less than one hour and goes through a beautiful landscape with military checkpoints every few kilometres. If you have your own transportation, stop over at Ao Manao beach and Phra Tamnak Thaksin Tarchaniwet palace outside Narathiwat.
Tak Bai is a tiny town, so can walk almost everywhere, but motorcycle taxis should be available too.
- Ko Yao. Small island, just a few minutes walk away from Wat Chonlathara Singhe. A wooden bridge crossing the Tak Bai River leads to the island. The atmosphere is very tranquil, and it seems there are no shops around, so better bring water with you.
- Wat Chonlathara Singhe (A few hundred metres away from the Tak Bai Market intersection (signs lead the way)). A historically important small temple in a now huge temple compound. When the Tak Bai territory was partitioned between Siam and the Great Britain in 1909, Siam held Buddhism and the temple as reasons to bargain over the division. The English accepted and the territory stayed with Siam. When visiting the temple in early 2011, there was a heavy military presence on the temple grounds, but you are allowed to enter after your luggage has been checked. Ask around for someone to open the museum (phiphithaphan).
- Tak Bai Lagoon Resort, 311/2 Moo 7, Che He, Tak Bai, ☏ +66 73 581478. A good place to stay. Clean and affordable. A few staff members speak pretty good English. Pleasant surroundings on the water and it has its own restaurant. Not much else in town anyway.
Heading to Narathiwat, take a songthaew or a public bus from the market intersection or anywhere along the main road.