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Tha Ton, Chiang Mai Overview

Tha Ton is a village in northern Chiang Mai, whose location in the countryside has granted it with verdant views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. The place is home to hill tribes, and is actively invested in their relief by setting up handicraft markets. Tourists can also visit the famous Wat Tha Ton temple or take a boat trip down the river to Chiang Rai nearby.

Straddling between Mae Ai and Mae Chan, Tha Ton is nestled on the banks of Kok River. Back in the days, this jungle outpost was a focal point for opium to be transported across the border, as ordered by the then Burmese military leader, Khun Sa. Tha Ton now functions as just a serene backwater with only a handful of tourists making their way towards the river.

Besides the Kok River, the Wat Tha Ton temple is another major attraction here. Built over several levels, this hilltop monastery is spread across 160 acres amongst the forested hills. Situated just a few miles from the Myanmar border, Wat Tha Ton overlooks the Kok River and Ban Thaton village.

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Things to Do At Tha Ton

Level One
At level one, tourists can witness the statue of the Chinese Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin. It is said that the Goddess had over a thousand arms that enabled her to help suffering people. However, the Goddess in this temple is depicted with only two arms. This level also houses a Buddhist school and the Wat Thaton Abbott office.

Level Two
On level two, there is the ubosot. Renowned as the most important part of this temple, the ubosot is the place of the ordinance within the temple.

Level Three
Level three of the monastery houses a Buddha sculpture in Mara's posture.

Level Four
There is a meditation centre on level four, in addition to a meditation hall.

Level Five
The fifth level has a student accommodation facility.

Level Eight
Level eight hosts a large multiple-shrined chedi or a stupa with multiple shrines.

Level Nine
Level Nine, which is just two kilometres from level 8, is situated in a forest with the paved footpath. Here, tourists can admire a giant standing Buddha statue. Apart from which, the temple has a rehabilitation centre and is also home to many monks, youths and new learners.

How to reach Tha Ton, Chiang Mai

You can take a bus ride to reach Tha Ton from Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Bangkok, and other neighbouring provincials.

By Bus
The bus from Chiang Mai to Thaton is a 4-hour journey, costing about THB 55. Buses are accessible every 2 hours.

From Chiang Rai:
Tha Ton is a 3-hour bus trip, costing around THB 100; however, buses are not very frequent here.
By Boat
Visitors can also reach Tha Ton by boat from Chiang Rai, which departs at 10:30 AM offering a 6-hour-long journey at about THB 350.

From Fang:
Fang to Thaton is a 45-minute songthaew ride for about THB 30.

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