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Are you going to Khao Sok Park? Don’t miss the town of Ta Kuapa!

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Southern Thailand

Joanna Horanin

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Last updated at 21/06/2024, 16:45

Hi, I'm Joanna, the author of The Blond Travels. In the worlds of Thailand and Portugal, I feel like a fish in water - and it's no coincidence! I've been exploring Thailand for over a decade, and I've settled in Portugal for 6 years now. My mission is to support Dreamers - just like you - in discovering these fascinating countries and helping those in love with them find their own place on Earth, preferably for good! Let's uncover these unique corners of the world together.

The Khao Sok Park region is extremely interesting. I only knew it from Cheow Lan Lake and the fact that you can take a cruise there or sleep on the lake, in one of the cottages. Since I had one day free, I hired a scooter and set off to explore the area. This is how I ended up at the magical Ta Kuapa – a small town that looked inconspicuous on the map, but turned out to be another little-known place in Thailand that stole my heart.

Many people go to Khao Sok just to take a boat trip, take some photos of the cliffs and see the blue water. Of course, Cheow Lan Lake is beautiful and worth the trip, but for me, the scooter trip to the Khao Sok region added magic to the whole stay.

If you’re in the area, head to Ta Kuapa, a less known destination in Thailand. You definitely won’t regret it.

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    The history of Ta Kuapa

    Ta Kuapa is a small town near Khao Sok National Park. It was founded around the 13th century. Wikipedia reports that this town was probably once one of the most beautiful and important ports in the area, where mainly spices were traded.

    A grafitti on the wall of the ta kuapa town.
    Ta Kuapa has the most amazing streetart.

    In the 19th and 20th centuries, Ta Kuapa was a centre for tin making and the headquarters of the Siamese Tin Company, which was engaged in the very business of excavating this ore.

    Over time, the company changed location and the town declined somewhat. However, it still has a very unique character.

    Visiting Ta Kuapa

    Ta Kuapa is very small and made up of a few streets. The suburb is mostly houses, courtyards and local life. You can drive there if you have a scooter and some time, but generally it is nothing special.

    Old houses in ta kuapa.
    These old houses line the main street of Ta Kuapa.

    The centre has a small roundabout and streets diverging from it. Old Ta Kuapa is the very area you come here for.

    Old villas stand here, and houses where tin and spices were once traded. The architecture is definitely of Chinese origin. Some of them are open and inside you will see barber shops or various workshops that still look like in the old days.

    An old workshop in ta kuapa town.
    Some of the places had their door open and you could peak inside.

    Beautiful, unique graffiti can be seen on many of the walls.

    Of particular note is Kopi Ta Kuapa, a café located in an old Chinese house. It has retained all of its character and has not been redesigned too much. This makes it a very special place on the Ta Kuapa map. If you visit here, order one of the regional desserts offered by the very sympathetic staff.

    Kopi Kuapa entrance.
    Kopi is an amazing cafe.

    The Ta Kuapa area is also home to the Thai Amazon, which you can kayak across.

    How to get there?

    A chinese grafitti on the wall in ta kuapa.
    Ta Kuapa is a great place also due to its grafittis.

    Getting to Ta Kuapa is not that difficult. You can get here by scooter or car. You can also hire a driver.

    There are buses departing from Khao Lak. It takes about an hour to get here by bus.

    Buy your ticket to Ta Kuapa online.

    I travelled here by scooter from my accommodation in Khao Sok Park.

    Map

    Accommodation

    I don’t know if it’s worth staying in Ta Kuapa overnight as the town is really small and there’s not much going on here. I would recommend staying in Khao Lak or Khao Sok and coming for an hour – two.

    You can find accommodation in the area here.

    A day trip to Ta Kuapa is a great idea to spend a little more time in the Khao Sok Park and Cheow Lan Lake region. It’s a lesser-known destination, so it’s sure to appeal to those who want to discover a less touristy Thailand.