The northernmost town in Chiang Mai Province feels a long way from the provincial capital. This jungle outpost was once a key staging point for opium ferried across the border by Burmese warlord Khun Sa, but there's no legal border crossing now, and modern Tha Ton (บ้านท่าตอน) is a quiet backwater that sees just a trickle of tourists headed downriver towards Chiang Rai.
The trip downstream is possible from July to December – at other times, you may be the only foreigner in town. Nevertheless, there are some interesting detours in the area, including boat trips up to the Myanmar border and road trips to Mae Salong or the hot springs at Doi Pha Hompok National Park. The town has a sizeable population of Yunnanese migrants, who worship at the small Chinese-style mosque just south of the boat jetty.
Watch out for aggressive packs of dogs as you wander around.