Thaton is located between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. It is a small town on the banks of the river. It has a relaxed atmosphere, and some people hang out for a few days before moving on. There are a number of guest houses along the banks of the river and more in the town itself.
Thaton to Chiang Mai is about 180 km by road and takes about 3 hours, but with some excellent scenery along the way.
You can take the boat from Thaton to Chiang Rai, which takes about 3 hours. There is a government boat at 12:30 and costs 350 baht, 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 about 3 or 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 Chiang.
Thaton Tourist Office, . Happy to help you. Motorbike rental, coffee shop. Provides a list of best restaurants and lodgings.
Wat Tha Ton (วัดท่าตอน), . Large monastery bordering the village, occupies an area of more than 160 acres with nine levels or hills. Each hill has something on it to visit, like a big Buddha image or a stupa. Level 4 has a meditation centre, where they teach vipassana meditation, also in English. The temple is situated on the bank of the Mae Kok River and offers beautiful scenery. The temple also houses a school for monks, novices, and youths as well as a drug rehabilitation centre and a hill tribe support unit.
Apple Villa, 352 moo 14, Tha Ton (opposite the boat launch. Go over the bridge towards Chang Rai and turn right), ☎ (053) 373 144 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: (053) 373 145). Has a range of bungalows, bigger ones with balconies and air-con overlooking the river smaller ones at the back with a fan with small verandas overlooking a pleasant garden. All extremely well-maintained and very clean. The attached restaurant serves decent quality Thai food and passable farang food. Free wifi350+ baht, low-season.
Areeya Phuree Resort, 84 Moo 3 (on the Chiang Mai side of the bridge. If you are coming from Chiang Rai and cross the bridge, take the second road on your left (Soi 7) and follow it to the end. There is a sign at the soi entrance.), ☎ 089-143-7688, . checkin: 12:00; checkout: 12:00. Scenic riverside resort set in a garden. Suitable for a wide range of budgets. Includes a pool, Wi-Fi, and restaurant.225+ baht.
Chankasem Guesthouse, 209 m.3 Thaton (Coming from Chiangmai, turn right just before the bridge. Go about 100m. its where the road turns right.), ☎ (053) 053613, (086) 197 7914. They run the large restaurant on the river. Motorbikes for rent at 350baht/day. No wifi.200+ Baht.
Naam Waan Guesthouse, 364 M. 3 Fang-Thaton Rd., Thaton, Mae-Ai, Chiangmai 50280 (Coming from Chiangmai, take right just before the bridge. It will be on the right near the coffee shop less than 50m down.), ☎ (089) 554 3642, (089) 5564194. Closes early in the evening. No wifi.200+ baht.
Old Tree's House (charming hotel on the hill), 323 Ban Rumthai, ☎ +66 85 722 9002, . checkin: 12:00; checkout: 12:00. Just out of Thaton, on a hill with a great view over the Mae Kok River, the mountains and the rice fields. Includes breakfast, Wi-Fi, laundry, swimming pool. 1,000 baht.
Tha Ton Garden Riverside Resort, 17 Moo 14 Thaton, Mae-Ai, Chiangmai 50280 (Coming from Chiangmai, cross the bridge and take the first left. Its will be the less than 50m on the left.), ☎ (053) 053 686, mobile: (081) 951 7102 (fax: (053) 373 154), . checkin: 12:00; checkout: 12:00. There is WiFi and TV in every room. 200/400/500 fan/ac/riverside baht.
Mae Salong - village of Kuomintang guerrillas and opium farmers who now cultivate tea
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