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All quiet on the Tak Bai front

Visiting a little gem in Narathiwat province

The lonely beach of Tak Bai's Koh Yao. Peerawat Jariyasombat

Amid its tranquil atmosphere, Tak Bai of Narathiwat province has hidden gems worth stopping for. On the banks of the peaceful Tak Bai River, a refreshing breeze blows through a century-old pavilion.

Just steps from the river is the architectural heritage of Narathiwat province, Chon Thara Singhe Temple. The wooden gable pavilion shows excellent craftsmanship in southern-Thai style, while the abbot's residence, a one-storey concrete-and-wood building, shows off the carving on the roof.

"Tak Bai was part of Siam. In the division of land between Siam and British Malaya in the Anglo-Siam Treaty, the British wanted it. However, Thailand raised the fact that this was an important temple showing obvious Thai character, so the area should remain with Thailand. The British agreed to use the Sungai Golok River, a few kilometres away in the South, as the boundary," says Boonruan Chairat, on staff at the museum in Narathiwat, who also explains that the change of boundary saved 256km².

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