Use the quicklinks below to jump to the desired section regarding transport in and around Tha Ton.
Songthaews ply Route 1089 between Fang and Mae Chan, costing 23 baht for the former and 55 baht for the latter. They run throughout daylight hours and stop outside the 7-eleven in the town centre though they can in theory be flagged down anywhere. Mae Chan services are less frequent than Fang ones while there are morning departures for Mae Salong as well. These run between 08:00 and 12:30 and depart from a small songthaew station around 500 metres east of the bridge.
Chiang Mai buses, the orange-coloured fan ones, depart throughout the day stopping en route at Mae Ai, Fang, Chiang Dao and Mae Taeng before eventually arriving at Chiang Mai’s Chang Puak bus station. Tha Ton’s tiny official bus station is just across the bridge to the east but this serves mostly local songthaews these days and Chiang Mai and long distance buses leave from a separate office on the main highway at the western exit to town.
Tha Ton–Chiang Mai: 06:25, 08:00, 09:30, 11:30, 13:00, 14:25 and 16:15. The fare is 120 baht and count on it taking four hours.
If you’re in a hurry or can’t cope without air-con, you’re better off taking the local bus or songthaew into Fang then hopping on a minibus.
Finally, a daily direct, air-con night sleeper bus service runs from Tha Ton and Bangkok’s Mor Chit. It is scheduled to depart at 17:00, costs 1,036 baht and takes... 13 hours.
Daily public boats depart from Tha Ton for Chiang Rai for 350 baht per person. There are various scheduled stops at villages downstream with fares as follows: Ban Mai and Mae Salak 90 baht, Phathai 100 baht, Jakue 110 baht, Kok Noi 120 baht, Pha Kang 140 baht, Hat Wau Dam 140 baht, hot springs and Ruam Mit village 300 baht.
Private hire will set you back 2,200 for the trip all the way to Chiang Rai including stops enroute. If you’re stopping before Chiang Rai then private rental costs are as follows: Ban Mai 700 baht, Mae Salak 800 baht, Phathai 1,000 baht, Jakue 1,100 baht, Kok Noi 1,200 baht, Pha Kang 1,400 baht, Hat Wau Dam 1,500 baht, hot springs 1,600 baht and Ruam Mit 1,800 baht.
Boats seat six people and come with lifejackets.
Tha Ton ticket office: Next to the tourist police box, immediately to the right before the bridge as you arrive from Mae Ai; T: (053) 053 727.