Mae Ai – Thaton is a little sleepy town, situated between Chiangmai and Chiangrai Provinces in an unknown part of North Thailand
From Chiang Mai you reach Ban Thaton by bus. Buses depart from Chiang Mai’s Chang Puak bus station. The air conditioned bus runs several times per day, the journey takes around 4 hours.
You will find a handful of cafes and shops and a few hotels. Most of them close by 9pm and there are no noisy bars or outstanding nightlife. If you searching for entertainment and a lot of action Thaton probably shouldn’t be on your list. But if you fancy pure relaxation, this quiet and lethargic, unassuming town could be right where you need to be.
Try a few Restaurants such as Pattra Cafe, and the very tasty thai dishes in big portions there.
At Thaton you can take a boat on Mae Kok river to Chiang Rai .Its a really fun trip with great scenery on the way. The trip takes you around 4- 5 hours
As well as the boats and river life, Thaton has a large temple on top of a hill near mea kok river. It is built over several levels of a forested hill offering magnificent views over the surrounding rural area. An hours walk or a 5 minutes drive up to the top level rewards you with a fantastic panoramic view over the villages below and their surrounding ricefields and mountains.
Mae Ai – Thaton Image Gallery
The main building of the temple complex is the newly built Chedi Kaew or Crystal pagoda, a magnificent structure visible from far away. Both sides of the entrance are decorated with golden colored Thewada figures. Over the richly decorated entrance is a depiction of the Buddha in front of a Dhamma wheel, the symbol that represents the Buddha’s teachings.
There is a Buddhist school for monks and novices and a Vipassana meditation center.
The Vipassana meditation center of the Wat Thaton hosts meditation classes that are open to everyone. Classes for non Thai speakers are held in English. There are classes both for beginners and for the advanced. For more information, check the temple’s meditation center info.
Wat Thaton is open from 8 am until 5 pm. Admission is free.