Chiang Rai Boat Trip
Chiang Rai Boat Trip information
During the rainy season and for as long as water levels stay high (July to December), long-tail boats make the journey between Chiang Rai and Tha Ton daily. It's a scenic trip passing tracts of virgin forest, riverside monasteries, and villages of thatched huts with fishermen casting nets in the shallows.
The travel time is anywhere from three to five hours, depending on river conditions and on how many stops are taken along the way. Each boat takes six to 12 passengers, but operators may be reluctant to depart if there are insufficient passengers; chartering the whole boat costs 2200B. You can also make the trip (much more slowly) upriver from Chiang Rai.
Travellers often stop in the Lahu village of Mae Salak or the Karen village of Ban Ruammit and trek into the hills to find a less commercial hill-tribe experience. Doi Wawi , south of Mae Salak, is a large multi-ethnic community of Yunnanese, hill-tribe and Thai peoples; the Wawee chain of coffeeshops gets all its beans from this area. Nearby are dozens of hill-tribe villages, including Thailand's largest Akha community (Saen Charoen) and oldest Lisu settlement (Doi Chang), both also known for their coffee.