Visiting Wat Tha Ton: a Magnificent Buddhist Temple in Northern Thailand

Looking for some lesser-known place in Thailand where you can enjoy serene vibes of the Buddhist temples and lush greenery? Read on to learn about Tha Ton village in the northern Thailand which you can visit on your day trip from Chiang Mai. 

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Wat Tha Ton
The road leading to the Crystal Pagoda in Wat Tha Ton, Thailand.

Should you need a break after observing the awesome nature surrounding the city of Chiang Mai, we highly recommend traveling to the north of the country, close to the Burmese border, where you will be able to explore the mountains, valleys and small, local villages.

One of the most beautiful experiences of your excursion might be a visit to Wat Tha Ton, a Buddhist complex located above Tha Ton village and the Kok River. The site is spread out over an area of 160 acres, extensive enough for a half- or full-day trip, especially when visiting all levels by walking.

Wat Tha Ton
The bridge over the Kok river in Tha Ton village. 

Visiting Wat Tha Ton: what to expect?

The multi-level complex captivates the eye with different statues, stupas, a meditation centre and a newly built pagoda on the top. If you are lucky with the weather while visiting four levels of the Wat Tha Ton, the place offers a spectacular view from the Crystal Pagoda.

Join one of the local tours in Chiang Mai:

As soon as you will enter you will be most probably overwhelmed by the incredible number of Buddha statues coming from many different countries. If it’s available on the day of your visit if Wat Tha Ton, ask for a guide to walk you around and give you some background information about the temple and Buddhism as well. 

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Compared to the overcrowded temples of Bangkok and Chiang Mai, the Wat Tha Ton complex is a real secluded place, perfect for contemplation. Even if you are not that keen on meditative practice, trust me, you will love the feeling of tranquillity while walking among the statues and buildings.

Wat Tha Ton The staircase leading to the first level of the complex.[/caption]

How to get to Wat Tha Ton?

Driving there will take you 3-4 hours, but there are also air conditioned buses from Chiang Mai’s Chang Puak bus station.

If you’re a more adventurous soul, you can take a boat trip via Mae Kok river with some awesome scenery along the way. the ride takes 5 hours. If you decide to stay in the village overnight, you have a decent choice of guesthouses or small hotels.

Opening hours: 8am – 5pm

So, if you seek a day trip from Chiang Mai, this place is the right choice for you.

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7 thoughts on “Visiting Wat Tha Ton: a Magnificent Buddhist Temple in Northern Thailand”

  1. Nice photos and good review! I found your Blog some days ago and now I’m following. I live in Chiang Mai since some months but still not travelled up to Tha Ton. If you have time I suggest to put in your agenda Mae Hong Son area and the Golden Triangle surroundings. The road from Chiang Saen Chiang Khong is amazing for taking impresive photos!

    Keep in touch, best regards

    1. Thank you, Iñaki. Your suggestions are much appreciated. We will consider these destinations as they must be beautiful 🙂

  2. Peter Korchnak @ Where Is Your Toothbrush?

    Very nice, thanks for the tip. We’ll be in Chiang Mai in January and this seems like a nice retreat from the backpackers’ Mecca the city appears to be (so many bloggers I follow say they’re there).

    1. Absolutely worth to visit, Peter. Looking forward to meeting you here guys 🙂

  3. A very interesting article, thanks a lot! Any advice about visiting Kamphaeng Phet while traveling to Thailand? Any interesting place to visit there? I am particularly interested in nature and sceneries, so maybe some waterfall sights or something like that?

    1. Ivana Greslikova

      Hi Mastak,
      Never been to Kamphaeng Phet, but if you love waterfalls, then check out Erawan National Park, Doi Inthanon park. The area near Chiang Mai is full of beautiful waterfalls, too. Happy travels!

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