Thaton (Thailand)

Thaton (ท่าตอน, also spelled Tha Ton) is a small village inChiang Mai Province, northern Thailand. It is 46 km northeast of Fang.

Understand

Thaton is between Mae Ai and Mae Chan in northern Chiang Mai Province. It is a town on the banks of the Kok River. It has a relaxed atmosphere, and some people hang out for a few days or weeks. There are a small number expats as permanent residents. There are a number of guesthouses along the banks of the river and more in the town itself. The picturesque views from Thaton hill and the banks of the river, and a small town feel combine to make this a nice place to hang out.

Thaton Valley
Stupa, Thaton

Get in

Thaton is on Rte 1089 between Fang and Mae Chan. The distance to Chiang Mai is about 214 km by road and takes about 4 hours, but with some excellent scenery along the way. Chiang Rai is 108 km distant, Fang 25 km, and Mae Ai, 10 km. Thaton is so small it does not appear on many road maps.

You can take the boat from Thaton to Chiang Rai, which takes about 3 hours. There is a government boat at 12:30 that costs 350 baht each for a minimum 4 people. You can also charter private boats.

From Chiang Rai to Thaton is an upriver trip, and takes about 5 hours.

The bus station is near the bridge. Buses depart from/to Chang Phuak Bus Station in Chiang Mai several times a day with the journey taking 3-4 hours (prices are around 90 baht). The buses are usually easily identifiable with English information on them. Buses to Chiang Rai and Bangkok also run, albeit less frequently, a journey to Chiang Rai takes a couple of hours and to Bangkok about 12 hours (890 km). In May 2012 there was only one bus to Chang Rai that left at 15:00 and you had to change in Mae Chan.

From Thaton you can also go to Mae Salong, and on to the Myanmar border at Mae Sai where you can extend your visa.

Get around

Thaton can easily be explored on foot and bicycle. A songthaew can easily be hired if you need to travel out of the village.

See

Tourist Map of Thaton

Do

Thaton is the launching point for river trips to Chiang Rai, as well as hill tribe villages in the surrounding hills. You can make a half-day longtail boat trip to Chiang Rai from here. Within 20 km of Thaton you can visit local villages, inhabited by Pauang, Black Lahu, Akha, and Yunnanes. Treks and raft trips can be arranged through guesthouses and hotels in town.

Buy

On the grounds of Wat Thaton (level 2) there is the occasional open-air market where the hill tribes hawk trinkets and snacks.

Eat

There are a number of small roadside restaurants, stalls and bars serving Thai and some Western food. There are also several restaurants along the river. These have tasty Thai food, especially seafood (some from the river, other from local fish farms). Drinks are the standard Thai beer choices and various Thai whisky options. Some places also have Wi-Fi.

For packaged foods, there is a 7-Eleven one block west of the bridge. The local morning market is a prime spot for fresh produce.

Additional restaurant options abound in nearby Mae Ai.

Drink

The cheapest beers are from the shops, 40 baht for a big bottle.

Sleep

Crossing over the bridge, towards Chiang Mai, take the second road on the right (with the sign for the mosque). There are at least four guesthouses strung along this road. They are of varying standards from extremely basic, and so presumably cheap, to rather grand.

Stay Safe

There is a tourist police station near the bridge, although there is no crime problem in Thaton.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, November 21, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.