Tha Ton a town full of surprises

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by Gary D, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Gary D

    Gary D Ol'Timer

    Stop off at Tha Ton and be surprised. Tha Ton is a small river town on the way to Doi Mae Salong and Mae Sai, very close to the Burma border.
    Unbeknown to me previously many tourists stop here and catch a small boat for a scenic river ride to Chiang Rai and if your bike is small enough it can go with you too.
    It is a very pretty place with an assortment of accomodation and eating choices.
    The main attraction for some is the magnificently presented Wat Luang up high on a townside mountain range overlooking the mountainous area.
    The theme is a pair of serpents, one silver and one gold. Inside the Wat begins a fabulous journey through hallways of artifacts and prints. There is a photo of the young King shaking hands with a royal elephant.
    The Wat tracks upwards through a spiral walkway with different themes at each level to the top spire that offers great views. The Wat seems to have heavy Chinese roots and is well maintained and does not seek incessant funding like some others have to do.
    Also check out the 3 Kings statues on the LHS forecourt.

    'Stop and smell the roses'


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  3. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Nice Tour Guide Gary!
  4. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    Hi Gary.

    Your right about stopping and smelling the roses. Thailands full of these great little towns. The longest time Ive spent in Ta Ton is about an hour when fixing a flat tyre.
    Next time I might stay a night, as it does look like a nice spot. That ride down the river to Chiang Rai could be interesting too.

    Thanks for the report and pix.

    Cheers Moto-Rex
  5. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Will have to add this to my short list- thanks so much for the report!! :happy1:
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    A belated thanks Gary, this inspired me to pop back up there with Mum & my brother.
  7. We used to love stopping a few nights at the Thaton Chalet, the hotel on your left just the other side of the bridge as you go north. They used to put on a great bbq on the narrow terrace overlooking the river, and we'd then light a bonfire and drink the night away....... great memories.

    By the way I met that elephant in your first photo at the Royal Elephant Stables at the Palace in 1988..... awesome beast.
  8. Johpa

    Johpa Ol'Timer

    We were calling it the Wat Hilton by the late 1980s. The monks in that place certainly lived a far more comfortable life than the townspeople and local villagers. Not much dukkha at that temple. Then around 1990 there was that jack-o'-lantern Farang, I think he was from Texas, who always tried to collect an entrance fee from the foreign tourists. It all went well with all the always empty resorts built across the river and the one western oriented hotel that ran tours guided by hapless Thais dressed in African safari suits whose knowledge of the local populace derived from looking at the photos in a dog eared copy of the Lewis's book on the peoples of the Golden Triangle. By the way, is P' Thip still around Thaton?

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