Photo: Quite spectacular.

Wat Tha Ton

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A row of hills along the northern edge of town is all that separates Tha Ton from the border and Burma’s Shan State and dotted among these forested slopes and strung along the summit ridges you’ll find the sprawling temple complex of Wat Tha Ton.

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Many mountain tops in this rugged part of Thailand feature pagodas, temples or stupas but this, to our minds, is one of the most impressive—an eclectic collection of shrines, statues, Buddha images (both Thai and Chinese styles) and increasingly impressive views as you ascend, culminating in a huge, multi-coloured, hill-top stupa.

The scale is impressive. Photo taken in or around Wat Tha Ton, Tha Ton, Thailand by Mark Ord.

The scale is impressive. Photo: Mark Ord

Standing at the foot of the hill on the main road, it looks quite a climb to the top (it is) although the path does ascend gradually through a series of levels with something to see, plus different views, at each step. Take it slowly with plenty of pauses and you’ll make it in one piece. Of course, you could just hire a motorbike and drive up the sealed road that winds its way up, but then you’d be missing half the fun.

The steps begin just on the west side of the bridge and lead through some rock gardens with elaborate Chinese-style salas and statues overlooking the river. After this, level one includes a dharma school for novices, the abbot’s office and perhaps of more interest to casual tourists, a good coffee shop. The gold-leaf-coated chedi you see on this level is certainly the oldest part of the temple and is said to contain Buddha relics such as hair and bone.

Wat Tha Ton from across the river. Photo taken in or around Wat Tha Ton, Tha Ton, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Wat Tha Ton from across the river. Photo: Mark Ord

Level two, a short walk further up, is home to the main ordination hall above which, peering through the trees, you’ll spot the giant, seated, white Buddha on the level above. You can see this huge statue from pretty much anywhere in Tha Ton. The principal temple admin buildings over and done with, the path and steps become more attractive, leading you through forest and rock outcrops with occasional small shrines and statues ... Travelfish members only (Around 700 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Wat Tha Ton
Tha Ton
Mo–Su: 08:00–17:00 for the buildings
Admission: Free

Location map for Wat Tha Ton

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Popular attractions in Tha Ton

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Tha Ton.

Best places to stay in Tha Ton

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Tha Ton.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Tha Ton.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda
 Read up on where to eat on Tha Ton.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Tha Ton.
 Read up on how to get to Tha Ton, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Tha Ton? Please read this.
 Buy a SIM card for Thailand—pick it up at the airport when you arrive.
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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Tha Ton? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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