Things To Do In Nan
Nan is a residential area in Thailand that is encompassed by majestic mountains and century old Buddhist temples. Known as the land of the smiling and friendly people, the city of Nan is also famous for having a rich historical legacy which started from the Sukhothai regime in 1298 AD. This progressive city is sandwiched between the other well developed cities in Thailand like the Luang Prabang and Chiang Mai. The overall geology is filled with hills and has a rural or countryside feel. It has an impressive line up of national parks and landmarks to visit. Most of the houses in the city center are built of teak wood and has a wealth of historic sites to discover. If you prefer off the beaten path adventures in Thailand, a visit to Nan City is the perfect option for you.
When To Go:
The best time to visit Nan City in Thailand is during the high season months of November until March. This cool and dry season takes after the monsoon months of the country. It is best to go around Nan’s important landmarks in convenient temperatures, which are mostly experienced around these favorable months. The holiday season of Christmas and New Year is also one of the valid reasons why tourist come and visit the beaches and spend this important holiday season.
If you don’t like traveling on an extremely hot weather, avoid the dry months that begin from April until June. The low season also occurs from July to October. It is around this time when beaches and all watersports activities are closed due to the monsoon climate which is characterized by heavy rains, strong winds, and flooded areas. If you are planning to spend your holiday in Nan, it is best to plan ahead and avoid the months that may cause inconvenience and changes in your travel plans.
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Nan is a small town, but it has a lot to offer, be sure to visit these important attractions and things to do while in Nan:
The Wat Phumin is one of the temples that are more known and important to the people of Nan. It has a nice design and the exterior was recently restored while the painting of its interior remains original. The place looks splendid, especially on the part where you can see 4 interfacing Buddhas. It has the most beautiful murals of the country in an endearing temple. This is the most famous temple in Nan, located in the city center and accented with a large outdoor space. The Thai architecture and creativity is beautifully represented here with a white cruciform temple with superimposed roofs. 4 Buddhas in the center give extra magic to this wonderful building with amazing paintings. Not to be missed, this temple alone is worth the trip to Nan.
It is a small Buddhist temple, but it's always full of visitors. Take your time to make beautiful photos or you can sit inside and watch how its loyal devotees express their faith and reverence to the Buddha. Like all temples in the region, the Wat Phumin is characterized by numerous murals. The facility is very clean and is currently being restored to its original. Also in this temple, clean toilets are available for the guests’ convenience. The temple is frequented by Thai tourists because it is centrally located. Other famous temples are also within walking distance from this temple. The National Museum is also nearby and can be visited except on holidays. Nan temple has four entrances and beautiful murals depicting the daily life of the city, do not miss it while you’re in Nan.
Wat Phrathat Chae Haeng
The Wat Phrathat Chae Haeng is an ancient temple that houses the relics of the Buddha. It is a harmonious structure with a simple interior, but effectively transpires religion and deep respect for Buddhism in this city. The best time to go and enjoy the serenity of this place is early morning, when the weather is not hot, there are lots of uncrowded space, and you will have plenty of time for meditation.
The periphery is not very far away from the city and the temple is located on the small hill. At noon, the tower gives a golden glow when hit by sunlight. Once you arrive in the area of the relics, try to look up and see the beautiful scenery of the surrounding area.
Nan Noble House
The Nan Noble House is a fabulous resort with rural atmosphere and almost in the city. Its owner is an ancient noble that is so knowledgeable about Nan City and always ready to provide any information on history or culture in general. This very much kept up house is encompassed by a delightful greenhouse where visitors can also spend time.
Every zone is very much outfitted with things from the past. The house is likewise upgraded as a present day structure and an opportunity to utilize it as a place for photoshoot is very much suggested. It is pleasant to visit their home-weaving manufacturing plant and shop in the cellar also.
Wat Ming Muang
Wat Ming Muang is a famous temple in Nan that is more than 700 years old and equipped with a magnificent wooden Vihara. A record of history shows that this temple is a monument to the mother of King Mengrai. It is very much revered and a perfect example of a refined Thai architectural gem.
It is filled with art in every detail, nicely finished, never repetitive, traditional Lanna style with its unmistakable roof that is softened by its chrome spiers. It is a feast for the eyes that you’ll never get tired of watching. A trip to Nan just to admire this awesome splendor is a must for every traveler.
Wat Phra That Khao Noi
The Wat Phra That Khao Noi is situated on a hill which is about 4 kilometers outside the city center of Nan. It's worth a little tour around its sacred grounds and it is best done with a bike, which are practically everywhere or you can borrow one from any hotel that you stay in Nan. If you climb during the summer, the heat can be too exhausting. It is best to choose the morning or evening hours. The Temple Mount offers beautiful views of the valley of the Nan River and the city. If you're lucky, you can meet young monks who like to talk to the rarely appearing tourists in English. You should carry your own snack and drinks if you intend to stay an entire day in this temple because there are no shops or any establishments nearby.
You can take beautiful photos of this temple from the outside only, from the interior it is strictly not allowed. The Lord of this sanctuary is situated on a hilltop, overlooking the beautiful surroundings of Nan. The temple has a total of 303 stairs to climb and you need to be physically fit to reach the top part of the attraction.
This temple is not very big, but its golden color with the ray of sunlight makes it more stunning. It is not well known by tourists, but if you ask any local for directions, they will gladly give instructions on how to reach this temple. If you come early you can see the daily activity of the monks like washing their clothes in the river, going around to ask or shop for food, and observe in their time of chants and prayer.
Ban Nong Bua
Ban Nong Bua is about 25-minute drive from the city of Nan. It is a solemn temple and the local community here are engaged in artisanal manufacture of tissue Lue culture, this form of work comes from previous generations and their tissues are highly valued by tourists. The beauty of the church is unique, including its magnificent wall paintings with a touch of history. The most endearing part is the hospitality of the locals of Bua, they welcome and guide every guest who is eager to learn and understand the significance of their temple to Nan City.
Wat Sri Panton Temple
The Wat Sri Panton Temple and monastery is located not far from Wat Phumin and the National Museum. It has a fascinating gilt decoration and it shines like a sun with its fully gilded cover of its bot and extraordinary sculptures complemented by the giant naga that is framing the entrance. It absolutely deserves a visit if you’re in Nan City. Additional highlight of this sacred sanctuary is the pretty interior murals and the right side of the entrance lined with small woden shed houses that are highly decorated with racing canoes used in September / October for the "traditional long boat racings" in Nan.
It is another spectacular temple in Nan, an architectural masterpiece that shines during the day and before sunset in his great golden color. The interior is simple but it is a pleasure to enjoy the harmony of external forms and the incredible work of the skilled artisans in Thailand. The present temple and the striking golden dragon statue were built during the rule of the Royal Phukha of Nan from 1960 up to 1969. The seven-headed dragon guarding the entrance stairs makes the temple look more exotic and exquisite than any measure.
Nan National Museum
The Nan Nantional Museum is a beautiful palace near Wat Phuminand considered as one of the best museums in the country. Despite its fairly recent opening (1973) and subsequent upgrades this museum is still quite retro in its implementation of the objects presented and generally explained in English. A short visit is never tedious, everything is well balanced and marked. The ground floor with windows of ethnology is devoted to tribal minorities and the upstairs is devoted to archeology and the fantastic collection of sculptures of Buddhas.
Although it is unfrequented and not too large, it is an excellent museum and highlights the important contributions of Nan City to Thailand. What makes this museum truly interesting is that it traces very well the past livelihood and events that happened in this city and present the facts in easy comprehension. The museum was actually built in 1903 as a residence, later on it was used as the official museum of Nan and shows exhibitions of different arts and antiques most of which highlights the Black Ivory period in Thailand. You can also view the history of Nan here and visit the beautiful tree and take a picture with it.
Wat Phrathat Chang Kham Worawihan
The Wat Phrathat Chang Kham Worawihan is a very beautiful temple and it is located in a major intersection in downtown Nan along the row of several fine temples and buildings. Both the inside and the outside is stunning and well kept. It is a must to visit this sanctuary when you come to Nan. Aside from the nice interior, it is very solemn and quiet. If you come early, you can witness the morning rituals of the monks and their daily activities inside the temple.
Ban Huai Kon Border Market
The Ban Huai Kon Border Market is an interesting local market day that is held every Saturday morning. It is here where the enterprising Thais come to sell their goods and sell cheaper than in a regular Thai market. The Laotians buy mostly household items in plastic (high price), and sell the few vegetables that grow.
The most interesting thing to do here is people watching and trying out the local delicacies sold by the sellers. It is located 138 Km. from Mueang Nan and you may pass the mandatory checkpoint in the Thai border of Laos to get through this market.
Ban Huai Kon Kao Battlefield Memorial
The Ban Huai Kon Kao Battlefield Memorial is a museum of historical memory and discusses in detail the important role that Nan City played during the war years. This site was a station of the Thai soldiers during the war in Vietnam. It became a battlefield after the attack of the Laotian Communists and the Vietnamese allies. The site is now currently run by Thai soldiers.
It has a small museum with weapons, trenches, and uniforms used during that time. It is considered as the base of operations and kept well preserved for future generations to study the disturbances at the base armory against those who dare. This old military base at Huai Kon Kao is a battlefield memorial is a living proof of the harsh reality of war.
Bo Kleau Salt Factory (Salt Wells)
Bo Kleau is a mountainous part in Nan City, where the Bo Kleau Salt Factory is conveniently located. In fact, Bo Kelau literally means “salt” in Thai language. It is said that this mountain thrived and originated from salt production even during the early times. In this community, they have 2 main locations of salt productions where you can visit and taste locally made fresh mountain salt products or purchase every product that derived from the use of salt like; body scrub, spa salt, preserved goods, salty egg, and many more.
It is a small village that must not be missed while in Nan. The salt mining activity here is all at scale in a small mountain village that is truly worth seeing. The community is composed of small wooden houses clustered around the well from which salt is extracted and where the water evaporates on some houses until the appearance of salt.
Nan Riverside Art Gallery
The Nan Riverside Art Gallery is where most paintings done by local artists of the famous city of Nan can be found. The place not only offers collection of stunning photography about Nan City, it also has pretty cool visual exhibits, murals, and lots of inspirational images that are perfect for those who like to take pictures. A great example of local artworrk is the “Calendar of Karma” and some of the works from Nan Nan Ya's handicraft.
This gallery highlights the creative side of the artists from Nan, be sure to visit if you are a great art enthusiast. There are many angles for visitors to explore and there is a coffee shop provided within its premises if you feel famished after the gallery tour. For lovers of art and photography, this place is a must.
Si Nan National Park
The Si Nan National Park is a national park that has a reputation for its rich and fertile forests. There are beautiful views and areas along the sides of the Nan River. It has a variety of attractions to see like; the Kaeng Luang Nam Nan which is a rock with an unusual shape. There are many scenic spots to admire too like, the Doi Doi Pha Chu and the central quadrangle.
Nan is situated in the eastern North Thailand is known as the capital of the Tai Lue in Thailand. In the city center there is a very interesting temple with beautiful, unique frescoes of the Tai Lue people. The most famous painting called the "Krasip Rak" ("sweet nothings" or "The Whispering") has a cult-like status in Thailand and one of the most visited parts of the city. Be sure to explore its important landmarks and its row of sacred Wats.
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